I only wanted love

I drive alone;
The city sky like carbon paper,
Crumpled clouds with periods of moonlight—
Bone white in peephole after peephole;
Steam jutting up through manhole fissures,
Rising in fringes of darkness.

My hands on the steering-wheel turning down
Street after street— navigating past the labyrinth
Of thugs, eager for a knifing,
Police batons enforcing their law on it, like handcuffs;
Brutality shatters the night and makes us real.
How long can I search, keeping the loneliness off?

How long will I be alone,
Pulling down the visor on my emotions,
Intercepting the dead shadows from a cold moon.
On the radio, voices of the lonely in sorrow
Lapping up my thoughts;
It hardens me, like a dead lullaby.

There she stood without any hope
Beneath a street lamps dwindling light;
Through a whim of mine, I asked her, what is your name?
She got in, vivid at my side—
She poured out her life like cheap whiskey,
I drank it just the same.

A long ride, an accident scene—
Police lanterns doling out light here and there;
I leaned over, her door was ajar,
My emotions flowed over me with a screaming ache of pain;
I was numb in a silence,
How frail the human heart.

Copyright © 03/27/2019 lance sheridan®

I only wanted love

Mr. Peppercorn and his tidy wife

I can stay awake all night, I will need to be—
Cold as a fish, without a warm kettle.
Dead tired, moonlight envelops me,
A rye concoction, ugly to my innards;
My thoughts begin to decompose.

I must find the key, the door, I will try and walk
The white line like chalk on a sidewalk;
Quietly, quietly as the bottle and glass
Jostle with each other; what is all that commotion?
Oh, nothing my dear— must be an inebriated mouse.

You must dispose of it— feed it to the cat!
Perhaps, but some things of this world are indigestible.
Whose labor not yet gone awry,
My blithe, tidy young wife enters the peddler’s domain;
A hairpin has conquered a lock with its spidery jaws.

In the still of the night, I could not woo her;
Armed with hatchet and broom,
My copper creation, my courtship with lightning,
Was disposed of in a dustbin with a wide, metal mouth.
Nightly now, I attend temperance meetings.

Copyright © 03/24/2019 lance sheridan®

Mr. Peppercorn and his tidy wife

The strumpshaw grass

I

This is the tidal water, this salt marsh.
How the sun’s poultice draws on my hemp-line.

Sands listless color, an erodible body in a shallow sea;
Pale currents pushed by the wind with a scorched mouth.

Why is it so quiet, where are the fishers?
I have a purpose, and I move swiftly.

II

Calm waters kill the vibrations,
Stretching for miles like sunken wrecks.

My oars stroking, I am at my best.
The lines are cast, scalded by the bald surface,

They jerk- elastics in a depth, hurting the calm.
Here come the kettles of mackerel

Who travel up the sea wall with their green backs,
The perts of their body are neat and jaunty.

The black hooks have no mercy for them.
Why should they, they are a hearse for a dead fish.

And the onlooker- O white sea, with cupped sighs,
Trembling at a loss; a virulence drawn out like a Maginot line.

III

On the dune balconies, a storm with a terrible thought;
The breakwater, whitecapped and defiant.

I am not a smile.
These fishers with their hooks and cries

Strip the waves in a fast row;
The old sea is vanishing, the brine is whitewashed from the wall.

Clouds prop their jaws for a downpour;
Fold upon fold dumping into the hollows.

I am a blunt, practical boat,
Full of aging wood, drowning in the parlor of a stone sea.

The pallors of hands gather-
Old blood like blind widows in a still place.

Passes cloud after cloud, sorry and dull.
My eyes are opening on a wonderful thing-

The strumpshaw grass, the marsh air,
The sun pouring into the tidal water, wordless and slow.

Copyright © 03/19/2019 lance sheridan®

The strumpshaw grass

Poem translated into Spanish.

I am very honored in having my poem, ‘Retribution’, translated from English into Spanish by Rano Raraku, a poet.

Retribucion

Desde el agrio mar de la quietud

Ella camina sobre la arena blanca llorando

Su mente tiene el color del óxido; el sonido de una campana hundida suena frío y final mientras el agua corre por sus pies .

Por tales

abusos

ella siente la muerte

En los huesos de los dedos asusta su carne se retuerce como sacacorchos

al tirar de ella en la ciudad de Dios.

Disfruta de la muerte niña ; bañada por el mar

sagrado ella

cruza sin mojar

su alma.

Las olas son

Planas y llenas

de oscuridad.

En una negrura su cuerpo palido; mientras espera sirenas inexpresivas.

Poems pinned and reblogged…

“Gioielli Rubati” Poetry Column pins and reblogs of the following poems:

Pins/once each:
“The hunter”
“A conversation with roses”
“Medicine”
“I am vertical”
“Fractured fables”

Reblogs/five each:
“Medicine”
“The hunter”
“I am vertical”

Smoke

Grafters know how industry has managed to breed
Its great deceit:
Whatever their shrewd secret, they kept it hidden

In the same way
They kept the smoke- glass and mirrored from public stare,
Corporate ribbons and the bureaucratic show.

But one dusk polluting, our questions came to bear
Through their brick and mortar
Maze of factories to the truth hidden behind locked doors;

Now able to gape:
There was a smoking gun, conveniently placed in the janitor’s hand
With their fingerprints rubbed off

For trial purposes; the dolt stooges ripe for a jury heckling,
About to be
Crucified, flesh good for a flogging.

The captains of industry wear halos;
Not even one a common criminal,
Unmired, unsmirched, uncluttered,

Smirking faces and knotted wingtips-
Bloated egos,
Hostile takeovers in ten foot moves.

Shrilling their wares
For a swig of capitalism. Yes. These ugly
Colossus bulks.

Sows lounged belly-bedded on the dollar compost,
Fat-rutted eyes
Dream-filled. What a vision hog-hoods must

Wholly engross in
The great white-way; blazoned in armor,
Knighted with a double-edged sword.

But the whistle-blower
With a jocular fist thwacked in the barrel nape neck,
And the president bill thwart;

Leashing giants like noose-knot drops,
Slowly, grunt
On grunt, up in the flickering wind air shape

A clean air blows;
Yet, prodigious in kickback laundering-
The bottom-line shape.

Copyright © 03/05/2019 lance sheridan®

Smoke