Slo Mo

Let’s make love suddenly
with all the lights on
and everyone home
Cross-legged, sprigged
thick like a leaf
skirting the horned edges
of that cracked
flower pot in the garden
where everyone else is
brunching on Prosecco
with tongues ready for deep gossip
while they work the runny
eggs off their chins
slo mo sizzle on a Sunday

Let’s, you and I, dip our fingers
in the punch bowl
Two, no, three body lengths away
Let’s grab the cherries
by the pits, my dear,
while the espresso roasts
and the jazz grinds slo

Let’s make it with our teeth
and tangle the stems into kinks
Let’s prick all the peaches
with our thumbs
And suck out the meat
of the oranges
And dance on
the pomegranate seeds
that slip out
from under the backs
of our thighs
As we shine the last
apple to sparkling
Toes to heels
Straight up

While the dank breeze hangs lo
And the music swells
up like a lagoon
Let’s raise our bellies
to meet the slo mo
burn of the rum
And the char of the grill
and the clink of the glass
frothing at the mouth
of the morning that’s rusting
like two dirty ankles beneath
the weight of our overripe
bodies begging
to burst like swollen plums
Caught in the pollen
of our two eyelids

My darling, let’s stare
at one another
until the ice melts

Originally published on The Used Life

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1969 ~ Samantha Rose

The wheels on the wagon don’t work like they used to,

they’ve stopped turning around the axel.

Rust has collected between the hinges

of about the same shade his hair used to be

 

long ago

when the war began

and bombs fell from grey skies

as dust settled amongst the cries of the wounded.

 

Newspapers sang of the death toll

as she waited to see his name

buried among the obituaries

or for the day

 

she would stop receiving tattered letters

scrawled in cheap ink in his damaged handwriting.

They’re saying the war was unjustified,

she felt so too.

 

And she waited for him to come home,

and he did

one day, long ago

when all hope dissipated

 

from her azure eyes.

And she waits for him again now

at the side of the hospital bed

but the wheels on the wagon don’t work like they used to.

 

© Copyright Samantha Rose 2018


You can catch more of Samantha existing at her blog, Existential Poetry.

Loud as Love – Chris Nelson

Sing it loud

Sing it clear

From the rooftops

Through the tears

Lift your voice

Let it roar

The heavens shake

Still no more

Scream your name

Let it sound

Like thundered skies

Silent ground

Loud as love

Whispered words

Moving mountains

Seldom heard

Cry it loud

Let it ring

The love you have

To make me sing.

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018

 

If you enjoyed this, thank you! To read more please visit chrisnelson61

I Would Have Loved – Chris Nelson

I would have loved you then,

Your tumbling hair

A cascade of words

Around my heart,

Your silken skin

A sliver of hope

Amidst the dark,

But my eyes had not yet opened.

I would have loved you then,

Your precious lips

Their berry-sweet taste

Against my own,

Your endless eyes

Welcome drowning pools

In which to dive,

But my heart had not yet thawed.

I would have loved you then,

Your gentle touch

Warm electric glow

Against my flesh,

Your turning back

Sign for me to say

Deep hidden words,

But I knew I was too late.

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018

If you enjoyed this, thank you! To read more please visit chrisnelson61

The sojourner’s haibun – Nitin Lalit Murali

I’m trapped in my old sedan like the Sicilian Bull, the fires of trauma roasting me, and in agony I pound the steering wheel and incessantly press the horn, though the hairpin  bends as sharp as glinting scythes stay deserted, except for the hard rain, the water like blood sluicing, the wipers like metal claws scraping the glass in desperation. On either side tea plantations like incisions on a masochist’s wrist haunt. The mist envelopes like white pus, and I can’t see the dying light circumscribed by the mutinous night with her soldiers with onyx spears and her crescent moon—her war horn with pitted symbols of anarchy. A solitary hooded man passes like the reaper in flesh. My shrieks echo, and the car burns the wet asphalt leaving tire marks like another layer of infection on a gangrenous wound. The rage from my headlights clamp the air like crocodile shears, tearing its appendages of oxygen and nitrogen. The fume from my exhaust pipe settles on crushed empty paper cups, like acid poured on a battered, torture victim’s face. I ascend, yanked by some invisible force, like a mongrel tied to the back of motorcycle and then dragged across winding curve after winding curve because it bit the driver, sunk its teeth into his flesh. I’m the dog and Fate is the driver. I should have never rebelled. I should have never played with his dice, tossed it like a chewed off mutton bone. The car has a few dents like keloids that eventually form if one keeps itching scabs. It’s running low on fuel like a terminally ill patient in the ICU slowly losing his life-force. The tires pass over a thin trunk with spindly branches – stripped away by the howling wind like a demoniac’s scream – like a spine yanked out with thoracic nerves attached. I don’t see it and it pierces one like a rusty nail impales a big toe. The air fizzles out like the entrails of a sacrificed goat. A loud pop like a gunshot to the head. I lose control and spin like vertigo before a faint. The car careens like bloody vomit and smashes a signboard saying, ‘12/24.’ Glass shatters like foot bones cracking when stepped on by football studs. My head hits the dashboard like a plate thrown, smashing a wall. I gradually drift in and out of consciousness like a man after a snake bite…

You’ll never reach the end of this long walk –
Because fate to man is no two-edged coin –
So, rush to meet life, the gods they enjoin –
you – fight, attend with silent, muted talk –

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

You can find more of Nitin’s work at Fighting the dying light

A villanelle for the forsaken – Nitin Lalit Murali

What’s memory but a reverb of whispered pasts?
On ashen, sordid ground, I take root; here I stand –
Expecting withered trees to clasp; some dew that lasts –

With such fierce passion we plant or forsake our masts –
Fly flags on fruitful, fertile, or dead, barren land –
When memory’s but a reverb of whispered pasts –

Oh, how I long for love that changes, holds me fast –
Through strife, fear, test, ache and pain – an aesthetic hand –
Expecting withered trees to clasp; some dew that lasts –

Hope tosses, shuns me, puts sick bones in breaking casts –
And songs become a dirge with sounds from banished bands –
What’s memory but a reverb of whispered pasts?

Perhaps the answer’s in the wind, truth left unasked –
Perhaps I hope to see and must accept what’s planned –
Expecting withered trees to clasp; some dew that lasts –

Oh, how I long for love that changes, holds me fast –
On ashen, sordid ground, I take root; here I stand –
What’s memory but a reverb of whispered pasts?
Expecting withered trees to clasp; some dew that lasts –

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

More of Nitin’s work can be found at Fighting the dying light

What’s Yours is Mine – The Stories in Between

Look me in the eye

As you lick

That indifference

From your lips

 

Better yet

Let me

Taste what it’s like

The bitter apathy

And lies

Stinging my tongue

I’ll choke it down

For it’s better

On the inside

 

Now my love

Tangle in this embrace

Part those sweet lips

Press against mine

Your tongue quivers

At what I have to offer

Do you recognize this

Or can you not see

Past yourself

As I give back

What is yours

 

I cower

In understanding

And watch you

Smother

In your safe space

The only constant

Is my regret

As I return

For more

Again and again


More can be found at The Stories in Between

Life finds provenance and meets Death cradling Grief – Nitin Lalit Murali

‘Will things get better Ma?’ I’d ask her, once a fractured identity, found its cast of maternal iron and grit, determined to see the boy through shoves that split ears open – red drops of anguish finding an emotionally ramshackled Gethsemane – though he was too young to pray, to plead and to say sorrowfully, ‘If it’s your will, take this cup,’ and desperate to see him uphold integrity and become the antithesis of the man, who – when she had an early hysterectomy because blood and nearing death finds its provenance in sorrow and ashes: the grime of you’ll never be good enough as a wife, lover and a person – beat the boy on the way to the hospital for leaving a textbook in school. ‘God! God! You and your mother chant! Where is your God!’ He screamed trying to smash his face against the car’s dashboard. ‘You’ll fail your bloody exams, and even if you were to find your textbook don’t you dare tell me that you said so, you little bastard.’

‘Will things get better Ma?’ I’d ask her after they’d finally separated and she took the gamble and said, ‘I’d rather be on the streets with my son than watch him grow, wearing his father’s skin.’ She’d seen the rebellion, the blows delivered in the parking lot, but some shared idealism of knowing worse kept them. He’d pinned her to a bed when the boy was still five and tried killing her, and as innocence slowly left the boy’s soul and he let out a primal scream, he slapped the boy. ‘Shut up!’ He countered with feral ferocity and slapped the ground and shouted, ‘See I’m hurting myself too!’

‘Will things get better Ma?’ I’d ask her after disappointments on the football field and the wrong woman, who was never the yin to my yang, never the destiny, the truth or true love because these things find their birth in collective pain and strength to both wear and bear it. The girl had known pain but she suppressed it and marched to Hypocrisy’s parade: a salute and a stand at ease when Society barked on his platform held together by man’s strained, crooked limbs and knock-kneed stance. ‘Rip the veil and see,’ I’d tell her, but the traumatized often either worsen or slam the iron maiden shut on others like them, or swing, unsteadily somewhere between, where there isn’t darkness or light; just the false lull of addiction.

‘Will things get better Ma?’ I asked her, holding her frail limbs and bellowing, a sudden car crash of recollection. ‘Stay! Tell me! Please!’ And after years of separation and my relationships with worse women and flings with alcohol, she smiled a smile of togetherness, but it wasn’t a bittersweet ending for me; just a spear cracking skin, breaking arteries, piercing my organic core and rushing out from the other side.

‘Will things get better?’ I ask myself in this small town where the petrichor supposedly enlivens, the birds chirp, and Autumn tosses orange scarves as she drifts slowly in her gown of bristles and thorns, with ripened halitosis – a dethroned Empress, and she stares at me, never knowing where I’m heading, bleeding from the rocks of Reality thrown, and says, ‘Godspeed. I hope things get better,’ with a sad idealistic smile.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

You can find more of Nitin’s work at Fighting the dying light