Tag Archives: poetry slam

My fair one

Under a tangled arch
of willow, ivy, and rose,
she presses me back,
back, against the rich loam, back,
her fingers sly, her smile arch,
her lips tipped with rose.
Ever since the moon rose
she has loved me well: my back
is a bow, a lover’s arch.

I arch my neck, cursing the rose-tinged dawn that calls her back.


A tritina for this month’s Poetry Slam retrospective and YeahWrite’s 400th consecutive week!

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.

Automaton

All the stars that crowd the ether—
Unremarkable, compliant—
Travel routes which are reliant
On the plan prescribed by nature.
Men’s desires have deceived her
As she dwindles, meek and pliant,
Though I bid her stay defiant.
Once the pivot passed beneath her
Never could she make a detour.


Discord

Do you see it? That red glow,
low and clinging to the horizon,
unnerving in its ambiguity.
Even the stars recoil.
Oil and water, earth and sky—
I cannot reconcile them,
Embattled as they are—
Ardent and unmanned.
And so my children learn their place:
asymmetrical, the scales of power.
Were you about to argue?
You, with your injured pride?
I’d hold my tongue, if I were you.
You have nothing to fear.


In which I attempt an echo poem, which is harder than it seems. This one may have run off the rails a bit…

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.