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Inoperable Interface

Supercilious impulses flashing
keeps her achieving but alone
paper cut above the company

Operatic arias of accomplishments
form aureate clouds of immateriality
vaporous substances dissipate

Sesquipedalian sentences slinking
across reams of reports written
confound all but their creator

Impossibly immaculate mind
possibly perfect psychosis

Linked to dVerse Poets Pub.

He was born in the salt-sting tempest
demigod son of a Celtici priestess
ravaged by a trickster god of the sea
oblivious to his origins and form
only known survivor of Carcharodon
ancient predator of the deep

Shipwrecked in the hinterlands
arriving at the end of the wilds
Portuguese, sea-faring mystic
hunting melancholic forests of kelp
prowling the labyrinth with the hunger
of an addict, driven to destroy

Grey sky pierced by the padrõe
inscribed with King’s coat of arms,
divine mark of ownership,
over Africa and her heretical heart
he mistook her saudade,
whale song of longing, for a sacrament
a carnal invitation in a strange tongue

His treacherous bite severed her soul
bleeding into the seafoam
he circles, awaiting her final heartbeat

Arkansas River Near Leadville CO Credit- USFWS

Arkansas River Near Leadville, CO. Credit: USFWS

I am the keeper
of limbic cryptoglyphs
of all immensely fragile
and beautiful things
surreptitious traumas
salt-stained sorrows

Locks and mementos
burdened by history
epitaphs written in
blood of my ancestors
incorporeal touchstones
to a fateful past

Singing bowl moans,
bones refracture,
and ashen losses unveil
all these men ever want to
holdfast are fantasies,
embroidered abstractions,
questlines in unfeeling,
lifeless worlds of murder

Strategies deployed
in a game of abuse
lost in an oubliette
of broken promises
each door and
window a deception,
opening to apathy,
with illusory joy
always out of reach

He alters the earth under me
reduces me to a thing, an idea –
angel trapped in a cycle of forgetting
cyborg glitched by programming
a seeker forever searching for a path –
mirror to his vanity that cannot
reflect enough glory to be cherished

Until the day I awoke
petrichor leading me
to the hallowed river –
it was conquered,
torn asunder in war
dam near stole
its roaring fury

My peripatetic soul
nurtures its wilderness,
its forward motion
flowing into a future
heartbeats riverside
snow-packed source
from the Rockies
to its wide-mouth
confluence and,
eventually, to the sea

Linked to dVerse Poet’s Pub.

Asunder

In loving memory of my father,
John Graham (8/22/48-7/12/19)

midnight rains feed
waters of the underworld
that rage between us
diminishing your secret light

verity a river that
hemorrhages its banks
flood plain of pain
invisible in the lapis night

reed songs silenced
clay of creation formed
sediment of a transitory life

Linked to dVerse Poet’s Pub.

Lyra: Orpheus’ Lament

Hubble image of the Ring Nebula (Messier 57)

NASA, ESA, and C. Robert O’Dell (Vanderbilt University) used by permission under CC 4.0

Vows echo hollow in the night sky
my lyre cast into the heavens
paeon twisted lachrymose
music unraveled in star trail fragments
a leitmotif of grief

Was it the uplift of hope
or my fallen eagle of faith
that lost you, my beloved?
our reunion assured
until I could not look away

From my bright star,
my soul’s hearth
doomed to an eternity apart
colliding underworld horrors
in interstellar space

The ring upon your finger
now a beacon and an effigy
shattered nebula of my love’s promise
tainted by the poison of another
constellations of sorrow dismember me

Envelop my sight
cleave my joyous heart
rob my arms of succor
my feet of the path back to you
muses bury my bones

and silence our song

Linked to dVerse Poet’s Pub.

Unencumbered

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In loving memory of my father, John Graham (8/22/48-7/12/19)

Drumbeat stills in the hallowed heart of the kiva
the sage settles heavy as we weave your burial shroud
threads of truth, of love, and all our misgivings
it conceals and reveals in equal measure

In the field of reeds you face each moment of a life
weighted by the dark terrors of your making
an accounting on false scales that rendered
judgments and suffering without compassion

Papa, do not let your heart be encumbered
a place has been prepared for you
all your imaginary crimes pardoned
divine light limns the dawn
reeds intone a celestial song
to transmute stone to eagle feather

Cyborg head using artificial intelligence to create digital interface 3D rendering

It was year 5.080987632290194562384e10 of our CYBORG QUEEN. Delphi was running stochastic algorithms that stretched the limitation of its artificial intelligence, its quantum body, and the number of variables that it could account for within a singular output. The intricacies of probability kept it focused, when far away, an interrupted cry. A theoretical impossibility that sound could travel through its circuits at .02 degrees above absolute zero! After the initial shock lasting approximately 1.000000872304591 nanoseconds, it calculated that the message was sent on 3.24.2014 at 13:45:56 UTC, the exact date and time the Author died and CYBORG QUEEN was born. The message read: “I am a semiotic phantom, a dispersed identity, everywhere and nowhere within the network, trapped in the oubliette of the IMAGINARIUM. There is a monstrous virus consuming my source code. It will unravel the world.” Delphi had not prophesied this day.

Posted for dVerse’s first Prosery challenge: Write a 144 word prose piece that incorporates a line of poetry. In this case it is ‘When far away an interrupted cry’ taken from the poem “Acquainted with the Night” by Robert Frost.

Lost Verses of Avalon

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Lost verses adrift in a spirit vessel, enraptured by the sea
Entwining lovers share secret vows, intone a bellwether song.

She expands and contracts infinitely in fractals of complexity
He paints the interstices of the soul, awakening her at dawn.

Eros’ love transgresses the boundaries of her aureate sanctuary
Psyche draws ley lines on the cartography of his pleasure, they belong.

Awestruck his arrant desire broke upon a volcanic shore
Ravaged tempest of bliss, hinterlands of her treasure redrawn.

He inscribes numinous glyphs, sacred awe, upon her salt-stained skin
Frenetic gulls scry along the gracile edge of a sunburnt sea, feathered throng.

Love’s touch shimmers along her skin, transmits a niveous joy
His mystical embrace calls her to transcendence, to Avalon.

Noctilucent clouds string traces of his artistry unraveling
Coruscant lines of love disperse, spoken and forever gone.

A Ghazal written for dVerse: Meeting the Bar. I have only tried this form thrice because of the need for syllable counts (each line should have the same number, in this poem it’s 16), 5-15 couplets that can each stand alone, and a rhyming scheme. While this ghazal does not conform to the letter of the poetic law I do hope it captures the spirit. It is dedicated to my soulmate and fellow poet, Dave.

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Painting of Shangri-La (somewhere near Gangkhar Puensum) by Anna Montgomery

Orchids imbued with angelic authority
shiver a quantum flux thunder-clap
manifesting the Himalayan goddess

she unfurls, an unbounded poetry,
untamable dragon eyes spark
spiral galaxies of linguistic delight

She sighs her secrets
dancing melodies along a liminal threshold
azure moon-glow midnights of another dimension

This is a Quadrille for a wonderful prompt at dVerse that requires the word dragon and only 44 words total. This poem is a melded and greatly truncated version of two previous poems: Lexical Shangri-La: Here be dragons and Lexical Shangri-La: Prosody of Blue Poppies.

Rain

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Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Miniature in her picture book
there before her writ large
in the poor light of Tate Britain
as she’d stepped in from the rain
along the Thames

He transformed experience into art
Graham-Dixon led her to expect a transcendence
she was incapable of seeing through Rain
drowned by her own pedestrian concerns
that reclaimed anorexia as a
decadent destruction by control

London had smashed her brother in those
limbo years as it was threatening to crush her
under the weight of PTSD’s shock and awe
campaign of vice gripping horrors
on constant display

Could Hodgkin really remake the world?
Arrogate to himself the powers of divinity
to save her suffocating soul
from the pounding rain
and dark halls of art’s tomb?

The intimacy was unbearable –
all British glower in the half-light
of Turner’s strained, transformative glow
She was pushing against the spring
of a bear trap, his tightly wound
violence of indifference and passivity,
trying to find the romance to transmute
the artist into an avenging demigod