Gold Dust

From the train window

I can see miles of Pine trees

that seem to go on forever.

There’s a golden wolf howling

at the moon

chanting to the midnight Gods.

By morning Pine trees give way to

Palms and screeching Cicadas.

Tonight the moon reveals the belly of

the world  from which we all come.

All that I have left is a photograph.  

Tell me night-time dreamer why you

hold so many secrets in your heart.

When I look into your  eyes

all I  see is star dust.

Bourbon Street

Late afternoons I sit at the counter of a small diner sipping vanilla coke watching the day turn into night or dollar green but it seems as Gershwin said, not for me. It is dog days and I am hot and tired and mostly luckless, angry too, my new love fading so soon. I dream myself into a hot soak in a fancy clawed foot bath tub sinking my dusty body into lilac scented bubbles. I imagine lying back with closed eyes as the hot water flicks at peony nipples. I am what one might call self-employed these days.
Settling for a motel shower stall I scrub my body that smells of dusty magnolias with rose scented oil until it glimmers like alabaster. Slipping into a black sheath, silver seamed stockings and stiletto heels saved for the occasion, I make my way onto Bourbon Street. At the corner the sounds of a sax carries through the open door of a dimly lit bar, it drifts up the alley over the roof of a brothel falling into gentle ruin. From my booth there I stare through a prism of glass at the Dog Star and blow a kiss to the man in the moon already yawning at the deep purple sky.

Night Music

Beside the River

Remember that cabin among the trees hidden like rabbits resting in nests of autumn leaves?  Beside the window that looks out on the river there is a writer’s desk  with printer’s ink and fresh flowers kissed by the sun  in  the sill.
Do you recall the sweet days we shared  among the  redwoods that spoke to us?  The memory evokes such nostalgia for that ache, that fierce crushing devotion. I left a heart shaped basket of seeds in the arch of a tree for the birds to scatter, etched our names on its bark.  I will always  remember you and the cabin by the river,  the sultry nights I would dance, those  sheer layers floating  to the herringbone floor.

GoGreen Roulotte | Canopy & Stars

Poetry and Tea Roses

I will always disappoint you

my verse is no where near roses

pigment stained and tear smudged

overflowing with sudden downpours

a spiraling monsoon that can

not be held back with the tenderest

sighs.

I tell lies lovingly

each line a litany of devotion

or a buzzed serendipity.

I will fall in love with the sleeved

heart of every poet.

Save me from obscurity, give me a purpose

sugary rose petals or the embryo

of a pearl washed ashore.

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The Letter

I left a message for you in a book.
It is like me to mark provocative phrases,
to shake them out in ponderous verses.
Do not read too much in the fallout,
the notes in the border are for nostalgia’s sake.
I dreamt of you again last night
my adversary
whose aura I barely recall.
My suffering is not in knowing what was real
but what was not.

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Blasphemy

Browsing  my  journals

I am reminded of the past.

The door  swings open

releasing sleek eels of memories

where I am nothing or at best

a trembling leaf  caught in a spring  breeze.

Do you ever think of me

find  me in constellations pressed against the sky

or hear me in the sigh of  an incoming tide?

I would seek comfort in the moon but I am

so trivial and he is taken by the stars.

In dreams my tongue is a crimson snake that

flicks  hungrily along  the length of your thigh

curling around the catch in my throat.

You are god and have  named me regret.

I close our door with pried fingers.

I’ve given up on prayer hands.

 

Dove Mouth

 

 

Art by Rita Hardy

a longing

I steer my boat
beneath the lacy moss of
cedar trees where a  lark  drapes
her song,  a spray of flowers, along
the whispering stream.
Beyond the shallows a wooden bridge
where we cast our secrets to the water,
goldenrod along the bank witness the
 breathless embrace of  lovers.
So blue were your eyes those summer days,
 how endlessly deep the longing.

art by Steve Hanks

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.

 

About a Girl

I didn’t sit with her anymore,  her suffering frightened me.  Today  I wore a new dress, I adored it’s lacy bodice and satin sash. He  picked it out himself.  Now my grown up eyes dissolve  at  his etched face in the  photograph with an empty space  dying in a dark room.

That woman who spit me red faced into the world,   fed and failed me, flung me from the hem of her skirt into the fractured world,  stares back at me from my mirror.    I wear her hands like gloves and honor the rolling river where her ashes sank among the gravel and worship the  boulders that harbor her.

A lone chrysalis twisting in the wind,  my fluid bones press hard against the casing.  Swollen wings beat at the  space that holds me.   I know that I am meant to struggle.    These unheralded breasts,  they defeat  and yet complete me .  I can’t see or hear nor would I  heed signs of warning.  A pubescent  butterfly, excessively sanguine or melancholy flitting from flower to flower,  oblivious to life’s repressive hand hovering  above me.

 

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il Mondo de Franco

Frida – ( Deutsch by Hutschi)

Every so often I am fortunate to have a poem translated  by  Hutschi at Neues vom Hutschi,  a favorite blog of mine. I  am honored that he has chosen my poem “Frida” to translate so beautifully to German.  I hope my German readers  and all who love the German language as I do will enjoy this.

 

(Deutsch: Hutschi)

 

Im Porträt
Sie trägt ein
Korallenschal
über den Schultern
Terrakotta-Lippen sind
in Granit geformt.
Ihre Augen haben die
Farbe der Erde,
sie schreien heraus
die Angst der Welt.
Ihr Bild ist gewirkt
in zerlumpte Wandteppiche,
an Nägel ist es gehängt an
einer Bauernhausmauer.
Sie ist gefangen von der Hand
eines Aufstands der Frauen.
Sie ist stolz,
Sie ist Mexiko.

 

Find the original German version at https://hutschi.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/frida/

self portrait by Frida Kahlo

 

 

               Frida

 

In the portrait she wears
a coral shawl across her shoulders.
Terracotta lips are set in granite.
Her eyes are the color of the earth,
they scream the anguish of the world.
Her image is etched into ragged tapestry
hung from nails on a farmhouse wall.
She is captured by the hand
of a woman uprising.
She is proud,
she is Mexico.