With Love the Bait

What three-pronged trap have I set for myself:
with love the bait between logic and idealism?

Even in my early years, I reasoned love was my due,
as it was every feeling person’s fate to receive when given;

yet each ideal face when searched, became another man
who knew what to take and how to leave.

I have to teach myself how to unlearn the fantasy,
empty my mind of expectation, and detach

the dreaming from reality, begin again to live
from a new starting point: this dawn hour

or that swallow-woven dusk, or any rain-drenched
morning hour when I lie awake recounting

each item of loss. But some child in me stores hope
beyond the words I’ve spoken of a lasting bitter farewell.

I see the trap; my feet are bare; I don’t know if it is sinner
or saint which prompts me to step forward and be damned.

Three leaves of the Shamrock for Brendan: Blarney Me!

Praise to the emptiness that blanks out existence. Existence: 
This place made from our love for that emptiness!Rumi

Untitled (Copperfield)

In the face
of these conflicting realities
Time melts to nothing –
dull lamplight
stutters in empty rooms –

your presence
closer than shadows
and I cannot dismiss
what has already been written –

no turning back the page
or relinquishing
the task –
no point in serenity
if even one shred
of you turns away
or fades –

For The Friday 55 hosted by Hedgewitch

Frequently, I have troubled finding words: even 55 seem beyond my reach. Therefore, I borrowed a few from Charles Dickens today. If anyone else would like to play with the selection I have made, please feel free. Leave your link in the comments below (if Joy will forgive a meme within a meme) and I will stop by to read your work.

Rubaiyat in Two Verses


Draw the curtain, my love, and come to bed –
Aye, the world has turned – the day star has fled
I have bared my breast and opened my arms –
The dark wolf seeks a place to rest his head.


Descend upon me like a fragment of night –
Bring me your breath and I’ll lend you my light
Shadow to shadow, and limb to limb
We’ll search no more for the wrong or the right.

For Curtain Falls


When they dragged me from the darkland
my fingers had already taken root in the mire
with tendrils, frail and white, sprouting from each tip –

and my hair had turned black from the tannin.
The single long oily braid wrapped around a wrist
like an asp that threatened my rescuers with poison –

How long I had lain there, I cannot say
but I never closed my eyes to the sky’s blank stare
nor the gathering of rooks at the ooze of dusk –

But they carried me away on a bier
bundled in burlap and a crone rubbed life
back into my cheeks until I snarled and bit her hand –

Now I live in the craven places, mute among men.
My heart lies stagnant with longing for the kind creatures
that crept down from the dark pines to drink –

For Camera FLASH! which features the photograph entitled Crepuscule by Heinrich Kuhn (1897)

The Cuckoo Doll

What a doll, she was. Perfect curls, lips
that knew to mouth the right words
and smile –

She came like the cuckoo-bird in Spring
to nestle in my baby’s life and steal
what was not hers to take –

Only I could hear the false note pitching at dawn.
Only I could see her stitched-together heart.

For The Friday 55


For my students, with thanks

People say, the trials of life will make you stronger
But I am weaker –
They say, you will get over the losses, the grief
But I am over nothing –
I carry the weight of my own suffering
And it drags me down –
Nothing means the same to me, not food, nor friends
Not even the rising sun, or bird-call, or words.

In spite of this, I must go out to the children each day
Walk with them –
Even though the earth seems hollow beneath my feet
I talk with them –
When I feel the pressure of a minute as an individual blow
Still they call for me –
Their eyes are upon me as they seek for answers I do not have
They listen to my speech as if I could tell them anything.

But I see them rise before my sight like a new day
And how they shine –
Their voices remind me to be courageous and believe
They lend me strength –
When my sense of purpose falters, when I doubt my own life
The children place theirs in my hands –
They say, take our hands, we will lead you to the door
But you mu…

Lost & Found at the Online Department Store

People often ask me why I thought I had it in me
to become a poet of the ‘net in these halcyon times
when poor health and bad politics are anachronisms.

I hesitate to explain that my heart was broken one time
too many, when we know all our organs are manufactured
by Lone Skum Inc and implanted when we reach 13.

Heartbreak is a barbaric concept for most
but we poets have quaint notions. It was the boredom
that got to me, once my webline lover deserted

and I had these thoughts which leapt awake
long after shut-down and I couldn’t clear my head
of that hum, a hard drive spinning in an empty room.

Now the cursor blinks like a watering eye
on the light-screen of my virtual notebook, and I know
if poetry has a heart, it will beat in these lines.

For The Poem as a One-Sided Conversation