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Rhea Nov 21
What is this feeling
I feel when I share
My inner turmoil
Hanging in the air

I want a smoke
A heedy drag
A firm packed bowl
Or stiff red stagg

Anything in arms reach
To smother the nameless
Insidious belly ache
And make a false oasis

Ah I see its vague outline
Hidden in angst and fear
Expected disappointment
Shame emerges clear

Hello lovely old friend
Put your cold hand here
Entwine your clammy fingers
In my helpless ones Dear.
Rhea Nov 4
Slender eucalyptus trees form a fragile trellis
Welcoming you into a land of enchantment
Wandering asphalt stippled with afternoon light
Leads you through vast vineyards striping distanced hills
Their branches drooping with plump purple droplets

Following the single road curve after curve
A bend brings a browned tipped fade edging every vine
Half a tree’s round bowl cut shows a dip dye border beige
Ominous foreshadowing of the landscape’s angry scars
Lurking ahead the winding way amongst the chartreuse charm

Then one twist brings the astounding view
Land licked clean by ravenous tongues
Heat and wind --the insatiable elements
Their appetites consumed whole hillsides at once
Leaving behind blackened branches: bones ****** bare

Ochre tipped foliage studs the rolling ravines
Exposed bedrock stares back at you with ravished eyes
Surrounding elevations graced by green clouds of resilient oaks
Enunciate the stark boundary between
Devastation and lively exuberance

Canyons once dressed in elaborate emerald garments
Now clad in scandalous shreds
Reveal the ripples of ancient fault lines
Testimony to their violent origins
Forged by gaping crevasses, quakes and flames

Solo skeleton shrubs stand adorning
Charred hillsides like chewed and spat gristle
Puddles of white ash and their dusty rivulets
Hint at feverish efforts exhausted in defense
Of the crumbles at the feet of lone chimneys

Naked trees cut from winter landscape
Appear misplaced in the summer heat
They stand forlorn with gnarled arms and curled fingers
Their writhing immortalized in stiff post rigor
An involuntary inhale touches your lips. “magnificent”

The scourged scenery fades with each bout
You are surrounded by sun kissed hills
Their slopes end in brilliant blue water
A promise of peace reflected in still reverie
Mauve mounds guard the serene sanctuary

A splashing otter slinks onto the sand
Nearby mallards preen unperturbed.
Birds chatter in flight, two settle on a shrub
Standing stubborn with smoke shriveled leaves
The enthralling sight envelopes you pressing you warm and close

Your eyes close under the competing warmth
Of golden rhododendrons and blinding sun
Radiance bounces off green fluorescence
A cheerful backdrop to the wind dispersed soot
A slow easy smile tugs against your cheeks. “Magnificent.”
Rhea Oct 28
Some like to journal on paper
Some scribe into their skin
But my testament hides
Behind guarded lips
Primal etches in a cavern

My mouth the masterpiece
Of misfortune’s skilled eye
The colors there bewilder
Red, black, green, purple, blue
A rainbow amidst the dark

A master of media
Poverty often crafts
The most intricate of spoils
Among the discarded class
Our mouths a showcase of toil

Charcoal smears the tops of my teeth
Red paint adorns my gums
Abstract strokes of white in front
Deep purple patches peek in back
The one hurting is mystic green

But when throbs wake my sleep
Ripe stench repels my taste
And pills hold no respite
I know a piece has rotted
And my collection must shorten

Emergency receives me
Teeth matching their coats
I share my exotic tapestry
Its realism, pain—my story
They cannot appreciate

And I lose one by one
The slow craftsmanship
Of life’s daily brushstrokes
With no compensation
And a receipt of crushing dues

A hundred years from today
Excavators will unearth history
They will decode messages left
In script, skin, and scraps
Piecing together our lives

I tour my dwindling sculptures
And wonder what will be left
When I am a studied remnant
How will they share my tale
Of slow anguish without glory
After a day on ER
Rhea Oct 23
No words can share the chaotic precision
Of waves sweeping a sandy shore

Clean of its filth, expired life, footprints
Leaving the ground beneath supple and bare

Find me the words to describe
The confidence of a feisty crest

As it approaches the shore so swiftly
To pound without relent

How the pinnacles raise
A turbulent impasse

Until another frothy height
Follows its thin soapy tier

And stacks its might like ***** keys
Carrying them both to shore

Tell me the poem that captures
The layers and ripples dashing

As countless and intermingled
As the buttery layers of a croissant

I wish I could find the words to hold
This image deep within me

To remember the blur of green and blue
When I am far from their ruling roars

I would enshrine their vivacity
With a razor in my heart

If I could keep their beauty
A keepsake of nature’s art

When the outside world is yelling
I wish I could recall

At will the rumble of undertow
The thunder of admonished land

The crashing sounds that kidnap you
Forcing reality far behind

For no mortal trouble is so large
To ground you by the sea

The only thing to consume a wave
Is the crest rising in its wake
Rhea Oct 13
Internal standards drive and shape.
We all must try to maintain
The self image of wearing the hero’s cape
So we scurry, scuttle and strain to obtain
The many titles to follow our name

Individual achievement prized over all
Has led to never becoming enough.
Never proud of our value, heads tall!
We must be diligent, empathetic and tough
To earn respect or become a heeded voice

We stack responsibilities, jump the hurdles
Rush to service, stress grades, run the mile.
Too many doing too much--my stomach curdles.
Everything done for the sake of doing
Never adding to development of ourselves

Such a paradox are individual achievements
The more you do the less pride you feel
Running ragged your empathy caves and relents
To the exhaustion that corrodes at your steel
The internal words, “Someone else could”
  Oct 13 Rhea
Salma El Amraoui
I am afraid that if
I touched you at the seams
You would fray
And all the well calligraphed words
Would spill all over the place

— The End —