Cosmic Hand

featured in the poetry forum July 31, 2016  :: 0 comments

Once upon a ghostly star,
knee-deep in a darkling place,
I meandered off too far
into outer, outer space.

As I wandered in this land
of the void beyond the night,
suddenly I saw a hand
reaching for a cosmic light.

Though lost in darkness dreary
and adrift in bleak despair,
disheartened, weak, and weary,
I could not but stop and stare.

Such a wondrous illusion
floated in those blackened skies!
Was this only delusion
that I saw before my eyes?

Did collapsed star long ago,
pulsar spinning crazily,
cause that nebulaic glow
emanating hazily?

Was this sight to be believed?
Astrophysical ideal?
Pareidolia perceived?
Yet the phantasm seemed real!

Fingers colored brilliant blue
clutching at a fiery band
formed a most amazing view
of this archetypal hand.

And my musing mind was full
of this inner mystic spell
serving as the heavens’ pull
out of my own private hell.

That ethereal display
brought me eerily around,
showing me the light of day
and a destiny profound.

Ever onward I would plod,
thus to seek the truth inside,
on a path that few had trod
where deep wisdom would abide.

With this purpose as my guide,
though the way might twist and bend,
I would live until I died
with enlightenment my end.

Yea, it was as if a dream
of a helping hand within
shone a bright eternal beam
where obscurity had been.

editors note:

When what we see brings enlightenment and hope, then let’s see more of that! (The image  inspiring this wonderful, ekphrastic outburst can be seen here.) – mh clay

Frieze in Miniature

June 3, 2016  :: 0 comments

Sunday and snow. A promise made— a promise kept. Laden with oranges, apples, chips, crackers graham, muenster, and wine to placate my misgivings, a thermos of cold water, mittens, blankets, and four rain-booted children bundled for snowball battles, quivered with impatience— up Angeles Crest we plunged. Destination— snow— 7000 feet. Carsick children— and me. Still no snow. Destination— Big Pine. …

Willed Words

featured in the poetry forum May 11, 2016  :: 0 comments

For William Shakespeare

Soft you now – what visions rise from that phrase
which sounds of hushabies and winsome ways,
or conjures damsels in enduring plays
with celebrated scenes that e’er amaze!

One maiden proffered columbine and rue,
yet could not tender blooms of violet hue.
To take is not to give – still ‘twas not true
when twisted villain gave a ring to woo.

The walking shadows tell their tales of woe,
before to dusty death they’re called to go.
Tomorrow and tomorrow creeps its pace
as time pursues us all in ticking chase.

Yea, pageants may dissolve or cloud-capped spires
and sweet birds sing no more in ruined choirs…
But soft, beloved Bard, abide in peace!
The wonder of your words will never cease!

editors note:

With the anniversary of his death just past, Harley reminds us how much we are lovers of Will’s words. – mh clay

Sonnet on Time

featured in the poetry forum February 6, 2016  :: 0 comments

Is time a spiral stairway that we climb
Whose unendingness we seek to borrow
To the last wrought syllable of our rhyme
Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow —
The fusion of the future with the past
In dizzying dimensions ever new
Which hurl us headlong in a void so vast
That what we view as false appears as true?
We must peer through bars forever blocking
Upon the threshold of our promised land —
At the gates of eternity knocking —
Outside we stand — albeit hand in hand.

Through the rush of time we’re ceaselessly swirled.
How heartless is the transience of this world!

editors note:

Hand in hand we stand against the great Tick Tock. (Another one from Harley on her page; a birthday present – check it out.) – mh clay


February 6, 2016  :: 0 comments

Carpe diem? sweet, yet meet?… whimsical? smart? how do I start?…
On a birthday, it’s worth saying something special from the heart.

While I’ve penned all kinds of rhymes — ahead, behind the times, a range —
Some in verse that’s terse, some florid, others horrid, stanzas strange…

Here are couplets spare, to share a word about aesthetic voice
And tell of those who, heaven knows, feel impelled. These have no choice.

Force driven, from a passion given or a pull linguistic,
They have to make their plea — to make us see — by means artistic.

To psyches nourish with a flourish to seek heights where dreams dare —
Souls entice through words’ device — takes more than mere inventive flair.

Although Joyce’s knack most lack or Molly Bloom’s, yes, claim to fame…
Still a spark might light that could ignite a literary flame.

When in dim creative burn, one struggles just to turn the page —
Push on to… and puzzle through… a painful poem’s final stage.

Midst seas of jocund companies, I would seek to speak from shore,
Hope to leave behind a line of mine that wasn’t there before…

Meantime delight in what is left, each strophe deft… to the end…
Where we blind may find someday someway unwinds beyond that bend…

I’ll stop the Harley parley now — sing appreciation ‘cheers’…
For encore add, ‘many more birthdays galore… and relished years!’


February 5, 2016  :: 0 comments

There was no getting around it anymore—Annie’s stomach had become a definite protuberance. The problem seemed to be her fondness for food. Still, Annie was not devoid of the tendency toward self-evaluation. Browsing through the fashion-filled pages of Damsel magazine, she had become aware of another hunger experienced when studying the color portraits of lean, hollow-eyed models, accompanied by a …

Youth is Wasted on the Young

featured in the poetry forum November 18, 2015  :: 0 comments

We heard it said repeatedly,
in adage olden and far-flung,
through springs misspent too heatedly,
that youth is wasted on the young.

Our ‘salad days’ of judgment green
found life a song to still be sung,
a wanton time when slate seemed clean.
Ah, youth is wasted on the young.

If mad pursuits of senseless aims
left us ‘at sea’, burned-out, unstrung,
from revelry in ‘fun and games’,
then youth is wasted on the young.

When ages past maturity
those words oft heard have freshly stung,
we see with blinding surety
that youth is wasted on the young.

Yet, wiser than we were before,
we heed the chimes at midnight rung
and anchor vagaries ashore.
Aye, youth is wasted on the young.

We seek enlightened paths to know
and glory just to dwell among
the blossoms of an inner glow.
Oh, youth is wasted on the young.

And golden years bring different dream,
when passion’s lost her silver tongue,
for lasting peace to reign supreme.
Yes, youth is wasted on the young.

editors note:

Now’s the turn for youth to write; so far, it’s never yet been told. Turnabout, be sharp, not trite; how age is wasted on the old. – mh clay

The Robot

November 6, 2015  :: 0 comments

It may sound simple enough to go to your father’s house for Christmas dinner, but the fact is for me it wasn’t. I have tried over and over again to figure out what happens. I start out filled with the resolve to act natural— just be myself— talk to Father as though he were anyone else. But it’s always the …

Must Give Us Pause

featured in the poetry forum September 8, 2015  :: 2 comments

If death ends all we see
in Nature’s laws—
to be, or not to be,
with no applause—
and seas of troubles flee
when life withdraws,

then how we choose to plumb
the waters deep…
or whether dreams may come
in final sleep
need never foil
our glee of fancy free…
though mortal coil
may give us pause…

But what if there be more
than what we know—
a door beyond the door
to come and go?

What further living dream
may round us form,
in endless norm,
that carelessly we cause,
and doth existing seem,
must give us pause…

an independent and
dependent clause
of consequential strand
must give us pause…

another cosmic clime
in timeless time,
a stream of conscious I’m
in reasoned rhyme
that carries all our flaws
must give us pause…

who’ll snatch us from the jaws
of slated fate—
that we create…
then vainly grasp at straws—

must give us pause…

For should we risk perchance
to miss the mark,
but dizzily to dance…

what dream of dark
in coverlet of gauze
may whelm our dying pause,
and pierce with karmic claws…

to make us heed
in thought, in word, in deed,


must give us pause…
must give us pause…
must give us pause…

editors note:

Yes! Maybe this whole life we blink is just a pause; a deep breath to take before we dive into the real thing. – mh clay

Sleep Madrigal

featured in the poetry forum July 4, 2015  :: 0 comments

Sleep’s the Great Healer—
Sleep’s the Revealer

of hidden meanings,
unbidden gleanings.

When sorrow aches us,
Sleep overtakes us—

stealing away grief,
like a welcome thief.

Night is the coverlet
for a longing lover— yet
it’s Sleep who delves

deep into our selves,
finding dusty dreams… on shadowy shelves.

When life’s a jailor,
Sleep’s the unveiler

of an inner key…
to set us free.

Sleep’s our best friend
at a hard day’s end—

weaver of fantasy… with reality,
make-believer of what could be…

Sleep’s the Great Healer… of you and me.

editors note:

A compelling case for sleep – I vote “Yes for naps!” (Another fun pome from Harley on her page, about our mutual love of words – check it out!) – mh clay