Upon a time
2 white swans
breathed life for him.
Now smoky black
they bow their tired heads.
The shushing steel of oxygen
lets them slip away.
Mourners pay respect
Half mast linen robes.
White sleeves dangle
from living arms.
An arc of cradled foreheads
bless the bamboo floor.
Red eyes, red food
fills our chilli bellies.
Salt on stooping hearts
wards off latchkey ghosts.
Baby rays extended
from the family sun
fidget with their rice and play.
The faded sunset captured
in their genes.
Ring a ring of rosies
round his photo face.
White daises to remind us
we all fall down.
THE MILKY WAY
She’s going through “the change”
has been since she was nine
(from a Lion to a Witch and now a sturdy Wardrobe.)
A life ahead of her self.
Today a rice paddy poet.
Tomorrow a butch ballerina.
She’s learnt to never say never.
Poetry writes itself.
Over the balcony
she let the pitter patter
of feelings fall
(said she had too many anyway)
Safety was a virgin,
not one for high railings.
Some call her Heidi
on scaly mountains.
Lactose and flatness intolerant
raised on milk and please.
Eczema skin scratched
on childhood stories.
A smidgen of sandalwood
Escaped from flatfeet
Circulates in tall grass.
Sequenced nails of rain
Build a steady wall of rhyme.
She hops from one line to the next.
Sour beams of lemon sorbet
Free-flow from a luminous
Dollop of moon.
A lingering tree
Laden in tall poems
Shelters her thoughts.
She catches their sentiments
In her mouth.
SEASONS OF CHANGE
Spring blossomed on his breath.
Seasons never tasted
settled on her floral lips.
Hope surfaced in her growing smile.
Sunshine captured in his eyes
melted frostbite from her speech.
Clouds took on her face.
And now the days are falling down.
Autumn leaves quilt the path
where stones looked up to greet them,
now form a rocky alter.
Heavy mountains in her lungs
weighs her breath in jagged steps.
and sucks her to the ground.
Salty tears and paisley skin
Swallow up a dwindling stream of petals
till she becomes a mouth
of winter’s dust,
where every glittered sigh
blows a prayer that
bows to steepled stems.
And deep within the bloom retracted
womb of scarlet Earth,
emerald seeds lie pregnant with the
twins of mighty flowers.
BLESSING FOR BI- RACIAL UNION
Strengthen the ankles that walk
the strewn map to foreign love.
Mend her love with your broken English
catch his vision in your cupped heart.
Clothe strangers with your courage.
Wear his thoughts to large or small
upon your naked trust.
Press her crumpled patience smooth.
A gentle cycle waiting
for the final rinse.
REACHING THE TOP
“I wanted a sleep induced life
without the rigor mortis of
children setting in” she laughed,
reaching for her passport.
The 40’s train roared past
“Last call for baby carriage.”
She paused then took a taxi
to the air conditioned airport.
“I had a dream” she said
“a daughter with pigtails
and an attitude.”
Her shoe jiggles.
“I painted over her and wrote
a poem in her memory.
Mountain boots before tent dresses.
Besides it’s a labour giving birth
Dilated smile contracts.
“Reincarnation” she adds quickly,
“I’ll do it next time.”
She emerged out of the Thai sea
framed against willowy palms,
a nocturnal angel planted in fluorescent algae.
“allo a night exquizeete, yes?”
She stood slathered in moonlight,
about 5 11”, shrill cheekbones, chic hair,
slim figure and a full smile.
“Like a warm bath it eez” she continued,
long lashes layered in salt dipped her flashing eyes.
“Yes” I replied, (a Frankophile from birth.)
We rolled our tongues with foreign sounds
around our lives.
She edited my stops,
inserted question marks.
A mana cast to sea
waiting for a prophet.
soft yearning of a bread that will not rise.
At sixty two she was an unblemished vase,
complete with exotic flowers from around the world.
They were seasonal bouquets, Asian, South American and occasionally French.
A woman of beautiful lines,
they had shifted from Parisian runways to paper.
Her Chanel wardrobe replaced by fine foreign prints,
elegant stories dressed to a fashionable T.
She spoke, her slender white fingers sifting time through
a laden starlit night.
Had left her lovers for freedom.
“My first husband, he eez a good man, but everyday always the same,
the same house, same friends, I am soo bored, I know myself I cannot leeve like zees.
My next true love, I leeve him too, I cry, I cry, I cry for fifteen days in hotel in Argentina, zen I go on weez my life”
I nodded, drawing a circle in the confessional waters
and baptizing a guilty sigh.
“I left someone too” I whispered, to find myself, to paint, write, travel. I’m forty now, no children, I wonder when I’m sixty will I…”
Her hand raised, her eyes narrowed, her voice dropped, a fluid hand waved
its disapproval, “Ne jamais regretter le choix, regle numero un.”
“Never regret your decision , rule number one” I repeated.
Three times she pronounced her benediction
Till the last whispered utterance was drowned
In the crescendo of a crashing wave.
“A bientot, perhaps I will zee you here tomorrow night” she said,
her lean ivory figure disappearing into the dividing darkness.
I floated aimlessly on my back, a midnight communion at sea
and wondered how lonely freedom might be.