Sculpted Marble Midnight
I walked through the walls of the Louvre
and noticed the Hall of Sculptures was still
asleep. I tiptoed in and took a deep breath.
As I exhaled slowly, a springtime breeze,
Winged Victory of Samothrace shook
out her wings. Her marble gown,
a cascading waterfall, flowed as she flew
around the room. Arria and Paetus
sprung into action as they waltzed
to a harp only they could hear. Paetus
spun her into my arms, so we danced
a foxtrot across the worn stone
floors. A chorus of strings caught
my ear, so I bowed and moved
to the Hall of Paintings, where
The Wedding at Cana beckoned
to me. A minstrel reached out
and pulled me into his world. Violins
and cellos kept time with the smiles
as the guests and I laughed and ate
large plates of roast. It wasn’t long until
the sun’s warm arms reached through
the layers of vibrant oils and I found
myself a mere spectator once more.
I headed back through the walls
to the glass pyramid, a beacon
of diamonds, north on a compass,
and smiled at Polaris as he shimmered
in the shadow of a fading moon.
Hidden in the Forest
I run my hand down the cool, moist armor
of an oak tree and smile,
because the tangled chestnut roots
are the synapses of a brain commanding
a kingdom that exists over thousands
of miles. The forest is a society
that speaks in decades,
thinks in centuries,
and flourishes in generations.
So it seems, if you survive a certain
age, your only enemy becomes
the years as they disappear, for Time
is a quicksand pit that steals, loses, or kills
most everything. I look at the oak before
me, its uppermost boughs
do the Tarantella with the crisp autumn
breeze while the roots sink ever
lower, the tree as everlasting
as the beating of a warrior’s cowhide drum.
The Lucky Men
They are the lucky men.
They are the living men.
Returning to homes
carved from childhood games
and aunties’ sugar cookies.
They live next to each other,
build their white picket fences
together. Not noticing
the paint as it starts to crack
from the sun and rain.
A breeze, a gust, a gale, a storm.
A rain drop, a sun drop, a snow flake.
They who get to feel it all,
with golden skin and golden
smiles surrounded by children
with golden eyes and golden
laughs. Laughs. Who can remember
what it feels like to laugh, except
For the lucky men.
The living men.
We are the tarnished,
the broken, the forlorn.
Looking at our brothers’ names
that now adorn white stones.
Our minds are like tin men,
with no hope of striking
oil. Each day brings a fight
between the camo and the tie,
between old secrets and new lies.
We wish we could
join our men that rest
in peaceful sleep beneath
the diamond studded sky,
with a brother to each side,
never fearing for our lives.
Raise a glass up to the day
we meet the General in the sky.
This is a deserted land.
This is an elephant graveyard.
A sloping field, filled with green
that was built on red, never mind
the blue and white. Or all those stars
and thirteen stripes that wave goodbye.
They dig dig dig and they
dig dig dig. Someone’s new
forever home sunk
into the icy ground,
as a lonely trumpet sounds
a final, fatal, string of taps.
Day is done, gone the son.
Eighth grade students mill
and roam beside the onyx
leviathan, engraved with names
that used to have futures. A doctor
a lawyer a plumber a teacher.
A father.A mother.
All they see are empty letters.
All they see are charcoal canvases.
A solemn boy, an uncle short,
kneels to leave a daisy, a scribbled note.
When out of sight
then out of mind,
for no one minds
what they can’t see,
right before their eyes.
His hands caress the dusty name
of Alexander Tsiro.
Mine eyes have seen the glory
as he tramples out the vintage
where the grapes of wrath are stored
with the fateful lightning of His
terrible swift sword.
I am the lost one.
I am the forgotten one.
Forever without name,
forever in an unmarked grave.
I am without home.
The watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
Passing years brought
company, a group of three
all just like me, adorned
in white and marked
They have built an altar in the evening damp
The Old Guard
keeps their watch,
like an arrow
Through rain and sleet,
snow and heat,
my bones they’re sworn
He has sounded from the trumpet that shall never call retreat
Now to await
seat, what’s left
shall fly on swiftest
feet, one last
As He died to make men holy, we died to make men free
(in response to T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men)