Conversant in Thistle and Butterfly

I am perched on a boulder

hidden in the shadowed corner

of the garden

behind the nodding thistle

perspicacious heads of lavender

spy nonchalant while I

whisper to the yellow jacket

of my hopes and aspirations.

reticent in rectitude

I whistle

ruby hummingbirded

wings, bejeweled

of agile green escapes

while my cheeks

shift from aching to numb

on the roughening façade

 

I flew here to lament

my autumnal crackling

tears quiver, unfallen

past the tickle

of thistledown coating

the chill of my belabored bewailing.

sun cajoles prickly remorse

from the thistle

it drips sticky stamen residue

at the scars it gifted

in my passing.

a fritillary alights and wistfully peruses

the honeyed depths of contemplation

nectar beads, seeding

the coveted urn of renewal

 

I am at home here

secluded among the desiccated foliage

it was well tended until season’s end

now it is covered in harvest residuals

scarlet and umber detritus

girding itself to winter over

tears threaten the dam

swelling against patches in my heart

the yellow jacket’s docile sunning

belies the fury of his reputation

as I, akin, do mine.

I have stung betimes

solely under the looming adumbration

of imminent mortal swatting.

my shins glisten

with lazy droplets of blood

imprint of thorns’ bequest of sheltering

to label them scratches

over-reaches

the bounds of damage

as we humans are wont to do

the thistle meant me no harm

as she bowed

under the weight of the reckless wind

grazing my fragile skin.

 

the fritillary opens and folds

wings of spangled spun gold

the steady metronomic beat,

a saffron rhythmic hypnosis

unravels universal mysteries.

wing beats fan the furling fronds

fashioning a fictional furrow

where I can bury angst

overlay with crunchy amber dust

canonizing my misery.

littering the air

atomized must

chokes

stokes rueful rumination.

decrescent rays caress

my rumpled brow

reflect obsidian obeisance

hang on horizon’s whims,

diffuse coral

clots of anoxic penitence

as the fritillary glides afield.

I surrender to the gloaming

tippling crimson cumulus

as the yellow jackets

buzz in approbation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draught of Deception

drink deeply, my people

of my disseminated dedication

quench your parched throats

with dewy drops

of my delusional devotion

you thirst not

I am cocksure

the crowing cock confirms it

I can see all that water

right there

from my vantage point

here in MAGAland

it’s like Legoland

though less constructive

it’s Disneyland

with a gate fee

of ten thousand per day

no one on earth

is more greatly distressed

over your plight

fabulously resolved

by my greatness

dig in, my peeps

dine with gusto

my brothers from other mothers

(the sisters don’t matter- unless they’re hot)

my genuinosity

shines in my misspoken

cultural appropriation

you can’t go hungry

in a tropical paradise

the chefs in those resorts

steak their reputations

on yuge menus

I know you have food

hidden

in the servants’ quarters

you people are shady like that

and don’t forget

that big beautiful piece of cake

I have it on good authority
when those bad and boujee

bourgeoisie

get all uppity

powerful leaders

let them eat cake

 

 

 

 

 

Short, So Sweet

that dream, though

I saw the old warmth

deep in mahogany eyes

not the frosted tips

of your downturned lashes

I felt the sincerity

in tentative compassionate

embrace

I heard the triple bolted door

creak falteringly

on its unoiled hinges

I smelled the freshness

of my airy castle

tasted saline

in my crusted hopes

waking in dream’s afterglow

I shivered

in gathering chill

of reality

that dream, though

 

Anniversary Aggravation

dispassionately

she observes

the uptick in hypervigilance

she startles these days

significantly more often

than her norm

jumping out of her skin

without provocation

approach with silent footfalls

scaring her silly

muffled but unstifled

“Oh!”

escapes mortified lips

hands fluttering, protect

jackhammering heart

 

she can draw the line graph

the spike in reactivity

distressing dysregulation

above her baseline

her psychologist brain

checks off the symptoms

chronicles the triggers

approximate proximate causes

camouflaged in oppressive heat

autumn stealthily encroaches

absconds with daylight

shuttered from early morn

creeps in

crunching crisply

underfoot

 

her mind awhirl

in the busy-ness

of surviving

the calendar

bypassed consciousness

her senses register

seasonal signals

condensation clings

chilly to car windows

rolled for navigation

as they were that day

when the barrel pointed

and cataclysm commenced

memories seldom play

rough cut footage

edited out

of her current screenings

by a militant producer

 

nonetheless

her body

remembers

‘Recombinant Selves’ – A Collaborative of 11 writers

I am honored to share another collaborative piece, featured today on Sudden Denouement. It was a privilege to write with such creative forces!

Sudden Denouement Collective

We inherit

The wordless cry

Of all our former

Selves (CER)

They layer themselves

upon us

ragged cloaks

of the homeless

dragging

at our heels (AP)

Dusk takes one last breath

Swallowing golden specks of us

Scattered among the detritus

No light reflects

From such depths

We are the chosen (1W-W)

We stumble against starless darkness

searching for one truth (KMA)

Layer by layer, I am revealed.

The reflection looking back at me

isn’t one I recognize.

Will there be anything

worth remembering,

when I’m gone? (SD)

Fragmented remnants

permeate our evolution

ill-fated to dissonance

a dichotomy of our

recombinant selves (AGD)

Searching for a candle in the abyss,

A hope to hold onto,

To chalk sweaty palms

Gripping a frayed rope.

tearing tender flesh,

Climbing toward salvation (JWL)

But the stars have fallen, smashed diamonds

of our shattered images, and the lost cry

who am I? In tune with…

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Mythology in Office

quixotic Don

tilts at windmills

believing them oil rigs

ripe for the picking

of greedy grubby fingers

stealthy siphoning

he fingers his gold

pill rolling

as Uncle Scrooge

if it walks like a duck

it’s probably McDuck

crotchety dotard

unworthy to doff

Cratchit’s threadbare seams

 

chimerical don

sultan of obstreperous sulk

breaches

tumescent interregnum

cloaked in silken suits

wormed from the emperor

brand spanking new

off his back

not the rack

cataclysmic closure

Artful Dodger of the deal

 

delusive don

beleaguered Ahab

beset

by a whale of a tail

epic of Dickensian

magnetic magnitude

hurls harpoons

into the best of times

curves the whalebone

bedeviled in the details

tilts at the windmills

fanning the flames

consuming coal

blanketing the world

in suffocating ash

Sancho Panza

flees

in final desperation

the world

tilts

on its axis

Failed Ally: Open Letter to American Justice

Dear Lady Justice,

you wear your blindfold

for all to see

yet we remain oblivious

to your captivity

you are sculpted

in suffocating folds

of regal complicity

to values perverted

subverted

by power-deranged

depravity

I apologize

I was incognizant

bemused by my inculcation

ignorant of your

hostage situation

Do your bindings

cover tears

cover your ears

drown out the screams

echoing cinderblock

inhumanity?

Are you forced

to nod acquiescence

as we were facing

the business end

nozzle of power

and oppression?

Do they you force

you to your knees

observant

while WASPish lawmen

fondle their pieces

fingering triggers

in rabid self-gratification?

Do you tremble

with traumatic

hypervigilance

at every gavel

pounding hypocritical

self-righteous

condemnation?

I respectfully

submit my regretful

subjugated resignation

I misdiagnosed

your symptoms

of rampant

traumatization

I was remiss

utterly missed

your

Stockholm Syndrome

 

Writing on the Wall

industriously engaged

incrementally acclimating

to professional reincarnation

toes cramping

in too-small shoes

I stretch the binding

confines

wriggling

wiggle room

wrought of repetitive

dependability

titanium work ethic

earn stripes

quietly stitched

easing in seasoned seating

I analyze, problem-solve

process and sign

stare in consternation

trailing my hurried Hancock

scribbled suffixed scrawl

spilled automatic from my pen

yes, those letters

credentials conferring credibility

hard-earned honorary

near indecipherable

as befits a doctor

letters stifled

with honor defamed

letters missing meaning

relevant license lost

my fingers

must be itching

title-claiming twitching

they loosed

hard-scrabble squiggle

no longer invisible ink

my pen tells my brain

I am indeed

value added

no wash out

washed away