Saturday, August 19, 2023

Requiem for Bear Manor

Where the dogwood tree’s shade casts last shadows

and the wind from the wood through the branches

of time winds its way across the blue manse,

here, pools of inward fancy are shallows,

veins curving distinctively in untoothed leaves.

Large white petal-like bracts composed a mind

for the botanical nuances, signs

of celestial appearings, dark speech

from realms beyond the cloudless pewter sky.

At this one pulpit I alone would stand,

preacher of secrets held within a God,

the breeze Nantucket, dress blue striped and dyed, 

and orator of whisperings of lands:

where singular speaker outdid the mob.

Hinting of the moments of sunshine bright

I stood apart listless, pale like a moon,

I breathed of air far above clouds and crooned

while playing my guitar of broken light

streaming through famous panes on afternoons

with shadows hiding under wood antiques,

and strumming of new song and chords oblique,

when lentils simmered, the stove ladled soup.

I saw a glimmer of hope in lyrics

that wore sundresses, with lip gloss tinted,

where the bedraggled look melded away,

and our singing was observed by clerics

dressed in dark suits and starched collars minted,

the dead were carried to funeral bay.


The parting hand clasp of the deeper sea,

as she spit on shore the killer whale—black—

who had passed and was mourned in a large stack

of bulletins with tide’s finality.

There was the figure here now dressed with sand,

who in coral sea star found her earring,

and with culprit sage seaweed blistering,

decayed beneath the heat upon the land.

This body wreathed with torment there would lie,

where bitterness was gathered ’neath her breast

departed, there horizon would vacant

stare, unhindered at beautified sunrise.

Her once maternal sentiment and breath

had soothed the hungry untimely vagrant.


Without the home of the oceanic

temple, deep water could not be broken

top to bottom, and if wine-like token

paired with marine’s illusive sacrament.

Loitering crabs now would scatter beneath

ruined masts and shipwrecks of galleons

from medieval drime, pea sheen of bullions

in lorish trunks that once shone with god speak.

Flashing aqua fins of silver mermen

were like lush music in velveteen sea,

where pearl illusive crowns with wisdom’s down

as swans upon the salt of hard sternum

of a mortal dowager’s frosty tea,

premeditated wrath bequeaths her frown.


Heaven drawing close with finality,

feather’d angelic host peered ’round the door,

while hell slammed shut the bottom bunker poor,

they strummed with brass congeniality.

No music rivaled this one strain on earth,

for its equal none could eloquent sing,

nor dine without the meringue recipe

that was featured in flute-like hall of mirth.

Champagne be then poured for one and our pearls,

we would bow our heads at graced royalty, 

among reed grass—the winsome laughter rings, 

chocolate mousse, topped with chocolate curls

that from the mermaid is glass loyalty, 

among the elite of heaven, they sing.

At this poor pot, the peppermint reaches

from the shadows to the light of the sun,

it dilates its veins to climb and running

from morning to evening, dark green stretches.

From this lesson, our orator took note,

whereby she often listened to Jason, 

placed the bust of Medea, she wrote him,

with blue and green lines floating from her boat.

What verse and of what pow’r shall I be best

visited? she asked. Frequented, she was,

by supernal beings, heard poetry

from afar, and it was fleeting soul rest,

yet she longed for the divine as tall mast,

on this ebullient ship lucidly.


The textured isle of power she now lived on

was rough to the touch, and her skin was smooth

and resinous with milky and opaque roots

in former times. For here was the dream long

into the night, the place where running drummed

and met the pavement, every house, dark-limp

an audience to her sounding trumpet.

She hit the mark, star-shone and illumined—

with one round white gleam that was her flashlight—

the stark dead, for she travelled there alone

and she exhaled the truth in bitter moans.

A warrior now at battleground to fight,

birth pains of Christ within her feet were stone,

and in her wrecked palms, the wretched nail holes.

Photo used by permisssion: Armstreet Clothing Company