Petals of the Dead

Image courtesy of Pinterest
https://freeverserevolution.wordpress.com/2020/09/14/september-writing-prompt-3-2/

I tossed them away

Some time ago–

Petals of the dead.

Some flowers taken

From above the six-foot holes

I have stood over,

Frozen in the emptiness

Of an empty hole

About to be filled.

Some flowers taken

From birthday and anniversary

Bouquets of celebration,

Marking years of bitter happiness.

Most flowers taken

From a wedding bouquet

Of vows taken, kept,

A reminder of vows abandoned.

 

Petals of the dead kept

Out of wretched sentimentalism

I burned upon the pyre

With myself.

Then climbed a new self

Of burnished bronze

From the flames.

 

The Mechanics of Flight

magnificent-hummingbird-costa-rica-flying-40067390

Image from Dreamtime.com

 

The science of flight
Broken, stripped down
Into the realism of words.
The dryness of what happens:
Lift and torque,
Drag and propulsion—
All things the ancients
Dreamed of mastering.

And so, we moderns have:
The smallest of Cessna,
The most enormous Airbuses,
The cavernous military transports,
Such technology and science
To destroy the magic.

Until watering the garden
On a summer evening
And turning to see
A tiny green hummingbird
Stick out his chest in pride
At having mastered
Standing still
While flying.

The Moon and Narcissus

narcity.com

Through wisps of thin streaming clouds,
The last full moon of the decade
Looked down on me and seemed to nod.
Why? I’m not sure.
I thought and tried to puzzle it out.
The decade? Perhaps.
Did this last full moon wish me
To think about this decade?

What ten years can bring:
A wife battling ovarian cancer
For her life and loosing;
Loosing myself along the way
And finding me and loosing me
All over again; A profession left in disgust
For the pleasure of retirement;
A daughter nearly lost and then regained.
Talk about water swirling slowly down the drain.
But it swirls no longer. The ground leveled.
The tub fills. I have finally grown into my skin.

I look to the moon again and she seems to nod
Once more. From somewhere, I smell a faint
Scent of narcissus. Yes, it would be easy.
Play the fool once more and return to that place,
find beauty and comfort In blue skies
And soft grasses by mountain lake,
Breathing in the sweet narcissus scent,
Pretending for a little while
That everything offered was true.
But brimstone to my soul would it be.
Leave the blue skies, the soft grasses, the mountain lake,
The scent of narcissus behind.
This I must do or my soul I would lose.

Illusions

A word or two,
You. 
A word or two,
You.

And on it goes,
Until my throat does close,
And the bar with six screws
That holds my neck bones
Together rubs
At the esophageal tissue there.

And I think maybe a screw
Worked out of the bone.
That would be me—
A screw loose.

And I think
I am just too old,
Too old, for this–
Heartbreak shit.
Like Prufrock,
“I grow old, I grow old.”
Oh, how fuckin’ appropriate.

And then I go walk.
But not “upon the beach.”
What I thought you were,
What I wanted to believe you were,
There still when I return.

Definitions of Us

Mother, widow,
Writer, teacher, friend
Titles I wear
That others use
To make a definition
Of me.

But I am more
Than any definition
Clown and comedienne
Actress and writer
Sinner and saint
A bit of Medea and Medusa
Shaken and stirred
With a touch
Of Mother Theresa
And Margaret Mead
And an added dash
Of Lucille Ball
For good measure.

My Lady MacBeth stays
Securely Locked Away,
Crying for some Germ-X
For her hands.
Wuornos, her cellmate,
Just doesn’t give a shit
And is it any wonder?

But I’ve no soft purr
With words
Like a Bishop or a Plath
Or a Browning,
But I could bake brownies
That might make you cry.

Yes, full of contradictions and complications
That’s what we women are
A bit of the Madonna
A bit of the Whore
A bit of the Wise One
And more
Too much and too little
To list
And define
Except by what we,
Ourselves, design