notes from earth science 101

Image result for earth from space

notes from earth science 101

what are you, earth?

and what change could i

consummate with apostrophe,

 

a few splotches on a white page,

some symbols to give a semblance

of grandeur to banality?

 

what are you, earth?

why do my feet adhere to your surface?

i am fearful of physics’s forces,

laws and formulae giving

credence to our being,

projecting electric images

into our living rooms–

 

you make possible

the pageantry of parlors,

the couplets of pope’s lock,

volcanic fires belch black

soot and pumice, sediments

to pave the sands of islands,

commerce, calculus, and

political economy.

 

what are you, earth?

glass tube conducive

to wonder’s unwieldy

architecture or

something else entirely?

 

what are you earth?

a child’s cerulean ball rolling

into a thicket of uncertainty,

a seahorse bucking

against the current,

eggs nestled in his pouch.

 

what are you, earth?

a speck of dust,

a cosmic balloon?

 

a letter in a bottle

buoyed by a determined tide,

 

matchbox hope that never sparked,

a spent lighter flicking in the dark?

 

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sunbathing

sunbathing

the wave-weathered rock stands

unwavering at the edge of the world

solemnly awaiting the end of things

as we conceive them, waiting for this time

in the not-so distant future;

the island of stone stands alone

as a school of fish flops over

the water and into the saline air

 

a platform rises far above the smog and mist,

the voices of men at work siphoning

oil from the depths of earthly chasms

hard hands pulling chains and heaving

heavy machinery as the red sun dances forth

from beneath the horizon,

and everyone is oblivious to the cries

of the green-haired sea maiden

her slippery tail caught

in the gears of a spinning contraption,

her arms sparring with the oncoming combers

as her limp body begins to dream of soft sands

and the promise of warmth

on distant continents.

la farce humaine

Image result for desert

la farce humaine

a blue face surfaces from under high sands

glassy eyes agape in the derisive sunlight,

oblivious to our scurrying schedules

alarms ringing, briefcases shut tight

to meet the day with its residual siege

upon the psyche’s decaying battlements

lips which make no torpid speech

no existential accouterments,

arising in the minds of every age’s sages.

the specimen’s hair remains uncombed

down to the bruised and bloated cheeks.

oh how swell that tie would have looked

if paired with a blithesome face;

his countenance so unamiable

rendering the swankiest fashions an utter waste,

passersby ignore him; their pity inadmissible.

they buy new clothes, appliances, books they’ll never read

filled with countless injunctions they cannot heed.

 

the unwritten – a poem by Kenneth West

Please check out my latest poem on Amethyst Review, a journal that publishes writing that engages with the sacred. While you’re there you can give them a follow and read the other talented writers who are published in the website.

Amethyst Review

the unwritten

a monk sits alone in a cellar
on the sixth floor of a castle.
it is the end of the world,
and he writes by the light
of a fish’s phosphorescent scales.
what will he tell of the world
which has just ended? his back
aches beneath the weight
of the undescribed. so much will be
unsaid in the treasured annals
of the dead, but still he says
what must be said. he writes
of flowers and their evanescent splendor,
the pale pink of petals in spring light.
the ballpoint glides from edge to edge
of the crumpled paper as he tells
of the moon in its fluid phases,
of cake with thick whipped frosting,
people passing each other on their commute
through crumbling streets, and he muses
in wonder at how so much sustained the wreckage,
looking out the broken window, a shard of glass falling
far…

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house clock

Image result for clock stock photo

house clock

immortal clock against which my mind struggles,

plunged into a spell of insatiable hunger,

in the shadow of your two misshapen hands falls

helplessness, the torpor of the irrevocable–

moments that linger like low-flying buzzards

in search of carrion. animal heart trapped in dizzying heat

shaping the sky in its own contorted image.

 

teach me how to hear myself among the wild sounds;

teach me how to twist the fabric of silence

and set the words flowing in the manner

of water skirring over the fins of orange fish

with white-striped backs plunging under

the surface of the swift stream,

gills contracting, restless, blissful, and unaware

of the eternal, the way the unmerciful finger

points to one line

and then the next, always

without abeyance.

 

venus’s handmaidens

Image result for birth of venus

venus’s handmaidens

in the mesolithic we failed

to perish, our lungs scorching

in the heat of vengeful stars

which appeared as lustrous gems

in our callow eyes before plummeting

to the ground in a combustion

of fulgent smoke, scattering us

to the four corners of the painting

mr. botticelli’s

unforgiving brush

sweet depiction of mortal sin

ushering in the season

of extinct crustaceans

malaise of imperial peace

wind wafting along a cold corridor

house of bantam twigs

wherein the noble hermit lies

upon his bamboo bed,

what for all this faith

if not to die? fret not

there is always morning

and the incessant blabbering of gulls,

dandelions in the distance

petunias bursting in electric pastel

on the black canvas

under watchful eyes

we become ourselves, or perhaps

we eschew everything

even the sunglasses, which cost us

eleven dollars, or the sandal lost

somewhere under sand dunes

in our past life

girls with fat toes

gliding in shallow water

when we dunked our heads under

the gentle waves we must admit

we dreamed we were angels

soaring near a redemptive sun.

american love, a la mode

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american love, a la mode

“what could you have done about it anyway?”

she said her fingers flicking an invisible cigarette,

consummate gesture of innocence. the red sun

resolute in the sky and somewhere nearby

a snake shuffling on the solitary sands,

back patterned with multifarious rhombuses

a skin which time was loathe to let

it live inside,

                             possessing a body that ached

for the ineffability of sudden transformation.

if coxcomb charon in his panama hat had rowed into

the empty lot right then, he would not regret.

there would be time enough to meet his fate.

time enough to be spat up from

the bowels of a tremendous fish onto the doorstep

of an erring city.

                        for now there was the wayside inn,

with its tall neon sign flickering, visible from the overpass,

promised respite from eternity. he placed his hand on her back…

he thought of nothing. utterly free, satori of shared silence.

her long dark locks falling over his fingers

he found himself unbothered as the round-eyed iguana

soaking in the warm sustenance of voiceless stones.

mosquito love

Image result for road trip stock photo

mosquito love

hatched on mischance

a nugatory puddle

on the side of a road

sparsely traveled

rising in the heat

of defeat from ditch

to redoubtable despot

through your wide

open window

down to your armpit’s

sour humidity

neckbone wrist

thick stickiness of your

inner thighs as you swat

with pagan fervor to

the rhythm of gospel hymns

weaving in and out

of the yellow lines

carpe diem

Image result for raft

carpe diem

on a raft floating atop the ocean of despair, you find an island. the island is a part of you. you dreamed it into being one night in your now forgotten homeland. dehydrated and emaciated, you scour the hot, silver sand in search of food, only to find a mango tree. the tree has bent branches and desiccated leaves; it could have been growing there since the paleolithic only to begin its slow descent to avernus in the few decades before your arrival, when it is needed perhaps more than any point in time wherein it existed. you take the one pale green and red fruit and peel away its soft skin, undressing it in the muted light of evening. you bring the stinking, sticky flesh to your face: it is rotting.

writer’s block

Image result for crane bird

writer’s block

you paint mountains with black ink,

back bent from the task’s rigor

white paper cracking, green noise

the fan blowing overhead. at night,

you count styrofoam stars

on the ceiling above. what is a poet

without colors, vibrant shades to quelch

the quotidian disposition?  words fail

as they always do, a vertitable constant

as the sweat stain on your back

on summer afternoons when i forget you’re a mere

figment, a whisper floating in the leaden air.

the memory remains uneffaced…your dress of green lace,

the way you curled your finger around a wisp of hair

which you whipped in waves of aureate light,

but by night you were a bird, a long-billed crane

floating over the lifeless water in the languid evening rain.