Your lips are eloquent

As they touch mine

Speak to me wordless

Lines of love

To be absorbed through

Skin. I feel the sharp

Points of your mustache

Scrape my philtrum

Prick my heart and cause

It to open as water cascades

From my eyes.



Summer has emerged
moist and hot like two young lovers
clinging to each other

with greening passion.
It has draped itself
with oleander, gardenia and magnolia.
While it sweats in labor
heavy with growing life.

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams


Limestone arches shelter caverns.
Drawings incised by ancients
move in heatless light.
Bones enrobed in calcite crystals
scatter diamond reflections.
Shimmer bright. Animate deer
lion and strange rhinoceros. Horses
regal gallop into my brain. Celebration
of line. Sinew. Muscle. Life.

My foremother stood here. Felt her
divinity. Breathed in smoke.
Ochre hands tell tales of life
in the dark. She lay down into
hollows bowled by cave bears
whose bodies created cradles
in the dirt. She walked on.

Through the parchment
of my closed eyelids
I see you shadowed
against the dawn-lit window.

Your broad shoulders
block out the light.
My fingers remember
solid muscle, grizzled with fur.

I caress the warm sheets
where you lay. Know there will
be a day when this warmth
will not remain at dawn.
Roll into the oval you leave.
Return to sleep and dream of her
and the life they left for us.

An homage to Werner Hertzog’s film, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” about the Chauvet cave and to William P. Smithem.

Photo credit Wikipedia Commons

Arbor Day

Adjusted Small-Potted-Pear-Espalier

He resembles Alfred Hitchcock
as he trundles his topiary
up the hill. Leans to
the burden. His ass
bobs Up. Down.

He rests. Shoulders slump.
Turns; gathers his jacket of black silk.

I am made.
His eyebrows lift
at my appearance in his lane.
Brows crinkle. Wide rictus.

Abandoned. The thought leaves him.
Face slack as the lake on a calm day
He vanishes. I am alone with a
marvel of the orchard.

Delighted. I gawk.
Heavy oval fruit. Branches bow
weighted. Luscious limbs.
Compelled. I approach.

Reach to caress terminal leaves.
It unfurls to me.
My hand caressed.
My body embraced.

Wonder surges.
Affection wafts pollenating.
Fogs my senses.
Tears trickle my cheeks.
I’ll be damned,
I am loved.

Heaven knows where these things come from. This poem was a very intense dream that tunneled itself into my consciousness the other morning and awakened me and would not let me go. I suppose I was celebrating Earth Day in advance? Or perhaps I was reversing the fate of Eve in the Garden of Eden?

My photo illustration is a composite of images from flickr creative commons users vosburg_09 and  Dean Croshere.

Silent Retreat


In the dark I feel you slip away.
Like the blood seeps from an abrasion,
scarlet droplets collect.
You bleed out of me.
I cannot staunch the flow.

When you arrived in the dark
you came with no sound
as the flames of candles
illumine the night, halo the air.

Now in the dark I feel the silent retreat.
Without explanation you go.
Forever. Assuming my body had contained you,
I am surprised at the leaving.

Real Life Is Stranger Than the Blues or Politics

Morning Glories

In the dream he stood across the room. His voice embraced her before he did. Face to face, his arms held her. The full-body clasp of lovers.

In the days of the Iron Curtain, when cold war was warming to conflagration, their second encounter, by chance, in a café, over blues. Who knew talk of conflict in Romania could be foreplay?

Their first encounter. In a bar. As the blues played. Where she was made spectacle. Kidnapped to the dance floor, compelled, she danced with a rude partner. Freed, she sat, sulking in the dark.

His voice embraced her before he did. “Would you like to dance? Not all men are cads.” They did. Dance. As if they had danced before. Many times. Many places. With the blues simmering.

From the café and the fall of Ceauşescu they progressed to the collapse of Russia. In a mountain cabin they “gave them something to talk about” the day the bear died.

At sunset on the deck, sipping beer, his voice embraced her before he did. “The Russian people want this.” From the radio, he spoke. Of conflict. Of resolution. Of achievement.

Off and on. For years. They met to talk politics. To hear the blues. To dance. Always, he held her. No claim on the other except in Brief Encounter.

Until this morning in her dream when he claimed her with his embrace.

Stitched With Silk

Judith Shea-Sculpture-Post-Balzac-Photo by flickr creative commons user krossbow

Today, I put on your love
like an overcoat
to protect me from the wind
and keep me warm.
You weren’t around
but you left it for me to use
when I needed it.

It was quite comfy and full
with plenty of room
to move around
and reach for things
without tearing at the armholes.

Not like the coat I wore before,
large and shapeless
cast off from someone else
with many pockets
for holding all my tricks
which banged into my legs as I walked
and wore me down
and tired me out
with their weight.

But like my own skin.
Tailored to fit me.
Cut from the finest fabric
and stitched with silk.

Photo credit: Judith Shea, Sculpture, Post-Balzac, Photo by flickr creative commons user krossbow

Light Gatherer

Spring in the snow

I have lived a cluster of sterling days
chased with silver light. Radiance
bounces from crystalline snow
halos your hair lending
you a glorified look. Your smile shifts
Transmuted it flies to tiny dendrites
transformed into electrical jolt
felt at the base of my spine
it radiates to extremities
I capture your shoulders
grasp hard, compose my lips,
close the gap.

Photo credit: stock.xchng user bcch