Maxwell’s Poetry Corner

By Maxwell Redder


Manta Mantra

Like pulling a tennis ball ten feet
beneath the water and releasing
so the molecules inside, fiercely
rejecting suffocation, jet through
the liquid’s surface into careless
air, so does the manta ray leap
with force between the waves.
Does it meet the air leaping
vertically to confuse a predator,
preventing its flabby flesh shook
asunder from salivating teeth?
Does it shed parasite by knocking
them against the unexpected
shield of air?  Does it strike
a drifting water skipper rippling
the surface, tempting hungry
eyes with subtle agitations?
Or, like all romantic dreamers,
when it leaps does it appropriate
the freedom of the gulls above,
flapping its fins, yearning bones
hollow and feathers sprout;
to transform by faith seamlessly
like swells into waves.


Shawl Slipping

Each month hiding in shadows,
the new moon finishes her rounds
by taking a day of rest, allowing
the star symphony to sparkle
against a blank canvas of void.

Tender is her return,
shyly shaped like the waking eye
of an infant; the infamous crescent:
a honeymoon, a freshly lit candle
awaiting its last flicker of life.

Boldly she grows, slipping
the shadow off like a shawl
from shoulder amongst a warming
day.  Her light girth masses.
Her innocent crescent fills.

Her breasts swell at the quarter,
crooning for all: “I will continue
to grow, to tempt you quarreled lovers,
to ignite a nightly tap dance
upon the stage of loneliness.

When I am full, I will gulp knowing
that I am gravid, then begin to die.”
Her eyes then, darkening like an anemics
bruising skin, tire quickly as shadow
captures light’s queen.

Commanding tides as they turn,
our tired love queen slips
to sleep, pulling the shawl
back over her shoulder as the night
gradually cools; cyclically.

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