Three steeples patina glimmering mossy green
after rain. Green as copper does after salt
and pollutant-filled raindrops clobber for years,
after intermittent wind burns and sun bleaches
beat their surface like flint for fire;
the parts most exposed are most faded,
as with us humans.
Three steeples centered in the heathen city,
poking above sinking rooftops as witness
to the slum. I’ve seen them in the moonlight,
stumbling along cracked sidewalks after bar.
They stand for hope, a weathered hope
beyond their aged green, an image
of morality to be mirrored.
Three steeples abandoned, with the faith
of the followers, except for the sparrow
who made nest through the slender window,
nestling between rafters and slate, safe
from predators as she rests upon her eggs.
As sun bounces from the copper green,
I spot her slipping through the narrow passage.
The Heathen City – Part 1
Playing little with the sauce these days
I’m sober in a sea of squiggling pink worms.
Sprinkled in a few brown ones
stand out like kings surveying dead
upon the battlefield.
I see one girl flittering her words
as if sprinting across a trampoline,
when was the last time she let a man in?
For the other doe it won’t be long.
A periodic breeze swaying Christmas lights
in the warm air asserts they’re not just for Winter,
that their light provides atmosphere
for the Heathen City.
Some young men have date-rape eyes-
others that of a beast or criminal,
all but one I spot in the corner.
His eyes locked with the daffodil he’ll marry,
their aching smile muscles burning soft gold
and they are taken.
They are the roof over this circus,
shelter for all these neon clowns
ravaging in hormonal synchronicity,
They are ignored and invisible.
The chaos is a calming buzz
as their malleable woes reveal;
withering with rising cheek bones.
My pipe clinched tight between teeth
I look up to see no stars,
but they are there,
the kings of the battlefield
shining among the dead
invisible in the corner.
In between the cracks
fluffs of grass reach
for breath. Their common color
a mixture of primaries;
dead, each blade tans and crisps
dropping seeds for the next rain.
In between the minutes
molecular substances react
to their surroundings –
gorgeous symphony of chemistry
dancing like wildfire
fueled by auspicious winds.
In between the cracks
burning pops prove
we return to ash and dust.
Feed me to the Earth
gracious winds of chemistry
so with water I may grow.
Max! Loved ’em buddy, especially Burning Pops.
So much context in so few lines. Beautiful.
Keep them coming my man.