Last Refrain

The earth glistens with rosettes of snow

the sun still rises in myriad hues

Nightingales seek refuge in barren trees

to mourn February’s last refrain.

Contrails light the wings of birds

that flit beneath lit sills of doors

settle softly into winters chill

shelter in a pale blue bed

Translation by Bernd @ Neues Vom Hutschi

Der letzte Kehrreim
Die Erde ist Pulverschnee.
Die Sonne geht auf in unzähligen Farben.
Nachtigall suchen Zuflucht in meinem Schrank,
beklagen den letzten Kehrreim des Dezembers.
Weiße Streifen blitzen hinter den Flügeln der Häher,
die durch die beleuchtete Türöffnung flitzen,
sich sanft in die Januar-Kälte setzen,
Geborgenheit finden in einem hellen Winterbett.

Because It Will Not Be

Does the dog still bark, when after midnight the heat forces you to fling the window open?
I miss your laid-back voice in the humid dark. How does the third layer of blue dry on the oil painting you once painted for me?

I don’t have bad memories. I’m sad about the future, naïve daydream that we’ll never share.
We’re both jaded from too many sunsets of love sinking down swiftly behind picturesque silhouettes. Still I feel I should have yelled at you just once
to procrastinate my lingering heart attack, you’d have been too distracted anyway.

So, come out my heart, let’s  stroll along the lonely shore and breathe some sexless air
watch another bloody sunset because this time it isn’t meant for us.

Poetry by the author writing as Serge Gurkski 

Night LIfe

From my  window  a sliver of  moon casts a haze over the water. I can hear the  rush of soft waves. Those  creatures beneath the depths,  do they sleep,  dream?  If  parted do they grieve?  Down the street  I can see  the lights from  an all night store. A man waits behind the counter.  Cautiously he  slips his hand under his jacket and takes a long swig from a  bottle.   A group of young thugs gather outside the storefront.   I imagine them  harming the storekeeper.  Distracted by the young whore taking shelter in a doorway they laugh and whisper. Oblivious to her vulnerability she sleeps as though she has never heard of  birds of prey that swoop down with jagged talons hungry for butchery.   I watch intently  in case I need to call out a warning  but losing interest they disappear into the dark.
Maybe nothing is real. Maybe   everything I see and hear is an illusion.   I lose focus on the  outside world and the burn of you stings relentlessly just below the surface.   I want to sleep forever, not give a damn about you.

 

“Sweet Bird”

After you left I ran along the shoreline past the jetties and scattered surfers hoping to catch the last waves. A haze veiled the shore and vanished in the rain. Fat globules of salt encrusted my eyelids and each breath ripped upward from my belly tearing through my lungs. I sank down on the damp sand behind the old seafood restaurant. Guttural sounds mutating to unearthly howls carried out across the waves. I waited there until they dissolved into the sea.

The sky is always blue and the ocean is frothy meringue not a murky sea where in heavy boots you wade past that place where you lose your grip. Your eyes and throat sting with the rush of saltwater, screams fill your brain but not the air. Sea gulls swoop and squawk, perfect black angles against the sunlight. I open my book by Tennessee Williams whose writing I abhor but the edge of its cover was leaning out as I passed the bookcase, Sweet Bird of Youth.

Muscadine

In memory  –  Father’s Day 2019

His mother named him Carlos, such a strange name for a Welshman. Perhaps she loved Spain. 

Summers heavy cloak hung over fields of Goldenrod, their long limbs reaching out to mesh with spiky leaves that sheltered bundles of marmalade florets.Their invasion of the meadow met with merciless machetes that hacked through  the unwelcome invaders who hadn’t the courtesy to extend a pleasant fragrance.

The trail led to an arbor by a trickling brook. Nestled  in a stand of trees a precarious trellis  bowed heavy  with  never ending appendages that wound and wove through dense clusters of bulbous translucent nipples clinging tenaciously to their host.

The scent of peppery earth stung the nostrils and attracted white tail deer that ravaged the vines of their treasure. The old man once snaked a garden hose through the lattice to frighten them, a guise that worked only to  astonish lovers lingering at fertile ground, a sacred rendezvous.

Soon the clammy dragons of summer breathed their fiery breath and the skin of the luminous fruit burst with the sweetest nectar and they were declared  ripe and ready to harvest and process by a secret recipe known only to the old man and his son. Ruptured with a pestle and filtered, the grapes were transformed and stored in Bell jars, sweet and crisp, underdeveloped, but heady and pleasant.

Rarely did my father materialize from his travels once I had been delivered for the summer yet somehow the harvesting  of the grapes invoked his presence like a lark at dawn.

 

Absinthe

Molten wax streams down the copper sconce onto the night stand as  you light my cigarette and  proceed to pour  your   unholy green trinity of wormwood, fennel, and anise into a fine crystal goblet.   Holding the spoon gently to my lips I impudently turn away.  I do not touch your concoction until you feign fascination with the mundane anecdote I consider trivial enough to share.   Several sips later we lean back casually into your brocade cushions and in a somewhat dreamier state you attempt to distract me  with  details of your recent dalliance with a french contemporary artist until I  dismiss it with an apathetic yawn.  The embodiment of elegance you  smile and arch your brow, once again  hold the spoon gently to my lips and in your impossibly delectable rhythm whisper that my hair and fair skin so near stirs your mind into  arousal and my supple lips are a  crimson darkness that consumes you.  Sinking  deep into your far off voice   my subconscious begins to  vibrate for you.   Seduced by the lure of  Ravel’s waltz   I feel so soft inside and after a few more  sips I  hallucinate a frightened hare pursued by  relentless hunters pounding the snowy banks  that  rise above our grotto at the foot of the alps where we sink into hedonism.   To spare me the moonless massacre spilling down the mountainside you press me close to your chest and cover my eyes   with  tender kisses.    Having been saved from what now evades us we succumb  to a deep and somber slumber.

 

Green Smoke                      art by L’ Rend  Fou

 

Redhead (to Denver) by Brice Maiurro

Excerpt from “Redhead (to Denver) by Brice Maiurro

my dear
you are between a rock and a hard place
your face does not illuminate the same as the others
your lights are few and speckled
but i’ve always loved freckles
you are a grid system at first glance
i know they tell you real women have curves
but real women know better than that
sometimes you are cold and the conversation runs dry
but it’s not easy being as high as you are all the time
i love you
i never want to leave you
and i know you don’t believe me
but you are the manic pixie dream girl
who at times is slightly annoying
but i know your heart is too full of
homeless men laying out sleeping bags
on the floor of your rib cage
great tent cities on your shoulders

cherubim

She wishes  to  fade away,  to be less than nothing, unborn. A leaf on a tree in late October,  falling to the shadowy earth, devoured by the mud of the murmuring forest floor.

At dinner she sits across from the  smiling man.  Later  they retreat to a larger room  that is  flooded by honey-colored light where he reads from the book, moving from life to death, from lead to gold.  Light ning strikes  the corner of his blinking eye,  the twitch of his crooked smile.  He warns her of  saintly heroes, how she must fight against all temptation, live in his light to hear the angelic chime of bells that summon her  to  kneel and  remain beside his  benevolent being.

At dusk he takes her hand and leads her through a  wooded path to an arbor where she must undress  for she is not pure  and  he  is good and wise and knows all holy things.  An invisible cherubim  takes her  hand  and leads her back  through the same  woods  to the house,  high on the  hill,  it’s madness and despair sleeping.  The squirrels, birds,  and  white tail deer know fear and hide away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negril

In the hushed silence between waves
sighs fill the night as stars come alive
and the breeze is a soft poem.
Nude in the moon light but for drifting
shadows the swirl in your glass keeps
perfect time with far off thunder.
I need to look away from your gun powder eyes
that lethal shot
before the fluttering of a thousand butterflies
betray me.
I breathe in the circlets of your cigarette and
the honey sweet scent of willing hostages.
As fragile as fireflies we escape to the madness of
our minds where all we have to do is live.

rainbow beach

Liliana Gigovic
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Cherry Blossoms

The cargo  is small bodies.  A mass of  tangled limbs cling to each other. I  hold on to baby sister as we are tossed about the dank floor boards pelted by  the spray of  high swells. Baby’s  sweet  scent distinguishes  her  from the others, the smell of a powdery new born.   Yesterday we were  lingering along the dirt road that lead from the old school house to our   home of splintered walls and dirt floors.    We walked faster ignoring the slant eyes of the men in the van  trailing us.  Captured, our school books scattered on the path, we were bound, our muffled cries drowned our by the rumbling motors.   Later we are miles off the coast of Venezuela,  we can hear the voice of the boatman, his eyes watch  for followers.  We are fed La Rochas to  transform our terror into sugar colored dreams.  Upon waking  we are in a sweet scented world of pale pink and  silk fans. The  Thai man’s slits of eyes smile behind  angry walls.