Megalopolis

the towers begin to rise

over the beaches of the city

and in windblown fields

of bluebonnet and stone

at the edge of her borders

and in environs beyond

soon they will loom

beneath the face of the sun

over the coastal plains

and the waves of the Gulf

where the ships push through

walls of choppy water

to harbor and port

 

yes, they will look down,

towers, without number,

higher than the air trails

blazed by the eagles of the East

their outer walls bedecked

with hanging gardens

from which pour waterfalls

into guarded pools below

their windows like mirrors

of glimmering gold, lit

by the daystar on high

like shimmering seas of silver

reflecting the moon at night

 

a glut of humanity

pours into the City

swelling her ranks

Gotham is emptied,

all her finest things

transplanted here

Gotham the great

a metropolis reborn, here

where heat and humidity,

fossils of a bygone age,

are pressed to extinction

by the mind of man

like finger to thermostat

 

the festivals spring up

all around, in every district

galas inaugurated

decreed into perpetuity

the confetti raining down

from the greatest of heights

the sound of popping corks

matching in number and kind

the beat of the drums

which sound in the streets

where the people sing songs

and even the old ones dance

as they did in days gone by

 

in time, the stars are born

the greatest of the greats

walking the City like giants

each of them on the ascent

climbing the limelit ladder

to their globes of fame

thespians and poets

painters and sculptors

musicians and athletes

each of them fashioning works

envied by the Olympic powers

whose mythic glory grows cold

as the years march forth

 

and abiding in their estates

within the sky-piercing spires

and in mazes of mansions

stretching to the horizon

and in diamond-made palaces

submerged in the waters

the people live out their days

here, in this City about the Bay

forged anew, and made young again

by the years of suppression

of a tired and aged element

who thought to keep her hidden

from the eyes of the world

 

Starlight Odyssey


I was standing at the edge

on the bow of the ship

looking out into the nothing

into the darkness below

bottomless liquid expanse

mirrored by the starry sky

the stars above like candles

their lights like embers

dying lights in the night

and I was casting about

seeking and searching

for the perfect star

my guiding light

nowhere to be found

nowhere in sight

a star to be mine

mine and mine alone

to take me home

home, where I’d never been

a place I longed to know

and looking up that night

on a sudden I saw you

your luminous face

after forty years at sea

I found you, perfect star

Star of the North

sweet Polaris

the light to guide me home

to take me home

to that distant place

one I finally know

and tacking into the wind

the whitecaps breaking like iron

against this wooden vessel

I set out, your silver glow

pointing the way forward

and I saw those shores there

the white sands, bluest waves

winds that swept me away

swept me off my feet

and marooned my heart

having landed, with you

alone with you

all alone with you now, forever

ever to be with you

my perfect star


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Bridge Over The Waters


Inspiration for this poem came to me from multiple hearings of Eric Johnson’s voice-and-piano solo piece, “Water Under The Bridge”.  The piano is elegant, cascading notes all over the place.  I wanted to write a little something that’s thematically along the same lines of this song, and so, here it goes…


they slap me in the face

and stab me in the heart

tread on me and kick me around

throw me in the street

and push me aside

cast me out and spit on me

falsely accuse and slander me

mock me and curse me to death

push me away and rough me up

steamroll and tear me asunder

mince and ground me to dust

ignore me and hang me out to dry

rape and sell me into slavery

shred and pound me into pulp

skin me alive and set me on fire

piss on me and flush me down the toilet —

 

these hard, jagged rocks

tear through my skin,

dyeing red the rapids of the river

river I’ve tried to cross

that impassable torrent

torrent of life

over which stands

but a single bridge

and there, across the way

on the other side, I see

a gateway into the garden

that haven of gentle founts

with a single still pool

of liquid glass

I cross the bridge now

and the gatekeeper there

opens the doors

passing through

to the other side,

I see them all, inside the pool

bathing in the crystal waters,

in the pouring daylight

while harpists whisper songs

their voices sailing

into a sea of ears

and I hear the call go out

to those on the other side

to come home, and be done

done with their dwellings

dwelling on their wounds

to be not afraid to walk

over the aged planks

and once in a good while

I’ll see a soul or two

cross over that water

water beneath the bridge

I’ll see them trickle

into this place,

this hallowed place

into this, my only home

from which I’ll never wander

so long as there’s this garden

close by to the rocky torrents


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Solomon’s Key


she has laughed

at his advances, attacks

she sees them like that

but he wears a blindfold

doesn’t know how to take it off

and so he doesn’t see it

the back door to what he wants

what he really wants

though he might not know it,

might not admit it…

to net all the fish in the waters,

not just the one that got away —

to draw up a net full of them,

but not in a physical way

 

every flower in the garden

who’s ever caught his eye…

first he wanted them,

and then he wanted to have them;

But wanting and having

together at one time,

the marriage of desire and possession —

The key he hasn’t turned


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The Seashell Of Forgetfulness


sitting at this table, by the dunes

a bottle of whiskey, two bullets and a gun

the tools I’ll need, to say goodbye

to a world on my shoulders

my head sinks down, drooping

and there’s a lonely conch

of gold, white and rose

 

I pick it up, who knows why

a seashell in my hand

lifting it to my ear, I hear

the booming of the waves

the sound of the sea

a song…slowing the beat

of my racing heart

 

and finally it arrives

something I’ve searched for

for a thousand years and ten lifetimes

my eyes begin to close, slowly

and it falls from my hand

down into the sand

the summer sun bathing my face

 

a thousand years and ten lifetimes later

in the blink of an eye, I wake

still sitting there, by the dunes

opening my eyes, I see

on the table before me,

a bottle of whiskey

two bullets and a gun —

 

“Ok….so what are these doing here?”

“Somebody trying to tell me something?”

 

doesn’t matter, doesn’t scare me

so I get up and begin to walk

down the beach, barefoot

the sun hovering high above

the wind whipping through my hair

 

and then I stop, looking

into the blue before my eyes

and there’s no ocean, and no sky

because there’s no horizon

blue against blue, an infinite expanse

….boundless, and perfect….

as the smile lifting my face


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Secrets In A Bottle


the secrets we hide,

the thoughts we hoard,

we shelter them like daughters

caged within four walls,

never letting go in,

never letting go out,

they’ll run away one day,

before you know it,

pouring themselves onto a page,

ink onto the paper,

stuffed into a bottle,

corked and thrown into the sea

never to be found

until the shores of eternity come,

come into view, sharpened

by the degree to which we hid

and masked those things we kept

kept inside, never wanting others to know,

and then at world’s end, the bottle found

the writing etched into the sand

for every soul to read, to see

and then you’ll ask, “why did I do it?”

why did you bother to hide them…

those dark, deep thoughts

you thought were forever yours,

and yours alone, never to be thrown

into the light cast by myriads of eyes unseen,

the souls which do now behold it all?


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Fruition


you’re the apple

and I’m the rind

 

a bite out of you’s a bite out of me;

peel me away — we’d both decay

 

wrapped all about you,

all over and around you…

 

…a blanket for your body

ripe and bare beneath me

 

I taste you…I alone…every day

a single fruit, together we’ll stay

 

so long as we dangle from this tree

but fall we must, by nature’s decree

 

yet our line will last….our seed

sowed by the sovereign hands — of gravity


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A World All Our Own


I asked God today

to make us a world

just for you and me,

and to give us some wings…

the wings to say goodbye

 

tomorrow, let us fly

and never return —

oceans all our own

we’d play on the shores,

in the sand…holding hands

 

running, unclothed,

through meadows untouched,

through hills untrodden,

unseen by human eyes

save these our own

 

oh, how we’d dance

in the light of twin moons

beside pools of silver water

how we’d embrace by the fires —

the fires we kindle within

 

let’s go now, my love

because the morning is here

and a virgin world awaits

a garden of flowers and bees

and of birds and trees

 

there, our seed will grow…

…though we cannot…

to increase freely, without borders

in a realm where not the slightest leaf falls

from the oldest of the trees


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Song Of The Sea Siren


She sits singing upon her throne

No man can tell her “no”

The daylight too obeys —

In radiance she’s enrobed.

 

Even God, heaven He escapes

Never to return.

Her sight, an insatiable flame —

Unseen eyes ever to burn.

 

First this one, then that,

All to their knees they drop…

To a man, willingly forced

…And pray it never stop.

 

Over the crags and into the sea

Men and gods faithfully fall

When she hovers bare above the waters

Chanting aloud her beckoning call.