Although I have dreamt
of floating virginal and weightless,
my blue gown ballooning on an updraft,
orange fire rippling off my fingers,
I am crouching naked, my pale
breasts stretched slightly,
brown nipples spilling into
the sandy foreground of a hidden
inlet. The tide’s flat out.
On a bar of grey sand, I round
my red mouth, sucking in
a quick breath to scream
at the awful singing of wings.
Knocked to my knees, pressed
wide open, I brace my bare
feet against the moist strand.
My spine arches back, back
pulled against his plumy
breast. His tongue flicks,
twists, licks at the air,
to spew its amorous news:
blinding wings overshadow
my seized, tensed thighs
as blood spills on the sand.
Airy drops rain down
wetting nothing, tinted
blue by the night sea, by
my tears No emotion troubles
the yellow pupils of his eyes.
Three beams of light from each,
leave strange traces on the air,
heavy with his odor, part church
incense, part waxy quills.
Now his boneless fingers bend
to conjuring newborn shapes
from swirling clouds of matter.
A slippery pink litter, they drop
out of the blue, murmuring
first words to the sea, on this wet
rim where waves curl and beat.
ON THE VERGE
She’s made it to the porch, trees sweeping
their branches, bigger than arms
over the railing, each knotted it own way
to take her into the moonlight threading
through leaves that trail over the stone wall,
where egg-shaped mushrooms puff-up.
Her green coat, sheathing her waist,
thighs, and hemmed at the knee-cap,
shows off her silky, creamed legs. Mincing,
wobbling to the freshly painted edge,
her high heels poise on the top step,
arching her feet, pointing her toes towards beauty.
Tap, tap of those stacked, big steppers
dies away on the creaking boards,
a weathered stage she’ll make her debut on,
shadowed now by a figure, pent in,
half hidden in the heavy window curtains,
that wants her covered up.
Right hand rests its attitude on her hip—
attitude the body is trying on for a size
or two bigger please! Fingers ball
into a defiant fist on a hip bone,
as her moonstruck buttons put on
their shine; all around
is what has overstepped and flourished.
TAM LYN: THE WISP
Brown eyes bulge with terror,
at this mist crouching over its pool,
eyes that roll back, as nostrils flare
the big boned head, spooked
by a hissing pipe? A water sucking
grate, a sloshing drain whirling up
a wisp of mist between her eyes?
She side steps, bridling,
hooves striking at the whiteness
packing itself around her. Air
stings the sides of the startled tongue.
Shoulder blades, hugging her neck,
jerk shut whipping him back;
reins rip from his sweaty hands.
Knees can’t grip her flanks
burning with terror fired blood.
He falls; unhorsed, his brain
rolls into the dark, a muddy pebble
sinking deeper, as the water trills
its tinkly, piercing notes
no horse can prance to.
One thought on “Ars Poetica and other poems”
Myths and folk tales come alive in these poems. Leda the Swan, Tam Lin. I love the up close details of breath, bulging eyes, feathers and heat that strip away the distance between mythology and the poem’s shocked character, living out the myth as a living, bleeding, naked woman. More, more.