Insects large and small flit
through the lemony filter of dense canopies.
In hushed whispers we point to a clearing
where a roe fawn nibbles at pine needles.
Clouds soft as cotton brush the crowns of ancient trees
below a hanging mist clings to blonde foothills.
You pluck a marigold to tuck behind my ear
your golden hand print left on my thigh.
I wind a garland of leaves around your wrist
close enough to run my fingers through your hair
carry your scent back home with me.
Deborah Gryka “Turtle Woods”
I shower and dress, apply makeup as though I am going to work. I barely recognize my own reflection in the mirror but I am wearing my favorite dress and my hair is the color of rusty nails. I ignore your perplexed expression and questions.
Downtown I meld into the chaotic masses, eyes that are infused with the pain of survival. As the morning wears on relentless chatter becomes an undercurrent of whispers that fade with the crowd. Sweat and strong coffee stings my nostrils, clings to skin. Alien faces are etched behind my eyes.
The familiar girl is propped against the graffiti covered wall that turns golden in the sunset. Her head rests against skeletal arms that wrap around her knees. Jarred by a boot she glances upward from her induced euphoria, fumbles in the pocket of torn jeans fishing out a handful of dollars. Glancing around the man slips it beneath his belt and places a small bag into her weedy fingers that loosen, dropping it between her feet. I wonder how she will sleep in the night cold.
Repelled by the scent of urine, even the pigeons keep their distance and the stray dog lifts his feet. I feel those good intentions rising but they remain contained in my hermit mind. Does it count that I thought of her as she isolates to death?
Making my way back I pass that abandoned garden, pick a flower to playfully slip behind your ear. I rely on distractions these days.
You kiss the back of my neck and once again describe your beloved island and how the sun’s glare bounces off the seas surface and life glides beneath the sparkling blue that spreads over the horizon.
From my deserted garden we share an apple that reminds me of an autumn orchard and a love struck boy whose memory compels me to rub my body against you in search of that trigger, that wild place in my mind that is precious only if it is gone.
I feel you in the pouring rain
violent or soft as a summer storm.
A distant star you appear only to fade
into the night from which you came.
Decaying gardenias fill my room with mortality
a treacly specter of memories.
Wounded hearts are slow to heal
I have become indifferent to pain.
We are a wasteland, all poetic breath died with us.
I long for the scent of earth infused with deep roots
the soothing sounds of chimes swaying from the
limb of a live oak, soothing sounds for the twilight hours.
This morning I threw wide
that carved door of souvenirs.
The scent of sandal wood
filled the air and missing
you was a stone bruise.
Tonight I will walk down
to the shore, that galaxy
of pearls and tumbling waves
of frothy champagne.
The mangroves are filled with
flickers and blooms and the
sky glimmers with silvery mirth.
I could stay here until Spring among
the honey cake dunes and not think
of you at all.
When she was young
she would run to the fountain,
swept up in the lyrics of
a misty waterfall.
Held beloved in a never changing world she mined a treasure all gardeners strive to grow,
lilies poppies and marigolds.
With time the sky darkened and the earth grew cold and no arms waited at the waterfall.
Photo by suswiss
When you leave I become
the sea gull begging salt from
from the briny air.
My veins are a winding tunnel
Of deep purple sea.
I channel you in the night owl’s
perpetual call that awakens the
Subconscious to the feel of
your phantom hand at the angle of my
At dawn your shirt hangs from a
Closet door in the buttery sunlight
and I become so small I could slip
inside the lining of your chest
sheltered by your warm skin where I
long to be.
art by Anuraag
There are days shadows course
through me like a breeze,
pressing deep into my life line and
the air is the scent of a stale satin pillow
where I refuse to lay my head.
I don’t fear those intrepid ghosts,
I embrace and release them with
failed gravity or the force that once
held the cupped hand of my lover.
The sky was alive then with every shade of
blue and the clarity of Windsor eyes
where I longed for space.
Desire is a stranger, a lethal dose,
encountered beneath a sacred mound.
art by Laura Makabresku
Firelight dances through the bistro,
We lean in close and when our eyes meet
the rain storm streaming down the
stain glass window reclaims us.
Swept away through sea caves,
caverns and seal black maelstroms
we ride the darkness,
diving deep we take what we need.
Thieves, we steal only from ourselves.