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Crow SongI am a crow—
for my full mouth
Grandmother Spider gifted me my black
and my embers, my mantle of smoke.
I am story-teller, wind-bound,
the voice over snow fields
to guide the cold dead to rest.
But winter stilled my spirit,
withered me into a being of sticks and branches,
no bird of prey but a cold and bitter wight
fleshless and picked clean by scavengers.
I build my stories again like late-winter bonfires,
breathe my smoke like rising thunderclouds
to fill my mouth again with carrion calls
and summon the fire to me again.
I contain all the cosmos,
blossom darkly above the white fields,
breathing deep the strength of my new wing-beats.
Raising GirlsThere is nothing in the world but hope
that our children will grow up to better us all.
Little girls are a force unto themselves;
in groups they generate their own universal laws,
demonstrate hitherto unknown patterns of gravitation.
We must grow them properly, create their
simply darling little angelfish dresses and teach them
daintily, without running and creasing
their starched skirts,
from the cloying, pink jellyfish tentacles:
their barbs are black and purple, spells
bursting open like hydrogen bombs over
the Pacific islands,
black magic, sea ink,
a body shape too thick to be proper,
mouths painted red and wide with too much laughter.
"One musn't," and
"it is rude to"
Poem for the OceanCure me of this drought.
You have been known to call down the rain
and my forest fire-heart, heaving and sun-sparked,
needs the coolness of summer storms.
You are a sea; and I can do nothing but cling to your shores like sand,
hope to be swept off to the depths so I might understand them.
I am a knowable thing, clear and crisp;
the smell of pine forests, moonshine—
a distillation of all my youthful restlessness.
I want to run til I can drink the air like vodka,
clear and crystalline in my lungs.
My spirit is hungry, an Appalachian wendigo—
a wind eating its way across the Kentucky border,
carving great bites in the mountain flesh.
Though well-acquainted with the contours of lace,
often weaving its silky strings myself,
I am no spider, and your sea swell lace crests elude me.
I am no sea captain, cannot read your ocean currents
but the restlessness that sits beneath my lungs
and crawls its prickling way up my spine
makes me feel that I’ve never been better.
The Real World is a Lie We Tell Ourselves to SleepThe real world is a lie we tell ourselves
so we can sleep at night.
I stopped sleeping long ago,
but I have started to remember how.
When I look over the asylum walls
wondering where home is,
my doctor reminds me that I killed a man.
I did not know him.
I wonder if he had a family.
Wonder how I strayed
from the realm of the frost giants
to kill an innocent man.
I still owe Baba Yaga a debt—
I awake some nights with a vision of her
flying over the walls with her mortar and pestle
to take every drop of my blood as payment.
The asylum walls make me feel safe, though.
One day I will leave these walls as ashes,
and then she will come to take her payment from my body.
I wish her luck.
I will have to wait to return to the land of the frost giants.
My task remains incomplete—
I bide my time, regain my strength.
I make my own magic to open the way to their realm again.
For now, the orderlies let me tend thistles in the garden,
let me keep some like dream catchers beside my bed.
Divination as a Means of Finding a Way Back 1. I say nothing I am thinking.
For twelve years I have wanted
to do exactly this, but suddenly
pronouncing my own name calls up
the question of who it belongs to
in the same breath Like
Solomon I was born a singer
but in the wrong key and my
chords will not carry me, will not
summon the wolves to me only
packs of hungry dogs
stupid with domestication
but nearly feral And like
a hungry ghost I have learned
not to speak against those
who will give me food
2. A sketch of myself.
He says I must have been born
in the wrong culture, he says. I got a taste of
the crackling heat here, heat to drive you crazy,
and suddenly I open my wide arms for
New Orleans, find myself needing the wind from
the Great Plains. Like a buffalo I have the spirit
of the Sun and I carry it with me. I am a plant
of burnt umber,
brown, ready and waiting like
sage bushes, like the hill you go to that is best
for collecting jun
CliffsidesI’ve got an idea of what to do now,
and it’s not the right thing.
We’re all dreaming of cliffs these days;
I think of the perfect way
my body will break
as it kisses the rocks below—
tumble against the Berkshire shale,
copper as dried blood.
my fingernails chip away at my outsides,
as if the flaking of my skin might clear my bell jar
of its stars.
I breathe in through my teeth,
remembering what the feeling of air
against the walls of my lungs means,
the devastation of pollen-stung alveoli.
But I will bury myself—
six feet to keep the water off, and the dogs out.
You are something cold lodged in my spinal disks.
Steady on, winter—
I want your needles in my skin
and the long fall of your blizzards.
Dear Baltimore Child: A Postmortem GhazalMy dear Baltimore child,
dear tale-told heart, gin-joint king,
Winter is colorless without you,
all white and dead.
I miss the boldness of your black,
I miss the color red.
I wear your favorite color, grieve,
though we were never wed.
My dark, distant poet,
dreaming evermore in red.
Annabel Lee should have been written
for me, instead;
She was white winter-stale,
and I am bright summer-red.
I watched winter take your soul,
watched the frost in your lungs spread.
You can be no lover now,
drained of all your blood, your red.
You are colored, still,
blue and beautiful and dead.
But I cannot warm your body with mine,
cannot give to you my red.
I have tried to wake you with kisses,
tried to make us a wedding bed
In your tomb in the city by the sea,
Sijo for the Snake I Am and the Mouse I Will BeBy noon, I’ve forgotten how to breathe; so to learn again I glide,
bend but do not break grass blade backs to watch him work, feel my girlhood
sloughed like a snakeskin in the reeds, see my womanhood like a mouse.
AtlanticYou caught me by surprise,
a sunburn heat in my limbs;
my pores filled with your salt and sand.
I am dehydrated and
salinated by your
I am drowned
in your blue body.
I can never succeed
at being a mystery,
at being an ocean deep;
but I may hope
that my wavelike earnestness has its own allure,
salty and sweet and rhythmic.
I long for your conch shell
and the gentle curled kiss of your breathing.
The thought of you thrums within my body—
a push and a pull,
and a rising tide.
sex in your wordsI trip over
the sex in your words
it dancebeats each syllable
into the rhythm of submission
to your desire
of thrusting or being thrusted
plain letters draped
in shades of sultry black
only visible to the connoisseur
of linguistic lust
while virgin eyes remain blind
to their deflowering
the twist of your subconscious power
to exude your curves
in the guise of thoughtful
Of He who Came to this WorldAdrift in the vengeance of her delirium,
I pierced the veil of eternity ....
And upon the breast of madness did I feast,
marooned in shadow’d-whispers
My soul bequeathed to this pellucid-abyss;
— a Halcyon clad in darkness dreaming
Lo, I saw hunters rise in the ether —
ghosts in the seraphic-blackness peering
Of beauteous melancholy, I lay quest
Wherefore, the blood of stars I reap & sow
How the breath of her lust befalls; —
a kiss of diamonds cast deep in the snow
Now bereft a foe beneath my skin,
where impassion'd plee she dare bespeak!
I grasp the silk of a fable spent
Yet thy visage lingers thru season’s fame,
haunting my soul like a Winter’s song
Til the age of silence, my lament doth rain,
unto solemn-brook, wherest thee prevail
And I bare the weight of a thousand skies,
To thy harbor, forever my spirit shall sail
— Arthur Crow © 2014
He doesn't write poetry anymore.He doesn’t write poetry anymore,
even if he still collects it, reads it, saves it, treasures
faded verses from his wife the way connoisseurs
savor vinyl over metallic rainbows on disc.
I don’t mind not knowing, but I can’t stand not asking.
The record needle hits the groove wrong;
he stumbles over words that aren’t there,
rummaging for an answer he doesn’t really have.
He doesn’t write poetry anymore
and his confusion is strangely endearing.
But there’s a lyricism to his words that I love,
poetic lines inserted between the daily grind
of character names and who said what;
voiceless boys in white and draymen carting the dead to saltwater lakes,
elegiac undertones that haunt historians and forlorn painters.
He doesn’t write poetry anymore –
except when he does.
Odyssey of LoveWhere a Tale of fate glimmered dim
For the Twilight veil spread softly ..
Her gaze cast in starry lustre gleaming
A temptress poised in the Night,
Or moon-enamour'd Lover dreaming
My lust awash in a howl of wolves;
To her kiss I fled across sultry-skies
Where, unto thy lips I hath perish'd
And oft, in pray'r would I pursue thee,
Impaled by day's vermillion light
I wandered across a thousand years,
Disassembled in Love’s odyssey
O’ how the Moon whisper’d rapture —
Across silv'ry peaks pale and fleeting
And I stood famished in her dew,
Till her scent soaked into my skin
And fiercely did her tongue beseech!
Like flam'd-Ravens hunting the wind
Stars fell in the plumes of her song
O’er a golden sea she kiss’d the ashes
And her lips undressed with fervour;
Ablaze in the fields of my naked soul
— Arthur Crow © 2014
Hand and foot, Hip and breastHear the ever-wonderful TwilightPoetess read this aloud here!
And now I understand the depths
to which a woman must sink, must
dig herself into, must push past with hand
and foot, hip and breast. It is not light I seek
but solidness. Not spring air soft against
my cheek, but the scalding touch of lava
forced for so long to be silent and still
now worming through a cracked
and weeping crust. It seeks explosions
because affection must be dramatic.
But the sky will not love it
as thoroughly as I do.
And now I understand the impossible
permanence of night-lit words.
They linger in the valley between my wrist
and fingers; stow themselves in my freckles.
I cannot erase their presence, ignore
their weight -- only hope for a lover
who will burn away your shape.
But I understand hope to be a fickle
and most unfortuna
your kingdom come
swaying tall like wheat
the galloping horse
who eyed my stick with fear
and mistook my approach for vengeance
dawn into the open by rain
caught by the spikes
of traps that father placed
where the earth was soft
the thundering lump
of the pine tree
being cut piece from piece,
it's limbs falling,
the workers squinting against the sun,
and I, woken by the noise,
sitting dazed on my bed
In the strawberries
growing flush and firm
on Californian fields.
In the small girl
groping among berry bushes
as it is in her father
keeping a watchful eye.
In the blood
that seeps from her leg in bright droplets
when she falls and skins her knee
as it is in the tears that bundle
tight in her eyes.
Although I am sitting many years
and many miles away at the beach,
soaked and nursing a foot cut by a shell
(and thinking I have tasted this ocean before
perhaps in the tap, in the rain,
in orange I had for breakfast),
*Love of Life*Addicted to life
Emotional, heartfelt moments
Final WordsWe are beasts
in this naturalized,
an ungodly waste
of human capacity.
we smack our lips
on the culturally sterile.
I am a goddess
of my soul's wit,
devoid of personality.
I've a plot reserved—
a place in Paradise
is the new ignorance.
The Long Forgotten CountryAll forces have been steadily employ'd to complete and delight me
Now, here on this spot, I stand with my robust soul.
A Light in the Darkness
In the morning, as she cast her net for
Great handfuls of mud to build an island,
They say she smiled, and that
Her hair twisted itself into a forest.
And as she carved our bodies from the trees,
She christened this halcyon world with bones and sawdust,
And sent its name spiralling in a parade of golden mirages
In the fevered pits of the old king's immolated eyes:
The first light of dawn;
The path of the bird,
A Victorian Lady, to Her GentlemanI wish I had been born like George Sand
with all the courage of trousers
to grasp you, a Chopin with your sweet fingers.
But I am a girl beneath my petticoats;
I long to tangle my white-gloved fingers
In the folds of your cravat,
Like oceans meeting,
But I grasp instead the swan neck of my
Lace parasol, like an anchor.
Love, break open my steel rib cage
And make of me a poet,
Make my snarled letters into kisses
And their thorned brambles bloom roses.
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scheinbar is a much-loved and well-known deviant. Just one look at her gallery, filled with enchanting photography, will have you mesmerized. A deviant for over 7 years, Christiane can always be found posting inspirational features as well as regularly commenting on other deviations and encouraging and empowering her fellow deviants. We are inspired and insist that you too stop by and congratulate ... Read More