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When growing up I pushed away my father's molding hands,
     asserting I was different than he was and was my own,
     yet I allowed my friends to mold me, there I had been hewn,
     becoming them in function form and every fiber strand.
I disappointed him who spawned me from his very *****
     and saw me henceforth as a stranger living in his home.
     At last resigned to this demise he hid his hands and tone.
     I had betrayed my maker for a sack of thirty coins.
Far later I'd returned to him a prodigal old son,
     and hinted, showed and sang and danced his many favored tunes.
     Disinterested he questioned it.  No longer did he care.
These days I search my father's mind, though now it's surely gone,
     and seek those ancient treasures gone by very many moons,
     and wish he'd know that I am him though he's no longer there.

(C)2019, Christos Rigakos
Italian/Petrarchan Sonnet with Iambic Heptameter and altered rhyme scheme.
i dragged the blade across my skin
and bled the pain away
the curse that flowed around within
no longer had to stay

i huffed and could no longer feel
if i was still alive
and asked for beatings hard and real
to help me then revive

my face had blackened here and there
i morphed into one dead
i had no time to eat my hair
had left my waning head

in time i withered like a leaf
as autumn did arrive
and knew just by the weight of grief
my corpse was still alive

but one day as i sat in bed
and found an empty pad
i wrote the tale of my life's dread
the mourning of the sad

i cut the forms of letters there
the pen unstopped had bled
the curse into the morning air
and i would live instead

(C)2019, Christos Rigakos
I send her roses each and every day.
     She asks for reasons, they don't satisfy.
     This heart's expression is my only way
     to answer each and every question, why?
She plants each one inside a large glass vase.
     It fattens in its bulky green-red width.
     She waters it hourly just in case
     this bulk shrivel by one rose-breadth.
In truth they have no petals and no stem,
     no color and no subtle fragrant scent.
     The vase is her awareness of them.
     They are but words of love my passions sent.
For I am but a poor and broken soul,
whose love for my dear love raises me whole.

(C)2019, Christos Rigakos
English / Shakespearean Sonnet
The jolly fat woman who rode on a horse,
     galloped, galloped with a clackity-clack,
     on cobble stone streets as if under attack,
     from her great hunger pangs, of course.
It galloped and galloped until a great crack
     was felt and a screeching loud neigh was heard,
     that startled to pitch-panicked flight every bird,
     throwing the fat off its back.
She rose from the mud to wipe off and gird
     her honor back onto her jiggling *****,
     then ran to the inn where she haggled with fulsome,
     for a bowl of hot fish soup with curd.
She gained two more stone in her gluttonous course,
then haggled at stables for a much stronger horse.

(C)2018, Christos Rigakos
Christos Rigakos Jan 2015
We are to come and leave and not return,
But hand our secret scroll to those who'd be.
I'll pass the writings on which passed to me,
And shrink to blackened ash with flameless burn.

As far as those who'll be--of whom will earn,
That secret scroll containing some of me,
Quite like yet quite unlike, in no way me--
They'll mourn for I'll have gone and won't return.

To live on in a heart or memory,
Is not living or life or anything,
But trite consoling words of sympathy--

A metaphor or best a simile--
suspending truth, and grief that loss will bring.
In truth no more am I nor shall I be.

(C)2015, Christos Rigakos
Christos Rigakos Jan 2015
This evening, alone, I dim the light.
The needle crackles on the vinyl disk,
and Billy Holiday expounds.  The night
belongs to 1933.  I risk

forgetting all the present, modern days
sinking.  In leather deeply I recline,
absorbing all that special era plays,
and all I never lived are surely mine.

With every sip of bourbon on this night,
they come alive again through jazz and song,
from album cover pictures, black and white.
We dance in black ties, black tails all night long.

And when the morning sun has woken me,
I will have lived my night in history.

(C)2014, Christos Rigakos
Christos Rigakos Nov 2014
i trained a bloodhound in my quest
     to find the fount of youth
upon its memory impressed
     the habits of a sleuth
round every rock and grass and tree
it spied what others could not see
     in search of one most abstract hopeful truth

the training ground was in the park
     where children roamed and played
the bloodhound, trained to bay and bark
     where innocence displayed
it sniffed the scent of every child
with purity not yet defiled
     its diligence always duly repaid

by daily treks its efforts grew
and by the same i surely knew
     the end was soon to be
round pools and lakes and finally
a river leading to the sea
     the fount of youth would soon belong to me

at last one day upon the dawn
     the time was now at hand
it came to me, my head it fawned
     its tail most quickly fanned
the hound had licked my head around
it barked and bayed and i had found
     the end was quite unlike what i had planned

(C)2014, Christos Rigakos
Septet Narrative
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