Nine of Cups

15. nine of cups

The first warm glance of light

Cuts through winter’s skin

Showing cracks in its hand

 

Secrets rising

From within the sleeping soil

Flowers in their tight buds

Pushing, emerging, uncoiling

The faint slice of life

Shimmering green

Across the lake

 

As everything shivers with new life

The moon slivers itself

To make a smile

While cherry trees begin to shake

Their pink hair

Fragrant and beautiful

In the first breath of spring air

 

We have folded up

And left behind

The dark Novembers of the mind

As if we never felt the sting of days

Where birds forgot to sing

And trees were left naked

In the cold haze

Surrounding everything

 

We walk

The cracked and swollen asphalt path

That leads us

Past the last of winter’s wrath

To see

The leaves above us on the trees

Wave goodbye

In ruffled green and velvet sleeves

 

A whisper

As the last of winter leaves

 

By Julie Flanders

#octoberprojectmusic.com

#julieflanderspoetry.com

#aprilispoetrymonth

 

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Prometheus Rebound

14. prometheus

We are creatures of the flesh

Made of used and ancient parts

Born to suffer the desire

Raging through us

 

Fire eats the north Pacific

As the sun sets beatific glances

On the ocean

Where it drowns

 

Finally the night recovers

Waves of ash across the forest

Dying sparks of star-crossed lovers

Disappear without a sound

 

We were never that specific

As we made our Christmas wishes

Full of heartache and emotion

 

Always fresh to each encounter

Let the future be surmounted

By the faith in something better

 

As we struggle to unfetter

What we love from what we alter

Best intentions fading

As we falter

Into spirit

 

See the monster

Learn to fear it

Burn your way to finally clear it

From your land

 

Know the skin of these disguises

No one human recognizes

Prometheus

Who has brought these primal fires

Electric into angry wires

Made by man

 

We must dive in deeper waters

Dying suns

And fertile daughters

We must pass

The stars we’re made of

Into selves we’re unafraid of

Burning bright above the traffic

The meteor that finally crashes

Through

 

We were never built to last

We are guilty of the past

A creature made to trip

The light fantastic

 

Our fate has cast us

Well

To wear our costume for a time

Strut the stage

Commit the crime

And burn the coasts

Absurd, sublime

Forgetting we are hungry ghosts

Of time

 

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Me Too

averie-woodard-114288-unsplash

I.

She penetrated the jungle

On a mission

To bring people what they didn’t know

They wanted

 

The blood of a sacrifice

The wine of one anointed

The whole haunted history of the West

She came to install it

Into her savage breast

 

Sometimes she still felt civilized

Most of the time not

Most of the time

She felt the jungle inside her

Wild, growing

Thick, hot

 

Birds cawing

Monkeys swinging tree to tree

Insects flying, snakes crawling

Inside her

The rainforest grows

Unceasing

 

From the outside they say

You would never know

 

She smiles

With the smile she bought from a dentist

On 40th Street

When her bite began to rot

From the bittersweet success

Of too much sugar

Too much stress

 

And now her skin is snow

And she wears Western dress

 

 

II.

 

She knows how to find out anything

About anyone

How to pull books from the Internet

Or a pre-intelligent library shelf

Anything about anyone

Except herself

Marveling

How long it takes

For things to grow back

 

For a long time

After the fire raged and died

And everything inside was black ash

And she was no more valuable

Than a stack of cash

From a world fallen

 

After the volcano

Had hurled its mighty puke

Onto the civilization next door

Onto a plaque of humans

Who received the rebuke

Even though such a thing is never meant

For them

And even when it happens

Without seeming intent

 

After understanding

It is not in our nature

To be an accident

But the way of man

Is to make meaning

Of some unimaginable tangent

Of the divine plan

 

She grieved

 

And to this day she refuses

To believe in this god

Or the ways he tried to deceive her

From her own god

Who rises again

Primitive and odd

Like some strange ritual object

From a temple in Bali

Or an ocean fog

 

Hers is a goddess now

She is Shakti

She is Kali

Her god is a presence, a flame

Who knows how to exist

Without a name

 

Not blood or water

Not bread or wine

Her god is not human

Or divine

 

Her god is a knot

He can never cut through

 

He will not emerge

From the jungle of her maker

He will not tame her

Or overtake her

 

The man who came

And tried to scorch the earth

To clothe the naked

And shame their very birth

The man who could not look

Into her eyes

And see himself

Or see his god

On his mission

To a sterile eternity

 

 

III.

 

She remembers now

The blazing terror

And the threat of hurt

She remembers his hands

And the smell of soap

And dirt

 

She remembers the jungle

And how it used to grow

Before he penetrated

What he could not ever truly know

How to love

Or recognize

 

And now

She carries that jungle inside

A jungle that never dies

But it grows

Strong and in secret

It grows deep

Hidden and wide

A seed

Refusing to fall

Refusing to bleed away

 

Yet she still prays

That love still stay

Alive

 

By Julie Flanders

Photo by Averie Woodward

#octoberprojectmusic.com

#julieflanderspoetry.com

#aprilispoetrymonth

 

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Teddy

11. teddy2

I sit like a well-chewed toy

Loved and safe in the corner

Where I remember a distracted boy

 

You would look elsewhere

I would look at you

 

I can still smell your breath

I can still feel you nibble through my defenses

I would pour out everything inside me

For you

 

The cotton fluff that I am made of

And all the other stuff that makes me me

For you

 

I would split my seams

So you would know how I laugh

A silent scream

At your jokes

 

I wear a permanent smile

And my one good eye never blinks

My stare has never broken

Toward you

 

One day we will lie down together

And you will sleep

 

And I will lie there with my lashes

Forever glued open to my forehead

With my cloth tongue

Wishing it could taste your dreams

 

You are safe with me

You are everything to me

 

As time streams forward

I am always moving toward you

Never away

 

Where you put me I will stay

Waiting for you to find me

Awake

 

Where I will give my whole self

For your sake

 

By Julie Flanders

#octoberprojectmusic.com

#julieflanderspoetry.com

#aprilispoetrymonth

 

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City Lights Bookstore

10. City Lights BookstoreThe word trembles

The word is trembling

And we are trembling

With it

Shivering

With the motion

We hardly feel it

Anymore

We cover ourselves

Hoping to conceal

The strange fear

That walks with us

Here

 

Where else

Could it be

Nowhere

No one knows

As we speed up

Slow down

Everything

Moving

Even the ground

We stand on

The ground

That holds us

The world that shapes us

Round

The experience that escapes us

As we escape

Ourselves

 

The word trembles

And the glass is trembling

On the bookshelves

But only for a moment

As we catch hold

Of ourselves

As the earth quakes

And our illusion breaks

 

We open

And then close again

Into a new geography

Where we can pretend

It isn’t moving

 

By Julie Flanders

#octoberprojectmusic.com

#julieflanderspoetry.com

#aprilispoetrymonth

 

 

 

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To Capture the Sun

haiku-march-crocus

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Binge-Watch

9. BInge Watch

Never keep your message taped

In a place you thought you could encrypt

Nothing in the universe can erase

The strange archaic script

Where you are kissing the guru

Where you are doing what you do

In the movie version

 

This is some excursion

We will never forget

This is some reversion

Where we will never regret

The ending

 

See me in the candlelight

In a way you might be tempted by

Nothing in my bag of tricks

Is more beautiful than these triptychs

Where you are kissing me

Myself and I

Where you are doing what you always try

In the final sequence

 

This is just a trite defense

A fence you are determined now to leap

So you can win

You are determined to begin again

At the ending

Where we are both pretending

We are high

 

Oh, mercy

You are the dark angel of my eye

 

By Julie Flanders

#octoberprojectmusic.com

#julieflanderspoetry.com

#aprilispoetrymonth

 

 

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