Tears of Fire

 

The seven descended
Each with wings spread
Enough to fill a house
Shalom not upon their tongues
Throughout the compass points
They searched to find
All the gnawed bones
The muscles and sinew
The heart and entrails
Torn asunder with teeth of hate.

And once the seven
Found all the tiny bits
With flaming swords
Used as needles
They did try to stitch.

Neither their swords
Nor spirit of their breath
Did have the power to seal
The meat and sinew to bone
And then they knew
Those who showed no mercy
Would be given none
Their heads hung
At words spoken too late
To condemn human hate
Inshallah upon their lips
As they ascended
Their flaming eyes
Weeping tears of fire.

 

Two Hours

Two hours waiting
Two hours till death walks
Across your domain, your Eden
The longest two hours now
Will be the shortest two hours
After
After you no longer chase squirrels
Or kill snakes to lay as trophies at my feet
I will hold you as you
Dream and drift away
Wrapped in your blanket,
The one you’ve had since a pup.

After you are gone
Taken from my arms
Both of us limp
You will dream
Of running and running
For the joy of it,
Of chasing and catching
The geese you love to swim after,
Of digging and ridding
Your yard of moles,
Dream my friend, my companion,
My comforter, my furry kid
Dream as only angels can
Until we meet again

Trails

Set out years ago
Dropped breadcrumbs
Some no bigger than dust particles
Of the soul
Along the roads and paths
Thought I’d find my way back,
There’d be time
There’d be years
Be months
Weeks
Days
Seconds
Left before the sand
Absconded with the hourglass
To find the trail of dust and crumbs
Sweep and pour them
Back into the soul
Add a few ingredients
Create once more
From the beginning

 

But birds and squirrels
Feasted on the leavings
And I’ve no desire
To return to where I started.

 

 

Knowing

Rewind the archives of a past
Find little worth remembrance

And now, only hours,
Removed from your side,
I could close my eyes,
Reach out my hand,
Trace each line and curve,
Comprising your grace,
Feel each rise of breath
And sleeping sigh
Leaving your chest
Resting against my back
And all my hard, squared off edges
Become like wax,
Softening and melting away,

Knowing,
For once, in all my years,
Knowing.

Dance

 

I knew how to dance once.
Didn’t have to think
about the placement of feet,
a way back when the movement
of elegance and grace,
of heat and passion,
of fun and joy
was all rhythms
I could hear and follow,
Reveling in the feel
Before a shoulder snapped out of joint,
Hanging limply at my side,
And I unlearned the lessons of dance,
Unlearned all the intricacies
Of the Argentine,
Unlearned the grace
Of the Viennese,
Unlearned the joy
Of doing double time.

Unlearned everything of dance
Until I barely remembered
I once knew how to dance.

Then I tried to learn The Texas Two Step
And failed and failed and failed
Couldn’t feel the steps and glides
That looked so easy, so fun
And I wondered if I ever had known
How to really dance.
Maybe once, a long time ago,
I could have mastered this,
This Texas Two Step dance.

Splinters and Ash

 

Splinters these things:
A Cherrywood vanity
Of fine detail,
Queen Anne legs
And dovetailed drawers,
A square ring left in the surface of the finish,
Where perfume dripped down the sides
Of a stoppered crystal bottle;
A dull walnut jewelry box
With red velvet lined drawers,
An attached mirror
Makes it too large,
Ungainly, for today.

These things, leavings,
Leftovers of a life lived,
For remembrance, for reverence,
Symbols of the intangible
As spring greenery
Is glimpsed and seen
Through a sunlit dusty screen
On a late afternoon,
Containing a muted gold softness
One can never touch.

Lackluster as they are,
They are her, her leavings,
The leftovers of the grinding times
She spent between
Rocks and hard places.

You will have her splinters
And my dusty ashes:
A picture or two, photo albums,
Old fashioned things to look through,
No links to clouds but to history, yours;
Some pencil scratching and ink splatters,
Words hurled, tattooed, etched, brushed
Upon page after page,
Notebook after notebook,
Drive after drive;
Yet you will never know or guess
How many were destroyed,
Burned, ripped, broken,
All trashed over my years.

And if you should read my leftovers?
Press your lips together,
Drawing them thin?
Sigh and raise an eyebrow?
Roll your eyes then burn it all?
Or simply, send it all to the trash
In green plastic bags?
Or
Find one old photo,
one written line
Worth the keeping,
For remembrance sake?
Perhaps, perhaps

You will find something
Among my dust and ash leavings
Of the grinding times I spent
Between rocks and hard places
And view it
As spring greenery is seen
Though a sunlit pollen dusty screen,
Void of vibrancy,
But containing a muted gold softness
One can feel yet never touch
Then know my damning sin,
Like Jonson’s, “was too much hope of thee”
Then find your heart softened and free.