Wisdom (#12, Hour 24) [Sijo]

Wisdom

At midnight, when the moon laves the forest floor with an eerie glow,
An owl sways up and down on a dancing branch, gold eyes fixed.
I pause, listen, ears poised, waiting for the wind to speak in tongues.

Temptation (#11, Hour 23) [sestina]

Temptation

The statue of David, still yet erotic

Inanimate glory yet captivating

Not unlike the doomed firefly

Yearning for water

A gilded lily

Celebrated in absence of its true essence

 

Separate the plant from its essence

In hopes of duplicating or creating the erotic

Like the lingering scent of a lily

As captivating

As deep water

Incandescent firefly

 

We never think of how they dance, the firefly

On display, their essence

Twinkles like stars on water

Vaguely erotic

Always captivating

Not unlike an odorless lily

 

Tiger lily

Full of sweet nectar, beautiful like the firefly

Even more captivating

The scent of its essence

Embodies the erotic

Behind ears, behind knees, lavished on water

 

Thirst is quenched solely with water

Survival depends on it, for the lily

Necessary for life, unlike the erotic

Unlike the firefly

The building block of life its essence

Quietly, diligently, captivating

 

Often no rhyme or reason to that which is captivating

Mundane yet powerful like water

Nothing remains deprived of its essence

Wedding bouquet, resplendent with the white lily

Fleeting as the bound firefly

Effortlessly, modestly erotic

You are as captivating as the tiger lily

Sensuous as water, elusive as a firefly

A mere dab of your essence calls forth all that is erotic

Your Silence Will Not Save You (#10, Hour 22) [Pantoum]

Your silence will not save you
True transformation demands a death tax without exception
Transition but a pretty word for the demise of what we know
Caterpilllars consume themselves in the cocoon, sacrifice what is for what will be

True transformation demands a death tax without exception
Caterpilllars consume themselves in the cocoon, sacrifice what is for what will be
Its beauty tinged with the stench of death
Pain etched in gold, set in diamonds

Caterpilllars consume themselves in the cocoon, sacrifice what is for what will be
Butterflies drink muddy water with their feet, transparent wings flutter, fleeting
Pain etched in gold, set in diamonds
They cannot fly when cold

Butterflies drink muddy water with their feet, transparent wings flutter, fleeting
Your silence will not save you
They cannot fly when cold
Transition but a pretty word for the demise of what we know

Madness (Hour 21, #9) [Pantoum]

Madness

Our world is burning, fires of our own making
Our children will never forgive us
Madness grips them all like rabid dogs
Dogs return to their vomit, the source of their sickness

Our children will never forgive us
How will we answer them when they ask?
Dogs return to their vomit, the source of their sickness

How will we answer them when they ask?
Our world is burning, fires of our own making
The match once struck, cannot be unlit
Madness grips them all like rabid dogs

Volition (Hour 20, #8)

Volition

For Rose Etta

I refuse to go toward the light
While my children sleep in darkness
Not knowing how close I am to leaving them

Not by choice

The light is supposed to invite
To comfort; a welcome beacon calling us Home

It is my enemy

Hands around my neck tighten
Light grows brighter

I choose darkness!

The darkness where my children sleep in innocence
Not knowing how close I am to leaving them

Undeniable (Hour 19, #7)

 

I am born of Africa

Of Cherokee, Choctaw and Europe

(The last unclaimed)

 

Fire dancers chant in sacred tones around the fire

Ushering in healing,

Laboring all night if necessary,

Like those before them

 

Some say I am no daughter of Africa,

The blood diluted, tainted

No longer recognizable by the Motherland,

Who bore me

 

But this I know

My bones carry the trauma of the ancestors

And when the drums sound, my blood echoes its rhythms

Our sacred text says the blood speaks

Might not our blood carry the memories of the ancestors as well?

 

Braided through time, generations of healers

Daughters of different fathers

Dear Self with Dreams of Fairy Tales and Harlequin Romance (Hour 18, #6)

I regret to inform you

Nothing will go as you planned

 

Your hopes are futile

Your prayers will go unanswered

Your trust will be betrayed

Hard work will not always be rewarded

 

The first ‘prince’ will be a decoy

 

There will be no white horse

Nor slipper, glass or otherwise

 

“He” will not arrive for a

Long, long

Long, long

Loooong, long

Time

 

And, unfortunately, dear girl,

He will not be clairvoyant.

 

Therefore,

You must learn now to

Say out loud

What you want

What you like

What you will not accept

 

But take heart

 

There will be love

Unexpected love

Soul-mending love

 

And there will be wine

Armed with these

You will not mourn always

 

You will not mourn

Always

Haiku (Hour 17, #5a and 5b)

Dusk

Frogs in evening croak
Tomatoes inch towards dark skies
Mystery shrouds vale

 

Mortality

Poppies bloom in fields
Battles rage, blood runs and pools
Red death, black horse, unbridled

Intimacy (Hour 16, #4)

Intimacy

 

She places his cup of hazelnut tea with honey,

In the chipped mug, his favorite, that bears their likeness and that of their favorite gondolier,

Echoes of their trip to Venice,

Near his left hand.

 

She bends to inhale the new Dior

Gifted his birthday last,

Her favorite

Touches the curls at his nape,

Slides along the scar with tender fingertips,

Where kitty accidentally tested her new claws

Caresses the new gray hairs coiling around the old black in the center of his head

She blesses the spot with a knowing kiss and faint smile,

Vows to keep this secret undisclosed, even to him

 

She turns to leave and without looking up, one hand still on his book,

He winds the other arm around her waist, drawing her in,

Nuzzling the silk-sheathed curve of her breast

She revels in his gratitude, shivers at the implied promise of ‘later’

Whispered in the air between

 

He returns, she slips away

Cat at her slippered heels, devoted

The Plunge (Hour 15, #3) [Tanka]

When your hero falls

Give them a soft place to land

A pillow of grace

Shattering is pain enough

Myth pierced by each jagged shard

 

 

(Inspired by “When Ure Hero Falls”, by Tupac Shakur)

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