Bearing Witness

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Bearing Witness

Pen on paper,
words falling like tears,
salt waters that erode
the hardest of stones.

This man bears witness
to thought, word, and deed.
He’s the outsider who sees
the interior world
and drags forth its spirit
for others to see,

not painted in paint,
not sculpted in stone,
not a breeze through
bound river reeds,
just words on the page
lined up in thin lines
to flower and flourish
like an army that conquers
the world of the soul,
and leaves fresh footprints
on eternal snow.

Le mot juste

 

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Le mot juste

Searching for what exactly?
For the exact word, le mot juste,
the word that sums it all up,
catches the essence of the thing
and holds it in the mind forever.

Le mot juste? Think color.
Think color blind. Think blind.
Think of the world we see
reduced to grey scale.
Think of the seven colors
that stripe the rainbow sky,
each with a unique name:
it seems so easy, so simple.

But the world has changed.
Think now of the computer,
its screen more accurate
than the human eye and color
coordinated by a million or more
tiny little pixels that multiply
the seven rainbow colors
by a million or two and every
color numbered beyond
the recognition point
of the human eye: le mot juste
reduced to precision of number.

Think flowers. Think scent.
Think of the limited ways
we describe the smell of things.

I look across the breakfast table
and see my wife of fifty years,
a teenager reborn, walking into
the café where we first met.
I search my memory and my mind
for the words to describe that beauty,
that surge of excitement,
but I cannot find les mots justes.

Sous-Chef

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Sous-chef

“I’ll be your sous-chef,” she said,
with a twinkle in her eye,
and she was as good as her word.

She brought me all the ingredients,
laid them out in the right order,
peeled potatoes and carrots,
sliced onions under cold water
to ensure that neither of us cried.

She added crushed garlic into hot
oil, measuring spices and slicing
the chicken into chunks.

I extracted the cork so the wine
could breathe. We sipped sherry
and talked of wind and weather,
of our time together, and how
we would grieve when, early next
day life would force us to part.

Later that night, after dessert
and liqueurs, we climbed up
the stairs and she joined me
in bed, in a sur-chef adventure

that went to my head, with me
as the sous-chef, her as the head.

Comment: Very rare, raw, naughty poem. I wrote it in the garage this morning, waiting for my tires to be rotated. It was cold, I was bored, and I needed warming up. This is one of those poems that I might regret later. I certainly hope not. The rhythms aren’t quite what I wanted, so I may re-do it, and possibly sharpen up the recipe. Your comments and advice will be welcome.

Love Poem @ 70

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Love Poem @ 70

1
We walk on tiptoe round the garden,
peeling free the sunlight cloud by cloud.

Sometimes, the heart is a sacrifice of feathers,
bound with blood to an ornate altar.

Petrus:
this rock cold against my chest.
Piedra:
centuries of stone carvings
come alive in your face.

If our arms were to meet
around these columns
of sun-warmed flesh and stone,
what would become of us?

2
Beneath my skin, the woad
flows as blue as this evening sky.
Your skin is bronzed
in the warmth of my gaze.

Yellow light bends
low in the fields below us,
each darkening pool
a warrior fallen
beneath time’s scythe.

The moon paints a delicate circle.
Its great round eye opens out
above the rooftops,
a cathedral window
opening on the sky.

Tonight it bears
the wisp of an eye lid
carved from  cloud.

Your teeth are diadems of whiteness
aglow in your face.

We tie shadows to our heels
and dance in triumph
to the village music
sounding in street and square.

3
Daylight bends itself round rock
and turns into shadow.
We flourish in blocks of flickering flames.

Dreaming new selves from roots and branches,
we clasp each creation with greedy fingers.

Dark angel bodies with butterfly wings,
our shadows have eloped together.
They sit side by side holding hands
at a table in the central square.

4
Church bells gild the barrio’s rooftops.
Our fingers reach to the skies and hold back light.
We draw shadow blinds to shut out the sun.
Night fills us with stars and a sudden sadness.

We dream ourselves together in a silent movie,
closed flesh woven from cobwebs
lies open to a tongue-slash of madness.

The neighbor’s dog wakes up on the azotea.
He barks bright colors as dawn declares day
and windows and balconies welcome the sun.

Can anyone see the dew-fresh flowers
growing from our tangled limbs?

Your fingers sew a padlock on my lips:
We listen to the crackle of the rising sun.

Daffodils

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Daffodils

Winter’s chill lingers
well into spring.
I buy daffodils
to encourage the sun
to return
and shine in the kitchen.

Tight-clenched
fists their buds,
they sit on the table
and I wait for them
to open.

Grey clouds fill the sky.
A distant sun
lights up the land
but doesn’t warm the earth
nor melt the snow.

The north wind
chills the mind,
driving dry snow
across our drive
to settle in the garden.

Our red squirrels
spark at the feeder.
The daffodils
promise warmth,
foretell the sun,
predicting
bright days to come.

Comment: Another ‘very raw’ poem, just less than a day old. We bought two bunches of daffodils in the supermarket yesterday. There were none about on Dewi Sant / St. David’s Day (March 1), so we made up for it yesterday by buying two bunches. They bring a brightness and a lightness to the house and ease the winter gray that besieges the mind when winter lingers and spring seems so far away. Here is a link to two more poems on Daffodils. There are some photos here, too. https://rogermoorepoet.com/2016/05/29/daffodils/