Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Andromeda loved the way her heart fluttered when she soared high in her swing. On that particular September evening, the early autumn coolness rushed across her dimpled cheeks and through her fine brown hair. Leaning back, she kicked her legs and flew even higher. The metal chains chirped cheerful music to accompany her flight, while the sleepy sun painted the cotton clouds pink and orange before it pulled the horizon-blanket over its face for a night of serene sleep.

The child leaned her head all the way back and watched the upside-down world of trees, houses and waking streetlights tilt and sway with her. Somewhere in the neighborhood, a dog eagerly greeted the night's arrival and broke the silence of dusk that had, until recently, been filled with the warm summer-songs of crickets and cicadas.

Andromeda breathed in cool air and the fragrance of autumn leaves and clover. Stars winked at her from behind the clouds as she was embraced by the soft arms of childhood contentment. Her blue eyes reflected the streetlights and stars, and the first appearance of the smiling moon. The whole sparkling and gentle world seemed made for her alone, and she was happy.

The backdoor opened and spilled a golden path across the lawn. Her mommy called out her name and Andromeda, her head still spinning from flight, hurried inside to supper.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stranger in Old Town

You thought I knew my way around
but those streets all look the same at night.
All of the shops and cafés closed at ten
and there was no one about after that
(except for a thin suspicious cat
and a pigeon I heard cooing from a balcony.)

I twisted my foot on a cobbled sidestreet.
The roses were crushed when I fell.
I left them there in the darkness.
The wind blew some of the petals away.

I knew the direction of the public beach.
I went there and sat in the sand.
I watched the waves tumble in the moonlight.
I fell asleep a few times.

I dreamed I was a clown in the circus
but no one laughed at my antics.
In the grey morning, before the markets opened,
I caught a city bus and went home.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In dulcet slumber, the amaranth

In dulcet slumber, the amaranth
fondly dreamed of amber blessedness
dripping like honey from golden billows
that lazed across the skies of June.

Sonorous breezes pervaded her blossoms
and sweetened her nectar with an aria-wine.
But while intoxicated with such melodious delights,
she was abruptly awakened by omens of rain.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The End of Winter

Serene and wistful, like a widowed centenarian,
whisper-gusts wander through the winter wheat
beneath the alabaster mountains of the moon
that gleam behind a fraying cirrus-veil.

The elderly season, in quiescent assent,
dwindles and fades gently away,
knowing that the vibrant débutantes of Spring
are burgeoning behind her and dancing for joy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Sky-battle

The war-hungry cloud-minions
lay siege to the nighttime heavens.
With a vicious surge, they defeated
even valiant Orion and the Sickle-Moon.
Bright lightning, like electrified veins,
throbbed in the forehead of the angry sky
while, with a rumbling and arrogant roar,
the Storm-Tyrant proclaimed: "I am come!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fourth Street

It was the kind of nighttime weather in which people enjoy to be out of doors: warm, with a light and steady breeze. The sidewalks were filled with couples and clumps of twenty-somethings, chatting casually and laughing, reveling under red and blue neon enchantment.

Colin had seen her there several times before, always with a lively band of girlfriends, and he was quite smitten with her: the sweet mirth of her laughter, her bright eyes, the sheen of her mocha-brown hair, her slender shoulders; he even thought her teeth looked charming when she smiled and talked. He had never spoken a word to her, but he felt certain she knew he had noticed her; she had caught him staring in her direction on a couple of occasions, setting his heart pounding.

That night in late July, he took leave of his boisterous pals and slowly strolled over in her vicinity. He pressed around a noisy crowd gathered just behind her, and drew close to where she was standing. He could smell the fragrance of her hairspray and light perfume, and saw the very fluttering of her eyelashes when she laughed.

Her blue eyes flashed briefly over to him. His heart thumped.

She diverted her eyes back to him with a small warm smile, her pale-pink lips pressed gently together. But before he could smile back, she had turned her attention again to her circle of friends.

He wandered back to his own friends, who were oblivious to his plight, but he heard nothing of the foolishness he was certain they were speaking among themselves.

He was aware of nothing except for the lingering vision of that girl's sweet smile.

He considered going back over and talking to her, but he could not think of any winsome words to say. He would basically have to interrupt the conversation she was having with her friends - and then what would he say? He feared they would all look at him in ridicule - unless he could come up with some engaging wittiness, which he felt totally bereft of at that moment.

She and her friends soon moved on and, despite his breathless hopes, she did not look back towards him as they walked away.

He resolved to make a bolder attempt to meet her next time. The ache in his heart demanded it.

However, although he returned to Fourth Street on many Friday nights throughout that mild summer, he never saw that exquisite girl again.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Yesterday Today and Tomorrow

Yesterday I loved you
in the heart-sweltering heat
of vehement passions
and luscious flower-drifts
engulfed by the sweeping stream!

Today I love you
more than the immensity of this planet
soaring through the endless vacuum,
fired on all sides by silent stars
pulsing from their safe distances!

Tomorrow I will love you
when time whispers delicately
through eggshells brittle underfoot,
when the years loom large behind
as a spector of what could have been!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Dreamer

What follows now, gentlemen, is a detailed account of what I observed in the study of Mr. Jonathan Milton on the evening of June 18th, 1897, while I was a guest at his home in Bexleyheath:

There were detailed maps of the Moon in various phases,
meticulously inked onto crisp parchments,
along with a small deceased Falco peregrinus
stretched out and pinned to a framed canvas.
An elegant bronze goblet half-filled with rosemary water
stood beside a bowl of rotting pears and pomegranates.
A sputtering white candle, melted down to a mere nub,
had spilled its wax in hardening mounds out upon the desk.
The grey-bearded gentleman was seated there,
with his head resting serenely on the parchments,
and he held a dry feather-quill in his gaunt hand.
White moths with their powdered wings
fluttered like snow against the windowpane,
again and again, out in the slumbering darkness.
The man then stirred and spoke out in his sleep:
O Luna! Luna! Ego veni te hodie nox!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Plaids and Polka Dots

Dearest Johanna,

After all those years,
your words were often as fresh in my ears
as Christmas carols in springtime.

We walked through wild and vibrant hues
clothed in blacks and navy blues,
speaking with words that almost rhymed,
like cherry-lime and eglantine.

But such as it was, it was fine.

Though we were paired
like plaids and polka dots,
stripes and spots,
country-fried okra and kumquats,
you loved me well
and I adored you so;
it was swell.

But now -
now it is over.
So, my love, farewell.

Your loving Henry.

I placed the note back on the ground,
upon the grave where it was found.