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iolanthe Jun 2020
i.

Give me daisies.
Upon the summer solstice midnight,
Wreathe white daisies upon my crown, and kiss
My hands beneath the heavy moonlight
And I will imagine you in stardust.
And I will imagine you in fine luminescence
Upon wild dark seas, your luminescence
Give me daisies:
I want to see the sun.

CHORUS: You are made of bloodsweet poppies
And the taste
Of every new moon night.


ii.

SELENE: I have been lying here for hours
Cold hands, cold fingers and wrists twisted in prayer.
I, enrobed in silv’ry silk and pearls,
Eyes upon stars and clouds,
Watch the days and nights
Blur and fall away, away, away
Away into one long, pure, unbroken, unrelenting expanse of time
Yes, time, and I
Met you and remembered the way it was
And I remember the way it will be.
O, chrysanthemum red-poppy mine.

Death speaks to me in quiet dreams
And his eyes are the clearest blue I’ve ever seen
Like the sunlit sea in summer.
He leaves chrysanthemums at my bedside.
I mouth that I long for his hand
Upon my brow.
He leaves golden chrysanthemums at my
Wretched and faery-garlanded bedside.

When the mountains dissolve into the tides
And the oceans become the deepest skies
Remember me at the bottom of the sea
As your bones return to the earth so dark
And quiet.
But soft,
Do you hear my voice on the springtime wind?
Do the birds in hell sing gently my name?
Does each ghost wear my pallid face?
Do your hands, in certain pre-dawn light
Appear as mine?
Let them clasp each other.
Let them hold each other tightly.

And I will reach down from my crescent bed
And close my eyes and with fingers stretch’d pretend
That I can feel,
I can feel,
I can feel you my spring-eternal friend.


iii.

CHORUS: A chasm breaks the earth in two
A split.
Cleaved.
The stars break and swallow.

And I will imagine you in stardust
Skin silvered, with angel-like wings of white
And I will imagine the way your lips
Would feel if traced by my cold fingertip.
Come back, come back, come back for me, oh! come!
Don’t leave me stranded standing centered in
This moon-blue meadow
Of daisies
Daisies.
Surrounded by bright white little firelight daisies!
Daisies, petal’d, golden-mouthed and alive like
Stars several million in the hellishly dark night
I feel the hand of God is reaching in.
I feel you reaching
Mon étoile…
I feel you reaching…

CHORUS: Do you still dream?
iolanthe Jun 2020
The glass queen in the forest sleeps
Where eve birds sing and foxes creep.
Black hair and skin made to shiver,
She sleeps at the lonesome bottom of the river
In a glass coffin sealed to keep her in.
She sleeps in exile after her sin.
A tomblike bed in the winter river
Is all that watches her weep and shiver
And if upon the stony, watery bed you creep
You will find Her Highness
Fast asleep.

Her cheeks are roses and her teardrops pearls
And her lips a camelia delight
Tempting Joan Judith, a blonde-haired maiden
And virtuous white-horse riding knight.
For there are few who could resist the girl.
Joan press’d her lips to the water’s glass edge
And gazed through the glistening surface
But fell did she from the rocky ledge
For this was the girl-knight’s purpose:
Within that wintry cold water she knew
She’d not see the sun nor the matin-dew.

For to be with the queen she would drown just
As she, and it did not take long to sink.
At the bottom of the river, she reached for the lass
But her fingertips met only cold, enchanted glass.
The current was too strong to fight,
With the silv’ry moon above,
A curse it was, for the maiden’s sin
Had been forbidden mortal love!

Forever a goddess slumbers ‘neath a river
Of wintry water to set the flesh a-shiver.
Come lie with her and hear her whisper
From her long-frozen tomb:
Sleep now, precious angeline, for love
Tastes sweetest when ’tis doom’d.
iolanthe Jun 2020
The storm sky turns brilliant shades.
I am on the edge of doom.

The vultures have gathered in thick crowds along the river
While I stare at the fast-coursing water,
And the storm brews, distant, ever creeping closer

Closer, closer.

The river pulls me closer, as if
This blood and bone is not my own.

The vultures watch silently from the trees
With hungry quiet eyes.

Tonight I am reborn.

Virginia Woolf sits along the grassy bank
As the dark clouds gather behind her soft hair.
In a dress blue like summer,
She smiles like Mona Lisa.
iolanthe Jun 2020
Tea house gardens, with delicate wisteria
And lilac on the breeze, pink and verdurous
Sunlit, golden haze
Golden hair is braided with white jasmine
Lily-sweet breath of the waterlily queen
With lips like peony petals, and eyes
The sky after rain. Hear her sing serenity.
Her gown is white eyelet lace contrasting
The rose-blush of her milky white face.
Down feathers trail her sandaled steps,
Leading through the forest to the river west.
“I come from the sea,” says she, as the sun
Sets vague, sitting on the fountain ledge,
“They wanted to carve me in marble,
But I insisted on remaining
An evenfall muse made flesh.”
When night comes, listen to her sing,
And leave by the river fine instruments
And opalescent rings
And you may earn the favor of the lark,
The waterlily queen.
to Georgia
  Jun 2020 iolanthe
georgia h
V.
I have been practicing form
with many curls of graphite on paper
between soft blue and white lines
scratching hollow hearts in repetition
until they bend into V’s:
that very shape children turn birds into.

Careful and careless with my heart
as I am with the storm cloud of little ones
on my pages
flurried into place by my absent mind
I am absent
I am filled to my throat with smoke,
the desire to take flight,
absent in thoughts of you.

The shape of an arrowhead,
Eros’ penetrating tip.
The angle of a woman’s *******.
The bend of a wishbone ready to snap.
These could all be called
the shape of love

but my love will always be a bird too high, a V windbound,
that I will pin to my fridge with a magnet
and look at every other Sunday
when I remember it.
iolanthe Jun 2020
The taste of blood
Behind closed lips, savor’d.
Barefoot in the street, stones cold under ***** feet
The taste of blood, the memory of
The throat and the hand.
The arteries were shut, and slowly,
The brain was deprived of life.
Rain slicks the streets.

Beneath the moon-drowned sky,
Suffocated stars hidden in deep waves:
A beating heart.
Thudding, thudding, a beating heart
Always fading, slipping away.
Silhouettes linger in the shadows
Watching but quiet, as she dances
Along in a stumbling waltz of one foot after the next
Of life breathed birthed anew again.
Beyond,
The rainfall woods
Open.

Night insects chirping
And small animals skittering in the leaves.
The early morning hours:
Dark, but the fog has come in.

It’s all about teeth, you know.

And ****** necks
And coppery moons good for sacrifice.

Fingers long and pale
Sliding with white dagger nails
Past the breast, to the neck, to the pulse,
Fluttering.
It was almost a kiss and on certain nights, it felt like it.

She knows these stranger silhouettes
No better than she knows the rain, or worse.
She fakes death, and takes it to bed with her
On certain stormy nights.
On certain cloudy seas
Where she can writhe in silk and dreams and wake
Earthbound:
Tethered to the land with tangled roots
This is what it is to be doomed.
She walks among the others, the same but far apart
When they do not think her mad they fawn with ****** hearts.
The porcelain body and the flower lips
Sleeping smothered
In silk in a dark hotel room made a gentle tomb
Where the staff do not question her comings, and goings,
And do not notice the box 'neath the bed
Just big enough for a skeleton and its lively flesh.

Playing goddess, when the night comes.
Hecate, out with torches.
The lamplight burns low on the vanity strewn with pearls and perfumes

You can only use so much rouge before it looks like a ruse.
Nothing will suffice but the essence of
Roses blonde with the fabled sort of youth.

Posey killer.

She comes at dusk like autumn
Like a winter-frosted blight
And savors the taste of blood
In her nyx-eternal night
Where the pale moon drowns sweetly
And watery stars take flight.
iolanthe Jun 2020
I sit with Medusa in the rose garden
Watching the snakes as they watch me
In the evening sun in June.

‘They think they’ve made me ugly,’ she says,
As she braids poppies in my hair.
‘Au contraire, au contraire,
Serpents are known only as evil for their venom
And their silence.’

I think of smooth scales.

At night in her stone castle
I pore over Plath
And think more of asphyxiation
Such as the clouds that come to cover the moon
Suffocating Selene on nights made for vampires.
Your blood is merely minerals.
And your bones merely another kind of stone.
The same that makes these castle walls
And the heretics in the roses.

The medicine,
Oh, it’s faery wine.

Witch woman!
My blood is a smashed pomegranate
Ruby entrails, ruby
Seeds strewn and crushed against the pavement.
Ah, ma douce, ma douce
Ma douce petite,
Bite your tongue and go back to sleep.

I am lying in grass among graves.

I can still taste the blood in my mouth
While overhead the crows fly in the October sky
And I sleep on the bones of my ancestry.
pleas help i am bad at writey do not kno 1 thing about poem

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