Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Jul 2017 · 1.2k
Label Me Other
Denel Kessler Jul 2017
**** the witch
hogtied to this
thin-skinned wagon
packed with privilege
call me wicked
if it makes it easier
view my plight
as one of my own making
I should have done
as I was told

Brand me traitor
as dust obscures
this timeworn scene
I know what it means
to be a whole divided
drawn and quartered
dragged to all four corners
left for buzzards
along the walled
deserted borders

scattered limbs
seeking unity
I reach for what’s mine
only to find
healing hands
too tightly praying
too busy manufacturing
high ground
in this time
of righteousness

Label me other
as I diverge
light the skies
with fireworks red
belt patriot songs
I will not mouth
empty words
to an anthem
I no longer
believe in
As an American, I can't begin to express how sorry I am.  Hang in there with us, this has to be a passing thing...
Jul 2017 · 9.6k
Denel Kessler Jul 2017
Muted warning
red-line horizon
submarine morning
a full moon wanes
by nature, earthbound
yet of the heavens
meant to transform

those seeking sky
forget the ocean
how stars appear
upon reflection
celestially untethered
navigating the wild
uncharted reach
Jul 2017 · 1.1k
No Summer
Denel Kessler Jul 2017
It is the June of no summer
misty margins shift
gray to white-blind
the view is winter
the aftertaste bitter
in a perfumed sea
this shrine
both lovely
and disconnected
serenely denies
the fog’s lies

all is quiet
the Western front
sullenly submits
to relentless
willful weather
I listen only
to the birds
conjure storms
of wisdom
await the lightening
of oppressive skies
May 2017 · 739
Denel Kessler May 2017
an unspoken word
for every hole
drilled in the core
of held beliefs

red-hot mantle
cools by degree
losing its fluidity
silver surface thin

molten river beneath
restless currents
roil and boil
mixing strata

we become
bitter metal
iron hardening
under pressure
Apr 2017 · 3.2k
Denel Kessler Apr 2017
Note the time
by seasonal migration
return of osprey, eagle
each feathered pearl
a moment strung
on the banded necks
of brants and loons
velvet-lined memories
gathered within
my threatened
wild spaces

raindrops find
their way home
watch them bead
on the backs
of sitting ducks
serenely surfing
sibilant waves
silkily filling
oceans within
my tumultuous
wild heart
Apr 2017 · 3.7k
Denel Kessler Apr 2017
Eyes wide
you do not allow
oblivious sleep
shadows branded
on my retina
reveal all contrast
tattooed on my shoulder
a skeletal hand
this illusion  
pins me down

your questions
have no answers
questions remain
asked again and again
I swear
I know nothing

You say everything
is immaterial
subjectively real
ideas existent
in the mind
of the perceiver
I am

(you insist)
a true believer

Parched and shrinking
I ask for mercy
you bring the cup
to my fissured lips
but it is empty
a vessel of air
you murmur
there is only enough
for one
what will you give
in return?

Heavy metal
arpeggios of wind
head bang
petulant faces
inured to rain
a repeating refrain
in falsehood
lies your truth

but even you
cannot halt the dawn
a dark horizon
pulls the strings
you sink
behind the cloud-
wall of your storm

is it safe now to close my eyes?
three times whisper
be gone
              bright fiend

a weary incantation
spell of protection
the yawning wind
done with howling
hums reassuringly
                       *“a change is gonna come
                                                            ­      imagine
                                                   ­                            peace in our time”
“A Change Is Gonna Come” written by Ben Sollee
“Imagine” written by John Lennon
“Peace In Our Time” by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

A sleepless night under the relentless moon, listening to a storm coming in off the Pacific.
Mar 2017 · 2.3k
Denel Kessler Mar 2017
limbs of the fallen
upon a funeral pyre
failed offerings to a careless sun
the sacred forest lies in ruin
trilliums no more to flower
silence mocks the land
no songbirds in the bower
spires from the wreckage
rise verdant and aflame
magenta resurrection
wild and untamed
Mar 2017 · 15.0k
Pacific Drift
Denel Kessler Mar 2017
Eroding brick wall
all that remains
refracted, fading
fishermen shadow
red dawn’s early light

brackish still water
shocked violent green
seeps from the desert
to be subsumed
by an unrelenting sea

restless dreamers rise
muscle sturdy pangas
into the churning tide
seeking quicksilver
at the continental edges

returning boats ride low
the shrinking horizon
race to safe harbor
cold beer on ice
under palm palapas

in the restaurant
a young man
shows off tuna
half as tall as he is
to admiring tourists

like me, seeking
the deep, slow burn
salt, jalapeno, lime
a fitting end to this
unraveling dream

Pueblo Mágico
of “no bad days”
walls of contention
in a fractured land
will never separate us

one margarita, two
another raised in defiance
of those who would try
to confine and define
free-range spirits

the Pacific touches
this contiguous shore
from equator to pole
we could catch
a clockwise current

follow Polaris up North
arrive transformed
magnetically charged
disparate souls fused
together bound
Hello and thank you. my HP friends!  I couldn't wish for a kinder, more talented group of people to spend time with.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  Apologies for sporadic reading...been drinking too many margaritas!
: )
Feb 2017 · 2.4k
Denel Kessler Feb 2017
fallow winter does not bring
peace to the restless soul
finger-licked, waiting
on subtle winds shifting
for the tropical taste
of exotic droplets of rain
a salt-stained remembrance
in this time of dreaming

red-light ladies hatch
in raftered minds
a mass awakening
beneath hardened shell
freedom awaits wings
a collective opening
an essential
Feb 2017 · 1.7k
Astral Glide
Denel Kessler Feb 2017
her golden fullness
wanton astride
peaked horizon

impassioned night
bites down hard
Feb 2017 · 2.9k
Denel Kessler Feb 2017
Mirrored silver
tag me blue
reflective sky
widgeon, merganser
blithely sail
broken ripples

cawing crows
anxious ducks
explode airborne
duly warned
silent drone
fateful wraith

glides over
the settling
razor eyes
the meek
the weak

fleeing flock
white bellies
exposed to the sun
banking hard
return to serenity
certain death

in nature
alliances are clear



no match
for those
against him
True story...
: )
Jan 2017 · 4.6k
Denel Kessler Jan 2017
Show me
true beauty
how waves
break the shore
into individual grains
yet each contains
the whole
crystalline universe
reflecting light
renouncing midnight

Leave me not
upon the sand
barefoot and stripped
recounting sins
to the weary wind
return my heart
to loving grace
salt-scrubbed chambers
cleansed of hate
tenderly reborn

let love
rise from this
arid ground
clear water drawn
from a deeper well
with cupped hands
tend the seeds
so we may eat
of the bounty
that rightfully belongs

to no one
Jan 2017 · 1.3k
Denel Kessler Jan 2017
The old songs don’t feel right
wrong key, out of tune
somebody wake Sinatra
reclaim these wayward melodies
My Way, New York
New York

seat of the Queen
a gilded new King
everything he touches

money equals tower
Freudian crystal skyscrapers
the fitting measure
of a brittle man
who has not strength
to speak the truth
recites instead from
a book of fables
the moral to every one
those in glass houses
shouldn’t throw stones

the town crier proclaims
the truth does not matter
no one cares

hold tight that red hat
lest it be snatched
by a rebellious wind
see it now, a symbol
framed in white and blue
rising above the crowd
boots on the ground speak
shiny brass buttons
on a pert military coat
don’t a revolutionary make

the peddler of lies is just
a liar once-removed
“alternative facts”
brash fabrications
with a fancy semantic bow
such a pretty package
such a pretty family
the biggest crowd
in all of history
let the whole world


this most
perfect union
All credit goes to Kellyanne Conway for the term “alternative facts”.  
; )
Jan 2017 · 554
Willful Ignorance
Denel Kessler Jan 2017
The most
are those
in their belief
of a lie
Jan 2017 · 1.2k
Denel Kessler Jan 2017
She lives in me
a genetic relic
fearsome goddess
strands of vengeance
gifted from the Erinyes
after all these years
trying to disown her
maybe it’s time
to wear her
on the outside
as armor
Jan 2017 · 858
Scarlet Paintbrush
Denel Kessler Jan 2017
fiery crimson slash
on mountain canvas
false beauty above
truth hidden below
how low will they go
to tap the root
sip stolen nectar
to feed their bracted petal lies
protect the precious flower
from pestilence and weather
hummingbirds and hovering bees
take pollen honey-sweet
from the fertile center
spread the stealthy seed
Paintbrush are *hemiparasitic* - plants that photosynthesize, but are also parasitic, tapping into the roots of grasses and other plants to gain nutrients.

Word of the day:
*bract – a specialized leaf surrounding a flower, sometimes larger than the flower itself.  Poinsettia is a common example where the showy, red leaves (bracts) ring the smaller, yellow flower at the center. Paintbrush bracts are reddish green overlapping scales, protecting the yellow-tipped flower within.
Jan 2017 · 1.1k
Denel Kessler Jan 2017
Evelina’s fence of lichened cedar
slouches at the wetland border
her willows wildly weep
on silken cattail shoulders
the neighbors say she’s crazy
snidely call her Javelina
she's sane as any one of them
this brilliant winter morning

Evelina speaks of weather and dogs
hers, a Chihuahua named Fawn
mine, a Frenchie named Sparky
the weather, typically Northwest
in parting, sculpted driftwood
spiraling tornadic rings gifted
between palms roughly
worn by time and sea

Evelina’s yard is thick with trees
the neighbors want cut down
for now, she’s doing all she can
just holding swampy ground
each morning wakes triumphant
to beachcomb on the shore
pockets weighed with treasure
this moment, nothing more
Jan 2017 · 2.0k
Morning Stories
Denel Kessler Jan 2017
Waves speak
to the shore
in rippled verse
scattered shell
strands of kelp

in the sand
each visitor
inscribes a story
sandpiper, wigeon, crow
raccoon, otter, coyote

I read each one
as I write my own
Dec 2016 · 8.6k
Denel Kessler Dec 2016
in the dark
compass spinning
wanton wind
howling, wailing
brittle arms
in concert waving
emerald waters
whipped and raging

sky crushed velvet
sequins sewn tight
to the shattered
span of night
a million times
each time as new
with stardust eyes
with gratitude
Dec 2016 · 2.3k
The Climate of Denial
Denel Kessler Dec 2016
tepid waters do not lie
gale is to cyclone
as rain to thundercloud
no amount of counter-spin
will make them anything other
than atmospheric unrest

El Niño, La Niña
how to read
the unsettled waters
upwelling from the deep
what should feed us
leaves us starving, weak

orcas encircle their kin
emaciated mother, tiny calf
dying from ocean’s lack
while we look on and moan
all the power to change
if we only cared to own it
In the Strait of Juan de Fuca (between Washington state and Vancouver Island, Canada) a resident female orca recently died from what scientists believe to be malnutrition and environmental toxins.  Her young male calf likely died as well, he was too young to survive without a mother.  The last aerial photos taken of the mother and calf show her emaciated, held afloat by family members. A heartbreaking sight.

On the heels of these deaths, there is increasing concern that this resident pod of orcas, numbering about 80 individuals, is declining to the point where it can’t recover.
Dec 2016 · 2.0k
Denel Kessler Dec 2016
transparent seeds
nest in winter hollows
the future reflected
in all-knowing eyes
an internal compass buried
in each golden heart

dappled forest light
on the natal stream
memories of salt
ingrained within
the latent lure
of open ocean

our destinies are silver
a return to clear waters
transformed revenants
glassy-eyed and gasping
on the gravel bed
that birthed us
Nov 2016 · 3.6k
Denel Kessler Nov 2016
It is not enough to see
a soul will manifest
what has been sown
immortal purple flame
gnarled roots in stone
the truth of nature
an external blooming
expression of the world

a flourishing vision
voraciously spreads
animating the meadow
with honey-scented breeze
steep slopes sweetened
magnificent blossoms
open lavender wings
to conquer the sky

here the air is thin
windblown seeds
so carelessly thrown
to harsh alpine soil
become willful weeds
persistently untamed
internally unchained
forever wild flowers
Lupine are symbolically associated with imagination, inner guidance, self-reflection, and the development of wisdom that sees beyond polarizing dualities.
Nov 2016 · 2.2k
Lost Paradise
Denel Kessler Nov 2016
narrow potholed roads
long winding switchbacks
blind corners that lead
the chosen to heaven

the rest of us

rotting slash piles
in a clear cut
fireweed rising
from raw earth

in this land of trees
the forest is forgotten
Nov 2016 · 1.7k
Night Fishing
Denel Kessler Nov 2016
midnight, floodlights
purse seiners packed in tight
anchored on the fragile shoal
shadows play on the white wall
dune grass, needle, leaf of tree
gallows rising from the sea
back and forth the tenders run
salmon gathered one by one
                                 the struggle and the toil
                                                         the silver flashing fins
                                                                            leaping from the net

                                                                                            slipping back within
Nov 2016 · 882
Denel Kessler Nov 2016
Breaking clouds, illuminated arrival
a halo surrounds the oldest soul
in orbit through this midnight world
lonely shadow, scattered sky
blessed light to shuttered eyes
Nov 2016 · 2.5k
Denel Kessler Nov 2016
Boundaries converge
subduction, descension
divergent margins widen
convective from the core
red hot and sticky
hardening to obsidian

succumb to subterranean pull
an infinitesimal slide below
dense and pressured soil
the slow parting seam
a rift becomes a chasm
consuming solid ground
Nov 2016 · 1.7k
Denel Kessler Nov 2016
The lost congregate
a lodestone of despair
draws them together
all that could be said
to make things better
sleek shallow lies
dry crumbling mortar
howling chaos beckons
beyond walls of order
at the unhinged door
a legion of wolves
refusing to be tamed
snarling and ripping
at what little remains
Oct 2016 · 1.8k
Denel Kessler Oct 2016
from the eye wall
thoughts of imminent rain
banked clouds assemble
black and ominous
with saturated breath
will not be denied
their time to rage
against the numbness
of each little death

barometers fall
coastal fortification
futile sandbagging
forlorn gestures
against the flood
a tropical depression
jet-streaming blue
wild moon tide
to desolate shore

gray accomplice
faithful torrent
stratified walls erode
sodden wood, bone
unbalanced homes
collapse gracelessly
no match for gravity
or the merciless sea
Oct 2016 · 2.8k
Denel Kessler Oct 2016
shallow creeper
blindly seeks
subterranean passage
push and ******
fingered shoots
in compliant ground

purple sword
arcs skyward
a deception
yet to unfurl
gold to conceal
the tangle

in unfavorable
Oct 2016 · 758
Latte Art
Denel Kessler Oct 2016
the wind takes
the burnished leaf
with masterful hand
imprints the fall
sweet cream on my lips
burnt autumn on my tongue
Sep 2016 · 6.0k
Season's End
Denel Kessler Sep 2016
you will go your way
despite my protests
no use lamenting
what was never promised
the sun rides low the horizon
soon it will not clear the treetops
storms gather in the northern sea
needled wind to scattered seed
hoary frost on yellowed grass
dark leaves in mirrored puddles
a suspended death
crystalline and indeterminate
there is no fire hot enough
to stave off the first chill
of a careless winter
the numb hibernating sleep
soft gray melting days
the desperate wish
to regain summer
Hello my poet friends!  What a lovely surprise to wake up to this blustery morning.  Thank you for sticking with me through a crazy summer of sporadic posts - you are all wonderful.  Much love!
: )
Sep 2016 · 4.8k
Group Cooperative
Denel Kessler Sep 2016
Indian pipes rise ghostly
from ancient compost
of needled tears shed
white bells corpse-silent
shunning Light’s vital touch
sleeping instead in symbiotic beds
of gracious hosts, who in turn
kiss the feet of living Giants
lushly burning gilded rays
to fuel their green economy
*Monotropa uniflora*, commonly known as Indian pipe, ghost, or corpse plant, are herbaceous, perennial plants that grow at the base of trees in dense forests with very little sunlight.  They feed off fungi that live symbiotically in the roots of trees.  A tree’s ability to photosynthesize fuels this small triangle community.  

I know – I’m odd.  I find these things fascinating.  If you’ve never seen an Indian pipe, search it.  They are rare and only bloom when conditions are perfectly humid, but when they pop up there is an otherworldliness to them.  I’m on a nostalgic mental tour of the flora and fauna of my childhood home and these came to mind.  
: )
Aug 2016 · 2.1k
Denel Kessler Aug 2016
in scorched ground
severed roots remain
untethered tumbleweed
rides the thermal
on a heady rush to heaven
only to drop shattered
on the desolate highway
a once lush landscape
in full splendid flower
abundance freely given
but for one desire
do not let me die
for lack of water
Aug 2016 · 1.7k
Denel Kessler Aug 2016
roasting asphalt oven
sweat and petroleum pungent
a festival in the truest sense
diversity beyond societal bland
tolerance arches over rainbow
colored heads banging to the beat
the great goddess smiles as we dance
she knows true love when she sees it

sing to the dying sun
draping white shoulders afire
above lahar fields green again
successions of ash and germination
evidence of universal rotation
barren to blessed
sway to the eternal rhythm
bass heartbeat in our chests
Warped Tour 2016 with my daughter!

Mt. Rainier is very near the venue.  On this hot and sunny day, she was out in all her glory, watching over the festivities.

Summer has swallowed me!  My apologies for not responding to comments and reading your work consistently.  Love and Peace to you all!
Aug 2016 · 905
Early Rot
Denel Kessler Aug 2016
apples lost
to early rot
first blush of red
on mottled skin
a sallow death
sure as sin

crow of night
crowns the branch
boldly pecks
a hole so wide
plucks the worm
from inside
Jul 2016 · 2.9k
The Water
Denel Kessler Jul 2016
seeds lie barren
on the hardpan
of a soul craving

seek absolution
on scarred knees
search for bliss
in the brief bloom
after sparse rain
believe these offerings
are not in vain

seeds lie dormant
Jul 2016 · 1.3k
Political Laundry
Denel Kessler Jul 2016
sodden fabric
twisted tautly
around a flawed

perforated drum
tumbles mixed
load damp
and tangled

each revolution
coins rain down
empty pockets
wave surrender
Jul 2016 · 868
Chinook Skies
Denel Kessler Jul 2016
cobalt rain
rides the foothills
mountains conspire
in malevolent
cloud lairs

beneath gray waters
she treads
the warming sea
in constant current
scaled desire

burnished crimson
silver sleek
with ripened need
she lives to die
Denel Kessler Jul 2016
I stood flat-footed upon an eroding hill

Here the sweet peas, on tip-toe for a fight
With wing of coarsest black o'er delicate night
And spiteful fingers grasping at all beauty
To bind us all in deeds unworthy

Oh, toxic wind and fertile rain
Disperse the fragrance of this pain
In healing gardens root a seed
Sprout the bliss we sorely need

This tiny pulse of life we hold
Thrives in soil tilled with love
And tender vines create a bower
Of sweet pea tended, brought to flower

I stand bare foot on an erupting volcanic mount

Here the sweet peas, on tip toe for a flight
With wing of justice verity o’er delicate sight
And nails that compassionately snowball serenity
To bind us all with concord and altruism

Oh, acidic rain share the tears
Wash thy tainted eye-sight
Then crux us in the high-yield land
As we germinate to heaven’s height

The seed so robust and fertile
A shell encased with human forms
The greenness of reflected sextile
Oh Sweet pea, our mirrored storm

Inspired by a stanza from Keats' poem:

I stood tip-toe upon a little hill

Here are sweet peas, on tip-toe for a flight:
With wing of gentle flush o’er delicate white,
And taper fingers catching at all things,
To bind them all about with tiny rings."
I wrote the intro line and first three stanzas, Sassy J the second intro line and last three stanzas.  

It was truly a pleasure to work with Sassy J - master of flow and cosmic rhyme.  Her quick mind, sense of social justice, huge heart, and loving soul make her a must-read if you don't know her work already.  Thank you, my special "sweet pea", for suggesting the topic and wanting to work with me!

The sweet pea *(lathyrus odoratus)* derives its name from the Greek word lathyros *(pulse)* and the Latin word odoratus *(fragrant)*.
Sweet peas symbolize bliss or delicate pleasure, they are often given as a thank you.
Jul 2016 · 1.6k
Notes From The Void
Denel Kessler Jul 2016
from the void
the mountain speaks
the beat goes on
in these desolate peaks

moss covered stacks
of sea floor and mantle
embrace and fold
in metamorphic tangle

stunted fir clings
graying roots exposed
a rocky, barren life
is all this sapling knows

snowcapped elderberry
scale the crevice
where bear and wind
make raucous passage

avalanche chutes
gracefully recline
in verdant shades
to the waterline

lie in the meadow
to calm the chatter
make still the noise
to blunt the clatter

upon the coming
of soft night
undress this silence
angel mine

*I came to a point where I needed solitude and just stop the machine of 'thinking' and 'enjoying' what they call 'living,' I just wanted to lie in the grass and look at the clouds.

-Jack Kerouac
Just got back from our annual fishing trip in the North Cascades of Washington state.  From a remote campground on the lake, one can hike steep Desolation Peak to the fire lookout where Jack Kerouac spent 63 days as a fire spotter in 1956.   His experiences there were inspiration for the classic "Desolation Angels".  My reference to "the void" arises from Kerouac's comment about the mountain looming largest in his view from the lookout - Mt. Hozomeen - which he described as "the void".   Little has changed since 1956, still remote, still amazingly beautiful.  I've yet to hike to the lookout (too busy catching rainbows, trout that is!) but it's on my "must do" list.
Jul 2016 · 1.4k
This World Is
Denel Kessler Jul 2016
a hollow
swinging gourd
the swallow
snatches sustenance

an orchard
cherries rotting
on a mossy lawn
fodder for the
grounded dove

two shells
sand erodes truth
the pearl
is an iridescent lie

a fissure
lost river deep
timeless echo
Jul 2016 · 7.0k
This Wilderness
Denel Kessler Jul 2016
on the verge of wilderness
imminent silence*

the sun stroking
peaks aglow
the thundering falls
mist-kissed rain
the solitude
so rarely reached
too often breached

stillness loosen
untamed words
in the native tongue
before thoughts
became yours

to the wild
bear these
cryptic symbols
scrawled on
my halved heart
tokens of longing
for the lost
Jun 2016 · 3.0k
Have I Told You Lately?
Denel Kessler Jun 2016
I love you
like an eternally expanding universe
seen with the clarity
of a thousand Hubble telescopes
your swirling galaxies
artful nebula
tranquil skies
your solid core

I love you
in molten tongues
calling from the void
two nuclear souls
every atom undone
fused together
to make one

I love you
until the thread is cut
my free-falling light
so high on your atmosphere
reshaped by your gravity
a meteorite wish
sweet ashes
to your dust
*In Teutonic mythology, the soul is a star attached to the ceiling of the sky with a thread spun at birth by Fate, represented as an old crone.  Fate cuts the thread at the end of a life and the soul falls, becoming a shooting star.
Jun 2016 · 2.5k
Grief Flowering
Denel Kessler Jun 2016
I potted your healing purple verbena
comforting scarlet geranium
never will forget you
pink carnation
the roots were dry
so I added new soil
watered them good
they'll survive

your granddaughter
brought them here
along with "Phil"
the ancient philodendron
he's taken up residence
close to her bed
his elephant ears
spread wide and listening

I thought you would  
be pleased to know
she loaded plants
until the car was full
that she did find
a bit of solace
in the garden
you left behind
* Plants and flowers have symbolic meaning in many cultures.  My daughter brought home these plants from her grandmother's house after she passed.

Purple Verbena: *Healing, Happiness, Love*
Scarlet Geranium: *Comfort, Protection*
Pink Carnation: Carnations in general - *a mother's undying love*.  Pink Carnations specifically - *I will never forget you*
Philodendron: called the "loving tree".  "Phil" is an Elephant Ear Philodendron.

Interesting that she picked these from an entire garden, isn't it?
: )
Jun 2016 · 592
Denel Kessler Jun 2016
May your passing be quiet
in the beckoning night
may the answers you sought
be divinely defined
let all grievance be shed
to lighten your pace
bless your soul
now released  
all my love
Jun 2016 · 2.2k
Denel Kessler Jun 2016
I can’t help but mourn the frogs, flattened
like Wile E. Coyote after the inevitable boulder
plummets from a great height, leaving him
mashed on the pavement while the Roadrunner
speeds off -  vroom, vroom, beep, beep.

I try to steer around them, but they blanket
the road in biblical numbers during the rain
and it’s like some impossible video game
weaving through masses of randomly hopping life
a certain amount of death is unavoidable.

When I walk the road I can’t stop
counting one, two, five, ten, twenty
cartoon-flat bodies littering the pavement
where I extinguished their glittering
copper and golden-green existence.

Last night, on the panes of every lit window
frogs of all sizes and colors gathered
outside, they covered doors, watering cans
even lined up single file on the coiled garden hose
like they were climbing the ladder to frog heaven.

Through the glass, I admired their rhythmic
throats and soft, creamy, underbellies
one, two, five, ten, twenty
fragile creatures seeking warmth
in the hastening darkness.
Jun 2016 · 1.2k
In Between
Denel Kessler Jun 2016
the life I had
the one unmade
by knots of love
bound and gagged
for all my failings
take the blame
there is no mending
hearts estranged

layers sloughed
to make for new
leave behind
what I can't use
in forgiveness
find recourse
release the tether
of remorse
Jun 2016 · 631
El Corazón
Denel Kessler Jun 2016
the devil does not roam
these blackened rooms
his is not the voice
that booms
and screams
from stage
to wall
in joyous tongues
recounts the fall
then rise to grace
the pulse
of life
that loves
not hates
music flows
from heart to mouth
letting all the demons out
here acceptance
blooms again
and we remember
we are kin
My daughter and I go often to a small club called El Corazón (the heart) to watch the alternative post-******* metal bands she loves. It's a beautiful thing to witness how these young bands and their fans treat each other with such love and respect.  After the attacks on venues in Paris and Orlando, it's not hard to imagine evil walking through the doors of this place.  From my heart to those who have lost loved ones to violence.
Jun 2016 · 2.8k
Denel Kessler Jun 2016
Ignore the veiled murmur beneath
the social graces and party conversation

excuse this bland ****** arrangement
feigning interest in tales worn thin
cruising the same old Memorial Parkway.

This, and the embedded gravel
marking each grim rotation:


the weight of relentless perfection.
Jun 2016 · 3.2k
Denel Kessler Jun 2016
Forty-eight floors up, a God’s-eye view

a man practices tai-chi on a tired patch of grass
he is measured, beautiful

families rest under new-green trees
in Yoyogi Park this early spring Sunday

Mt. Fuji rises like a myth, fading
to illusion in the gathering smog.

                                                            A few inches can be an impossible sea

                                                            we sit, silently contemplating discord
                                                            and the meaningless reasons for it

                                                            cherry trees paint the city pink
                                                            while faded petals cyclone at our feet

                                                            tears, fleeting as sakura
                                                            bloom and fall.
Next page