POETRY Seasons and Spirits

Discussion in 'SHOWCASING' started by RiverNotch, May 20, 2015.

  1. SEASONS AND SPIRITS: A short album of poetry, by Jed Castillo (aka RiverNotch)

    Most of these works can be found in my other poetry showcase, but in their unfinished forms (as per the other thread's introductory note, that showcase has become a General Dumping Ground for my poop. If this were an art museum, this thread would be the gallery, as that thread would be the archives) -- that is, barring "Golden Apples" and "The Wandering Dream to the Waking Man", both of which are still undergoing major revision. Well, technically, all of these are (I'll drop by occasionally to make a few small changes when I see the need) but, in general, all of these can be considered complete.


    1 - Seasons and Spirits
    2 - Postcards I
    3 - Browsing through the Blue
    4 - Night Terrors
    5 - The Wandering Dream to the Waking Man
    6 - Golden Apples
    7 - Fertility Rituals / The Concert
    8 - Postcards II
    9 - Olive Tree
    10 - Supernova

    I can feel the heat of summer swinging
    with your every humid whisper.
    Writhing on your ruddy temples
    are my fingers, greedy wine-stained serpents.

    Smells of freshly-drafted cider
    ripple from your noble dimples.
    Bothering spirits born of autumn's bite
    follow this scent to steal our love away.

    Blossoming flames and heady beer
    refill your shriveled bosom with hot blood.
    The fearless rhythm of our winter love
    conquers the silver blind beyond.

    Flowers are blooming on your skin again:
    your vernal musk, your honey's wax, returns.
    A glen of cherry cordial lies

    dreaming sweetly in our cellar.


    To move forward –
    left in front, right behind,
    right in front, left behind –
    is to be apart.


    drifting down
    streets of stone
    all cracked and cold

    looking for love
    when old loves are dead
    and new loves leave the birthing beds


    barren fields –
    green skin choking
    gilded youth

    fetid blossoms –
    hollow eyes hiding
    under storms

    black breeze –
    shallow whispers stealing
    life from her lips

    Someday, my wall
    will be filled not with baby butt-faces
    or future models striking poses
    but with sickness.

    Someday, my wall
    will be filled not with pictures of yummy cake
    or memetically calculated heartbreak
    but with sorrow.

    Someday, my wall
    will be filled not with doodled-out distraction
    or silly slogans for inspiration
    but with silence.

    Someday, my wall
    will be filled not with the stench of a wild night
    or empty promises of morning light

    but with sleep.

    The air is always flat this time of night,
    flat and cold and quiet, like the lake outside
    in wintertime. I slow my breathing down:
    I don't want to break the ice.

    When I sleep, I never turn off my light,
    a sun lamp. Why does no one let me walk outside?
    There, the twisted trunks of oak never shift,
    unlike the shadows of my bed.

    Like the shadows of my bed, the wilderness at night
    is home to creatures fanged and clawed. But outside,
    at least, the horrors are familiar, while my bed-sheets
    shelter only water.

    I've been swallowed whole before. I remember light,
    cold moonlight, breaking through the winter ice outside,
    filling my lungs, choking me. Then, I was pulled up

    by the rooster's crow.

    Through roads paved with the corpses of friends,
    we left the black wilderness behind
    for a little township rising
    by the river Lethe, the river
    of oblivion. Here we are.
    On this long journey,
    you were the stone on which
    my flames of passion bloomed,
    guarding my olive-halls from the hot hands
    of my temper, my lust.
    Steady companion, you always scouted
    down three-headed roads and returned
    with a map and lamp in hand,
    and, when the victories of the road
    came upon us, you twined
    your tender voice around
    my paeans in perfect harmony.

    But you can share my load no longer
    and all your dreaming days are done.
    You miss your waking home's beloved light,
    where your eyes shine brighter than the stars
    and your tender frame is ever cradled
    by the rosy hands of dawn.
    And my two feet can never stop:
    my soles are full of holes, never-healing ulcers
    carved by the gadfly's knife,
    and filled by the hands of greedy time
    with the sharp stones along the Lethe's banks.
    Their only cure, a gift of nectar and ambrosia
    found far in the east, on the other side of the world,
    beyond exotic lands of men, beyond the coasts,
    beyond even the beard of the old man of the sea.

    So now, I leave you waiting at the township's docks,
    waiting for a well-tarred ship of horn
    adorned with flowers,
    with asphodels and poppies
    and hyacinths and adonis,
    flowers of love and death.
    I give you three golden gifts
    for the long journey ahead:
    three tender kisses firmly planted
    on your lips, flowing through your mouth,
    your tongue, your throat, to your
    heart. May they sustain you.

    The grey ship arrives;
    I can hear its brazen bells
    ring to the songs of the sylphs
    circling round its silken sail.
    The time for you to pass away
    and the time for me to be forgotten
    comes. Goodbye, friend.

    The night before last winter fell,
    I was pondering over an unwritten tale on my desk
    when a gust of wind rattled our rooftop.
    I stepped outside to see the damage, but instead
    saw death speeding low over the town,
    her cloak reeking of orange blossoms.

    Curious, I gathered my book and pen,
    and, after locking the door,
    followed her course through the clouds.
    The streets were empty that night,
    as if all but I knew her business then,
    and a soft dirge fell from the heavens
    like a box being lowered into the grave.
    So the thought came: was I her mark?

    Filled with fear, I slowed my steps,
    and quickened my pulse. But then,
    a girl's scream shot through the silence
    like the fateful first seedling of spring,
    and I ran to the source, relieved, excited.

    Near the town plaza, Mrs. Miller's son
    had fallen from Judy Bennett's window
    when a gust of wind pushed him off.
    His scattered brains looked like a sower's mess.
    Moments ago, he was busy comparing
    Judy's blond hair to an orange's zest,
    her ripe breasts to the oily rind,
    and her moist cunt to the plump and juicy flesh.

    A dutiful neighbor, I offered the girl
    a few vain sympathies, then left
    swiftly, as death did.
    And when I reached my door, I found
    that I had forgotten my key;
    it wouldn't be until the dawn
    that I would get back to my desk.
    Lucky I'd brought my book and pen.
    #7 RiverNotch, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015

    bottle of wine
    and soul from the radio –

    a pear tree blooms

    summer wait –
    droplets of water
    cling to their metal mother

    tyrian sky –
    the briny fisherman
    hauls his heavy catch

    crispy golden leaves
    salt and apple flavored –
    we jog before breakfast

    The spotlights on the stage
    are burning blue on blue.
    Their eyes are set afire in this light.
    My hand is loose –
    the cold air stings me.

    The spotlights on the stage
    are glowing green and gold.
    Their flaming eyes are smothered by the dark.
    I squeeze your hand –

    my hot sweat stings me.


    Good things coming.
    Mailed the sales report to you
    with six stamps because
    it was urgent:
    one of them cost me a dollar!


    Another day to menopause!
    Another pound of fat!
    More trash to add to your little
    dump, your room!

    But, best of all,
    more love from all of us!


    I will be silent today.
    All my air will be yours.
    And if you need it, I'll leave you
    honey cake

    too, and just do other things.


    Beads of hair around my
    my hair.
    Scalp is now bare
    and no eyebrows.

    You are a young olive tree.
    Your two thin arms
    are two thin twigs,
    bearing much fruit.

    Your leaves are slender,
    shaped like the fingers
    of the hot sun.

    Your trunk is sleek,
    unspoiled by time,
    leaning slightly to the wind.

    Your roots are graceful,
    flowing down the earth
    like sea-waves.

    Between two round knots
    near your long roots,
    a perfect hole sits.

    Between two round knots
    near your tall stems,
    a perfect cleft sits.

    I pluck sixteen olives
    from these branches,
    and press them for oil.

    Sweet little fingers
    slither from the mess
    into my eager nose,
    inflaming my heart.

    I watch your white flowers
    dance to the joyful song
    of the west wind
    as I spill, on your bare flesh,

    libations of fine oil.

    I whisper a prayer
    into your crown of sun,
    giving thanks to Aphrodite
    for your fuel.


    Today, my navel outshines me,
    for today, it is a dying star
    huffing its desperate last breath.

    The immense pressure of gravity's hands
    ever-squeezing its fiery core
    at last compounds its every facet
    into a heavy hole in time.

    Its shell of gas and light erupts
    into a splendid rainbow of dust,
    of carbon and oxygen and iron and nitrogen,
    of water and earth and wind and flame,
    of all the material elements.

    And this great cloud of stardust scatters
    beyond the world of my humble body,
    beyond the womb of mother earth,
    beyond the weirs across the heavens,
    to continue their father's brilliant legacy

    by filling the gaps of the puzzle of life.