featured in the poetry forum August 30, 2023  :: 0 comments

Sounds tug at me,
a worm’s soft tunneling, riffle
of an underground spring.

Leaves tell ghost stories,
clouds gently bruising
each other in the breeze.

Beyond this, in a place
with no wind, where every color
feels like silver, and sound

crawls through the thickest time,
the last words of a dying star

in this voice of dust and diamonds,
this creaky moan.
This language I don’t understand

becomes part of everything,
dead or living,
the ability to see

through the eyes
of every owl and wolf,
to enter a sleepless

camper’s mind or scatter
stories over the lake
like reflected stars.

editors note:

Not a sheep to count anywhere. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 6, 2022  :: 0 comments

Crystal, glass, olivella shells,
powers of tusk and bone.
These polished bits of moon
rumble thunder in my hand.

Octaves of wind hum silken voices
of time and sorcerers, of people
who sprouted from earth,
those who translated tides and stones

and conversed with fish.
Here is darkness that dreams
of light, of the hollow corridor
where death flowers into life.

Colors pour through my veins.
The past regards me with its beaded eye,
reflects me back to the beginning.
I warm my hands on fires of creation.

editors note:

Nascent necklace worn again, worn anew. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 26, 2021  :: 0 comments

Today there is only silence,
birdsong, the feathered sounds
of souls slipping from life.

She gathers things to heal:
the morning’s meadowsweet upheaval
of peach blossoms bursting into fireworks,
a branch of oak-gnarled grief,
shards of ruby from a shattered heart.

As the edge of sanity
descends into flame,
she pours holy water
from a hollow log.

Holding sprays of blue vervain
and blessed thistle,
she burns a wish

but its smoke
carves her name
in the sky.

editors note:

Staying in, until they make a heartbreak vaccine. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 17, 2020  :: 0 comments

Strange alphabets fall
from my chattering teeth
to land on this blanket of shadows.

Ice-minded thoughts
turn dreams to stone.
I chip at the unbreakable,

find the muse encased in an icicle
like a violet, her voice sparking
a thousand colors in the sun.

The day cracks and shatters
into crystals as she dances out.
Diamonds and emeralds ring their bells.

She sings with this music
of chapels and says love
can never be preserved in ice,

scatters ideas like snowflakes,
white birds, cottonwood seeds,
each unique and delicately carved.

Time frozen in my fist
melts and slips away.

Her breath carries traces
of trade winds.

editors note:

The wiles of winter will have their way, just a little longer… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 16, 2019  :: 0 comments

At 18

Young and in the war-singed jungle,
his face as carved as an old man’s,

shadows of death weave through his hair,
ghosts drifting past his eyes.

His vision holds a secret
darkness of atrocities. The torn

sunlight settles on his skin
and sinks down, slipping into his soul.

His feet will always be stained
from soaking in the blood of this land.

At 28

The sun from a hundred years ago
candles his spirit and settles

on his swooping mustache.
His rough hands tremble from pulling

shadows through time. With total recall
of every thorn and cut, he laughs

as days shred into a pile at his feet.
A retrograde cloud looms behind him,

and he toasts it with a shot of whiskey
that reflects a trail of fractured light.

At 38

A bottle of Evan Williams in one hand,
a double-bladed Pulaski axe in the other,

his grip blurs with tremors. Onlookers
step back. Some know how his mind etches

memories on its wall, how no flood of alcohol
could wash them away. He will repeat each

word of the lecture you missed, recite the
article that drowned in spilled ink-blossoms.

Suddenly steady, he raises his axe and cleaves
the sun. A corona showers him as he hits the target.

At 48

He is in the wheelhouse mapping
triangulations to celestially

navigate the ship’s direction. He sends
the bow gliding through black water

the same way he slips through time,
breaking the currents into thousands

of tiny star-like jewels until the sea
and sky blend into one. He doesn’t

have far to go before his journey
is complete. The moon follows him.

editors note:

A life in stages; rough work, hard wages. A moon-chased course, none the wear for worse. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 12, 2018  :: 0 comments

Your footprints left
thin as ghosts.

Silent branches flower
their glass
through my brittle dreams

as a script
of ice vines its grief
toward sunrise.

Crystal bells ring
as the last star
falls to the treetops

and this lost moment
becomes a drop of frost
melting to earth.

editors note:

Stolen sleep in Winter’s wake. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 28, 2017  :: 0 comments

On that night of snake hiss
and cicada click,

beyond the bristlecones
and the blackjack pines,

ghosts with no faces
and whiskey-soaked souls

came to this place.
Chains and whips

and veins of fire
staining the black earth red.

Can you feel it?
The way the air still thrashes

from the man’s struggling feet,
the hickory tree weeping

its burn of rope,
its blood-soaked bark.

The wind is a saw-blade,
a talon, a fang.

Leaves hold his last scream,
cry his final prayer,

drink sorrow
dripping from the moon.

editors note:

No justice in this court. These judges, guilty to judge the guiltless. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 10, 2015  :: 1 comment

I wake one morning in a smoke-scented room
of windows and sparkling mirrors. Questions prism

through me in tangerine and rose while
people weave through my vision like fish. I ask

if anyone will burn a dream for me.
A woman with a stained bandage over her head

says, Our thoughts are right where we left them,
ready to melt into the mind of some passerby.

She plucks a translucent orchid from the vase.
The hanged man says, We never recognize

our own evils. Passion is the devil’s eye
and the source of life. No one can know

the difference. I ask him why my bones
have walked away from my body, why time

is moving sideways, but the moon slips
into his mouth and lights its candle.

editors note:

In the mirror world, answers come to the reflection of questions. (Read another mad missive by Patty on her page; a light in the darkness – check it out.) – mh clay


November 10, 2015  :: 0 comments

Sing your death song and die
like a hero going home.

— Chief Tecumseh

I will miss the moon’s silver touch,
its exquisite sorrows
shimmering the sky like tears.

I have listened to the voices of trees,
the double-edged language of men,
sounds buried deep in the night

where I planted a dozen loved ones,
held cold winter wind in my arms,
kissed lips of ice.

Lessons slipped among canticles
of coin, pill and scalpel. I’ve walked
into fire, danced with snakes,

praised the hunger moon
and the weeping black river,
faced the lies I’ve told myself.

When summer fell, I carried the sun
on my back, its warm hands
on my shoulders, my breasts.

I let its heat caress
my body with life
but never bore its child.

Lift me to your dark silken wing;
show me what lies beyond sleep,
behind your hidden gate.

editors note:

See this love for the dark; fills this soul with light. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 7, 2015  :: 0 comments

She sent him away——
back into the clouds
on his indigo horse.

She tries not to recall
how he made mornings laugh
down narrow Spanish streets

and markets in Morocco
in his accents of every country,

how they camped like gypsies,
connected the stars
to make candles and dragons,

threw wishes into fountains,
money into wells.

She tries not to listen
as his voice pours down the roof,

fills the rain gutters
and flows into the street

away from their house
built of music
and dreams.

editors note:

Refuse the dream weaver as he rains wishes back on you; you never refused the dream. – mh