Tag Archives: poem

The truth of honey and salt

You once told me, the moon is made of salt,
that all the tears that ever were are kept
hidden there, disguised as dust. You spoke
matter-of-factly, your pale face made sanguine
by the dying sun. With deft fingers you stole
dew from the grass, bade me drink from your palm.

Above us, fronds of fern and palm
swayed like dancers, grains of sand and salt
working their way between the blanket we stole
and the promises we had not kept.
I understood, then, how to stay sanguine;
my heart beat faster with every word you spoke.

You plucked the petals from a flower, spoke by spoke,
and pressed them like kisses into my palm,
each one as soft and sanguine
as your lips. I tasted honey, tasted salt,
wondered what it would be like to be kept
by the woman I stole.

On bare feet and keeping to shadows we stole
like thieves out of the garden; we spoke
softly, and only when necessary. We kept
silent, my breath caught under your palm.
You asked me once, what is honey without salt?
Only sweet. You were my salt, sharp and sanguine.

Forgive me: I could not remain sanguine
after all. Your hair was a silver stole
across your bare shoulders. I licked salt
from your skin, seined words from your breath; you spoke
my name, teeth against my palm:
another promise never meant to be kept.

If I had known, then, I would have kept
quiet, would have watched the sanguine
light crest the garden wall at dawn, palm
shading my eyes, dust in my throat. You stole
peace from my heart when you spoke
the truth of honey and salt.

You always seemed the sanguine one; I am the one to salt
wounds. I kept my heart in my palm; I never spoke
how willingly I gave what you claimed you stole.


This month’s poetry slam form is the sestina. It’s harder than it looks, if you can believe that.

To a rose

The day you gave a rose to me
the sun was bright, the sky was clear.
I kept that rose another year,
despite its sweet fragility.

The sun was pale, the sky was grey
when winter brought its weight to bear.
The frost could not be swayed to spare
The rose you gave to me that day.


A memoriam stanza – well, two stanzas, really.

Mistress

My lover leaves her name outside my door
when evening gives us leisure to explore
the sounds between the silences, the stark
divide, the interplay of light and dark,
each night more daring than the night before.

And when I cannot tally anymore
the whispered count, the reckoning of scores,
I catalogue each kiss and every mark
my lover leaves.

At last she fetches wine and bids me pour;
she offers me her cup: one sip, no more.
And having kindled flame from love’s last spark
before the jaded warning of the lark,
my sheets like moonlight cast upon the floor,
my lover leaves.


I’m catching up on unfinished projects. This is a rondeau, which was the subject of yeah write’s May 2016 poetry slam.

Idyll

On this perfect day
I watch you throw rock after rock
into a mountain stream,

Your words a constant flow, a stream
of consciousness; all day
I lean against this rock

and listen while the trees rock
the sky to sleep. Clouds stream
across the edges of the day.

What would I not give for another day, another rock, another murmuring stream?


Sky lanterns

The stars are not the stars tonight; they burn
so fleetingly—they drift, an earthly flame
inside each paper shell. With each slow turn
their dancing puts those distant stars to shame.

We wrapped our hearts in promises and pride,
in pledges inked across thin sheets of doubt:
Translucent, insubstantial, finely dyed,
our lanterns glowed until the one burned out.

I always meant to be the one to leave,
the one to go—a lantern in the sky—
to fly away. I always meant to grieve
my own mistakes in private, by and by.

The stars are still; there’s nothing left to say.
I loose my grip and let you drift away.