Requiem- for RMW
Her decline coincided with falling
Temperatures in cold February.
The funeral on the 24th day of
That month in colonial-era parish.
No coincidence for that date
For I knew it very well.
On the feast of Matthias, apostle
chosen by casting of lots
we took leave from near and far
from one of family, not by blood.
An unknown casting of lots-
Perhaps not so, but by plan
She, second mother, later friend
mentored me unknowingly
later marveling at what I,
Proteus-like, had become.
For a summer once I lived
near Matthias’ shrine in city
set in valley near winding river
resembling my native state.
For decades returning in roles
Ever-changing to her house
near another river and valley
altered by post-war growth
now rooted in recollection
as others will possess it.
Sisters, let us embrace once more
on the gentle hill and let us
stand in the cemetery and give
thanks for the lot that was cast
that united one on the fringe
with incomprehensible grace
Arthur Turfa, © 2016
'Poet Arthur Turfa's life is peppered with intriguing accents, revealed to him through the many places he's lived, the people he's known, the music that moves him, and even through his dreams. They're his inspiration for the thoughtful, moving, and often humorous poetry you're about to read" from Carol Worthington-Levy, who did the cover for this and for Places and Times also.
"Our common language," Art Turfa writes in a poem addressed to a mentor, "was neither's native tongue." And yet despite error and accent, the two work toward a kind of understanding, and "he pointed toward / the person I / wanted to become." Throughout this collection of largely autobiographical poems, Turfa works and reworks the possibilities of connection across language, culture, and time. This is a book is a memoir in poetry about learning and about remembering, about fitting in and not fitting in. In "Coffee in Sauerland," Turfa realizes that no one has asked him his name, as if he "fit in so / well that anything further / did not matter." But more often connection is made through art, especially music, the common language, he suggests, that might point us all toward the person we might still become. - Ed Madden, author of Ark
Other books in this genre:
"All Is Temporary"
I’m nearly old, she said… to no one,
Before the mirror,
Tracing a line down her cheek
With a fingertip,
Lost in memory.
A chill; her soul shivers .
This is the face that boys
Longed to kiss, she remembers,
Remembering the power of it.
Yet now the boys are men,
although not as many.
The face that felt the chubby caress of
Her children’s hands,
The face she could depend upon.
A breeze ruffles the curtains,
Touches the flower beside the mirror.
Her eye caresses the exquisite
Design of it, built for
Of perfect purpose.
“You are nearly old, too,” she says, tracing the edge of the
Petal with her finger.
She smiles, newly aware…
All things must pass.
All things are temporary.
"The Buoyancy of Light"
A blistered moon falls around a blasted landscape
Where lonely, thin winds try to move grains of sand around
Where once a shallow ocean rippled brightly,
And nurtured strange creatures in the shallows and deeps.
But for a million years or more the rocks had forgotten
What humidity felt like, and knew only dust And thin winds,
But still the moon rolled past, night after night,
Playing its pale beams over the sands, looking,
Sending seductive waves of gravity,
Pulling at abandoned places, Reaching out to nothingness
With the buoyancy of light.
"When My Heart Is Dry"
It rained in the mountains last night.
The forest came alive, from the laurels and ferns
To the tops of oaks and maples 60 feet above.
And through it all, the whispering chatter of the stream,
Full of itself, full of energy, falls endlessly over
mossy rocks on its long journey to the sea.
You can feel the eagerness of everything, sense the tree
Roots grabbing harder, drinking deep,
their tops waving the news in the wind.
Sunlight finds its way down through gaps
And flares on dancing leaves as it glints, sings silently
Of the joy of life reborn, of thirst
quenched, of balance restored.
Seven kinds of birds sound their challenges,
Race through the canopy harvesting food
For pinfeathered chicks urgently waiting in shadows.
I come here when my heart is dry, to feel the moment.
I come here after the rain to sink my roots in, too,
And to soak up the voices of the Earth, of the birds, The sun and wind singing in the light.
"The Tunes of Life"
All those years ago
And I still remember the first time,
In the moonlight,
When you stood before me
Shy, uncertain, serene,
While I tried to start breathing,
Soaking in the sight of you
With your gown fallen, body free.
All these years, as you leaned in
Asking me to find the music,
To clumsily compose songs of our life,
Teaching me how it should go,
With you as the instrument upon which
Our song would be played.
"North of Tombstone, 3 AM"
Shadows and silhouettes backed by a waning moon
Slide past like California’s promises,
Distant and confusing.
Off to the south, somewhere over the sand and arroyos and cacti
Is Old Mexico. A few miles, no more.
A small town slips into view,
Safeway. Ace Hardware.
Benson Fuel glares at a Shell station on the other corner.
Ten-thousand tons glide to a stop so softly it would not wake a baby with colic.
An old woman with a bonnet lifts a travel bag over the curb,
Joining our travels. Where can she be going, alone? El Paso?
Chemo, hoping it works this time?
Or just to visit their daughter?
Her husband watches as she gets on board, His hands shoved in jeans pockets,
looking dried out like the land…
Then turns back to the pickup for the long
Drive home in the dark, first stopping for
coffee, for something warm to hold.
Rolling again, now, eastward toward a
slice of New Mexico, then El Paso and Texas.
The car rocks softly, the miles drift by, the engine far ahead
The horn blast at crossings is barely heard.
I wonder about the kind of man who would come here
In the early times, on horseback, or on foot
Across this lonely place that only wanted to suck the water from him?
Was it silver? Land? Water?
Or simply that those men had just run all other choices in life away,
And this dry place, full of ghosts and questions,
Was the last that would take them,
And still it cared for nothing
But the water in them.
We breathe so briefly of Life,
Of spring days and summer rains,
And winters’ nights—all too quickly gone.
Our years fly away like ash
From a dying campfire,
Lost in the darkness
Fluttering up to the stars.
Yet our days let us
Feel and think and wonder,
Love, and grieve loves lost,
Enfold our children in our arms
Until they fly.
The flames and embers of the fire,
Alive, dancing, shifting, speaking to primal things,
Fill my mind with
Thoughts of eternity.
I lean in, looking for signs And visions
"Straddling the Wind"
Pushed hard to starboard,
Her gunn'l kisses the vast wet,
Shuddering in orgasmic fervor
Along her keel, thrumming into the deep,
Bow digging in, shaking it off, spray flying.
She’s a thoroughbred running for the joy of it
Heart of teak and sail aching for the horizon.
Blue-green foam hisses past her hull,
Tackle creaks and groans,
Pushed taut and dangerous by a hectoring,
Keening wind rising on our stern quarter.
The rudder bucks but holds true to sou'-southeast and home.
She rises on the nearside swell and swoops down the backside of
Waves provoked to 20 feet by a restless air.
She's caught a scent of
Something dark and thrilling in the lowering clouds ahead,
And I either ride her or die.
Living in the past leads only to regrets.
Living in the future leads only to worry.
Living may only be embraced now.
The first cardinals have returned, singing.
I may not be able to leap as high as I once could,
Nor run as far, or as fast....
But let us dance one more time
And shame the moon.
Still Figures in the Night Sky
A silent moon casts down its light
Touching the earth with steady fingers,
Like the shining owl eyes,
Here beneath the moon lies,
While a hope’s dream still lingers.
A silent star casts down its light
From above in the dark night.
Like the sparkle playing on the softly moving river,
Underneath the tall tree whose leaves shiver,
And love’s wish is a whisper
To those still figures in the midnight sky.
A soldier reminisces his time on the war front, his romantic relationship and the social foibles that beset the regions in the world.
In these poems, the soldier shares his experiences and feelings on the battlefront with his fiancee, Melissa. He describes other wars and conflicts that have transformed our modern world, such as World War II, the Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghan wars, conflicts in Africa and other parts of the world. He then turns to the social problems affecting the marginalized in his country, America, lashing out at the injustices. In his 'final' letters to Melissa, the soldier expresses his romantic side matching her own feelings.
Feelings are a powerful thing. As a teen, Angel Leya experienced the angst of transition and chronicled her thoughts and emotions in poetry. This collection displays those poems in a thoughtful series of themes that will take you from the depths of despair and uncertainty to the heights of hope. Each poem has been carefully paired with photography to enrich the experience. It's a symphony of stimuli that's sure to take you on an emotional journey through the good and bad of the human heart, as told by a young woman whose faith always brought her back to the perspective of one redeemed.
Reasons I Have To Stay
I was signed in,
I have no choice.
They tell me
My heart is failing.
They tell me
When you starve
Long enough, your body
Starts to eat your muscles.
Your heart is a muscle. It becomes
Your unwilling dinner.
They show me charts with
Low iron, low this and low that.
They tell me I need to take this
But it doesn't seem real.
All that is real is my sudden
Total lack of control, total
Forced surrender, it feels
So broken it can never be
I can't agree to any of these
Things. Not even when I
Feel my heart forget a beat.
Not even when I'm hooked
Reasons I Should Get To Leave
I don't count calories.
I don't weigh myself.
I don't obsess over models.
I don't exercise.
I don't take laxatives or
I don't make myself
I don't care what you think.
I think for myself.
I'm not this, I still have
We lay in a tight row
Wrapped tight in
Blankets and thick
Getting our blood
Lay down, and close
My eyes to the other
Girls' gossip, they
Try to include me,
But I have nothing
To say in the morning
This is a strange torment,
Laying so close to the others
Trapped between laughter
And the talk of having to
Drink ensures or not,
Of having to go to an
Increased nutrition plan,
Of family therapy sessions
Coming at the end of the
" YOU NEVER KNOW " # 1
Camouflaged for your convenience.
In the friend zone coliseum.
Open the crypt of this mausoleum.
And you'll discover I'm herculean.
Look inside and not the outside shell.
Dive head first into my well.
Go down deep into my atomic cells.
There you will find my inner self.
Never judge a book by its outside glory.
Go much deeper for a better story.
A whole new world of awe and wonder.
It's multi-layered and multi-colored.
Superficial love is so damn cliche'.
Who couldn't love every single day?
But that ain't love, You've been betrayed.
In the kiddie pool there aren't any waves.
Have you ever felt so loved you couldn't breathe?
Like the ocean that surrounds a submarine.
The depth of the love is hard to conceive.
But that's the kind of love that's inside me.
Don't throw me away like a broken toy.
I might be the perfect one to bring you joy.
You'll never know if you never try.
So stop one time and just say hi.
THE PRETZELED POET
Michael Joseph Patton
" WHO WAS I BEFORE ME ? " #2
I wonder where I was before I was born.
Did I have a place that I could call home ?
I wonder If I was very happy there.
And did I even have a choice in coming here ?
Contemplating the possibilities of my own existence.
Searching for knowledge with all my persistence.
Leaving no stone that I can find unturned.
Growing and growing the more knowledge that I've learned.
Everyone's preoccupied with the idea of horns and halo's.
But that only answers the question of where do we go.
For my piece of mind I want to know who I was before me.
Was I all alone in the cosmos or part of the cosmic tree ?
Is this current trip my first in this milky way universe ?
Or have I been here or somewhere else before ?
I wonder how many names I've been known as.
And If I'm the same exact being at my very core ?
I think that I exist, 'cause here I is writing this.
But I guess that really don't prove a thing.
With matrix on the silver screen or to be or not to be.
This could all be just someone else's dream.
THE PRETZELED POET
Michael Joseph Patton
" WHEN I WAS WITH HER " # 3
When I was with her, Didn't see her, Didn't feel her touch.
When I was with her, Never held her, Didn't need her much.
When I was with her, Didn't know her, Didn't think I would.
When I was with her, Never showed her, Didn't think I could.
Now I'm without her.
It's getting colder.
I can not feel a thing.
Let me go.
Let me do.
What I need.
To make it through.
Someday I'll find peace.
Held a diamond in the palm of my hand.
Held too tight and it turned to sand.
What has happened, I don't understand.
I'm Jekyll and Hyde, The evil man.
The same routine, The same mistakes.
I never quite learned just what it takes.
Loud and proud with my head held high.
I guess falling down was my only prize.
Now caught in a tin can.
With her cold hand.
Holding down the lid.
Darkness surrounds me now.
Can not climb my way out.
I can not find a grip.
The devil is waiting.
Watching me fall apart.
The sinner is paying.
But I'll do no praying.
Trying to save my heart.
THE PRETZELED POET
Michael Joseph Patton
Nettled; a pit of fire
Loins burning not with desire
But quickening, quelling
Ether that would dampen this din
"Blood, Bone and Stone" was actually my first book of poetry, however, the poems for Marie Antoinette became so overwhelming, in bulk and intensity, that I laid this aside to write what would become "Temple of Love: Poems for Marie Antoinette" and promised myself I would return to" Blood, Bone and Stone" afterwards.
"Blood, Bone and Stone" is meant to be a compilation, encompassing a wide area of topics, such as the inequities in relationships, death, war, sexuality, and mythology. This book, more than any other I have written, is a personal work. Indeed, I tried to grasp certain topics (especially male and female genital mutilation) in a delicate, respectful manner, without taking away the force of the message, nor condemning the subject to silence. War itself is ugly, and difficult, but I do not think that one needs to lower the quality of discourse or polemic rhythm to write about it.
Poetry is art, and it is painting with words. It is also like a finely crafted calculus equation where each word, and point of grammar, connected, creates a network of strands, which should be synchronous and penetrate the very essence of being. When this happens, then you know you have created something which is not only meaningful, but will stand throughout time.
i miss the way
we used to talk
i am wordless
when it comes
to you it makes
me blue a
love which hinged
on the door
that opened into
the frames of mind
you used to produce
has rusted with no use.
My dreams are turquoise rivers
Running from the source. My
needs may be human but they
are tearing me apart. i breath
through veils which hold my hair
demanding an expectative glance
Cut with a shard of glass the
instinct to laugh. To run. To hold.
i have no one deeply, they all shine
on surfaces, reflecting. Underneath.
Underneath the winter snow i hold
as blanket. i bury myself until cold
becomes warm. Bury myself. Sleep
i brought home a fish and named
him Lawrence of Arabia. i am in the
desert of his life. i am his mirage.
i put in the pellets, the water, the
places to hide his eyes.
Deeper mingling, beyond hands and
beyond words and beyond all the
places been before. i stretch my
watercolour sound into something
i can step through, no easier light;
although it is yourself you can be
most you with, most centered, most
deeply communicative with, i need
Out of the Ashes
into the garden mother.
i need to be born
out of the ashes
the deaths i've endured
and the breath i discovered
it all flows mother
i want to know who i am
not just a name but a heart
but i've been to the grave.
escape the pressure little one
let her take control
but not anymore! i want to be my
into the garden mother.
i need to be born
out of the ashes
the deaths i've endured
and the breath i discovered
i want to absorb it all
i want to be whole.
End of the Road
The sickly yellows suns that line the motorway are long behind us
busy white eyes of oncoming traffic a faded glow on retinas
replaced with a twisted country lane and hanging stars
tree covered falls
traversed without a word being spoken
now the rhythm of a radio is cut silent to static for the
of a tired engine cooling itself to sleep
no more path
no more smoothed surface
no more looking forward
for us there is only what has gone before
and a black uninviting void
lying across the Irish sea
so still as if it was not there in the darkness at all
still we don’t speak
and dare not turn the key
because we know this is end of the road
The trouble is I need to sleep.
The trouble is I’ve exhausted
My fate. With secret needs,
I’ve decried a wish of seduction.
A beat in the blood. Into the
Spiral spinal cord of the Rose
Tore the pollen from my mouth.
So silken is deceit when all
The wishes want to believe.
Every desire is disserting me.
Five flaming fathoms are
Opening and flaunting their
Favourites- all not me.
I’m deprived of dignity.
Rosebud mouth closing over
Fingers bent receiving sticky
Honey. Sweating petals dusted
Dew drop encamp upon thighs
So silvery old. The sights they
Have seen in a young age has
Eldered them and left limbs
In pale light.
I hate myself; I hate you.
I hate breathing that leaves me
Echoing the fate of the tree.
Leaves it open
Red gold marigold
Leaves in a garden
Frightened of two halves,
Miracles suck the mouths.
Words wept into the lap of an
Empathetic man. I’m off
Inside my head again.
He can not find me.
I’m lost inside my darkness
Again. I’ll soon be clinging
To your light. A gust of wind
Shielding my tears from his
Tender questions, touching at
A core truth too picked on to
Be spoken aloud, the curved
Back hero administers the final
Toxic elixir to change me into
A myth before I am ready
Forgive my crushed petals
I grew them for you
I only wanted to scent the
Air, I only wanted… the
Want is covered under silk
The velvet hammer in his
Hands and I don’t think it
Was cruelty, this shattered
Glass feeling, he wanted me
Awake when he told me
So silken is deceit when
All the wishes want to
Chicken Little Tendencies
I am not asking any more questions;
this is the time for you to provide answers.
They come on stilts, I know, and you
afraid of heights. Afraid of falling.
Afraid of landing. Afraid keeps you
standing looking stupid. I hope you
know it. You look like a complete fool
gesturing awkwardly. Some days
I hate you more than others. I know
you feel the same, but you lack
the strength to have your say. So
stay there, and gesture. Mime out
your panic and water your soul through
the eyes. There is nothing more regrettable
than a man made mute by chicken little
tendencies. I stand apart, and although
I hesitated now I am walking away.
I used to be like you, wishing I was
who I was before. But I grew in
ramshackle vine ways. I grew in a disarray
I save to say I don't want to be that one
who lead me through the maze
unrehearsed. I want to be better versed.
I want to be what I am becoming.
I want to say goodbye fondly to who
I was before. Who I was before I
catered to you. Now who I am canters
away without expression. You don't
effect me enough to warrant response.
Even my pity is dimming.
You are a part of the past that could
not move with me. Now you will stay
stagnant and smelling, standing.
I can't sense any of your fear anymore.
I am moving past, and forgetting all
the details that made you prominent
in my life. Now you are a character
stretched into a frame packed in
a box and left by the dumpster the
next time I move. Good riddance,
Allergies to Society
I do not have time for people who
need constant supervision and
promises of my love... Love in friendship...
I have exhaustion and illness that drives
stakes into me, see, stakes like the ones
you set on how our friendship would be.
I can not take the time to pet all your
wounds, that is something a significant
other would do. Friendship is not the most
important thing in my life, not unlike how
high schoolers say Forever and mean until prom.
I have an interior world I do not let
anyone inside. I do not care how persistent
you are in asking. Can you not see
the door is closed? As well as all this,
consider this, I have lost my voice.
I have to cough it out in the morning and
soothe its aggression against me with
medicinal teas, throat herb drops, and
steam baths. I am carrying about tissues and
using them all until I am flushing the remainder
of the wealth down. Weak of tone I am now,
I only called my mother and even then sat
in silence for some time as my voice had sailed on.
I have had my anger sparked and no air
in my lungs to blow out the flame. It is not
that I wanted to forget about you. And I did
not forget. I just could not speak your
language those days. I could only cloud bust
with my eyes tight shut closed. My fingers
escaped their lacing with my sweet heart's.
in the night my heart is a closed glove.
I have no energy for you after him.
I am pretending all social skills, because
I want them terribly. For you and for me
and for the masquerade of normalcy. But
the mask slips and I settle back into my skin
of the person who forgets, and is bombed
by her flowers, bombed into creation.
A symbol of the human genius should be
a figure in love with a book. A book has so
many connections and a friend is only
that one person. That one connection which
never ends up seeming important unless
they can handle when I am silent.
When I am coughing up my voice again.
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