Within the vineyard of her honeyed youth
The red wine flows through long and draping vines;
From sharpest grape it runs to sweetest tooth,
Down where the soil and the sun combines
To bring about a type of miracle.
A marvel that she’s not thought on for years:
A thing that’s not the least satirical,
A sober thing of ancient engineers.
For light and flippant are her thoughts these days,
Of vanity and life amid the stars;
The latest trend, the hottest fashion craze,
And all the best of nightclubs and of bars —
She stops and blinks, a teardrop to conceal;
Within her father’s vineyard, life was real
Picture / Photo Credit : © Mikhalevich | Dreamstime.com – Vineyards. Watercolor. Photo
How many shades of color is regret?
I see this in my sleep, then wake to find
The shadow of a phantom bassinet
That long ago we lost, and left behind
How many different pigments would I change
In paintings set and fixed in bygone years:
Too late to buy back and to rearrange
Those oils for new watercolor tears
How shaky now the hand, how dark the eye
That once the world took, in a glance, entire —
How bright once seemed the future, in its frame,
And fine the walls to which it once aspired
Then you, my love, picked up the brush to start,
And turned those colors into works of art
You gave because you give. You didn’t ask.
For byzantine as hearts must often be,
For you, there’s rhythm, and there’s melody,
And morning-after sun in which to bask,
And rudiments of lessons that we teach,
When we find learning there, within our reach.
But who am I, that you should favor me?
I sometimes think you chose in too much haste,
But then, the outline of your form is traced
By fingers touching skin-rich piquancy,
And light itself backs off from pride of place
Belonging to the wonder on your face.
You didn’t ask, because superfluous
Are words beyond which, there is here, and us.
“Love me, and tell whatever truth you know;
If those two things conflict, then you must say.”
A time to stay and fight, a time to go;
A time to hold, a time to drift away —
For now, the moments build, and tensions grow.
“The curtain falls: is it for us or day?”
The bayou watches peacefully, and still
Upon the edge of wondrous trembling night
For golden honey, or the bitter pill,
For an embrace, or for a sudden flight.
The phantom, love, who lights on whom she will
Is never seen by those as null, or trite —
She whispers soft, a sky within a sky:
“I have no words, so this must satisfy —“
The day has come and gone, and so has he.
The light now slanting in is old and gray:
It chides the night in gentle mockery,
And bids the youngish man awhile to stay.
The boy who roamed these halls those years ago:
He lengthened, broadened, moved out of his shell;
He didn’t need direction from a man
Who treated family grim, and no one well.
But once this place was busy with success –
And with eyes closed he hears the sounds again:
How pride was once a fortress of excess,
And blackened hearts admired among men.
His father’s life: a pyrrhic victory:
That day has come and gone,
he wants to build, but often he just wastes
the hours and the minutes of his day;
to give full range to ideas and to tastes,
and, striving for expression, find a way
to bring to life and light another piece
that helps the fevered mind to make some sense
of all the purchases we really lease,
and all the pride we take in diffidence.
but see: the sun is setting in its course,
the rippled songs of waves are on repeat;
we try to break away, but share a source
that shifts our victories into defeat.
he reaches for the edge of this lost day,
but like the clouds, it all just moves away
the curtains barely closed, or maybe clothed –
but either way, too much could be seen through –
within me, all those feelings that i loathed
of giving in, or lastly, giving to.
don’t know why women do the things they do,
or why our passions lead to so much loss:
but boys embrace the girls they should eschew.
i then went over as she came across:
her fingers traced a pattern to emboss
upon the growing need of who we were;
we drank the storm of motion, sweat and gloss,
the screamer of the dream, the whisperer,
the afternoon she had, and hadn’t, planned
that i could never really understand
[“the afternoon” – 11-10-1999]