"In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer." - Albert Camus
myself ~ in celebration
my mind moves
with brilliance through the season of release
I wear my gaudy colors
to trumpet to the world that I have mastered time
my apparel changed
from the simple variants of a single dye
to a handsome gown that parades
nature’s perfect gems flashing red, yellow, orange
let me wonder at my foliage
let me shake it in your face
let me float free in the breeze
and fly in the storm to scatter my richness on the earth
I nourish the potential
I feed the seed
my fall is the brightest of all seasons
Bruised and bony
I’m down on my knees today
to converge upon the living
who scuttle between the common garden stone
and shelter under forsaken rose petals,
Focusing my manufactured lens
on the honey bee zig-zag
or zooming in and out on the finer, more intricate subtleties
of scaly appendage or iridescent thorax,
I try to find the gleam, glint of fragile wings
capture it, post it, paste it
segments of sanity
membranes of memory to linger upon God’s finer points of creation.
I’m down on my knees today
looking for my prayers,
God’s finer course of dialogue
for I grow gray and cracked, as time shuffles haphazardly
between yesterday’s perception and today’s reality.
I need the camera, its shameless sight
to clarify my personal perspective.
Outside the camera my garden agonizes,
The hydrangea withers, its flower-head bent.
Untethered the dahlia snaps.
I cannot heal my children,
cannot exhale after inhaling.
… I covet the compound eye
lenses in triplicate times triplicate
mankind in mosaic medley 360 degrees composition
let me hover with the house fly above brow and bed,
and squeal … antennae twitching enthusiastically “Ahhh, humanity!”
Today I cannot heal my children in portraits black and white.
I’m down on my knees
digging for daylight.
… damned basket
Last flight into Mineta
Tuesday and ten days to be my son,
airport to front porch is full of talk, small and roundabout
Johnny’s chain smoking,
still he won’t smoke inside even though I don’t care.
I don’t care.
He stands, he never sits Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…
I listen to him speak, enunciate “she” in staccato
shh-e wore robes, carried a basket
punctuated rumors purging upward,
too late, bled out, too late, bled out, too late, bled out
expelled outward through dust and desert swallowed,
that gorge on simple sensibilities.
Now he spits fragments, grit, extended vowels and elongated syllables
over cracked lips. Resonations fall,
we could do nothing, we could do nothing
piling round his boots
I think he wants me to stoop,
lift his words, gather them together into reason,
some underlying principle,
maybe just kick each word under the couch …
I don’t know
I can’t be sure Saturday, Sunday, Monday
sh-e begged, sh-e begged
I understand this is just a token, one token only,
a new vantage point from which to look upon the boy,
the boy I raised on matchbox cars and macaroni and cheese Tuesday, Wednesday …
He says no more of her or anything else that doesn’t engage a laugh.
He rubs his hands together palm to palm, smells them often.
Thursday Johnny will leave with a smile.
But shh-e … she
he knows he will leave her
staggering toward my daydreams,
clutching that damned basket
It is better to walk than curse the road. Wolof proverb-Senegal
to the edge of the pool
with her own pomp and circumstance,
and we squint
even behind the darkest of sun shades
snickers skew tight lips,
potatoes chips held suspended over clam dip
crumble between our fingertips
and we shiver under the heat of our own dementia
with arduous sigh I follow
the slant of her smile
and the ageless bounce of bosoms,
the ornamented red of cheek
still the burn of her maidenhood
the dip of her toe into water,
the breezy dismissal of time under weightless chiffon
cast away with a giggle
and we twitter, but no one rushes in to save an old woman
perhaps, she is mercifully blind to the color of melancholy,
never touching the texture of wrinkle, the blemish of crease . . .
simply lost in an euphoria
too fragile to deny her bed fellows
age and heartache
moments when the loneliness
presses so heavy against the chest
the effort to breathe is unbearable
as if the next breath will not reach down
deep enough into its own unconscious will
to draw up and expel yet another whisper
I am this moment’s vapor
and consumed by my voiceless poems
Conversations with Self-Portrait
My brush stroke remains paralyzed and the portrait scoffs,
an unhurried sigh escaping over its pale lips,
What do you know do you know beyond a dot an iota
with one woman eyes that watch without alteration modulation.
How can you presume consume dialogue with merit to any to all
in monotone tongue and starving palette bleached,
so absurd the notion promotion of unshakeable authority
with and of a single signature fading before my ink dries . . .
In tantrum I bellow,
spattering inadequacies defiant spittle across the canvas,
a scream birthing primordial returned,
I want to know I want to know want to know
the mouth the movement memory of woman
of molecule and mass whose groans moans
rise from stalk and stem
brood blood scattered by winds and wails.
to comprehend the degrees of saturation
the consumption of its darkest dark
the assimilation of its lightest light eyes of she.
to follow her dance of bare breasts bruises and audacity
round the fires kept burning.
Pining to hold my hands under the belly of her dreams,
feel her curves be my curves.
I paint I devour her essence her undertone
yesterday today tomorrow
I will I will
Kiss the lips of her men,
fall into their arms guileless faultless surrender.
backbone, undulating supple compromise conversation.
Portrait, I answer I will not be silent.
I will know all of her.
And with me,
she will fold our arms round my mother.
together, she will surround our daughters,
hunt down our sons with an eye fast on the moonbeam
and a cup held to capture the rain.
I can give my brush this command,
Adorn my head with her hats of color.
Give blush to my complexion in gradations of gratitude
of all hues all shades all distinctions
Hush now …
Let me Create
~ lovie ~
it’s a big big bed
brilliant by sunrise
day rays come a-breakin'
with an angle of reflection
bouncing by monster mahogany
all 'round me, wall to wall
flame grained ball n' claw
carved heavy, heavy as my heart broke in pieces
laid out prim and proper
love petit fours
sliced on silk n' pillow violet, rich and ravenous
it’s a big big bed
rising up from shadows of the moonlight
dawn dancin' on the floor boards
flickerin', frolickin' its luminosity
all 'round me, side to side
accentuate the cry
weary red, weary looking out on a horizon
beyond window room
to magnolia dreams
and magnolia world rooted on my fingertip
wish upon the lips
silhouette, cold and statuesque slipping
through the prism
he moves, the stairs in lyrical vibration
each step a serenade
of tread by tread anticipation
I’m coming for you, lovie
... coming for you, dar-lin
his hand, the balustrade a-sweepin'
softly over mahogany curves, he's dreaming
beautiful, bewitching curves ... gently
over my shoulders weeping
it’s a big, big lie
smothered, kept breathless between
sin and sacrifice
graffiti dripping behind the mirror
black n' blue in soulless hues
shouting, what’s become of you
the pane so warm beneath my palm
of morning come beyond the monsters
where sparrow sings perched in my hand
and petals, pink and pulpy ... fall
the sun whispers
he’s calling for you, lovie
jeanne rené 11.07
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