Archive for January, 2018

The Toils of Twilight

In the warm release of night
moist air brings humid soil
smell deep into the lungs
a reminder of earth’s saga
rains from long ago still fall
each sad hope misted in gray morning
pastels of ancient chalked lines upon ebon rock
my heart’s ebb and flow
beats solemnly if not persistent
in the first shadows of new day
through the golden light of noon
at odder angles than any before
I reach to clutch to grasp
the meaning but rhyme rears her head instead
maybe I am better off dancing
perhaps I could sing lullabies
syllables of beautiful melody
signifying sunsets and falls

In the warm release of night
I breathe in deeply
to breathe out
to cease to shake
in awe

rapt in the star field

Chagall 2018

Beacons Beckon Fecund Starlight

lately we have grown more
accustomed to dissonant tones

songs awash with odd intervals
persist on tongue before mind

despite all of our efforts
to shake and rattle and roll them

to forestall outcomes not yet
a far gone conclusion

the quality of light this late in the day
fills me with hope for yet another

Chagall 2018

Carry On

No need to read this, or to like it, or to comment.

As you were.

Chagall 2018

He asked if I would carry the letter up-hill to her; I agreed and set out.

Upon arrival she read it aloud:
My Lady, tomorrow when the moon is full, listen for I will sing my ode to you.

To which she replied:
Tell the fool that he still cannot discern waxing from waning.

As I was leaving, she called out:
Dear girl, wait! 

She approached in tears and handed me a silken square.
Here … give him this kiss I’ve impressed upon the kerchief.  Let him know I will be listening on the wind for his song.

Chagall 2018

the silver songs of
starlit diaphanous beings
suddenly cease

two leave behind
the heart

winter sky

in nebulous


to try
two rekindle
as if

fragrant fire
toasts us
warmer than now

I held you
told you
vow never

it is we
we let go

despite this gravity

amid found melody
the final glissando
of being

Chagall 2018

I pour another cup of coffee from the French press,
careful of that last drop which always runs the seam,
I have learned to return the pot upright in mid-air,
to suspend it there to allow that bead of henna to fall
to the center of the pool defined by the rim,
lest it mar my desk’s blotter.

Sunlight is wan this morning. I am reminded of crying
babies and wahwah pedals, petals, and peddles, then paddles,
always upstream it seems
these days (Eagles – right?)
the grounds of French-pressed java puddle on bottom
– drink ’em up.

Hell, light ’em up
if you’ve got them.

Words surround me like angry hornets, disturbed and fecund,
buzzing till they tickle, then alight, sticking to the glue-strip
I am. Others I zap with the blue-light, happy to see them go.

I never knew there were so many paths out of here.

Are these the roads least traveled they’ve talked about?
Who are they?

Who am I?

I wish that the tips of the leaves of my bamboo plants
would stop turning yellow. I cheat sometimes and snip them.

The baseboard’s creak and the tick of
the battery-run clock featuring the Eiffel Tower
beat out their own rhythms, syncopating around me
in odd-on-odd Eastern patterns, classical Indian tabla
from arbitrary forms; the world is a sensual melange
to relish through dance. Breathing.

When all is still and I am one with the day, the world without me
prays that within me, sadness is gone.

Chagall 2018

Urgent last gasps: the final moments of life
or the echoes of passionate throes?

Chagall 2018

It’s the last day, all the pieces away,
the board packed up, damp paperbacks adrift
in time, on shores, pages stuck together
like wonton wrappers, floured fingers pry
each paper-thin layer loose, like a scab
pulled from the ages, the times when
summers’ lights warmed barefoot girls
dancing ska, dark rums and tabla
keeping beats that only seers felt.

Tornadoes the size of fists grabbed at us,
sprites from nowhere, pixies to beguile
even the most steadfast non-believer
among us, temporary lapses in sanity,
slow to vanish like the aftermath
of bright flashes, instamatic power cubes
before digital, when low light meant
wide open apertures and long shutter speeds,
avoided shudders that would disrupt the flow
of light to film three hearts on the mend.

I rest my chin in my hands, coy there prone
along the footlights, casting a large shadow
on the back wall, a Chinese lantern,
a lava lamp, a strobe, dancing shoes
hanging on a peg, on the wall above your bedside,
powder blue silk ballerina, how you’d slide,
glide on dust, on chalky planks,
spin, and toe, and hold, arabesque.

A kiss in total darkness, where the self is all,
on a flat plain, lower than the highest peak,
arching and craning our necks to the sky,
modest in majesty, purple prose and monotone
gypsies sing in distant choirs,
reverberate in the canyons around us,
while spectral howls rise high above the timberline,
and each drop is sheer, straight to the point.

This is the moment we talked about,
before the re-entry, after the last time,
promising one another to remember the other,
there was no way we wouldn’t once beholden,
but that was then, before the inevitable
disappearing frame, where it’s harder to find
perspective, unlike the clarity we hold
in the interim, at the way-station between beads
we pluck from the string across the canopy.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

Still Mist

Each moment an anniversary
of when

Her recipe says cook forever,
I am lucky to not have to stir

A random excuse at best
to feel sad

The ache does not grow less
so much as I grow large around it

Chagall 2017


I tip the scale that separates night from day,
the feather over the limit of what might be
but hasn’t, a chance to grasp forever
evanescent; this place bars light, bares scars,
a cicatrix along the horizon holding
a jagged divide, says stay
for the night is young
only seemingly – time is
such a sweet talker.

Chagall 2018

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