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Go.
Go and be what you will.

I held your ghost
like a shell to my ear,
but never had more
than an echo of ocean —
shallow and unreal.

And I do not know
what I would be,
but this battle does not serve.

I am tired of bleeding.
And I am tired of burning.
All to no end.

So go.
Keep yourself to yourself,
if you must.

And I will lay down
the shell,
the spear,
and submit
to this season of silence.

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Silver

With the ghost
in the navigator’s seat,
we turn into the deluge,
proceeding on blind faith,
and praying the road
will rise to meet us —
a crescendo
we can neither touch
nor feel.

Long we left
the map behind,
but I always had
a sense of direction
and perception
of all the ways
matter must occupy space.

We might fall,
we might fail,
we might find the hidden road.
Bedeviled with ignorant angels,
we ride the storm —
seeking silver light,
greeting each breaking
with weary welcome.
The weaving will be
as it wills.

Quickening

Was the good dark soil.
Was turned
and ready to be shaped —
and long loved
the shapes
you saw in it.

But lost
in the lovely
alone,
the hands —
grown solid,
with their leafing veins,

and skin
like paper
waiting for pen —
found the melody,
felt this —
their own quickening.

So swallow up
the stones
from my throat.
Open the gate,
and let your hands
fly like birds.

Turn to it.
Winter has not done
with us yet.
But the light changes,
and it is mine
to tend this garden now.

Exit Sign

He went to the girl club.
And I killed the calico mouse.
My head blurry
with leaving
without leaving.
Go tell him,
the cold moon on the snow.
Dry,
I never knew
he would need so much blood.
Turn it toward the river.
Running lights reflected
in the guardrail.
And it’s a hard right turn,
or it’s into the drink.

Dropped

A single night offers
this whole new category
of thought —
something to work over.

Seek the songs,
the stories that point
toward the right reactions —
and struck dumb,
I am full of
question.

She puts his hands,
his mouth and body
in a box —
treasures to save for hollow days.

Then she swallows up the keys.

Where is the box
to save against
my own?

I am about the fogged morning —
the waking and making of daylight,
however clouded.

In the pines outside
the open window,
a lone owl calls.
And there is none to answer back.

No. 8 – Flight Risk

All these girls
are greener than grass.
We gauge the days
according to definitions
of home:
a place for returning,
a place for leaving.

And I can strip it
down to nothing,
then stack them back —
bricks and bones —
but still can’t build
what I do not know.

Cold hands,
cold heart —
and the old man warned me.
We are always
half in
and half out of the world.

We split the dawn and dark.
And I have no need
for chained or knotted strings.
It’s the unfolding story
that keeps me bound
to these pages.

And with nothing
to reciprocate,
I might as well
hold my tongue.

The sun is choosing
where to shed
its rising light,
and I follow music
through a fog
settled low,
waiting for
inevitable flight.

Slip

1.
You’d better be careful.
We take our black magic
seriously.
And I could send
pages and pages
scratched and etched
and a cauldron of clocks
to prove it.

2.
When did waking
grow so perilous?
Better to stay locked
singing sweet
in a jail of dream,
where only imagined
dangers can touch you.

3.
He’s a beggar
for my blood.
Cresting a wave,
silvered and salty,
I bite my tongue
that he might have it,
and to keep myself
from whispering
the wrong word.