WHERE IS GLORY BETTER SOUGHT?

When I have finished irrigating the country’s soil with

my fertile blood. Seeding new warriors.

I will turn into fodder for famished screens. Millions of my faces

will bloom upon the idiot box

increase, multiply and feed countless starving eyes.

My blinded gaze will face compassion boredom

horror terror sympathy and disgust

my 15 seconds of fame glide across the microscope’s glass

and evaporate before the arc lights’ glare

as gyrating limbs and thumping breasts

overtake my fleeting image and

leave it far behind.

What race is this I lost before it began?

or did I win it standing still? Watching

my opponent’s heels kick nakedly at the oncoming dusk.

Synthetic dusk born from the smoke of guns

as irrational as my night which lingers on and on

while indolent dawn snuggles beneath the covers

waiting for someone else to switch on the light.

But. Where is glory better sought

on green grass or in slime?

facing the gritty winds of summer

or winter’s shroud of fog?

which does blood stain brighter

desert sand or mountain snow?

And. Who lights an eternal lamp for me

as I float, an anonymous cloud

carrying the rain child of glory in my womb

a child which refuses to be born

till the storm settles.

If it ever will.

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A PEARL WITHIN AN OYSTER

There is a place

where jewelled cobwebs

dot the hillside

my father’s smile

never wavers

and the rocks

feel solid beneath my feet.

The mist swirls in the valleys

a potent sea

spewing stories

which my brother

conjures out of the vaporous void.

A magician

spinning a different web each day.

And yet it is I

who tell tales now.

Fishing in that timeless sea

of the past

finding

old shoes

a rotted corpse

but sometimes

a pearl within an oyster…

LOVE, THAT FLIGHTY DJINN

  I would have liked to live forever within

  the opaque glass walls of your love.  Seeing the world

  through misty eyes.  The sun’s heat

  softly tempered to my back.  The rain,

  a distant, soothing patter.  Not a drenching torrent

  churning rivers of mud and slime

  to drown in.  But

  the mist holds demons. Their cries

  will not be stilled.  And glass is fragile

  Even a single stone‑‑carelessly flung

  can shatter this sanctuary  we built

  You and I—

  out of the power of our dreams

  this vaporous castle

  which can stand—

  only till the magic lasts.

  Loving, my faltering steps take root

  reaching, touching

  my heart, a wing, a feather  

  caressing you.  All night…

  your warmth filling me.  Battling

  the shuddering dark

  that waits, a patient hungry dragon

   But…

  love, that timid bird

  that flighty djinn.  Comes

  to roost only when it wishes

  Not in response to my call

  or yours

  No matter how urgent the need

  No matter how desperate the hour.