In days of yore, a king and queen
grew sick at heart and longed for more
than wealth can bring. “A girl or boy,”
they both prayed quietly—then rushing
past their joy, inside a witch’s hut,
let tarot cards decide their luck.
Skies grew dark then lightning struck
that aged oak beside the witch’s hut—
for fate falls hard on those who pluck
Pan came without spring, his song a taunt—
Danced with dry leaves, on hoof, with lute—
That hateful tune of rose’s briar—
That dreadful tale in cloven strides—
Bushy limbs nimble to the lyre and gyre.
And the owl’s eyes grew wide with seeing,
weary with seeing, till the spell took root,
and forests conquered kingdom and castle,
and the old wings flapped off to the moon.
crumbing castle . . .
in a closet, in a shoebox,
is an epitaph of the end of him: Always plugged in to something and nothing. Unplugged from the world’s color wheel; a hostile model. His vile diluent seeps into oils, turning all a tepid sepia. Screaming into a rabbit hole, he’s cardboard, two-dimensional. Absent and there, fattened with empty. Sitting like a noble royal, yet under the façade just a rotting portrait in the corner. Dust and pixel gathering, admiring inorganic shapes of violence. Now the world, disposed of this depraved subject, will paint strokes, write, speak of better muses.
flaccid balloon in hand
E. L. Blizzard
The white space. The white leap. The link of fingerpoint to silence.
into the dark
a sudden touch
A white wing. A white sweep. Lift of egret after egret into the mist of far horizons.
out of the dark
the way that birdsong
springs to morning
Oh he is cute enough he is, the way he stands over me like that. He knows the thing is shiny so I can’t see him. You know, that thing in the sky?
There’s stuff missing out of here, right here, all the time, and I’ve told them about it, you know, them out there, the ones in charge. They know.
He’s no business comin’ in here. The cheek of him, twice my age, he should know better a man like that, he doesn’t need it, just takes things. Where’s me newspaper? Jaysus! I was reading that.
And he’s forever using my toilet. Where’s his? Where’s his bloody toilet? I told him to go and piss in his own pot, the fucker.
that white-haired man,
– staring back at me
Among the poppies we wandered far
till twilight hazed us all in dreams.
We reached the brambles at morning’s gleam
and stopped at forest’s edge to try the fruit—
The taste of sorrow, the tear of thorns—
And now that silver time has cast me all in tears
I long to know, who was that golden soul
I sojourned with? Why came we here?
And did we set it all to right? If not, am I to blame,
or was it fate, man’s wretched plight?
forged from fog . . .
in flood-soaked dirt
Wee people stare at the rickety bridge rising over a patchy rivulet. Steam from shared tea ring-arounds their chatty mouths. Sipping from acorn caps, they all agree the tea is good. “I like the zing of it,” one chimes in. Ever gossiping, they spy the first iris bloom and clap with delight for what’s ahead. A feckless fisherman aims a pole over water, his leafy jacket stuck round stick-thin arms. “Not even a bite,” he snorts over his shoulder. Yesterday’s torrential rain left a plastic car abandoned in rutted earth. After a long night, the owner finally gives up trying to extract it and treks a path to the nearest help. On her way, she stops for a coup d’oeil of a sundog. “Don’t see that every day,” she murmurs to no one.
E. L. Blizzard
her body a ripple adrift with feathers as fingertip to fingertip they interlace now pull apart encircle until he spins away as she abandoned swirls herself in mists becomes eclipse of clay that spins upon a wheel of time
rimmed with snow
The soldier is the same age as my son. His camouflage from some other conflict. He says they were indoors the day before at the Capitol. They hadn’t dressed for tents at the fairgrounds in January. It was kind of cold. He says after he got it he felt like Superman. He has to ask me to unclench my fist three times.
I don’t feel the needle