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Mel Holmes Mar 2014
a possum is smoking a cigarette on
top of a small barn in the field.

inside the barn, a mama births
a batch of baby sheepdogs
their eyes still caked shut--
a world awaits.

as the possum finishes his last drag,
i watch the trees in the yard
get up & walk away.
Mel Holmes Mar 2014
i have never felt more at home,
instantly welcomed, loved by strangers,
sleeping with the trees,
i shower with a sister under the sun
& we tiptoe our way to the lake,
feel the softest sand,
because we want to stay naked,
let the heat warm our skin
after months of piling on layers,
icing ourselves like a cake of cotton.

there is something innate & essential
to be free in the woods:
the two of us started the movement,
now a crowd of **** brothers & sisters
tread banks of sand & fallen pollen.
Pops comes around the bend with his canoe,
takes us to the dock in the middle of the lake.
Pops, with his sunburnt skin of muscles and tales
names me goddess of the lake.
all of us hold a bit of the net
to catch fish through the hole at the dock.
we laugh because
this is how we are meant to be.
Mel Holmes Mar 2014
driving south
to see trees in bloom
after a night of sleeping in the snow
& letting the hail beat up your face,
i can imagine is like
seeing color for the first time.

i am the new wick of a candle--
turned on by spring sun,
the light shows the beauty in strangers
like red-haired, shirtless Steven
whose eyes graced me with
the radiance of sunlit olive,
a shade i have never dreamed before:
gold & green globs twist in circles
in his irises, like magic

no wonder warm blood of new loves
is harvested in this season.

at the pink rock on the parkway,
i saw a collared corgi get lost,
enamored with strangers.
cannabis clouds coagulate
the air to power young hikers.
i spy front seat fever
in the car next to mine,
heads disappear
into the laps of their lovers.

for me, it is these woods,
the nurturing ways of the willows,
the numbing wind of unspoiled silence
by the glasshouse over the lake.

the bloom of new cycles
in the ancient--
what was always there,
like lovers that are always within,
part of you.
dogwoods crack open
to let us come together in a forested space
where all trails lead to treehouses.

this is my spring love,
this is bliss.
Mel Holmes Mar 2014
a mid-spring winter

right now there is a battle in the sky--
a dichotomy of hemispheres, a broken
line splits the two:

one is the smoke of an impending storm,
strong whistles slide through the maze of bamboo stalks
they are forced to samba back & forth, all
the windchimes are struck like tambourines,
and with growing roars from the chicken coop,
the music of the moment
is an unrehearsed orchestra on speed.
the doors on the porch swing wildly,
touched by armies of ghosts, & each creak in the
bamboo treehut declares itself, all is graced with
new kinds of movement.

the other half of sky is peaceful, silent
what’s left of the glow peaks through turquoise sheets,
until it is ****** by the black hole of gust.

the storm brings such a beautiful haunting to the sanctuary.
Mel Holmes Mar 2014

the evening when I lay
for a nap until midnight,
left the house lights blazing,
all doors cracked open
as my tabby-cat chews
on the ends of my hair
on my bed.

midnight comes & goes with ease,
the cycle of my saliva waterfalls
begins, making art
on the pillowcase,
my breath deepens with moonrise.

yet as the hour enters the darkest point of night
the lights in the hall panic--the start of a seizure:
they dance on & off with indecision.
there is no one else in my home
but these atoms tug my chest
in-between slumber & light,
half-cracked eyes
& a heart of speed,
i levitate
to meet the spirit
hers, the vintage frame of a Lichtenstein
in shadows,
her floating face
is a talking head
but i can’t hear a word
from the mouth in motion,
not even a whisper.

i respect her presence
but squeeze my eyelids & turn over
into a scared sleep.
i want to know
what she had to say
i want to purge the darkness
that makes spurs my pulse
in the presence of phantoms.

Pt. II

i felt them again in the hummingbird room,
with it thick window that shows the swaying
shagbark branches winding up for a fight,
and the high window that lets me peak
at the waxing gibbous,
when the clouds let us see her.

spirits came in through computer screens
in the invisible attic
but the Lightweaver
sent them away.
Mel Holmes Mar 2014
messages from the mountain sanctuary

the scariest image i can think up:
rows & rows of rooms without windows.

the scariest thought:
placing your mind in the future.
when you can’t
see the dancing loblollies outside those windows,
taste the skin of your newest lover,
smell the burning cedar in the ancient
potbelly stove that heats the whole house.

let go of everything
to begin to breathe bliss,
turn your body into an empty mug,
you will be full of
the sweet brew of
this moment.
Mel Holmes Mar 2014
What desire was teased
that morning, the pairing
of backaches & amphetamines
left me rocking under sweaty sheets
wide-eyed, the numbers on the clock
passed the Devil’s hour to your time.
You call on me as magpies call each other
after sunrise.

What desire was teased
that drove my frail, bleeding body
with its bloodshot eyes
onto the roads,
passing yards of pacing possums
to your ****** Lake home.

What desire brought a comfortable
smile to my lips as I watched you
pour Bud Light in wine glasses
and call yourself fancy?

The chrome half-moons
under your eyes grow darker,
layered, like nightfall.
The wrinkles on your
forehead are drawn on now,
lucid, in the unwelcome light
that graces through these
basement windows.

You beckon me to the bathroom
where fresh snow awaits.

I wonder why I follow you,
watch you take in too much--
clear the snow from the countertop,
then we attack each other,
we are leopards
on your red velvet couch
only for a minute--
your heavy eyes close
your body gives a final shrug.
I carry the old man to bed,
place cold water on his lips
and lay with him,
pretending to sleep as
his bones rest on my soft skin.

A sad danger always lingers behind callithumpian ways,
[my maternal instinct needs a new outlet.]
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