Water descends the steeple of a vein

There is a wood plank wall, above, a blistering sun-
Clouds and sky swim in it, and the mud below indifferent,
Looking for a water fist for a thirst;
Worshiping a mood. And a drop descends, garlands a grass blade,
Moves in a hurry for a baptism, a sainted reign.

It will cover a dynasty of a lawn, jeweled by the sun
In a fluted christening. And the jangled hymns sung in a papal garden.
Weeds unload their griefs- dandelions white as knuckles,
Murmuring affirmations about a Resurrection.
A yew tree makes the sign of the cross, gentled by a soberly garment of wind.

A drop of water has fallen a long way. Wet and mystical from a church spigot.
Floating on the delicate hands of a prayer; twice on a Sunday.
Church bells startling a sky; a preacher’s tongue walks among the headstones
In search of a sign, an effigy, but not a blade of grass.
His hands and face are stiff from a thirst- parishioners see nothing of this
Until a blackness in a cloud unloosens a rain. It drags away a drought. A silence.

Copyright © 05/19/18 lance sheridan®

Water descends the steeple of the vein


Bay memories

The sun glosses over a morning’s dew
Sailboat clotted at the low-tide, the wrecked wave,
I remember forty years between age and youth.

I profited a memory, but the scenery changed,
Now patched with dwarfed lumps of sand
The bay’s idyll, worn out by time, it’s in a bastard state.

It gave me good use in a ship white, shrunk to a wind.
Colored sales flapping in a draft;
Waves beautiful in the formlessness of the bay,

Cliffs edged the land’s end, stony shores grudging
Under saltwater, I walked among them
And stuffed my camera with photos of a still horizon.

Now views are boarded up with summer homes,
The sun dwindles behind stockade fences;
A grain of sand is all that’s left; and that is that.

Seagulls once in a ceiling without a blackness,
Now scavenging in a traffic of planes,
Circling under shadows of metal flights, close to a death.

The bay waters no longer running clean
As factories run on and on, squatting in a shank of profit;
The fish are gone, filleted in a cannery, bones under

A tent of starving gulls. My shadow is black.
Filtering away from the past; I probe for a fractured image,
Cold and final, resting in the attic of my skull.

Copyright © 05/12/18 lance sheridan®

Bay memories


Feel it: like stitches on tattered clothing,

Shadows shaped in a mind,
Touched by a hand, empty, empty, hole
In an old coat; hanging on a hook,
Pawing at the wind, stiff and naked.

Flickering light a hope in a single file,
Trespassing blindly, dissolving into sorrow,
Scratching at a door. Elsewhere a memory,
Might please, might bring a tear.

A smile like a moon, flattened to a face,
Stiff, but not a bad fit. Now your eyes,
Crying, crying, then empty as a cloud, the
Air stirs in a temper, happiness, anger.

The obsolete yesterday, please a collector,
Blindly into an old pocket, quietly,
Leave it alone now. You have a hole,
You have an image, no one will look there.

Copyright © 05/09/18 lance sheridan®


The eyes of the blind

She remembered the cold clouds,
The black statements
In a country no longer heard of;
Voices once like a long needle in an arm,
Tattooed over with government ink.

She might be white, she might be shy,
But she never stooled;
Rather, played deaf and dumb on a stringless harp,
Empty and ignored.

Her fingers wagged, her mind went blank,
Yet, she survived awhile;
Once a dream girl, now an engraving in a mirror,
It knows nothing. Like a vacuous sheet on a clothesline.

She remembered the men, their fingers arranging her life,
Their pallor white as a marriage dress,
Surgeons implanting the silver disk in her head,
She doesn’t speak;
Her hands are full of words, yet muzzled by her tongue.

But what about her eyes? Tortured, now dark
Funnels covered and blind, hedged into a silence.
Empty shell of her old self, she sleeps.
Dreams pierced by a crying; she is guilty of nothing.

Copyright © 04/28/18 lance sheridan®

Hope 1886 by George Frederic Watts 1817-1904

The mist-wraith wound

Mud-like, her keel struck
A bottom, echoing sound from the sea street,
Tacking a sail in the crook of night;
Wood built from a yard, she heard her timbers
Ignite in a listing, twisted canvas dwindling,
Displaced into a wet blue color.

Crew’s voices echoing from a wind wall
Into the darkness, dwarfed figures
Shoulder high, dwindling into a salt material
Of thoughts, thinning into nothing;
Fringe of a wound to a knot, thin to a nothing.

Wakened heads of waves ignore, incessant
To a drowning; the ship’s drowsed,
Displaced in a sinking. Far from a cloud land,
A lifeboat in a hurried row; goodbye to
A wooden grail, a pirateer with black bones.

Sea trailed to a port, hung by a yardarm,
Footsoles of ghosts displaced,
Cusped towards another sail; knelt down
In a broadside. Loomed absolute in the sway
Of the dreaming skull.

Copyright © 04/21/18 lance sheridan®

The mist-wraith wound




The princess and the troll

From an artesian well the pure water
Trickling beneath a bridge,
Blunt stones cocked askew,
Sprigs of ivy clamor and yawp
Rather impromptu in a fantasy land.

Hocus-pocus clutched in a wizard’s hand,
Suddenly a princess from a nymph
(Confined within); now gaily dancing,
She turns trolls into stone hordes;
But later frees one and turns him into a prince.

Hand in hand abracadabra, once a mountain
Now a castle with a tower or two,
Steeple ravening toward the height of a sky;
And of blunt lances sprigged with daisies,
‘Tis my fantasy, bragged the princess.

From my sweet soul spurns an opulent life for all;
Fields green, finned seas, golden eggs,
Staircases to the stars studded with diamonds;
Alas, she still had a beggar’s brain,
Sleight-of-hand wanting more.

The wizard wrenched the works,
Jilted her squandering, fortunes no more.
Now amongst the trees in the forest,
A half-princess, half-nymph
Happily ever after with a troll of stone.

Copyright © 04/14/18 lance sheridan®

The princess and the troll

Panned out

Gold nugget cry from the greenhorn certainty
of an aging prospector
remembering seventy autumns in a city
and how the brightly colored leaves
once upon came sliding down on his youth
persuaded by his feverish traveling notion.
He ignored the doom of others
who panned for gold in a metal season.
Even the deceased laughed among the gravestones.

This city slicker’s hands stood wrist deep in time,
and never mourned,
remembering seventy autumns,
with the bright sun of seventy years parched upon his lips
and his eyes half blind with memories.

But someone came shooting to a claim jump,
a dull death in a Sunday stream.
Jealousy opened a sluice,
watered the black roses.
The shell of a city man lay face
down in trickling water.

In the guild of greed, dark clouds, dark clouds.
So came the gold rush swarm,
locusts of men.
So dumb they used the gun sound,
haunched like pack dogs
grinning over the bones of gold.

They aged and swallowed the sparkling dust,
streams shrunk to a clay pot.
The swarm were knocked into a cocked survival,
worming themselves into poverty’s niches,
city alleys, a crotch street.
Beggars panhandling for a morsel.

Copyright © 04/08/18 lance sheridan®

Panned out