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Oct 28 · 54
October Cat
ottaross Oct 28
Rainy autumn weather.
The rain drops sound cold
As they strike against the window.
Cat silhouettes seem to herald
An approaching Halloween.
Watching the cat at the windowsill one morning.
Oct 18 · 28
Creative Testing
ottaross Oct 18
Trying to post again
Hoping that today it works
Outside is nothing but rain
And this website has some quirks

But try again I will
To placate my poetry fervor
Fearing the bone-cutting chill
Of error 500s from the server
Service test
Jul 27 · 285
Words For The Rest
ottaross Jul 27
A few words before a nap
In the heat of the midsummer radiance
In the heavy air of a string of rainless days
When our lawn with its broad diversity of weeds
Sits green without our help

Before succumbing to the mid-afternoon weight
Of eyelids commanding me to put tools down
I will select from the firmament
A few choice combinations of letters
And their concomitant meanings

They will say 'I am alive'
In a landscape of life and death and struggle
I am an organism that works to move forward
Though some days I'll move less than others
And sometimes I will rest.
Searching to capture a thought or two before a nap.
Jul 11 · 106
On Our Stairs
ottaross Jul 11
Our stairs are made of wood
The trees that they once were
Probably grew nearby
One hundred years ago
When our house was built.

Maybe they grew in a copse on a hill,
Spent decades swaying in the wind
Tasted the rain, and the soil
And the carbon dioxide
Exuded by creatures of the forest
And people who lived among them
And those that would one day come
And bring them to the ground.

And now they bring me
To my bedroom every night
Where I doze quietly off
While inhaling the cool night air from the window
And puffing out carbon dioxide dreams.
Jul 10 · 40
Within the Grand Veil
ottaross Jul 10
On the surface of the ever-turning sphere
Corners blend with curves in the vapour
Shape is lost in currents of wind and fog
Treetops know what their trunks do not
We sit among the falling droplets
They condensed upon the needles
And get shaken loose by the breeze
This shower falls with pleasing staccato rhythm
But the sun seeks to burn away the veil
And lay bare our insecurities.
Apr 19 · 216
Texture and Touch
ottaross Apr 19
Extend your hand, palm up
Silk - a long bolt of it,
unfurls across your palm
Cold on contact
And smooth
And smooth and smooth
Dragging a crisp wind behind it
As it falls away like a solid liquid

Extend your hand,
A gelatinous orb, almost sticky to the touch
But not quite.
Rubbery, resilient, responsive
Pulled under the weight of gravity
To bulge and droop over the edges of your hand
When you drop it, it hesitates as it lets go.

Extend your hand
Feel the weigh of a solid masonry cube
The greyest concrete
Each crenelation of its surface
Like a dry-skin pore
The corners and edges hold their shape sharply
Dragging fingers make a rasping sound
And a ceramic-like ring as it slips from your hand

Extend two hands together
Like to catch a stream of water
But instead you cradle
A tired and content weeks-old kitten
It adjusts its position, and curls up
Content with the warmth of your hands
You feel the soft, purring of velvet fur
It feels implicit trust, warmth and security
For its always-pending next nap.
Poetry for the fingers
ottaross Apr 4
An entire genre of poetry
Crafted from the pondering of the page blank.
I have a mild disappointment as they
Are submitted into the stream
Of word sculptures that cross my desk
Emerging from nothing
From the art of just getting started.
And even so, here I sit
Having just pulled together one myself.
Jan 4 · 155
What A Situation
ottaross Jan 4
What silliness is this?
This stage, long intended for strutting and fretting,
Seems now exclusively for naked emperors,
And there are so many waiting back stage.
Dec 2018 · 149
No Such Thing
ottaross Dec 2018
Just our clothing choices
Make the weather,
So they say.

For wont of hat or mittens thick
We'd get outside
And play.

With just a rummage thru' the drawer
We'd get outside
And wander.

Just some woollies and a knitted scarf
And get outside today.
"There's no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices"
ottaross Dec 2018
Come and sit there on the cushion
Our chopping and mixing and baking are done
We must just sit and talk about nothing
And enjoy all these things
That we talked about for days

Come and share some drink with me
So much out there is pointless and lost
But in here there is a plan and an order
This we eat first, and then we'll eat that
And when we've drunk our glasses dry
We can fill them again

Come and help me gather these things
Stacked and washed and dried
We'll put them all on a shelf
Or into a purpose-made drawer
And they will be there for us again
On another lazy evening.
Dec 2018 · 685
Crystalmas
ottaross Dec 2018
Melting away the crystalline snow underfoot
I spread crystals of salt
Scattered across the icy walkway.
Overhead Bohemian-glass icicles
Hang like stalactites
Like for the tenuous Damocles.
My beard is frozen, encrusted in the blizzard
But indoors soon I'll shed my layers.
And sit to warm my throat
With a bit of Scotch whisky
No ice in mine, please.
Dec 2018 · 116
Arboreal Dreams
ottaross Dec 2018
White frosted trees
Outside our glassy windows
Do you dream of electric lights
Hung upon your bows
Patterned papers
And corrugated boxes
From your distant cousins
Placed around your trunk
And your only drink
A pale tinny water from a cup
While the sweet elixir
Gathered by your roots
Becomes a distant memory
Nov 2018 · 795
Celebratory Progression
ottaross Nov 2018
Ringing in the years
Ringing in the ears
Wringing out the fears
Writhing in our tears
Wrinkled in our years
Winking at your dears
Wishing for some seers
Would that they saw beers
Waiting for me nears
Would raise a glass in cheers.
Nov 2018 · 550
Your Discordant Alchemy
ottaross Nov 2018
Melt into me
Caramel and salt
Pine sap into quicksilver
Fog dissolving in volcanic lava
An alchemy discordant and electric
Makes an ore of iron sing into steel
A green copper ingot shine into bronze
But discarded I am left as detritus and debris, a cold abrasive ****
Among the twisted forms of the ideas never formed
Far away from the shaping hammer and anvil
The bellows there that only draws
Pulling away the last of the heat
And unidentifiable melted figures
Are each there somewhat me
But are incomplete alone
Oct 2018 · 274
Dark Autumn Night
ottaross Oct 2018
Our headlights out there
In this wet October night
Sink into the cold asphalt
Glowing lumps of coal
Lobbed into a black ocean.
Driving home in a dark evening rain, leaves litter the street, and headlamps are powerless against the depth of darkness
ottaross May 2018
Oh please, not sunshine and 'here I sit" blank-page laments
Season-change ballads and idle-moment thoughts.
My muses are all sedentary and lethargic,
Only speaking up to demand another grape
Fed from dangling fingers.

Sure, the sun is streaming nicely in the window
And a reluctant spring has given way
To summer-like days, as I sit and ponder.
But the tropes and exclaims of 'excelsior!'
Aren't going to cut it this time.

Gold-leafed chaises longues and silver goblets
Are stacked haphazardly on the sidewalk
A pile of plus-sized togae thrown into the mix
A cardboard box of minstrels' greatest hits vinyl too.
The bums are sent packing
And my poem is concluded.
Apr 2018 · 308
Block of Everythings
ottaross Apr 2018
Empty block
Full of everythings
To be carved into something
That was already in there

Finally revealed
It wasn't hidden by the unremoved pieces
But rather by billions of other shapes
That all sat juxtaposed
And each with just as much of a right
To emerge as the chosen shape did

Fragments of The Others
Worthy of reverence
Lay strewn on the floor
They gave themselves
That The One could exist
Those that never were
The unseen
Mar 2018 · 256
Without Gravitas
ottaross Mar 2018
Just a thing put together on a blank screen
With pointless words that accomplish no goal
No sentiments here that the world has not seen
Nothing to tug at the depths of your soul.
Brevity#1
ottaross Mar 2018
Out of the door, and a right turn
I take the asphalt intersection at the diagonal,
As nobody is driving past just now.
The path is muddy where the sidewalk plow
Was misaligned all winter.
The paved bit remains hidden under
A shoulder-high mountain of icy snow.
Mostly clear footing the rest of the way,
The warmer spring days have melted so much.

Next past the elderly lady's place
Haven't seen her little dog in a while.
I suspect he has met his end, as he was on a bit too.
Not long until we'll have forgotten that he ever was.
He seemed to bring some comfort to her
As he shuffled along the perimeter of her yard.
She'd sit on the porch, and smile if you said hello.
Him off his leash, but disinterested in most things
Beyond the boundary of his shrinking universe.

Past a church and its adjacent oft-rented hall.
Here all manner of gatherings during the week,
Bring people by foot, bike and parking-space filler.
I've only been in there for occasional elections,
When cardboard boxes emblazoned
With yellow check-mark logos
Collect a sample of hopes and worries
From those of us living nearby.

Across to the next block after the spot
Where the writhing roots like slow-motion anacondas
Had once lifted the sidewalk
And grabbed at your toes as you'd pass.
It was finally re-paved the year before last.
Or was it the year before that?

On the next block, past the house
Of a recently-retired couple
Recently clerks in a government office
Where at once disinterested and annoyed
They'd awaited a smoke break, and a pension.
On the nice days now they sit smoking
And often offer a smile
While they drink glasses of red wine
On a raised front step that reaches
To the edge of the sidewalk,
As if the pub patio at the next street
Was now close enough to save them the walk.

Finally is a new complex of four units,
Before we reach the busy street.
This one was built just recently
And employed an innovative new scheme.
All concrete and sheet-steel forms,
It came together slowly
As builders seemed unsure how the system
Was supposed to work.

The units are all occupied now, top and bottom.
The below-grade residents, haven't deployed
Their freshly installed blinds since arriving.
Denizens of the sidewalk pass the large window
Where all their worldly possessions are displayed.
They seem to lounge in the adjoining room, mostly
Hypnotized by the large panel on the wall.

Their driveway crosses the sidewalk here.
And it was dry and clear all winter.
I saw the builders installing the snake-like tubes
Of a snow-melting driveway heater.
All winter it liberated the residents from the chore
Of being outside, away from their TV.
And from piling themselves a mound of icy snow
And from later watching it slowly seep away
As the warmth of spring seeps into the sidewalk.
Feb 2018 · 198
A Parcel of Words
ottaross Feb 2018
We begin by considering which space needs this small parcel
This bundle of words wrapped in crude brown paper
And tied with a fibrous, rough twine.

Affairs of the heart?
A plea against the longing of separation?
No, there we'd need our parcel wrapped in fine gilt paper
And tied with ribbons and perfumed.

A lament on the decaying society?
Stripped of honesty and corrupted by graft?
No, there we'd need a box of galvanized steel
And wrapped in a rusting wire with blood-stained barbs.

An inspiration to lift the soul?
Wings to fuel the rising inner enthusiasm?
No, that would need a ripstop nylon pack
Fitted with straps and pockets for a journey over the horizon.

A comfort, a support, a reassurance?
For an ordinary Tuesday, with some lingering Monday weight?
Sure - let it serve us here.
Crude, but effective, it lets us in easily.
The paper and string set aside to serve us again
Folded and wound into the kitchen drawer.
The words inside say that we're not alone
That Wednesday will be along soon
And it will take us all as we are.
Feb 2018 · 172
Alliterative and Arbitrary
ottaross Feb 2018
Almost abstractly it begins
Offerings of aphorisms to quell the daily tide
Exploring all angles available and their attributes
Adjust then all aspects of our problems
And build towards an anticipated resolution
A path that addresses those actions
But abandons the essence
Trophies acquired arbitrarily
Diminishing the attribution of success
Assistance pursued to remedy adversity
Renders academic the activities
That were pursued originally
Until all is abstract, ambiguous, abstruse
Exploring - initial alliteration, filled in to craft a scene
Feb 2018 · 126
Into the Terminal Glare
ottaross Feb 2018
End of the growling hunter
Freed until nine then washed away
Emptied at the sinking
Full at the peak of the hill
Echoing up the sodden gullies
To round the blistered bolder walk

Clear the sharp impact of the fall
Tumbling into the terminal glare
All along the open way
Returning to the fork
Where the vistas are foggy
And the path turns sharply
Into the humid mire
Beginning from random words, tweaked with synonyms until it found a theme then tightened, just a tad, until it began to hold together.
Feb 2018 · 116
In the Little Spaces
ottaross Feb 2018
Wedged into the little spaces
Between a thousands things we need to do
And a hundred others we don't want to do
And a dozen others we wish we could do
And a few we're trying not to think about

In these little spaces
That stretch to be longer spaces
That are the reason our lists grow so long
That paint on a sticky glaze of regret

In there, among the detritus
The things we'll have forgotten by tomorrow
The lists that will decompose and blow away
The wall of pushing hands that drives us forward

There
In the little spaces
A few deep breaths
A few words cobbled together
A little bit of the authentic
And sometimes it's enough
To go forward
Apr 2017 · 257
Monday
ottaross Apr 2017
Stretch to reach the goals of the day
The bar seems raised so high overhead,
Is it my footing too soft underfoot?
Or am I slouching under the weight of it all?
Apr 2017 · 384
Battles Hardfought
ottaross Apr 2017
In preparation for an invasion
A military force makes sorties
To their opponent’s barriers
And prods to spark response

In the responses
Defensive elements are exposed
Defenders are never sure
What constitutes a ****
Or the tsunami of attack

When the big push comes
There are shocks and surprises
There is resolve and bravery
There is fear
There is capitulation
There is desolation and loss

These shadows play similarly for us
The world prods us into middle age
Leaves us unsure with each surprise
Is this one just a little challenge
Is this the thin edge of the wedge of catastrophe

We, our weaknesses exposed
We, our defences to redouble
We, oh joyous recipients of a moment’s respite
Can regroup and recite unto ourselves
Henry’s Saint Crispin’s day speech
Before another sun rises

Yes, others shall think themselves accursed
That they were not here in my shoes
To have overcome that hellish Tuesday traffic
To have resolved the late-night call from elderly parents
To have dried the hard-fought tears
Of a beleaguered friend
Who found their last
and final reserves
were too thin
too little
too depleted
to cope.
Apr 2017 · 501
On The Beat
ottaross Apr 2017
April paints green
Across the grey and brown
Of winter trees.

As if from the dead
The swell
The tufts
The rhythm of life
A resonance subatomic
And gargantuan.

It's all about the timing
Like the sun versus the wind fable
Life's harmony
Awaits the gentle coaxing
For its big debut
And emerges
To move with the beat.
Jan 2017 · 248
Hold Me
ottaross Jan 2017
We're all really just alone
When you come right down to it.
Setting aside the biology
And l'amourology
And all the pooling of resources
It's just all about this biped
Standing on a rocky orb
Asking it to gravitationally hold me
Just a little bit longer.
Jan 2017 · 849
Common Cold
ottaross Jan 2017
the lethargy
seeping like some primordial liquid
through the walls of my rocky cave
into my morning
into my enthusiasm
into my productivity

the discomfort
descends a familiar blanket
coarse wet fibrous
to fall from above and wrap 
my shoulders
my torso 
my legs

so common
so disinterested in the individual me
this cold 
it moves in
indifferent
to ride my rapidly waning energy
like a broken horse
to its next host
ottaross Jan 2017
The feet should descend towards the ground gently
But not quite touch
A few millimetres above will do nicely
Proceed thus through these parts in the darkness.

Here among the short grass blades,
Among the busy beetles
And the briefly alighting bees,
The sensitivities bleat.

Souls wounded, but still hanging on
At once in repose and contemplative
Rising soon, again, I'm sure,
To coalesce into corporeal beings
And to rage again toward the hills
Where all manner of adventures await.
With apologies to Dylan Thomas
Oct 2016 · 267
This Quiet Connection
ottaross Oct 2016
Come, walk with me.
Unknown to each other now
But destined to merge downstream.
Like the fresh and salty waters,
As a quick silent river  
Is enveloped in the arms
Of the roaring ocean tides.

Come, my arm awaits,
Crook'd by my side,
You to weave a hand
Gently thru' along forearm
Warmth for your cold fingers
My breath-filled cage
Presses softly against
The back of your hand.

What is it that you let
Seep into me with a touch,
That inflates me so much
And lightens then my gait?
You placed it there so gently
It expanded within me so curiously
But I dare not ask the how, or why
Nor look too closely
Upon its magic.

Come walk with me in silence,
As we together watch the moment
From strange to intimate pass.
This quiet connection
Together we feel our feet
Lift up and away
Like so many bubbles
Above the sand and pebbles
And away,
Out to sea.
Jul 2016 · 400
Bedrock
ottaross Jul 2016
Like an arm across a cluttered table
Like a glacier upon the mountains
Like a silent unfathomable wave through the harbour

It was a look
A glance
Without seeing or caring
And the scars across the bedrock
Are visible for a million years
Jun 2016 · 2.6k
Tales of Ancient Times
ottaross Jun 2016
We went to a play last week

Actors strutted around

Among a set of tall buildings

Made of actual stone of grey

And billowing smoke

And noises

And crowds.


Upon the great stage they talked

About their ancient ideas

Like wars

And politics

And freedom.

In one scene an actor yelled

and swung a mighty hand

and struck the other man!


And though we knew

It was really just acting

The idea that one

Could hit another

Shocked all of us in the audience
So powerfully

And a few people even left

The theatre

In tears.

But there were funny bits too

In the play that night.

A character said he had a car.

His Own. 
Personal. 
Car!

And together they were to drive

Both of them

Off to an aeroport.

Like with all the steering,

And foot pedals,

And everything.

And in a very sad part

Someone treated someone else badly

And called her names

Because of the colour

Of her skin

And because she had come

From somewhere else.

And all our eyes were wet for a while.

One man used a device

Which was an ancient komputer.

Two flat parts with a hinge

And it opened upon his lap

And one side glowed brightly

To illuminate his face

And he presses a bunch of button-keys

To spell words and things

Because that’s how they told the

Komputer

What to do.

And we all laughed.

when it was over a bunch of us asked the man that was hit if he was okay was he really okay it looked terrible and did they really have to do that awful thing in the play and was the other actor a bad man and he said no, it was alright and the other actor was a nice man and that it didn’t hurt at all and he said he was sorry that it scared us but it was the violence of the time and the people of that time and we said we kind of understood.

And we all felt better


But one lady

Still needed to hug him.

And his eyes

Were a little wet too.
Oct 2015 · 809
Mandible Bone
ottaross Oct 2015
Laughable
Affable
Reachable
Near

Damnable
Mandible
Crucible
Bone­

Icicle
Tricycle
Sensible
Fear

Inevitable
Dependable
Dispensabl­e
Stone
Oct 2015 · 539
Throwaway
ottaross Oct 2015
A throwaway.
Not for posterity.
Not for unborn archaeologists
To extract caked with mud.
Not to be hidden from the sun
Under a millennia of detritus.

Just for now.
Just for this bit of time
When nobody needs you immediately,
And nobody expects you to deliver,
And nobody is depending on you.

Just for these moments.
Just to share a bit of your space-time
While the sun finds a gap in the branches
And drives the chill from the room.
While the office has emptied for lunch
And a breath can be taken in peace.
While the hum of the bus/train/plane
Has lulled your fellow travellers to sleep.

Just to see some words gathered
Purely for their affinity to one another.
Just for the love of pictures
Painted in your head alone.
For when just one more read through
Is purely for the pleasure
Of sitting awash in an idea.

Throwaway.
A handful of words.
Just for you.
Oct 2015 · 449
No Rest For the Waters
ottaross Oct 2015
Come down from the mountains
In coarse weave and wool,
Come down at the break
Of the iced inky night.
Upon smoke-spouting horses
Come down to the river
And drink deeply of its cold and black.

It got here before you
Melting, tumbling, weaving between stones
Coursing and dropping without caution.
And while you lay languid
Upon meadow grasses
And the bay shuffles, hobbled,
And crops at the green,
It will pool deeply at the bend in the river
And be gone before you awake.
ottaross Oct 2015
No voice could call
From my sandpaper throat.
The script written
In a watercolour ink,
Left the pages blank
After the rain.
Clutching a weathered branch
On an overhanging rocky ledge,
Legs dangled into the abyss.
Finally, a reaching arm
From the quicksilver mirror
Pulled me back
To the rabbit hole within.
Sep 2015 · 303
Sizzle
ottaross Sep 2015
There is something
                    Electric
                  in the air

As a new,
     ...original
                ...idea
       is conceived
        in the belly
of the World.
Sep 2015 · 464
Hope For Us Yet
ottaross Sep 2015
The morning breaks like a jagged jam jar, the sun burns through like a stinking cigar, the time moves forward like a lethal lahar, and yet another day is burning.

And another one now, they just keep coming, there's no escape here, your brain needs numbing, you're tangled in wire and perplexing plumbing, and none of it's worth what you're earning.

Sometimes we think we've got a pretty perfect path, but as you get close it instead wreaks wrath, still we all want what the other half hath, but material goods don't quell yearning.

You could do more, you could work wonders, your heart says yes, but feet bestow blunders, as one thing leaps another thing thunders. It leaves your whole world churning.

But a light will emerge between the tall trees, the heat will fade with the fall's brisk breeze, you'll find warmth where you formerly freeze, you'll find inspiration returning.

Because humanity thrives on problems perverse, people have recovered from way, way worse,  a chasm wasn't made we didn't try to traverse. 'Cause the things we beat down, set us learning.
Aug 2015 · 492
Heavy Eyelids
ottaross Aug 2015
Night has well and truly fallen
And laying in bed
The sounds
Of crickets and cicadas
Sizzles in from the windows.
Though my eyes grow heavy,
I try to write a poemmmmm........¡zzzzz 0
Aug 2015 · 1.9k
Infrastructure
ottaross Aug 2015
When a rain-storm surprised the city
Passers-by looked down with pity
At a large group of nutters
Inspecting the gutters
An unfortunate planning committee.

They decided today was good timing
Below-streets they soon were climbing
Where the gutters connect
To the sewers they checked
And all got a very good sliming.
Who can resist a little limerick action?
Aug 2015 · 1.1k
Mortal's Lament
ottaross Aug 2015
The day leaves me somewhat melancholy
Due to a story I heard recounted.
It's about a life, a love, a death observed
By a stranger across a garden.

From afar she saw the pieces played
Unfolding as the months went by.
From happiness and living pleasant lives
To weakness, despair and loss.

I, just a random listener with a radio
The story makes me pause.
I identified with the tragic soul
Not the observer from afar.

Do I stop and reconsider now
The path on which I live?
Do I think ahead and enjoy this
Comfort and security while it lasts?

We're curious things, we humans
When confronted with mortality.
Loath to break free of our routines
And so to face possibilities so dire.
Aug 2015 · 512
Sunny Reconsidered
ottaross Aug 2015
Everyone lauds the sunny day
They lavish them with praise.
It's such an easy proposition
In warmth and golden haze.

But it is, I'd say, a refinéd taste,
When the day dawns bleak and grey,
To find the joy of heavy clouds
That bubble-wrap your day.

And oh, the ones with pouring rain?
Many call them vile
The drum of raindrops on one's roof
Brings to me a smile.

A wailing wintry driving blizzard?
You declare it all so rotten.
Yet my heart gets a pleasant lift
From a landscape wrapped in cotton.

Now slush-and-sleet-filled days in March
Are a horrible kind of weather
I fear it seems to void my thesis
And bring to no one pleasure.

It erodes the denizens' state-of-mind
Optimism quite diminished
Everyone with tempers short
All wishing it were finished.

Oh, for a bright day in July
With no one getting huffy,
A golden sun that rules the sky
And clouds so big and fluffy.
(Rework of an older version)
Aug 2015 · 3.3k
Love Marriage Spell Caster
ottaross Aug 2015
"Lost love spell caster voodoo spells"
The spammy text-posts read
Let's write them off, as so much bunk
That nobody would heed.

"Love marriage specialist
in Ahmedabad" said another
Finally you could be betrothed
And satisfy your mother!

Voodoo spells and marriage vows
For only a few rupees,
The challenges of life, all quickly solved,
With very modest fees.
Fora  few days the HelloPoetry site was over run with spam poems all saying the same awkward phrases, as featured in this piece. Thought it would be fun fodder for a poem.
Aug 2015 · 545
Direction
ottaross Aug 2015
A thin tendril of wispy stuff
Threads in-between and around the heavy planks
Binding them together
As they float directionless off-shore.
All aboard lounge about
As listless as their path,
Floating this way,
Then that.
Surrounded by steam-belching tugs
That **** and jostle the drifting raft
Go that way,
Now go this.

Ultimately low on coal,
And with a weaker head of steam.
Soon they move away disinterested
Leaving the lounging raft-bound hoard
Never having found the controls
Nor recognizing the cardinal points on the compass
They hold over their heads as a talisman.
Aug 2015 · 271
Answers and Truths
ottaross Aug 2015
A handful of truth and answers
Sprinkled over the upward-turned faces
Eyes closed, mouths agape
Desperate for puzzle pieces
So long assured of what they would look like
They bounced off foreheads
And shoulders
And fell down around their feet
And were left trampled and unrecognized
Still blowing about in little skiffs
Around the edges of the field
After all had gone.
Aug 2015 · 271
Elusive (Reworked)
ottaross Aug 2015
Catch the one
You beckoned to fall
Down to you.
It came easily then
Out of the deep black sky.

Too hot, unless you played it
Quickly from hand-to-hand.
Too bright
As it glowed and sparkled.
Too beautiful;
Blinding, rare and exotic.

Quickly, you find,
You cannot find a ladder soon enough
Nor tall enough
To replace the jewel
Back from whence it came.

It was better there
If only you had known.
Jun 2015 · 375
The Work-A-Day Bargain
ottaross Jun 2015
the fiery ember-glow of the appointed hour
beckons the hour-hand closer

starchy, stiffened footsteps
of the structured ticktock routine
fracture first then crumble into powder
swept away by stampede winds

forget it then
the charred and brittle caress
of the silver-for-chains bargain

instead there will be
lemon and lilac-flower music
sand dune and landslide gestures
and heavy maple-syrup glances
deep into a crude-oil quicksand night.
Jun 2015 · 378
Roses Are Red
ottaross Jun 2015
Roses are red
Red as the whistling howl of fiery winds
As we stumbled into a crowd
Of rusty desert sandstone boulders
Sitting parched and abraded by time.

We'd baked all day
Surviving bouts of blowing sand
And so we crouched as thermal refugees
In the scant shadow of the boulders
Hopeful for an extra hour of life
Before the wind and sand and heat
Would claim us to our last drop.

Red.
Our skin too was red
Burnt like paper set alight
That never really catches flame
But is consumed by a glowing linear ember
Under the relentless sun.

Somehow we remained there
Against hot red sandstone
Saying nary a word
Greedy for the moisture
That would escape on our breath
Moving only to track the patch of shadow
As it moved methodically around the boulders.

When finally the murderous sun
Gave up and slunk away
The sky turned deep red with twilight.
The only words anyone spoke
When someone said
"Roses are Red"
But nobody had a tendril of energy
Left to extend beyond pure survival
To do anything with it.
Jun 2015 · 467
I Just Met My Father
ottaross Jun 2015
"I'm changing my name" she said
"I've just met my father for the first time"
She said
Payment rings through
In transaction for a *** of tea
The gathered paraphernalia handed over in exchange.
I had little to offer in return
To my smiling young barista
A friendly tendril for a familiar face in the shop
An eagerness to share some part of her life
Even though time and place
Offer little option for elaboration
For sating her need to say it to herself again
The enthusiasm around a momentous life event
A few kind words the final part of the transaction
Then the scoop of tea leaves
And some hot water
And a fragile white porcelain cup.
A brief chat with a barista - seemed too good to not capture in a poem
May 2015 · 515
Interrupted Supply
ottaross May 2015
There are no words today
The shopkeeper told his patrons.

They gathered bereft seeking sublime phrases
Poems of love and loss
But he could offer them none.

There are no words today
He told them.
No typeset letters upon the page
No phrases crafted of sinew and strength
Or of weakness and failing.

They pressed on with their day then
Without their fix of crafted words
To scribble waxen-colour inside their lines
They were left to contour their own imagery
And look about them for hue and tone and rhyme.

Lost then in clichés and quotations
For day after subsequent day
Used words were read over and again
Off ***** or torn sheets
Or passed hand-to-hand on gritty streets
And stapled and taped
To telephone poles and fences.

There were no words for the patrons
On that day and since
And their unspent coins
Brought them no respite
For the disquiet in their hearts.
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