I Knew My Pain

I knew my pain when it was a screeching

sunset

spurting cotton candy carnage

across the feathered heavens

mocking all that is soft and soothing

drawing my gaze

up and up, tearstained

\thundering scarlet refrains\

reverberating clang of your loss.

I knew my pain when it was a snarling

saber-tooth

birthed of my rent ventricles

spewing aortic dirges

feasting on festering anguish

\clamorous gluttony\

heartache grew fangs

fueled on midnight howling

and my heart gnawed raw itself.

I knew my pain when it was a stinging

nettle

clinging needy-puppy to my shins

\all scratch and scrape reminders\

of the bite that replaced the soul

in the deep chocolate of your iris.

I knew my pain when it was creeping

ivy

camouflaged among wistful greening

arisen from the fetid heap

\itching a glitch in my hopeful healing\

tendrils sneak snake-oil slick

renders my skin hopeless raw

where it lingered

in the shadow of your touch.

I knew my pain when it was tempered

steel

inlaid with soulful etchings

\mother of my surviving pearl soul\

I raise the blades coated

in my fevered blood

hammered now, the plowshares

of my hard- won stance.

I Knew My Stature

I knew my stature when I was a shrinking violet

wilting wallflower

hangdog hanging in the corner of the gym

stewing in the stench of pubescent sweat

and hurricanic hormonal surges

a bit too fleet of mind

and broad of hip

to be asked to dance.

I knew my stature when I was a shriveling teen

angularly angling

for acceptance in the seat of those size 4 jeans

gaunt of cheek and lean on ease

I nibbled on the knowledge

skinny girls get dated

while I wasted \wishing\ away.

I knew my stature when I was a curvaceous coed

unholstering my sexuality

like the black market weapon it was

filed down and ripe for the bidding

overpowered and unequipped for battled

shooting myself in the foot

greenhorn that I was.

I knew my stature when I was a birthing Bessie

nursing \wet and dry\

bequeather of sustenance and succor

repository of binkies, hugs and tissues

beneath notice as an independent woman

selling my soul for a closed bathroom door.

I knew my stature when I strode that shore

clove in rhythm

with the seething tides

shedding the skin

of a thousand judging serpents

one with the wilding waves

as they sing my siren song.

 

I Knew My Place

I knew my place when I was cooking

barefoot

scrambling to please

the indomitable hostess

fierce in a frazzled up-do

sizzling while he sat at ease.

I knew my place when I was chewing

my cheeks

cognizant of my inconsequence

biting back that biting retort

while they chewed conceited cud

confident of their pompous placement.

I knew my place when I was toiling

drudgery

forbidden from the boardroom

as I covered incompetence

silver coffee serviette

service with a smile.

I knew my place when I was massaging

his ego

and his member, crafting a pleasure cruise

dutiful and doting

at the expense of my own satisfaction.

 

I know my place when I am standing

strong

solid on my own two feet

above the clamoring fray

going my own way.

 

This piece was inspired by I Knew My Worth by the inimitable Kindra M. Austin.

Flow Apiece

 

were I an ailing spinster

downtrodden in whalebone stays

pale and pince-nezed nosy

would my verses flow

\snake oil slick\

along with river Thames?

I find I am much too hearty

to sit abed and scrawl

longhand iambic pentameter

with dainty perfect pen

so my words trudge

stagnant in the sludge.

were I an artiste avant-garde

flouting dilletante conventions

skirting societal hems

with off-color threads

\malcontent connection\

would my stanzas stitch

themselves permanent press?

I find I am much too staid

a slave to stoic strictures

to scribe poesy astride

a horse of different colors

so I scrawl off-kilter odes

to a life of stodgy standard

mayhaps the day will dawn

when my morphemes will march

with motoric locomotion

utterances in extremis

emotive brave locution

Night Waves

let’s stroll on the beach at night

in the wind and the waves

and the warm

let the salt salve our souls’ wounds

and the surge of the surf

sounds a rhythm

 

we strode on the sand in the dark

as the crests breached a gaping gap

broker an awkward truce

let the swells lull the lumbering beast

that will best the worst of the worst

windwash all our truths

Welcome to the Land of the Free

they swelter under the shelter

of duodenal disdain

salvation proclamation

hymn hummed helter-skelter.

who are we to gift them

of our holier than thou

bread and water

served under asylum?

equal opportunity

persecution

doled out

with military precision

wrapped in red-tape ribbons.

did they hear the pop pop pop

of our birthday celebrations

and shudder violently?

\fear needs no translation\

these babies have seen stars

worn stripes beyond their years

it is not pride the anthem

conjures in my tears.

history repeats

drum beats

repeats

\repulses\

and the children

suffer for our fears

Chaos 101

the carpet writhes underfoot

teeming with the detritus

of a thousand lurking

cocooned selves.

what say you

gritted, behind furred teeth

in the soiled stomp of a footless sock?

do you revel in my eye roll

as befits your snakebelly

stature?

I read the note you left me

scrawled in wet mayhem

\and you giggle as I trip\

you sketch me

a blood lipped evil queen

while you hashtag

#self-destruct

napalm all your bridges.

 

I hold a flame

‘neath the lemon-juiced shreds

decipher the heartsore longing

hurled in domestic anarchy.

Leaf of Heavens’ Leavings

I dream of a leaf in vein

a tree of fitful leavings

the veins plumb blue black

with the claret of my desires.

the legacy of leavings drops

\sanguine crusted\

strewn careless aground.

in the smoted eye

of a rabid fawn

I glimpse the future

as we conspire.

 

despite the tea leaved

clouds

we scuttle upon shooting stars

and tighten

our wounded thighs

as we Picasso

purple the heavens

Exposure

there is a burn

and I turn my head

scouring for the source

of the scourge.

there is a worm

in the sand of my soul

buried but squirming still

my feet are fleet

yet beat

many a mean dark street.

there hides a smoldering blaze

behind that lowered gaze

flames will not be doused

\stone sober or slightly soused\

though I pour forth milk

of kindness

froth overflowing

the scorch extinguishes

not

 

I run for waters cool

submerge my charr-ed soles

whisper to the ill-used worm

revert, don’t turn

return