Hour 24, Prompt 24 – The Alchemist

In my old apartment 

there was a silversmith

who lived on the other side of the wall

I would hear her tapping 

hammer on silver and brass

and admire her discipline

 

Having been moved for some weeks

she reached across neighborhoods

and offered to work a bit of alchemy for me

blending salts and mercury

a game of transmutation 

Cu + Zn = a summoning of 

a golden sun breaking dawn 

with dancing rays 

a glory cutting into a silver sky

 

She asked what spell should be inscribed

what I chose to wear pressed

against the skin just above the knuckle

beside her maker’s mark

a stack of ore and stone reads

 

“be daring: 

fear is boring.”

 

Hour 23, Prompt 23 – A Creature Cometh

I was out walking late beneath the stars

to soothe my brain so tightly wound

I glimpsed a thing which gave me such a start

and never had I heard such sounds

 

Footsteps shuffled, running in the clearing

the woman must be some enchanter

straining to see what it was I’m hearing

a creature cometh wearing antlers

 

This vision wearing flowers in her horns

the sight already made me pale

her points with seaweed she is such adorned

a gentle face and mermaid tail

 

They sang together at the waterside

when the moonlight was well spent

then it came to time to say goodbyes

and back into the river went 

Hour 22, Prompt 22 – A Convivial Stone

I tend to wonder 

At what things really are.

Once I asked a friend

What she thought cats were

 

Really

 

With such expressive tails

And mollifying vibrations?

She rolled her eyes

And looked away.

 

I like to run my hands 

over the furniture

coddle plants 

and smooth over the rocks

as I encounter them

briefly asking if they have a story

that they’d like to share.

Sometimes a convivial stone

will propose an adventure.

 

We will go to the ocean’s edge

beaten by the salty air

and gaze out to a large rock formation.

In the middle, a doorway 

streaming with amber morning light

will open and the rock in my hand

will ask if I would like to meet its family.

Hour 21, Prompt 21 – Black Matter

I want you to understand 

that my calculated dances

of pleasantry and avoidance

are part of my survival

 

Yes, I want to play and laugh

but not here because someone

with a burning hatred in their heart

might mistake my smile for bared teeth

 

No, I do not always have it in me to care

when the air is sucked out of the room 

and there is none left for me to breathe

so I can speak as the protagonist for once

 

I want to heal–to forgive and forget

without tearing of parts of myself

crumpling them between my own hands

and throwing them in the river

 

More than anything I want to move on

and find a way to ground into this place

and I want to know beyond all doubt 

that while I walk this earth my black life matters

Hour 20, Prompt 20 – Ablaze

I had a little lantern once

there was a man who broke it

 

I crackled with electricity

and learned to light internally 

 

A candle on my altar burned

they were afraid and snuffed it

 

My ire this did set ablaze

and made my heart a fireplace

 

May the fire in my heart 

become the fire in the sky

and shine as brightly as the sun

so it will never ever die

 

Hour 19, Prompt 19 – Free Ride

Should we, as humans, be so wise 

to realize that when we are alone

we can only focus on base survival

when the one with the most, indeed 

is the one rival who will lead

and, despite the smartest of phones

the greatest number of Gs

or the slickest new line of kicks on TV

we can see that divided is divisive

 

Now, how would it be possible, 

how to weave a dream to be one

Big Us, not to struggle separately 

to sit where we please on the omnibus

to build a new connection

each link smithed with intention

with the resources shared 

in the people’s grip

fare is free and it’s always round-trip

Hour 18, Prompt 18 – No Holiday

Five travelers grew weak and weary

all their eyes had grown so bleary

through rustling darkness, some did cringe

but each had taken on this challenge

 

They arrived in clearing in a curious state

their words they’d hewn would seal their fate

the troupe would find with rhyming schemes

Each couplet turned to waking dreams

 

The images they scrawled turned lucid

to reality they would be there, translucent

 

One here has writ a bull, set to erupt

while, here, a winged angel’s love

this one faces the mouth of a lion

another yet sends a great eagle flying

 

They’d stumbled in this world most strange

all had joined this quest to change

Hour 17, Prompt 17 – Mellon Collie

You spun me from dawn to dusk

the soundtrack to my unrelenting,

tragically nasal angst 

nursing me with thunderous drums 

to soothe my infinite sadness

 

Loud through flimsy headphones

tethered to a yellow and black

CD player stuffed into the pocket

of my gaudily embroidered 

and oversized black JNCOs

 

Hoping the high and soaring riff 

of a crunchy guitar would glance the ear

of someone nearby who had been cradled 

in the arms of sleep and wept 

to the same melodies by starlight

Hour 15, Prompt 15 – Flighty

You have a curious way with flights

without fail 

a laptop is left behind at security

we are too late and 

the flight has to be rescheduled

or the time with the tornado

that made our detour trip impossible

and, somehow, always on the way

to visit your family?

 

I’m sorry,

you can put your earbuds back in now

I’ll stop reminding you…

Oh! And there was that one time

when we were almost sleepless

in the Seattle airport and

I was two seconds away from a meltdown

until a Buddhist monk floated by

 

and I felt everything go sideways

 

just for a second

 

as if his peace pulled it all back

 

darning the frayed edges

 

scattering the anxiety

 

and the frustration

 

replacing it with the joy of flight

 

the peace of weightlessness

 

suddenly

 

They announced your name

looked at each other wide-eyed

we ran down the concourse

at the gate, they let us board

 

And buckling our safety belts

I recall the dense grey clouds

 

by the time we reached altitude

 

there was 

 

nothing 

 

but 

 

blue

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