I hold onto this key,
Not worth more than a dime.
Lay down your amour honey,
Here next to mine.
Lay down your head,
Forget for a while.
Bare out your fears,
They've been walking for miles.
The memories seem to sneak up,
And boldly corner you.
You're seeing them backwards,
They're running you through.
Just whisper to me your frail hopes,
Show me the bones of your desires.
That stalking fog will vanish,
From this doorway of fire.
It'll be simple for us,
In the cool dawn of the morning.
This is not quite the beginning,
Of a never ending story.
There is this space that exists inside.
In between my ribs and just under my heart.
It's not in a place to constantly remind me of its presence there.
But it does get nudged from time to time.
It holds onto things I've tried to rise above, to let go of...
But never fully doing so.
Things like negativity and doubt and stubbornness...
Like self esteem bruising childhood judgements.
Like bitter regret of missing out on "I love you" before someone dies.
Like ignorant teenage decisions there was no reason to be making.
Like that secret you told and the one you promised to keep.
Like dutifully cleaning up after destruction since it was easier than starting over new.
Like the coltish grace of learning to be a woman without one.
Like leading a child with having no direction of your own.
Like taking that last piece.
Like hoping karma takes over.
Like waiting for a sign before walking away from toxic people.
Like throwing your heart out there with only faith and hope to be its wings.
Like innate fear of being alright with who you truly are.
Like disappointment for taking all these years to figure yourself out.
Those are some things that rattle around on a quiet and calm night.
On a night that finally arrives after strenuous days bleeding together...
They ghost in and remind you they're still there.
It used to terrorize the still moments when that happened.
No control over the flood of images and empathy associated with each and every reminder.
I thought it was in times like that, when drowning with the sorrows of yesterday was just as easy as an exhale.
But I was wrong...
I was mislead in my own thoughts.
Because when I was tapped on the shoulder by history.
It wasn't trying to hold me back.
It wasn't intending to maim my conscious.
I believe in fact, it just simply wanted to show progress.
To show the "then", compared to the "now"
How every piece of who I am today was shaped and structured in part, to everything I haven't let go of yet.
How do you know when your soul is weaker than strong but mighty enough to fight?
In being made to contemplate all the wonderful and fulfilling things and parts of who we are,
We also have to give credit to the dark pieces
The events and people that have burdened and burnt but never destroyed.
Like any balance in life we acknowledge both light and shadow.
Appreciation of the good in our lives is more fluid when we have proof of the struggles we've overcome.
Be it years ago or hours,
Seeing how far you've come from that which had held you under or has trampled your spirit.
It helps enlighten bit by bit.
And a step at a time is how we all move forward into who we're meant to be.
So i think, that space that exists very close to my heart but just far enough away...
I think I'm okay with it being there.
It may hold scars in the eyes of others
But I know scars are just golden reminders;
Of that which make us stronger.
For if one has no scars, what has one conquered?
We all thought he would
Stay here forever, like
So many other lethargic
Sons and daughters of the slough
Who may never have learned what the mustard fields were for.
I escaped early, lucky I
Guess, but never quite let
Go of him, and another year
Gone by, like battered ships we return.
Those eyes are intense and
Hazel in the oncoming
Hair black as the ruins of Haystack Landing.
Once you’re told, you remember what the mustard fields were for.
“I’m different, I mean,” he says,
“Fuck, even at dinner with family. I
Freak out, get paranoid, like I’m
Fighting for my life in the Sonoma hills.”
He sighs, “I know you know,
When I come back from
Where I’m going, seeing you is
What I’ll want the most, but--”
I wonder if he knows what the mustard fields were for.
“I’ll probably be real different,
Probably need a lot of help.”
Passing elevated acres of mustard, we
Pause; he says, “Gotta stop for gas.”
This soldier stands in sharpened
Contrast to this rural, liberal
Community, these Victorian
Cathedrals of a quiet isolation.
They will never tell you what the mustard fields were for.
I wonder then if something about our
Air here makes us want to reach out,
Aspire for our names and badges
Across the expanse of war and peace.
Like the murky waters of the turning basin,
History hides a silent violence.
Hatching, we find ourselves inoculated against
Human strains of moral dystrophy.
I went into the world knowing well what the mustard fields were for.
They’re still here, still growing, those
Slender, musky stalks, golden heads
Sweetly pastoral in their floral bloom,
Soft biochemical carpets in a cultivated sprawl.
I know now, I know damn well what the mustard fields were for.
Watching movies in the twilight
Coffee in hand by the gibbous moon
Drinking you in like luscious sin
Not regretting one moment
Seeing your smile
Smelling your hair
Touching your thigh
Gentling kissing goodbye
It could be tonight
-Azrael Always James
© Copyright 2013
Just as the Osaka Sun must leave the sky from the Tokyo moon,
us who once were Lovers In Japan must depart,
no I shall not See You Soon,
for even the thought of seeing you breaks my heart…
For we were young and The World Turned Upside Down,
I sat, I crawled, and I walked…
Now I run from the thought of you I cannot turn around,
For soon I shall fly through this Rainy Day’s sky
and memories of U&I shall past me by…
I wrote you a poem
but I crumpled it up
because I remember how much
I hate hearing about myself.
Seeing myself skewered out
on a circus mirrors, through your
I hate it.
So I wrote you a poem
and swallowed it down
like cotton candy, words like
sticking to my teeth, something my mother
can complain about when I come home,
but for now, the white cone sits
sticky in my hands, begging
He was told to ‘Step Up and Join Up!’
So Ralph Wainwright the Three,
Mailed his application,
With attached application fee.
He put his uniform on, and got in the plane.
And flew overseas,
Ralph Wainwright the Three.
Arriving at camp,
He was a little put out,
With every one calling him Ralf,
And so to keep his position,
In the bourgeoisie,
He became Rafe Wainwright the Three.
On the first day of battle,
With dastardly Uzoks,
Rafe was taken their prisoner.
The blindfold ripped off,
To reveal that he was,
Slammed between two wooden stocks.
“I’ll do anything! I’ll join you!”
Said Rafe Wainwright the Three,
And thus his name changed,
to Rafe Wainwright Zukkee,
Zukkee, of course, meaning enemy soldier,
And Rafe Wainwright being his name,
He was thrust into battle,
With his pocket knife,
And a wooden sword, aflame.
Fire acting on wooden swords as it does,
And seeing as how he was dressed,
He was caught by his country and tied to a tree,
“You lousy, traitorous pest!”
“By the time I’m done with you, you’ll be dead!”
And with that they cut off his worldweary head.
He was given to the Uzoks,
And buried Uzok Park.
They planted his headstone,
Just before dark.
‘Tzate’ meaning warrior,
And ‘Mit’ meaning great,
His name is forever:
Rafe Zukee Mitzate.
in my head
I did felt myself go
right away for here
to where this day
I still do not know
I remember seeing white rabbits and queens
but woke in a hospital
did that pill you gave me do anything at all?
They say I’m a hopeless romantic and I tend
To think it’s true, but in this world
What else can I do.
So much bitterness, so much despair
And no one with which to share.
But who wants to share all the negativity
There’s enough around without it affecting you and me.
She had captured my heart before I had time to think
She flashed me her smile, and gave me a wink.
Her laughter like a child on their first birthday
Looking at the presents, and not knowing what to say.
A beauty so rare, and so refined, like a vision in my mind.
She opened up the flood gates which I never knew I had.
And after seeing her, I am more than glad.
all the dreams, the wants, the desires
Turned me around and set me on fire.
She is the hunter, and I was the prey
And my poor humble heart she did slay.
Unlike most hunters she picked up my
Heart, ever so gently and with care
For she knew we would be the perfect pair.
She took my heart and placed it in her chest
For she knew that this was best.
Our two hearts joined together and has
Now become one, and here I will stay
Until I’m done.
The light of my life.
The poem of my tongue.
The fire of my chest.
The wind of my loins.
The hate I loathe.
The beauty I view.
My hesitant rainbow.
My fearless tears.
My coverlet and starlet;
my blanket and dainty amulet.
My distant promise and cautiousness;
but in all my darling; looking ever so stately-
yet not like yon faraway, morning dew.
The hands I adore;
the fingers I want to kiss.
The solitude I live in;
the fate I was born in.
A pair of eyes ever to me too divine,
A charm that loyally strikes, and glows and shines.
A lock of hair that petulantly sways and sweats.
A midday tale of love; as how it is mine,
a beauty that this world ensures,
but cannot adore.
Even the brisk turquoise sea
is ever less glossy than thy eyes,
for their calmness is still less harmful,
unlike unbending, thus insolent tides, at noon.
Ah, Matilda, thou art yet too graceful,
but tricky and indolent, as the puzzling moon!
Thy purity is like unseen smoke,
tearing the skies' linings like a fast rocket,
making me ever thirsty, turning my heart wet,
but still this attentive heart thou canst not provoke;
thou art a region too far from mine;
but still luck is in heart whose fate's in thine.
And as thou singeth a tone I liketh to sing
I cannot help but more admiring thee;
And as thou singeth it genuinely more,
thou capture all my breath and give it all a thrill;
for I realise then, that thou canst be stiff, as sandless shores;
but thy beauty canst so finely startle,
and whose startledness
But deadness, and ever desolation
are vividly clamouring in thy eyes;
Thou art but distinct, distinct indeed-from serenity;
for thou warble thyself, but gladly-away, from thy sullen reality.
Ah, Matilda, how canst a soul so comely
be hateful to fame, and dishonest just from its frame?
Matilda, to those merciless hearts indeed thou beareth no name;
Thou art a shame to their pride, and a stain to their bitterly fevered, sanity.
Yet still, thou art to innocent to understand which,
and in love naively, as thou just art, now-
with that feeble shadow of a pampered young fellow,
Whose stories are also mine,
for his father's money is donned,
and coined every day-by my servant's frail hands;
The sweat of my palms obey me in doing so-
I am my master's son's poor sailor,
and he his sole heir-and soon is to inherit
an indecent boat; full of roaming paths, doors, and locks
And at nights, costly drapery and jewels shall be planted in their hair-
yes, those beastly riches' necks, and skin fair,
And thou be their eternal seamstress,
weaving all those bare threads with thy hands-
ah, thy robust virgin hands,
whilst thy heart so dutifully levitating
about his false painting, and bent even more heartily, onto him.
Ah, 'tis indeed unfair, unfair, unfair-and so unfair!
For such a liar he was, and still is-
Once he was betrothed to a bitter, and uncivil Magdalene;
Uncivil so is she, prattling and bickering and prattling and bickering-
To our low-creature ears, as she once remarked,
She who basked in her own vague hilarity, and sedate glory
And so went on harshly unmolested by her vanity, and fallibility;
But sadly indeed, occupied with a great-not intellect,
As not sensible a person as she was;
At least until the winds knocked her haughty voices out-
and so then hovering stormy gales beneath,
took her out and gaily flung her deep into the raging sea.
Still he wiggled not, and seems still-in a seance every night,
whenst he but cries childishly and calls out to her name in fright.
Her but all dead, dead name;
'Till his father tears him swiftly out of his solitude
And with altogether the same worried face
but drags his disconcerted son back into his flamboyant chamber.
Ah, and I caught thee again, Matilda,
Bowed over the picture of yon young sailor;
'Twixt those sweet-patterned handkerchiefs
On thy lil' wooden table, yesterday
And curved over yon picture, I was certain;
I caught some fatigued tears in thy eyes-
for from thy love thou wert desperate,
but still unsure even, of the frayed tyings of cruel fate.
Ah, Matilda, your hair is still as black as the night
The guilty night, though nothing it may knoweth, of thy love,
and perhaps just as unknowing it seemingly is;
as th' tangled moon, and its dubious arrows
of unseen lilies, above
Shall singeth in uncertainty; and cordless dignity
And which song shall forever be left unreasoned
Until the end of our days arrive, and bereft us all
of this charismatic world-and all its dearest surge of false,
and oftentimes unholy, fakeness.
Oh Matilda, but such truest clarity was in thy eyes,
And frightened was I-upon seeing t'is;
As though never shrouded in barren lies
Like a love that this heart defines;
but never clear, as never is to be gained.
Ah, Matilda, and such frank clarity dismays me;
It threatens and stiffens and chortles me,
for I am certain I shan't be with thee-
and shall ever be without thee,
for thou detest and loathe me,
and be of no willingness at all-
to befriend, to hold, or to hear-
much less reward me with thy love,
as how I shall reward thee with mine.
Matilda, this love is too strong-but so is, too poor
And neither is my heart plainly bruised;
For it is untouched still, but feeling like it has been flawed
Ah, why does this love have to be raw-and far indeed, too raw!
I, who is thy resilient friend, and fellow-sadly never am in thy flavour;
for in his soul only-thy love is rooted;
And this love is forever never winning-and it is sour,
Like a torn, mute flower; or like a better not, laughter.
And my heart is once more filled with dead leaves-
Ah, dead, dead leaves of undelight, and unjoy;
Whose cries kick and bend and strangle themselves-
all to no avail, and cause only all its devouring to fail,
For his doorless claws are to strong,
Stealing thy eyes from me for all day,
and duly all night long.
How discourteous! Virtual, but too far, still-
corrupting me; ah, unjust, unjust, and discourteous!
Tormentingly-ah, but tormentingly, torturously, insincere!
Ah, Matilda! But soon as thou prayeth,
every single grace and loveliness thou shall delicately saith;
Thy voice is as delightful as nailed, or perhaps, cunningly deluded vice-
Which I hath always feigned to be refuting tomorrow,
but is only to bring me cleverer and cleverer sorrow
'Till hath I no power to defy its testy soul,
that for no reason is too shiny and bold,
but so dull, and bland as a hard-hearted summer glacier,
and too unyielding as hurtful, talloned wines.
Oh, but no appetite I hath, for any war
against him-for he is fair, and I am not,
He is worthier of thee, than my every word;
He who to thee is like a graceful poem,
he who is the only one to smirk at
and hush away thy daylight doom.
Matilda! For evermore thy heart is mine;
and mine only-though I canst love thee
only secretly, and admire thee from afar,
Still cannot I stand bashful, and motionless-too far,
For I wish to hath been born, for thy every sake
Though it shall put my sinless tongue at stake
And even my love is even gentler then blue snowflakes;
and more cordial than yon rapturous green lake.
Ah! Look! Upon the moors the grass is swirling,
so please go back now; and be greedy in thy running.
Still when no music is playing,
all is but too painful for thee,
which I liketh to neither witness, nor see,
for upon thee the moon of love might not be singing,
as it is upon all others a song,
But somehow to nature it not be wrong,
for he cannot still be thy charm, nor darling.
O-but I hate thinking of which affectionately,
when thou crieth and which sight, to my heart, is paining.
Ah, Matilda! For even to God thy love is but too pure;
for it is faultless as morns, and poisonless-
like those ever unborn thorns;
Of yon belated autumn melody,
But is, somehow, fraught and dejected
With sorrow, for it is him, that yesterday and now
Thou loveth softly and securely,
Two hours later and perhaps, in every minute of tomorrow.
Matilda! But still tell me, how can thou securely love a danger?
For I am sure he is but a danger to thee, indeed;
Once I witnessed how his face
grotesquely thrusted into furtive anger
As he burst into a dearth of strong holds,
of his burning temper-under the blooming red birch tree;
And as every eye canst see,
He is only soft, and perhaps meek-as a butterfly,
Whenever the world he eats and sleeps and feeds on in-
Tellest him not the least bit of a lie;
Ah, Matilda, canst I imagine thee being his not,
ah, for I shall be drowned in deflating worry, indeed-I shall be, I shall be!
I dread saying t'is to thee-but he, the heir of a ruthless kingdom,
and kingdom of our God not-within their lands and reigns of scrutiny,
His words are but a tragedy, and a pain thou ought not to bear;
O, Matilda, thou art but too holy and far too fair!
Thy soul is, so that thou knoweth, my very own violin-
To which I am keenly addicted;
I am besotted with thy red cheeks-;
As whose tunes-my violin's, are thy notes
as haunting and sunnily beautiful,
And cloudless like thy naivety,
Which stuns my whole nature,
and even the one of our very own Lord Almighty.
Ah, Matilda, even the heavens might just turn out
far too menial for thee;
and their decorum and sweet tantrums idle and unworthy;
Thou art far, far above those ladies in dense gowns,
With such terseness they shall storm away and leave him down.
But why-why still, he refuses to look at thee!
Ah, unthinking and unfeeling,
foolish and coquettish,
unwitted and full of deceit-is himself,
for loving should I be-if thy smile were what I wished,
and thy blisses and kisses were what I dreamed;
I wouldst be but warmer than him,
I wouldst be but indeed so sweet,
I wouldst be loftier than he may seem;
and but madden thee every sole day, with my gracious-
though sometimes ferocious-ah, by thy love, ever tender wit.
I hath so long crept on a broken wing,
And thro' endless cells of madness, haunts, and fear,
Just like thou hath-and as relentlessly, and lyrically, as we both hath.
But not until the shining daffodils die, and the silvery
rivers turn into gold-shall I twist my love,
and mold it into roughness-
undying, but enslaved roughness;
that thou dread, and neither I adore;
For for thee I shall remain,
and again and again stay to find
what meaningful love is-
Whilst I fight against the tremor
and menace this living love canst bring about-
To threaten my mask, and crush my deep ardor.
Ah, my mask that hath loved thee too long,
With a love so weak but at times so strong;
and witnessed thee I hath, hurt and pained
and faded and thawed by his nobility
But one of worldliness; and not godliness
For heavens yonder shall be ours, and forever
Shall bestow us our triumphs, though only far-in the hereafter;
Still I honour thee, for holding on with sincerity-
and loyalty, to such contempt too strong
For thou art as starry as forgiveness itself,
and thus is far from yon contempt-and its overbearing soul;
And perhaps friendly, too unkind not-
like its trepid blare of constant rejection, and mockery
And as I do, shall I always want thee to be with me;
For thou art the mere residue, and cordial waning age of the life that I hath left;
For thou art the only light I hath, and the innate mercy I shall ever desire to seek;
and perhaps have sought shall, within the blessed soul of my 'ture wife.
Oh, Matilda, thou art the dream t'at I, still, ought not to dream,
thou art the sweetness I ought' only charm, and keep;
As thou art the song, that I may not be right'd to sing;
but the lullaby; which in whose absence, I canst shall never sleep.