A Certain Blue

A Certain Blue
Virginia Carraway Stark

It all started with the Empress Napoleon
She wore a dress of a particular hue
Of a very particular blue
And it made a splash
No one remembers the dress
But if you know a thing or two
And you saw that hue of blue
You would know exactly what I meant
No one remembers the empress
Or the dress
Or, sadly, even the painter,
But you would remember in a flash
The bag or box
That were branded after her forever
That’s the sort of world we live in
Our brands last long after our paintings
Our images
Our lifetimes
Or our names
If we’re lucky, our namesake is a color
That no one remembers
We wore first
Or why it was chosen to be so damn cool.

cross your arms, kiss your elbows

Cross Your Arms, Kiss Your Elbows
Virginia Carraway Stark

If you don’t give it a name
It never belongs to you
And you never belong to it
It’s a sort of magic
That makes you feel safe
As safe as safe can be
If when you were a baby
And your mother crossed her arms
Above your cradle
Kissed each of your elbows
And your knees too
And promised
That every day you’d be safe
And you’d never be lost
You’d never have a problem
Finding a name for everything
And everything a name
And what a happy little baby
You would be
If your mother had only
Crossed her arms
Kissed your elbows and your knees
And told you
What a good life
You would have

Land of Haven and Fated Death

Land of Haven and Fated Death
Virginia Carraway Stark

Spades played on spades
Dominoes crash
On the square by the sea
Where white means death
Beauty is a tomb
And creation is a cruel fate
They say nothing is impossible
Is it merely a cruel riddle to mean
That nothing can be excluded
From this world of crushing pain?
Waves and wind
Three chosen to prove that all is safe
A haven amidst the spade and crashing dominoes
Crossed golden swords
Laughable pointless, a golden sword
But less funny, if it runs you through
Their metal is strong enough to pierce flesh the once
Three is two
The swords scrape the fat into a copper pot
Where saffron and roses are mingled
With honey over the heat
To make an exotic delight
And then there was only one
Golden doors closed
White porcelain tiles cover the walls,
Edged with elegant scrolling blue
High above head height
Over seeing all
The beaten copper pot
Would have been big enough to hold
All three girls whole
But not all was wanted
From the ancient man who stirs the pot
With the ancient stirring spoon
The mountains block the world from one side
The sea on the other
And only one last girl
Singing with all her heart
Is left to prove this is a haven
Heavy lights hang overhead
From spider’s webs
That tremble at her song
Nothing is left for her
When the last delicate line of silk
Is destined to fail
Her song crushed
Along with her beauty
In the tomb built for a queen
Spades on spades


Virginia Carraway Stark

In luminous black and white
They were determined to create a legend
Appropriate a myth
Anything is fair in love and war
Or so those who do such things will say
If they don’t those pangs of guilt
Will hurt them in the night
Jump off the cliffs
Into the breakwaters
Say a prayer and hope
You don’t feel evil jaws around
Your thighs
This is the real world
Of the city of white
It brings us back
To our duet of love
Looking at each other
From across a river
Longing for each other
All the while we don’t know
Who made up the story we play in
Where is the house?
Where is the water’s edge?
Why can’t we play together?
Why must there ever be a war
To interrupt the piece we play?

A Little Thing

A Little Thing
Virginia Carraway Stark

It was only a little thing
To put fingers to keyboard
Pen to paper
Such a little thing
To say the things in my head
I never thought they’d mean
So much
To anyone else
And every time
I hear
The magic phrase:
You wrote the words
I needed to hear
Or read
Or say
I’m so happy
I did that little thing
And happier still
I shared it with the world

Tropical Megacity

Tropical Megacity
Virginia Carraway Stark

Twin Spires pierce the sky
Of the tropical land
Where fountains spring
And the air is filled
With food from dozens of lands
It is a city of green
Birds fill THIS central park
A jungle that is left virgin
In a metropolis wonderland
A zone left for flying
Amidst the sky scrapers
Of a tropical metropolis
Multi-colored birds pierce
The sky with their screams
Their wings beat the air
One and all can agree on one thing:
There’s too much good food
Anyone could get fat!
In this modern mega city
That’s more garden and wonderland
Amidst the wonderland of tall buildings
One would swear are from a future land
Or another planet perhaps
Where people and nature live together
Memories of how close the jungles still is
To what was a primitive sprawl
A different sort of paradise
Not so long ago

The Moon has a Scent

The Moon has a Scent
Virginia Carraway Stark

Night blossoming
Moon flower
Palest ivory
Lemon ice
Scented jasmine
The smell of water
The heat of the night
Secret oasis
Bring me here again
In your arms
Hold me tight
My heart is pounding
Can you feel it?
Or is your pulse
Beating in time with mine?
Roses sleep, there heads nodding
In a late, full moon breeze
Mingling their velvet scent
With the brown of sandalwood
The ivory of jasmine
And the way our hearts beat as one
The water cooling our thirst
(but not our thirst)
Sand baking into our bare feet
“I can smell the moonlight” I say,
And you laugh, because no one can, of course
But in that moment everything has a scent to me
Even the moon flavors the air faintly
Of apricots and figs, vanilla sorbet
Girls are so silly
The night is getting hotter
I can see my breath
Tonight’s the night for love
In the secret oasis
Where everything has a scent

Too Brief

Too Brief
Virginia Carraway Stark

In the winter the days go by too quick
And you miss the sun
In the summer the night’s are too brief
And you miss the dark
The moon becomes a pale faced stranger
Who whispers in the light
The stars are distant wanderers
You used to love
In the dark if winter
It is the sun who becomes pale and wan
He never comes too close
he only peers over mountain ranges
As though afraid of the dark himself
Or perhaps the cold blackens his light
The stars become magnificent,
Magnified by the closeness to the polar wind
And their waltz with those
Who crackle like old hags
And make no better background
To the imminent meteor showers
Pulling back their pink, green, white and blue
Curtains of midnight colours
To reveal the cosmic show
That freezes in your lungs
And reddens your cheeks
As yet another too brief season
Plays out its drama in the sky

Northern Solstice

Northern Solstice
Virginia Carraway Stark

Crisply glistening under the starlight
Although it was solstice
Skin was white as apple flesh
Naked after shedding her night colored cloak
She shivered under the northern lights
The longest day meant something here
Already the sun was edging its way
Up the rim of the craggy mountains
The glacier fed lake was still as the night
The stars reflected along with their
Siblings, the tinkling spirits of the northern skies
In the water that even now was only above freezing
She strode into the water, as visible as though it were day
Picked out in white silhouette in the light
Of the celestial spheres
Reflected in the cauldron of the mountains
The sharp pebbles pricked her feet
She didn’t notice, they were already numb
She dove under the water
And greeted the spirits of the dark
The lived under the roots of the mountains
Coming up rarely to disturb the high lakes
With their troubles
And watched the brief night
That was solstice in the north
A lonely and short time
Cold, silent and foreboding
As the threat the snow covered peaks
The only other audience
Brought with their specter
The only sound, the lady’s feet
kicking the water
in what remained of the night.

Crazy Little They

Crazy Little They
Virginia Carraway Stark

I wrote a little poem
about a girl beyond the pale
they all thought it was about them
it was like the song
being ‘so vain’
they all thought this poem
was about them
but it was the crazy in it
that they all identified with
and laid offence and claim to
I worried about that poem
and the fact that if I put
a designation of a gender
and insane behaviors
to a character
that so many people
would reach out
and lash out in offense
claiming that I had written
a crazy little poem
about crazy little them
one of them
was likely to be correct
which one, I will never tell
if they were all so sure
that they were all that crazy
I think it’s safe to say
that it really was
a little poem
that was about
each and every one of them
who believed it described
crazy little they
that’s all I’ll ever say

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