Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Patron Saint of Missed Opportunities



                                                                                  For my Mother
I        

 

a tall cool beauty all legs and delicate bone structure

luxuriant russet-glinted waves of dark brown pouring over shoulders

and before the gleam in her brilliant hazel eyes died for lack of love

she could have been a movie star

the boys had buzzed around as if she were the Source of all nectar back then

                her era Golden                 

her mind and heart at war

a woman breaking Free and terrified

pristine atmosphere, oxygen shy 



she married her brother’s best friend

devilishly dark and handsome

the features of his unsung Native ancestors

cut through the fog of her virginal awareness

quickened something unimagined even

in those bleak post-Victorian days when young girls bled unknowing

sure they were about to die

generation and its means spoken only in whispers

the language of pain and fear

but Love! o Love! a pure and glowing thing somehow

in an age of Photoplay superimposed over the necessities of blood and fire



the first night did not go well, nor many nights thereafter

he had no time



what was the true effect

coming of age in those black & white days of twin beds

and Hayes Acts and whitewash

it seems as if childhood was a sitcom

where Father’s life was a gyroscope of its own centrifugal force

pulling all into spiraling selflessness around it

the definition of nuclear family fails

when the center of gravity implodes

ashes ashes we all fall down!

like the plague

marriages made in apr├Ęs war sickened and died

blackened and burned

children half orphans

grandparents aunts uncles all far away in the atomized explosion

of a mobile society

 

II         



the river keeps flowing

sweet juicy bodies swell on the vine

peach fuzz cheeks, firm ripe flesh

every generation is the First one

sure no one who knows anything has ever Been here before

arrogance innocence or not so much

we see our age reflected in the eyes of our cohort

this Hot music has never been made in all of time

we are the First

until all interventions inventions and no control

the confidence arrogance withers along with flesh

sliding from beneath the skin

leaving paper coating

fragile wizened sagging

whence that golden sweetness

electric juice of yesterday?

the images I see

those vanished

who will not know this world again

(ah well, there's always reincarnation but you never know)

those beads slipped off the chain into the vast heart of darkness

jitterbug jive dancing on top of the world

everything's new unspoiled faultless

Big Band Big Sound

riffs purloined from people so far down

why would they have anything you need?

but they have Soul

will you steal their souls

refill the tanks with stolen fields and jungles

claim their history for your own

wear their clothes their ornaments

can you pray to their god?

she dances

notes sliding sinuously into her inherited body

her burning spirit bread in a starving land

water in the valley of death



the scales fall from the eyes of the year

in crimson gold profusion

Fall away Fall away

buried beneath winter's mast

like a leaf from an earlier slaughter

the hollow shell of a nut

food for worms



can she step out of eternity to touch the living breath again?


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Children of the Air


"{They do} not hear;{they} will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
{They have} grown up and gone away,
And {they are but children} of air
That linger in the garden there."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson



 



where do children go when they’re grown? 
the innocent photos of smiling faces
are they all lies?
 
we are old we are old
to have those babes come back to haunt our elder time
with their cries and the horrors of their wounded souls
begging to be held and enfolded in arms
as the children they once were
and their dervish whirlings in the world
random strikes as of a hundred thousand knives
the darts of hatred
and unfulfilled desires
not our own but somehow left  behind
to twist like daggers in the psyche
fiery paths slicing through brain matter
slicing through what passes for persona
all a Mask of competence
overlying chasms of flame and flood

the tiny cold emptiness expands and
shuts down joy and light
receptors switched off
blot out the mental pictures
memories
loops run endlessly
of more uncomplicated days when smiling faces
cakes and candles
bare legs and superhero cloaks
made unscripted moments of laughter
spontaneous love and pride
Wait! are those shadows?
are those eyes lowered in some secret grief?
so hard to tell
to remember the exact moment

was there more to that afternoon
than sunlight patterns from the trees
than baby steps and childish glee?
looking back I see more
the lack of complication a lie told to self
in the morning of consciousness
before experience clouded
or embellished a life
certain in the knowledge
that the world would be saved by love alone

what could go wrong?


© 2017 pamela twining



Friday, August 18, 2017

Untitled 96



photo: Dana Twining

i stand at your door with my dreams in my hands
afraid to knock
the art of my face is too well known
the stories in my eyes already read
and you
so intent on plucking the fruits of your fantasies
have no time
for the dreams in my hands
     crushed now and broken
or the love in my heart
     aged like fine wine, untasted
you have not even seen me in years
though i lie beside you every night
waiting
to become the woman of your dreams


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Pickin Time




                                                                               photo: Catskill Weather
I got here before the bears
the birds
the children
with their endless dark-stained mouths
            and hands
but not before the angry chipmunk
barking his displeasure at my disturbance
berries red
and black
and ripe for picking
drop an offering now and then
to the outraged victim of my theft

I fill the basket with sundrawn sweetness
clip the rhubarb, visioning pies
the peas play hide n seek
seem to ripen by the second
taunt my questing fingers
ineffable greeny-grey
cloaked among the leaves spring forth
moment
by moment
laughing at my clumsiness
my inarticulate pleas for abundance

scent of first dawn rising
in mist from rain-blackened earth
a scent from when the world was new
air clear of exhalations mechanical
warmed by fugitive sun’s rays
hiding benediction of the moon
with rosy translucent fingers
waking the birds with gentle touch
the earthsweet silence suffused with incomparable perfume
– what IS that scent? –

like dreams
like prayers
like the ghost of memory 


© 2017 pamela twining