New Year’s Eve

featured in the poetry forum December 29, 2020  :: 0 comments

I associate the eve with my father’s bustle
as he lent our kitchen an apocalyptic hue,
with an upheaval of shopping bags and a blowing trumpet
as he played on the last evening his favorite tunes
to the fragrance of fish bubbling in garlic and olive oil.

He always finished the banquet-eating two hours before
the chiming of the twelfth stroke
and snored despite the roaring firework
that illuminated darkness with festive rainbows,
dreaming of Brigitte Bardot.

I associate the eve with my dog’s satiety,
who kept a vigil by the table’s plenitude,
consuming large portions of mutton and bones,
overindulged by all,
in token of the auspicious year to come.

Now both are dead,
I spend the eve reminiscing over the void
of a year devoid of friends and joy.

editors note:

Chased by a bad year into a new; qualifiers yet to come. – mh clay

Urn

featured in the poetry forum December 4, 2020  :: 0 comments

This urn is yearning for a memory’s ashes
that I had scattered far from my hearth
amongst a heap of cigarette stubs
in a frequented pub
where our eyes had first interlocked.

You had prepared the pyre and brought the urn
to immolate the love that you hard-earned.
You fed your eyes on consuming flames,
a ritual befitting kings and queens.

You asked me to cherish what had remained
of a love in whose permanence I trusted.
I place the dust of what was lost
in a rubbish bin
but keep the urn for nuts.

editors note:

Ashes to ashes, dust to nuts. Remember how you must. – mh clay

Irises

November 17, 2020  :: 0 comments

It was not the torso that Greeks and Romans sculpted for generations to immortalize the ideal physique; neither the Celtic mane of a Scottish highlander nor the stature of an Amazonian warrior. It was simply the freckles on his irises that brought it all about, an obsession that changed the entire course of my life. His eyes reminded me of …

Ellipses

featured in the poetry forum September 15, 2020  :: 0 comments

Our calendar entries have dwindled to a score
of random meetings that you cannot afford,
your memos congested with customers’ calls.

First went our breakfasts in the afterglow
of executive schedules that made my cereal bowl
bereft of yours in an excessive lack of decorum.

Then went our lunch-hours, the much-awaited-for.
The pigeons in the park yearn for crumbs and corn
delivered by hands, so difficult to disentangle before.

My evenings are haunted by nostalgic thoughts
for departed intellectual and visual joys,
for competitive Scrabble, for movies’ euphorias.

I anticipate more omissions to follow,
the script of our life to run out of color,
for more ellipses to connote what is hollow.

editors note:

… – mh clay

Quantum

August 15, 2020  :: 0 comments

An auspicious event, a job interview, but what was I to wear for such a formal meeting? One suit could do but it needed matching shoes. The allowance money that I received every two weeks would have to be sacrificed. A pair of designer shoes on display met my eyes the moment I entered a grand store. I could not …

Embers

featured in the poetry forum July 13, 2020  :: 0 comments

He spoke of the menace of ‘embers of Corona’
when coupling with flu in a joined force.
I thought of his use of the word embers
as a very inappropriate metaphor
and wished he’d stripped this hideous topic
of any aesthetic discourse.

The word is redolent in memory with beauty and hope.
When a child, I watched the embers of our fireplace
fade into a heap of paling gold.
Every log unveiled its secrets
in a spectacular, ashen form.
I adored their remnants
because from their midst a phoenix could be born.

The embers of a sunset always linger
for hours in my bosom.
I wait for the embers of a glowing word
to cool before I utter my response.
Even the embers of a dying passion
can warm a lonely soul.

editors note:

Use pretty to dress pretty. No lipstick for the pig. (We welcome Susie to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Thrice

featured in the poetry forum April 27, 2020  :: 0 comments

Thrice you pleaded guilty before
a jury of four:
a rake, two ruffians, and a flamboyant bore.
The charge is feticide
of the puerile mind
that lay un-hatched in its paltry womb.

Thrice you puffed away your yawns
at judge and pawns.
The prosecutor began to snort
at your flagrant contempt of court,
at contaminating nasal ports
with the stench of a voracious tongue.

Thrice you gaped at the bleeding dawn,
awaiting execution on a new-shorn lawn,
alone,
no stake or twigs
or a to-be-crucifix
visible within your dwindling zone.

Thrice you felt the dragon gore
inside the marrow of your thoughts,
ravishing your ores,
depleting your wisdom with a bony straw,
dipped through a hole
they surreptitiously drilled into your subconscious core.

editors note:

Pray there comes a count of four… – mh clay

Bishopbriggs

April 8, 2020  :: 0 comments

He invited me to the swimming pool for a dip. I pondered over my bikini of too many low-cut bits. I could not think of myself at Bishopbriggs in such a strip. The name suggested a stronghold of monks that a monastic vein in my heart had always cherished. I deliberated over the matter with a troubled wit then decided …

If I were a god

featured in the poetry forum February 7, 2020  :: 0 comments

I live by a harbor in the Mediterranean Sea,
where a breed of mosquitoes with enhanced immunity
has robbed my Summer and Autumn nights of elysian sleep.
I pray for Winter to kill their unhatched offspring
but coldness that relieves brings pain in its wake:
it displaces birds with sparse and denuded trees,
kills butterflies and other fragile species.
We pay for the sins of Adam and Eve,
but what have birds done to almightiness
that freezes the frail on frosted twigs?

I confess thoughts that many would consider blasphemous.
If I were a god, I would keep warm with the palms of my hands every feathered friend;
I would decree an exodus of butterflies to every household that has to have a winter-proof compartment,
where children and butterflies play as snowflakes perform their annual rituals;
I would forbid killing for sustenance,
so no creature will have to feed on the other in a cycle of violence;
I would erase the stigma of Cain from every forehead;
I would allow man to pluck apples that are sagacious;
I would not inflict everlasting suffering because of a single act of disobedience;
I would be more forgiving.

editors note:

Praise this god for a fine and benign, new creation (but, no mosquitoes, right?). – mh clay

Mad Swirl

December 31, 2019  :: 0 comments

Out of concern her family keeps a constant watch over her, the youngest leaf on an ancient tree, so very eager to flutter with the slightest breeze. Filial feelings dictate on nearby twigs to sermonize the little chick whose veins contain the thinnest blood. Deep-rooted in the soil, her father is keen on having his fretful kid enjoy a gravity-free …