[b]Solitude or Isolation[/b]

Learnt late the truth,
Late was alone
As alone as when
With another
In a dark balcony
Or at a dark dinner,
Candle lit and dim.
Mendacity, the mother virginal,
Mastered the poppies and my life.
At the fine feasts,
Mendacity the host, the servant,
The friend, the lover,
Deserter, betrayer.
At these ballistic banquets
There was not as in Veronese,
A small, spotted dog on paws
Under the tablecloth
To sniff and eat the crumbs.
The cardiac malfunction
Of the reticent, false fable
That is transported in skeleton form
By serrations of the unknown superpower
From frowns and smiles
As the face leaps over the hurtles of love and hate.
The fable fastened on the wedding ring finger,
A promise of a thumb rubbing across a knuckle,
Or the concealed pressing together of ankles.
But the world became a dandelion’s fuzzy, silk seed,
Whirled from no time of designations to a sunrise bud
That unfolded new hours,
Whose undesigned destinations spattered the precedents.
Now the absent dog wags his unseen tail,
And barks friendly.
I have become secure in isolation,
No longer battle the truth.

[b]Let Me Be So[/b]

Let me be so, there are no circles,
Only imperfect chalk and ink sketches
Only awkward imitation on silk,
Algorithmed by allegorists
Who have never been in the bat’s cave
Or been shaped by shadows from the overhead bird
That blocks out the illusory light and five-pointed stars.
Let me be so, what was thought to be infallible,
The cadence of corkscrew, blonde curls,
Is now an anachronism, a coffee table conversation piece,
A midriff out of date, replaced by the gospel of cognac.
Let me be so, alone, let me never hear common words.

[b]Undisturbed Tangerines[/b]

I hold an empty basket.
On its bottom straw, three rain drops.
Each drop quivers,
Reflects on its top, a green dot,
The green
From a leaf above.

People inquire,
“Why do you carry an empty basket
When the basket could be filled
With the tangerines that hang above?”

I reply,
“For three rain drops,
For three rain drops.”

[b]Carpe Diem in July[/b]

The quince
In center of the mints.
Table outdoors,
Morning dewdrops
On quince and mints.
I gaze at the glitter,
A lightning
Without a storm,
But just as
A temporary
And fleeting
As the fall
Of lightning-lit hail.

[b]Ferns and a New Song[/b]

Under my chin,
I feel the fingers of the fern.
Find the oozing waters of the fern’s bog
Have osmosed through my skin
To ooze through and caress my inner body.
My bones and my veins now sing.

by Duane Locke (c)2003
([email]duanelocke [at] netzero [dot] net[/email])

[b]Author’s Notes:[/b]
Duane Locke lives in Tampa, Florida, and has had 4,766 poems published.in print magazines and e zines.

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