Category Archives: Romantic style

Lament (a Cento)

Our one forever,

when it stole through the red gates of sunset
left over from autumn, and the dead brown grass
is yet vibrant with the cadence of the song you might have been.

No longer mired in waiting to begin.

They tell us the night means nothing,
and the candles their light the light.

Nothing is hid that once was clear,

then gone and then to come:
all the time, except the split
second, except—

What is there to say except to lament.

You live in the wrong place.

There’s no flowering time to come.

The hands fell off my watch in the night

and you counted the time
from this instant.

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This Cento contains lines from the following poets: 

Kenneth Rexroth, John Koethe, Lola Ridge, Brenda Hillman, Martha Collins,  Melissa Kwasny, Katharine Tynan, Esther Louise Ruble, David Yezzi, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Jonathan Galassi, Michael Goldman, Robert Francis, and Lucille Clifton.

 

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Analog

It’s at times like this,
when morning slides across in its straw-yellow light –
that I am slow enticed to rise
and invite the day into my life.

Somehow its poetry comes upon me like I dial
digits on a rotary phone-
awaiting a cyclic return to home position before moving on.

It’s where the music of my choice plays from beginning to end,
with static embellishment reminding me of conclusion.

The ticks and tocks of the clock drive me forward in time,

It’s the moment of morning glory – once asleep in darkness,
then blooming in the day.

Beauty – she sits in moments, but grows in continuum,
and the anticipation at these time-points are like dust in the shifting light,
and my heart wakes in hues of endurance and tomorrow.

In wandering and being inspired

I jump over waves in the wind, now thinned-
causing a splash on descent, and the water imbues.
I walk in circles in some well-trodden shoes,
soles that are worn to the heel.
And the crestfallen face of my mind
urged in the gentle spell of her lines-
the brushstrokes of her pastel flowing gown
compel me to write something down.
I frolic amidst the swell and soak in
the flow of her form that rescinds
the aches in my well-trodden soul.
I stand embracing the image and whole.

 

Quench

Most times it is a crumpled ball,
this sheet of words, intact and small –
wound around and bunched within
my secret thoughts and synonyms.
Folded, once or more, the verbs
bundle but do not deter
the escalating captive theme-
a wish once held inside the dream.
Sometimes, I unwrap the leaf
bending back the freed motif
to see your smile and hold your hand
then I crush it back again –
A crinkled memory, held in close
that now I render in repose.

Glimpses

I mix about and silhouette
with spices, airs and colors.
It is jumbled, though – my palette-
perhaps wearisome for others.

I may pepper paste with sweetness,
or sing a trill with sadness.
I may paint beyond the lines in bluish green
with tawny shadows of unrest.

The smooth appearance of the grain
slightly roughens under touch,
the textured shelter between petals
holds me in, a friction clutch.

The seasoning of salt and lure
with sounds that twinge with grace
is who I was, and am to be
in glimpses I embrace.

Gathered

The grey blue sky sits somber
till the sun arrives, pink glint and shine
off buildings -faces in the darkened
canopy revealed as blossoms in bouquets.

The stack of bricks sit solid
till the men decide, with sweat and mortar
placing them in preset order – line
structures built to demarcate.

The words I hear ring silent
till the light resides, with spur and purpose
on their ebbing rule and tide – a dawn
A gath’ring of brush come late.

Crux

As hills become mountains and the lakes lead to streams,
then writing this poem is more like a scheme
to capture them both-though it seems in excess-
The climb and the ascent to narrowed obsess.
Shunning all reason of what comes to rest
on cliffs or near jetties in scenes I know best.
A beauty there waiting in sunlit repose,
her eyes slightly dimmed,as she dreams – I suppose.
And there at each waypost she lingers ahead
culling the scenery I’ve conquered and bred.
And where I go next is of no end, this I know.
She’ll be in the heights or the river below.