A gravekeeper by trade
burying the dead to stay alive
with a green thumb and *****
the unused earth oh how it strives!

Fat tubers and roots
green leaves with red veins
small vines sprouting fruits
even a small section for grains

The gravekeeper never goes hungry
his family never starves
he loves living in the country
and his plot of earth that he carves

One day two fresh dead
and a rat, maybe two scampered by
soon a sickness to be widespread
day by day how that multiplied!

More bodies into the earth
how did his garden shrink
he was crying and crying
this gravekeeper didn't know what to think!

Should he be happy for business
should he be sad for the loss
is he crying for his vegetables
or is he crying for the bodies that are tossed

Little by little did the green become stone
his loved ones feast on a diet of worms
now he, a lonely gardener of bones
sits and watches as his world burns
The cold usurped the trees
I watch their children fall
filling up the wet street
winter forestalled with a cask
                                             of alcohol

watch as the tip of his tongue
touches the roof of his mouth
whips down and spouts out
the reasons why we have
                                         this drought

but its raining now
maybe something will grow
or a sea of spit
with rolling waves
                              will overflow

I told her I would try
to rekindle with him
stuck in cabin's twilight
sewing sinews of this
                         phantom limb

how does one talk
before they think
does he hear the words
that dribble into his
                               warm drink

then ascends as steam
back into that cavernous nose
to permeate his brain
and slowly seeps into
                             tattered clothes

this "vacation" will be over
but not soon enough
a couple more days
all I have to do is
                         avoid fisticuffs

no promises.
Hunched over in this Bastille dwelling
cobbling out words stitching to a page
day after ----------------------------------                              
            day after ------------------------              
                        day after--------------
                                      day ------












The last bottle of Bordeaux Rouge shatters
and pools on the ***** floor, frantically I
bow down and touch lips to dirt and wine
**** until my sore cheeks flush with blood
stumble back to              the makers bench
carefully carve                  initials marking
days gone by and          by days gone by
at night I lay my head upon the guillotine
hoping to wake drenched in red in a basket
this self revolution will some day pass
On a thread how I hang
from the finger's sinew
my name nothing but slang
hidden in your menu

Oh master, oh master
how I sing your keen name
your tongue leaves court plaster
as your eyes rip and maim

I shout into the wind
and watch the words float by
perverse ears that rescind
a love that's gone awry

from your aloof finger
how my bruising neck sways
how my yearning lingers
legs will not turn away

Your want my desire
my desire your bliss
your bliss to set fire
I, those flaming red lips

I wish I could conjure
philters for you to drink
my concoction is but
poison turned to black ink

Soon the master will sell
their useless ****, a *****
I will answer your belle
until the ocean waives

Rolling salt filling lungs
in the abyss I lay
left for the fishes tongues
Atropos’s shear’s prey
Silky cocoon of routine leaves
this metamorphosis stagnating
how the discomfort thieves
the fear of change isolating

The struggle lies in the escape
with no energy left to attempt
monotonous days left to drape
as if life holds me in contempt

Hanging on this lonely branch
sometimes I pray just to fall
monotonous routine's avalanche 
creates days so banal

And then a child finds the lonely silk
plucks carefully into a glass jar
Oh how the curiosity of their ilk
creates this warm inner spar

A want to escape
a need to taste 
freedom's luscious grapes
make haste happiness, 
make haste.
  Nov 3 Brandon Conway
Arianna
They say 'twas once the Temple of Fire,
Blazing over all;
That behind its radiance
The grey-violet dusk of the heavens
And the churning of storms in the clouds
Masqueraded,
As the sun deceives us
To that endless Night
Which permits its light.

Now, ascending the steps, worn with age,
The arches of stone leaning weary overhead,
Shadows embrace me as one of their own.
.
But strange! Some form yonder sits
Upon the ledge, a silhouette,
The spectre of a man
Musing upon the distance
Between the ledge and the earth below.

Softly I tread,
Careful not to disturb
His reverie,
For this is a sacred place.

Yet, strange again! A bright ornament, there
In some faded crevice:
Of all things,
Wildflowers
Blue and white
With ribbon bound!

Mine eyes must err,
Or perhaps they fade,
For this is a sacred place

Of death

Wherefore
The temple fires have slumbered long,
And all has fallen to shadow...

But, hark, stranger still! A movement arrests me
Rising
From the corner archway:

A bird

Tawny wings and two-feathered tail,
Strange nightingale-of-prey
In this place once of prayer,

Rising

Higher and higher...

I glance back...

But no shadow-man
Perches still upon the ledge.
Inspired by a very strange dream I had last night. I still see that bird spiraling up, and up, and up...
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