Dead Are Unimpressed

A cruel master
the ticking clock
So much potential
Get it done!

I rush past shadows
crumple the pages
failed attempts
mounting

What of dreams?
Of life’s destiny?
How I worship
at the altar of should

Even with positivity
fantastical notions fall short
I argue against uncertainty
meet only disapproval

There is no magic
no pre-destined fame
just dust gathering
the dead are unimpressed.

(Linking up with Reena’s Exploration challenge: follow link for video prompt. Image my own.)

Secret Keepers

(Disclaimer: I am submitting this poem for Reena’s Exploration challenge: horror. The poem arose from a nightmare, and my be triggering for some readers.)

They always take the back roads,
virginal snow-covered lanes
lined with trees: pastoral views

Unmarked routes, out of sight,
use the innocence of landscape
to blot out their dark intentions

Pristine picture perfect scenes
lull the unsuspecting; breath-
taking vistas: secret keepers

The roads still exist in my dreams
the trees like soldiers, stiff and stark
stripped of their magical allure, now

guard the memories, painted red
with loss of purity; I had not
guessed the danger of woods

child mind incapable of conceiving
what wolves roamed in nature
the blood of their victims crimson

stains forever etched in silhouette
the shrillness of their screams
now silent echoes in the night.

(Secret Keepers first appeared here September of 2016. Art my own.)

Remain Steadfast

Illusory this ideation of separation
intricate the webs that bind us

Politicians focus on the holes
pander to the vacuous –

Seekers resonate with connection
consciousness raising awareness

Remain steadfast protestors
your vibrations wide-reaching.

(submitted for Reena’s Exploration challenge: prompt the featured image.)


Is Optimism Enough?

Are you happy?

The question hits
my gut,
slingshots
down the hall
deadends
at optimism

Of course, I respond.

What else can I say…
Sure life needs tweaking…
I am learning to be better…
I can make this work…

Why?  What do see?
Thoughts unspoken
but the bell has been rung…

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge:  How far can optimism go?  Image my own.)

Parental Passages

Carefully we construct
security for offspring –
add luxuries to entertain
accommodate growth
play host to revolving-
door friends and dates.

And yet, we are graded
on performance – met
or unmet expectations –
held up against a stack
of other super parents,
silhouettes of perfection.

Still, we celebrate goals,
sprouting family, ignore
the slanders, and ease
into age with a tad of kook,
or wild inappropriateness –
all expressions of our love.

(First edition of this poem appeared Feb/’18.  Image from personal collection.  Submitted for Reena’s Exploration challenge, choosing the prompt: silhouette.)

Colourless Expressions

Consciousness commands
a shift of focus
tired of the clash of colours
stimulation overload
my muse is leaning towards
the nuance of black and white

A study of shadows
and shading
and how light
arouses the soul

Speak to me in subtleties
she whispers
in tones suggestive
of hidden depths
I am listening

And so I submerge myself
clear the palette of vibrant hues
and take up the lowly pencil
seek the promise
in a colourless world.

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge:  a colourless world.  Sketch my own.)

Scrambled Reality

quote-when-we-discovered-cubism-we-did-not-have-the-aim-of-discovering-cubism-we-only-wanted-pablo-picasso-84-32-26

Of cubism,
I am ignorant
yet, I relate

To express
depths of perception
concurrent aspects

Of a multi –
imagined
universe

Or even
to embrace
the possibility

of oneness
in fractured
slices…

I pull apart the pieces
re-create the image
still cannot find the whole.

(Reena’s Exploration challenge this week is cubism, a subject I know nothing about, but it does seem to fit with this self-portrait I’ve been working on.  Synchronicity in action.)