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Feb 2013 · 1.3k
Penny Serenade
Paula Swanson Feb 2013
Dancing outside the saloon,
they toss pennies at his feet.
On his harmonica he plays,
a tune, off key, up beat.

On his head of sparse grey hair,
he sports an old top hat.
His tattered coat of tailored tails,
frames a frayed and worn cravat.

On a thin frame the tux does hang,
his pants, held up with twine.
You can't help, but to think,
he is from another time.

Come rain or shine, he is there.
Tip of his hat to all the girls.
He gives a nod of thanks at each sound,
as round his feet, the pennies swirl.
Feb 2013 · 1.3k
Relieved In Ink
Paula Swanson Feb 2013
Silent tears, relieved in ink,
on paper smooth and cool.
Heart and hand now work in synch,
as strong emotions duel.

There on the parchment you lie,
naked, for all to see.
You heave a deep cleansing sigh.
At last, you can believe.

Word by word you come alive,
a healing balm takes form.
Before long, you realize,
a stronger you is born.
Jul 2012 · 1.1k
Paula Swanson Jul 2012
As a flag, left to the ravages of wind and sun,
so too my soul, stands tattered and ravaged.
My visage now a faded memory
of once courageous colors.
My voice no longer crisp, nor upbeat.
But weak and undefined.
No longer do I instill nor evoke,
a sense of power or purpose.

I am easily dismissed as useless, unnecessary.

Yes, once I was the strong flag,
that laughed in the wind with a quick
snap and whip crack determination.

That was years and many storms ago.
Now, I give into the wind,
with a defeated wave
and the sound of a sigh.
Paula Swanson Jul 2012
It was a lifetime ago...just yesterday,
when rain fell softly upon my face.
That spoke to me of younger years,
with all my innocence thus encased.

I could feel the rainbow...just out of reach,
all the colors of moments passed.
Where truths were lies and lies believed,
countless, as grains in an hourglass.

I can bear forth the torch...yet not burn the eyes,
to scald away truth's stench and decay.
Why can't we hold to the dreams of youth,
that was a lifetime ago...just yesterday?
Feb 2012 · 1.5k
Twilight Eyes
Paula Swanson Feb 2012
Eyes the color of twilight hours,
looks down from a canvas throne.
Captured for an eternity,
her languid form, in repose.

Queen of all she surveys,
within these crumbling walls.
Moth eaten Brocade, silk spider's web.
Marble stairs and dank halls.

Once the matriarch of a dynasty,
that lived beneath this roof.
She still exerts her own will,
as watches, uncaring, aloof.

She is within the very mortar,
that binds these ancient stones.
Her blood is on the very air,
that chills you to the bone.

The floors and she are now as one.
Listen!  You can hear her footsteps.
There within the mournful wind,
hear her laughter where she once slept.

The ballroom still hosts soiree's.
Muted music of bygone years play.
While in the South Rose parlor,
you can feel her pull take sway.

She will conjole and pout,
until you agree to stay.
Then she'll lead you to the cellar,
where all her guests must pay.

These windows, on a stormy night,
show shadows walking by.
Tattered curtains fall into place,
while evil hides from prying eyes.

But do not feed the impulse,
to enter and investigate.
For within these walls, her spirit dwells
and for fresh blood, she lies in wait.
Feb 2012 · 1.1k
My Tears Dry On Their Own
Paula Swanson Feb 2012
Within the quiet of the night,
amid the shadows of my pain,
the strength I held so fast to,
ebbs, as another tear does gain.

With out the giving of consent,
it brings forth a fellow traveler.
To follow a chaotic coarse,
across my cheeks, twilight pallor.

Bare of conscience thought,  I brush aside,
the meaning each holds alone.
I hide behind my false bravado,
as my tears dry on their own.
Feb 2012 · 1.1k
His Little Boy Inside
Paula Swanson Feb 2012
Behind the rough and gruff facade,
amongst the sternness and the pride.
Along with calloused hands and the scars
A little boy still resides.

in spite of responsibilities,
the hard days, daily grind.
There within a man full grown,
that little boy still hides.

In the crooked grin, stuck out chin,
mischievous twinkle of the eyes.
Crazy antics, chances taken,
a little boy joy rides.

Eat one more cookie before dinner,
spend all weekend, playing outside.
Put off mowing the lawn one more day,
that little boy decides.

Work extra hours to pay the bills,
don't let that "Honey do" list slide.
Do anything to see me smile,
His little boy is justified.
Oct 2011 · 684
On Pages Not Yet Filled
Paula Swanson Oct 2011
I am a poets journal,
in trust of verse that has been tilled.
Plying emotions that play eternal,
on pages not yet filled.

Joy will sometimes overflow,
on pages not yet filled.
Perhaps to reap what it is I sow,
of thoughts not yet spilled.

As myself, I struggle to rebuild,
some eyes still see my weakness.
On pages not yet filled,
you can almost feel my bleakness.

There is no stopping memories,
even if my heart should still.
Look beyond that which binds me,
on pages not yet filled.
Oct 2011 · 701
How Do You Feel
Paula Swanson Oct 2011
How do you feel anger,
when you won't allow it to feed?
You don't attempt to digest it,
give yourself the release you need.

How do you feel joy,
when only hollowness prevails?
Existing is what you do,
when life for you has failed.

How do you socialize,
when alone is all you need?
when behind the doors is safe,
no interaction is now your creed.

How do you feel anything,
when its all been stripped away?
Placed somewhere deep inside,
away from the light of day.

How do you explain all this,
to those that walk not your path?
When to them it is so easy,
to feel, live and laugh.
Oct 2011 · 801
Paula Swanson Oct 2011
This, I do so, willingly.
Without reservations of the heart.
I offer my shoulder to thy wheel,
my strength, to thus impart.

My voice, I lend to your cause.
Champion, to which you undertake.
My arms, I spread to encompass,
kith and kin, you now care take.

A heart, that beats strong and true.
That has known joy and felt deep weeping.
One, so full of love for you,
I give, unto your keeping.

If there were the need so great,
as to sacrifice completely.
My life, I 'd give, for yours to spare.
This I do, so willingly.
Paula Swanson Oct 2011
There's a party going on upstairs,
your invited, to come and have a scare.
H.G. Wells, will meet you at the gate,
costumes required, hurry don't be late.

Vincent Price will be tonights D.J.
Halloween is his favorite Holiday.
He's spinning "Thriller", while dressed up as "Kiss".
Watching Claude Rains do the "Transylvania Twist".

Steve McQueen came dressed up as the "Blob",
he's serving up the zombie shish-ka-bobs.
Elsa Lanchester placed real bats within her hair.
While Marty Feldman keeps yelling "Frau Blucher".

At the stroke of the witching hour,
St. Peter amps up all the power.
A disco ball drops down from a cloud.
Out on the dance floor, forms a massive crowd.

Michael Jackson then leads them all in dance,
while Lon Chaney and Karloff take their chance,
to join the angels in harmony,
While "Monster Mash" is sang by Lugosi.

Even the Devil made it through the door.
He's the one sporting an Elvis pompadour.
So much fun is had by one and all,
at Heavens Annual Halloween Ball
Oct 2011 · 3.4k
Sweet Death
Paula Swanson Oct 2011
Sweet death, have me tarry not,
greet me, for comes the morn.
Cheat the sun, that I may sleep,
complete as if ne'er born.

Entreat, do I, your embrace.
Defeat my heartbeat this night.
Meet me mid a last dreaming,
secrete this soul from sight
Oct 2011 · 729
Dreams Decoded
Paula Swanson Oct 2011
Amid the blending shadows of night,
we liberate reality's sight.
We seep into a realm of no boundaries,
where we feel fear, lust and misery.

We are now entrenched deep within,
a dimension of our mind called REM.
Where meanings to the visions snake,
into past and present, til we wake.

We stand aside as scenes play out,
while sanity, our id's, now doubt.
Where colors leech, yet blood runs red
and all inhibitions now are shed.

Rewinding moments and memories past,
watching how it was, our lots were cast.
We see those that are long since dead,
we stand before doors, options of dread.

That twist of imaginational delusion,
that gives rise to philosophical conclusions.
We were in a place, that never was.
But to our horror, exist, it does.

And in the dawn that follows dreams,
is revealed the truth of what we've seen.
In that lightening moment of lucidity,
we see within, our own frailties.
Jun 2011 · 1.8k
Grandpa's Bird Houses
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Scraps of lumber, a touch of paint,
with love, became a home.
To the smallest of the birds,
that to our yard would roam.

In his basement workshop,
Grandpa would spend hours.
With his hand saw, brace and bit,
no use of electric power.

At each rip of the saw,
I'd hear that familiar sound.
I'd watch as sawdust drifted,
like pixie dust, to the ground.

With blackened nails and hammer,
he'd assemble the bird houses.
Then he'd paint them brightly,
adding curliques and flounces.

A bit of wire in a hook,
then hung in the Pear tree.
Filled our mornings with the song,
from the Finches and Chick-a-dees.
Jun 2011 · 1.2k
Life's Puzzle Box
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle,
closed up tight within a box.
My memories lay scattered.
Some are even lost.

Mixed in  with those memories,
are events that shaped my world.
Tangled, twisted, interwoven.
Like so many cheap strands of pearls.

Reach right in and pull out "Roller Skates",
one that might have a smooth edge.
But stuck to it might be "courage",
as I faced report card day with dread.

Grab up the piece that shows "kiss".
The first one with my boyfriend.
Underneath is disappointment,
as he chose another girl, by days end.

Dig around an you'll find "Trust".
lying beneath "Corporate Bile".
It seems to be stuck into,
the notch of "Legal Files".

There, in the bottom layer,
sits "goals", though now quite ragged.
From having been bumped, rubbed raw,
it's borders are now jagged.

Somehow "Life's Lessons", though quite large,
Tends to, at times, elude my grip.
It shuffles down between the layers,
affording me a glimpse of its tip.

Each mismatched piece represents,
a moment, I've put away.
There within the puzzle box,
to be recalled another day
Jun 2011 · 832
Not Just We Suffer
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Sprinkled 'round is the shade
beneath the dieing tree.
Leaning to the left a bit,
almost upon it's knees.
As if begging for the water,
that from its crown it can see.
The home now vacant, foreclosed,
the landscape left thirsty.
it's not just families that suffer,
in this upside down economy.
Jun 2011 · 1.5k
A Precious Gift Of Memories
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Not a cloud in the sky,
Sunday chicken set to fry.
That is how I recall those Summer days.

Playing ball just for fun,
ice cream when the day is done..
Watching my freckles pop out from the suns rays

Colorful kites in the air,
Daisy chain in my hair.
Over and over in my memory it plays.

It was more than a childhood,
that Mom, Grandma, Grandpa gave to me.
It was more than a childhood.
It was a gift of, precious memories

Playing Barbie's on the porch,
Grandpa in his Bermuda shorts.
Big Band music on the stereo.

Playing tag with my brother Steve,
Ed Sullivan on T.V.
Listening while sister practiced her piano.

Swimming in our little plastic pool,
watching Grandpa work with tools.
Seems we were always having fights with pillows.

It was more than a childhood,
That Mom, Grandma, Grandpa gave to me.
It was more than a childhood.
It was a gift, of precious memories.

Slip and slides in the grass,
cold iced tea in a tall glass.
Runnin' barefoot through the neighborhood.

Gram making strawberry jam,
Hear Grandpa cheer a grand slam.
On our swing set we'd go as high as we could.

Walks down to the Rexall drug Store,
we were never, ever bored.
I know now, what back then, I never understood.

It was more than just a childhood,
that Mom, Grandma, Grandpa gave to me.
It was more than a short childhood.
It was a lifetime gift of precious memories.
Jun 2011 · 825
She Played
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
She played one more time for Papa,
as to make the Angels weep.
His frail, arthritic hand,
upon the bed rail, tapped a beat.

His rhuemy eyes in sunken cheeks,
never waivers from her face.
His blue lips in silent tribute,
sang the words to Amazing Grace.

Her eyes closed to the rapture,
her Violin did sing.
She did not see, yet she felt,
when Papa stopped breathing.
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Amid the grace of quiet stones,
a stroll down pebbled path.
There within a forgotten time,
behind an iron latch.

Stands now in aged seclusion,
of monuments to grief.
A countenance in marble cast,
beautiful Angel in soft relief.

Heavenly comfort emanates,
a coronal healing swath.
Winged guardian to souls now passed,
sempiternal keepers of the watch.
Jun 2011 · 1.5k
Embracing Death
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Beyond yon roof, of sod and thatch
Beyond yon door, of wood and latch
Beyond the reach of man's morals
Beyond yon hedge of thicket Laurels

Dwells a creature in forest veil
Dwells one, that lives, beyond the pale
Dwells, who takes victims with care
Dwells, who with, blank eye does stare

Watch, it does, from beneath the moon
Watch, it does, from shadows bestrewn
Watch, it has intent to bespell
Watch and feel its brace impel

Whilst, I hold, dreams sempiternal
Whilst, I invite, days be final
Whilst, I take last, sweet breath
Whilst, I embrace my lover....Death
Jun 2011 · 2.4k
The Devils Spit
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Oy!  Boy!  You there!  That's no way ta be tyin' a knot.  Do it like the one next ta ya.  Thats right.  Now pull that tail tight.  Thats got 'er.  Be yer first time ta sea boy?  Aye!  I can tell.  Yer a bit unsure of yerself.  But don't you go worryin' 'bout that.  That there feelin' won't be stayin' with ya fer long.  No.  Not fer long at all.

Come on over and sit by an ol' sailor fer a bit.  Whilst I mend these here sails.  I gots to be gettin' 'em done in time afore we set back ta sea.  Why you ask?  Why boy, don't ya be a knowin' where we be?  We'll be needin' full sail and not one yard less, to get through these waters tonight.

Well, I'll tell ya.  See this here port?  Where'n the Capt'in went off to be makin' deals?  Why, we be at the very bottom edge of a slice of water called the Devils Spit.  What's the Devils Spit ya be askin'?  Oy!  Your still wet behind the ears ya are.  Why, I can count on me nine fingers and what's left of me toes, the number of men what's not heard of the Devils Spit.  And I be all out of fingers and toes to be addin' ya to the list. So I best be a tellin' ya.

Here.  Have a seat and hold on to this here end of sail edage for me.  That's a good lad.  Comfy?  Good.

Ya see, the Devils Spit is a nasty bit o' sea.  Shaped like a triangle.  Connectin' three ports.  Why, it's no bigger'n this on the Capt'ins charts.  But out there...lad, it's vast.  Vast dark and frightenin'.  Course I see the sun a shinin'!  But I'm talkin' 'bout night.  Deep night.  When the moon is high and full.  Like it'll be when we sail tonight.  Cause, it be night that brings up the dead.  Now listen up whilst ol' Tips Slived here tells the tale.

Aye!  The tortured souls upon the waves, do dance and call from watery graves.
They call to other pirates that be, out livin' a life 'pon the sea.
When ya sail within the Devils Spit, you take yer chances with the rest.
Fer they rise up, as ya near their eternal tomb. Ta beckon and wail, out in the gloom.
They have eyeless sockets. Aye! Tis a gruesome sight.
Plucked out by the ocean scavengers bite.
To have those wraiths look t'wards yer ship, marks it fer death.
You'll not beat their grip.
Thier spectral forms of festering rot, once be pirates, one and the lot.
Each dead soul picks itself a victim.  Then SWOOPS down on the decks ta collect 'em.
They be dragged, kicking and screaming, beneath the depths.
But Davvy Jones, these souls he won't accept.
A pact was made 'tween the Devil and he, fer those taken here within this Devil sea.
For the pirates chosen by the dead, are taken deeper down, past the sea bed.
To wail and burn on the Devils spit.  To be fed to his minions and his pets.
Then their souls belong to he, that claims this triangle of the sea.
A pirates soul be the blackest kind.  A more murderous bunch, you'll never find.
So now, ther be a full ship more, of tortured souls to settle scores.
With their ship sunk past the bottom, there they stay til the Devil calls 'em.
Up to dance 'pon the waves, to take other pirates to thier graves.
So when you sail with the full moon lit.  Sail not into the Devils Spit.

Now Lad.  How's that for a bit of an old salts tale?  Good one ay lad?  Here, hold this bit of sail up while I thread this here bobbin.  Higher now.  That's a good lad.  Ha! Ha!  You'll not be feelin this way fer long.  No.  Not long at all.

Hey! Boy!  yes YOU!  Your the only boy here 'board ship be ya not?  What are ya doin' over there in them torn sails?  Don't I be givin' ya enough work ta do?
Talkin' ta who?  We have no hand 'board this ship by that name.  Besides, there be no one there but you.  Take a look a round.
Boy?  You alright?  Your as white as them sheets there.  Ha!  Port sick are ya?  But, don't be worrin' lad.  We set sail on the tide, to do us a bit 'o piratin' on our way to the next port.
Now go check on them skull and cross bones.  make sure she's ready ta hoist when Capt'in calls fer 'em.  Yes. sir, white as them there sheets he is.

MEN!  Make ready ta sail.  Tonight, we sail through the Spit!
Jun 2011 · 860
An Echo Of Your Breath
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
An echo of your breath,
softly sets upon my ear.
Lays within my very depths,
resonant words I can hear.

Softly, sets upon my ear,
the lyrics of our souls tune.
Resonant, words I can hear,
heartbeats join the gentle croon.

The lyrics of our souls tune,
sings of velvet bonds that bind.
Heartbeats join the gentle croon,
of a love that transcends time.

Sings, of velvet bonds that bind,
the essence of what we share.
Of a love that transcends time,
life has nothing to compare.

The essence of what we share,
lays within my very depths.
Life has nothing to compare,
an echo of your breath

Written in Pantoum Form
Jun 2011 · 589
Flames death Dance
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
In coals, low and tame,
dance the sparks spellbound,
just as moths to a flame.

Hear their dieing sound,
as embers speak low,
whispers, as death is found.

Rising from the glow,
serpentine, the smoke.
A slow, pungent flow.

The sky, it does stroke,
a lovers caress.
Hoping to invoke

The Goddess Pyralis
Jun 2011 · 540
It's Now Who I Am
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Chase the sun in it's arc.
East to West, avoid the dark.
No matter the amount of light I keep,
my own darkness from within seeps.
To stain the brief respite I find,
deep inside my poetic mind.
From my thoughts to hand to pen,
onto  paper, then rewrite again.
Each revision a shade more grey,
all the colors bled away.
From a wound that refuses to heal,
taking with it my ability to feel,
anything but real anger towards ,
the world in general and what it affords.
At those times it's not me in print,
it's these eleven years in pain spent.
Pretending that I give a dang,
there are no apologies, it's now who I am
Jun 2011 · 616
He Speaks
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Beside the rugged beauty of weathered peaks,
Pines and Aspens, from its shadows, speak.
They tell of era's gone and of changing times,
the coming of man and his God he seeks.

The tranquil lake, that gives life to all.
The changing colors, from Spring to Fall.
The birds that fly, the deer that roam,
from the mighty Grizzly to ants so small.

Beauty surrounds, if your willing to see.
God, need not be such a mystery.
He is there in the mountains and in your heart.
Nature, is His way, of speaking to Thee.
Jun 2011 · 797
Clouds Cry For Me
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
The clouds cry for me once again,
expressing what I cannot say.
Helping release, from deep within,
a sadness that seems to invade.

Since it is my eyes run dry,
the clouds cry for me once again.
Falling just for me, from the sky.
Such gentleness upon my skin.

Upon my window, rain peers in,
just stopping by to say hello.
The clouds cry for me once again,
comforting me when I feel low.

So when it is my tears I've shown
and the healing can now begin,
so that I shed tears not alone,
the clouds cry for me once again.
Jun 2011 · 1.0k
Summer Of '65
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Summers meant harvests of berries and such,
chores to do before play.
Running barefoot in lawns that were lush,
the smell of fresh mown hay.

Hoeing the garden to keep down the weeds,
cooling off with the hose.
Bagging up the dried Marigold seeds,
finding Ladybugs in the Rose.

Swimming holes, Dead Mans alley, long evening walks.
Picket fences lead the way,
as I walked with Grandpa and talked.

Summers were the time for Rights of Passage,
lessons in growing up.
When bravery or cowardice sent a message,
with buddies there for backup.

Warm nights allowed for camping out back,
fireflies aglow.
Lying in wait for a surprise attack,
until the lantern burned low.

In those hot Summer days of sixty five,
something in me changed.
Through my talks with grandpa, a calm came alive.

He taught me how to feed the birds,
standing quietly as you can.
They would come to his whispered words,
eating out of our hands.

Grandpa taught me the importance to truly see,
what was slipping past.
I watched the world, as other kids ran free,
knowing Summer wouldn't last.

As for me, I was content to let pass,
those Summer days in shade,
learning to whistle, on a blade of grass.

**Thank you Grandpa for all you taught me.
Jun 2011 · 666
Love In Sonnet Form
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
You are that, which soothes my night,
when unsettled I rest not.
Your touch, soft as candlelight,
when gentleness I have sought.
Deep in your gaze, I am caught,
by the fire that they hold.
With you, my love, I want for naught,
as with strong arms you enfold.
By your right side, you do hold,
keeping me not below nor behind.
As one we face life, as unfolds,
our love that transcends time.

Of this bond, I am ensured,
as souls entwined, love shall endure.
Feb 2011 · 1.2k
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
Far within the forest deep,
where Pixies play and the Willows weep.
There lies a pond with lilies pink,
that within the night, the stars do wink.

Those that the pond loves and feels,
has respect for the Magi ways, will reveal,
to the one who gently sips,
the wish it will grant from whispered lips.

Not far from there, within a glen,
resides a lovely lass named Rose-Lynn.
With hair the color of brandied wine,
adorned with Hiacynths entwined.

A fey woman-child, our Rose-Lynn be,
who walks between dreams and reality.
Born to the woodland Fairy folk one night,
from a Star Flower in the moonbeams sight.

Raised on honey and Humming Bird eggs,
sprinkled with stardust and nutmeg.
Her skin as pale and smooth as Thistle milk,
she wears a dress spun from soft spiders silk.

In the forest she spends her days,
her laughter like bells, while she plays.
Though she loves the life she's given,
it is the wind in her hair, to which she is driven.

She watches the birds while they fly,
as they dip and weave, she gives a soft sigh.
As she watches she wishes with all her might,
that she could join them in their flight.

One day she chanced to find the cool pond,
that called to her to look upon,
its surface that reflected the world around.
Rose-Lynn curled herself, next to it, on the ground.

Rose-Lynn heard her name sweetly spoken,
as though a lover, offering a token.
It bade of her to gently sip,
and whisper softly, her fondest wish.

No sooner had she sipped and whispered thus,
the ponds surface was rippled in a wind gust.
Upon the surface settling once again,
there was a new reflection of Rose-Lynn.

There from her shoulders were wings, snow white.
That would enable, Rose-Lynn her flight.
The voice told Rose-Lynn, the wings would be hers,
all she need do was to whisper one word.

Rose-Lynn stared at her reflection,
at the wings pure perfection.
She didn't need to take time to guess,
with a smile, Rose-Lynn, whispered "yes".
Feb 2011 · 803
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
'Tween the shades of gloam and night
roam shadows cold and deep
Cavorting along the garden walls
'neath the eves they do seep

Pulling life from which they touch
removing the essecense of being
Growing bolder and darker still
when clouds course over moonbeams

Roses quell beneath their touch
becoming grey and smolder
The ivy blends into the trellis
stone statues look years older

Inching along the spreading branches
of the tree that taps at window panes
Melding with the leaves and bark
becoming your night time bane

Shadows tease the back door catch
then move on to your window sill
Melting in to your own bedroom
sneaking about as they will

Dark mouths stretch on the walls
and yawn across your quilted bed
Teeth reach out for your toes
while fingers want your head

Shadows tickle the closet doors
and weep beneath the chair
Puddling underneath your bed
You swear hands are touching your hair

Courage you gather as you quake
bit by bit you garner strength
Off you cast the covers fast
your eyes you rub and blink

For there the sun is streaming in
and chasing the night shadows out
You can almost hear their angry screams
of defeat as the sun spreads out

Your brain gives a sigh of relief
as it realizes you are now sun encased
But then new panic does set in
as you recall night can't be escaped
Feb 2011 · 1.0k
Canyon Jewel
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
Deep within the canyon flows,
a sinuous fluid gem.
Speaking in whispers deep and cool,
to ancient rock walls it skims.

Rusting oak leaves set sail upon,
the back of this rippling jewel.
Past Heiroglyphs and forgotten caves,
to trade secrets in shallow pools.

Majestic pines lean over sandy banks,
as if to peer at their own reflection.
While the Willows weep at the beauty of,
a liquid diamond's song of pure perfection.
Feb 2011 · 1.2k
Creative Hearing
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
My husband has a special gift,
that, in a way, I have myself to blame.
He doesn't just selectively hear,
creative hearing is his claim to fame.

My simple request; "Can you come help me a sec?"
Will garner a  "Sure I'll have some coffee."
So, what do I do?  I get him a cup.
Wondering if he had really heard me.

I guess it's just a marriage thing,
that comes with the territory.
That a man will hear what he wants to hear.
But, for creativity, George gets all the glory.

You see, rather than risk "Whatever you say dear."
Not knowing what he is agreeing too.
He slips into creative hearing mode
and says what he wants me to do.
Feb 2011 · 1.1k
Mirror Attraction
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
You come to me, stroke my cheek,
then wrap your strong arms about my waist.
With your bedroom eyes, you silently speak,
your kisses intoxicate with your taste.
But, you stop dead still, while in our haste.
I feel I have lost your full attention.
Then I see on what your focus is based,
your in love with your own reflection.

You hold a pose, relishing your attraction.
Then you turn to me with practiced ease.
I want to be your only distraction.
I would do anything for you, if you'd please,
hold me  aloft and far more dearer.
Yet, I just can not compete with a mirror.
This is written in the Spenserian Sonnet form
Feb 2011 · 1.1k
Cold As Ice
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
She tells warm lies through lips cool as frost,
while her eyes cast frigid glares.
Her backhanded barbs, sharp as steel,
strike like ice crystals in your heart.
Infidelity coats upon her like a sheen of ice.
Beauty and slippery deceit, rolled into one.
And yet, you stand, as a man made of snow,
not truly seeing, not speaking out.
You slowly die, waiting for her to thaw.
A snowball in Hades stands a better chance,
than you, to win her heart.
For within her veins runs soiled slush
and her soul is an Arctic wind.
Feb 2011 · 4.5k
Ice Cream
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
Hair, the color of ripened wheat,
with the sun shinning upon it.
Eyes, so clear a green,
shot with gold, as to be jewels.
A smile that reaches her eyes
and casts a glow from within.
Five tiny fingers grasp an aged hand,
with the delicacy of fine porcelain.
Two small feet, lively tapping,
in an excited tempo.
A Grandfather walks, stooped,
along beside her, with pride
evident in the smile he affords others.
His hat, a dapper angle,
upon his head of snowy fringe.
His one hand held by hers,
while in his other, a few wrinkled bills,
held aloft as a trophy.
I stop and watch their approach.
I watch as they pass beside me on the path.
As the two, young at heart,
head for the colorful, ice cream truck
parked at the curb.
Another shot at Free Verse
Feb 2011 · 807
Is This All I Am
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
Acrid tears have dried upon my soul.
Their tracks painfully erode
the partition I hold before myself
and the world I need escape.

Thin as rice paper, are my emotions.
A false step rips the calm I hold.
Displacing my hopes of normalcy,
one step closer to losing my precarious balance.

Which, in and of itself, is a lie.
As I slip from one side to the other.
The Pendulum never stops its movement,
never giving rest to my anger and fear.

I am no more who I was,
when I was a person, whole.
Pain has shaped and molded my life,
while usefulness died under its weight.

Forgiveness, I am not ready to pour,
as I drink from the well of bitter remorse.
Had not the Corporate Viper bitten,
I might not be filled with the fear of snakes.

Lies told.  Lies held.  Lies that burn
behind my eyes, scald my outlook on life.
Leaving a scar that I always see,
when I look at myself and what has been stolen
Feb 2011 · 813
Shadows Brink
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
I feel a shadow pass through me
as I sit and watch the wind,
play among the Palo Verde,
each limb that twists and bends.

The shadow took more than it left,
I could feel the pulling load.
Just as the wind stole bits and pieces
to carry on down the road.

What that shadow took, I'll miss,
once I figure out what is gone.
The hollowness is there within,
like a music sheet with no song.

The Palo Verde stands its ground
laughing at the winds strength.
Maybe if I bend to the winds of life
I could step away from the brink.
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
I want to let you all know how appreciated you all are.  Your kind comments and encouragment keep my pen flowing.
Poetry for me started as a way to fill free time while recovering from major back surgery 3 years ago.
It quickly turned into the healing balm itself.
I have been diagnosed with severe depression.  Post traumatic stress etc.
Poetry is my outlet for stress and anxiety.  Perhaps that explains my prolific sessions and then my dry spells.
I wish I had the inner fortitude to comment as I would like to all of your amazing poetry.
Perhaps in time, as the healing process continues, I will feel free to open up privately to each of you as I would like.
Each time I write a comment, it is with many second guessing and editing.  Wondering if I am hurting, judging or unententionally causing the author pain.  So know that the comments I give a genuine and heartfelt.  Not just a quick flip of the keys.
As I write this letter to you all, I am fighting the strong need to delete and shut down.  But I must push past the block.  This is a start.
Please know that I do read them all. They have made me feel close to my unseen friends and poetic  family.
Thank you for being here and offering me a glimpse into your hearts and souls.  I have been pleasently rewarded.

Paula Swanson
Feb 2011 · 452
Our Song
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
Two halves of a whole
                  blend in perfect harmony
                                          Concert of the heart
The touch of your soul
                   fate plucked at my heart strings
                                                 Life's music of love
Feb 2011 · 955
A Mother Knows
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
Always saw my eye rolls, even when her back was turned.
Somehow she knew when I was in trouble,
no matter how well I thought I hid it.
Perceiving my fears and anxieties
and the teenage uncertainties of life.
Told me when my young heart was overflowing with love
and in later years, the secrets I never revealed.
She knew when to give me space or a needed hug.
She knew that I would find my own way in life,
so she passed her powers on to me.
Now that I have been a Mother myself,
I understand now, just how it is, a Mother always knows
Free Verse
Feb 2011 · 653
Eternal Bonds
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
Bound by soft red velvet bonds
                              souls across eternity
                                     for so brief a moments time
                                                        connect here on Earth
Feb 2011 · 1.3k
Redemption Road
Paula Swanson Feb 2011
Barbed wire memories stretch on,
snagging, catching the flesh and soul.
Filled ditches running parallel,
overflowing with wasted tears.
Pulling close my determination,
onward I trudge to reach my goal.
Not knowing what I'll find out there,
hoping I have nothing to fear.

As I travel down Redemption Road

I see my past reflected now,
in potholes filled with regret.
I hear the sobs of those I hurt,
in the call of the Mocking Bird.
I know my demons chase after me,
they've been there from the onset.
I feel as though I am a lost lamb,
that's fell separated from the herd.

As I travel down Redemption Road

My Spring, Summer and now my Fall years
have led me on past crossroads.
I've climbed some hills, slipped on some paths,
been stubborn when I should yield.
At times I should have chose to run,
so my values would not erode.
Now I find I'm on a new path,
As my faith within me I wield.

As I travel down Redemption Road
Jan 2011 · 679
Sunset's Promise
Paula Swanson Jan 2011
Within the solitude of dusk,
that gentle hush between day and night,
on my porch I sit, to drink in the sunset.
Soothing my parched soul of the day's strife.
Hues on a star chased canvas,
wrap the sky in robes of flowing pink silk.
With my every breath, colors melt,
to slowly dip into the distant ocean.
It's peaceful radiance speaks, as if to say;
"The night will not exist for eternity."
I feel a love envelop and reassure,
that a new sunset awaits me tomorrow.
Jan 2011 · 638
My Personal Epiphany
Paula Swanson Jan 2011
We set it out, for all to see, word by word.  Like tombstones in a cemetery, bearing witness to
our thoughts.  Which allows ourselves, yet again, a brief respite from reality.  For within our
blood sings poetry.  Our tears cry its rythym.  Our determination its rhyme.  And within the
prose and verse we post, we relate to others like ourselves each time.  It was at that moment,
upon my first poem going out onto the net that I realized.  I am not that unique after all.
Jan 2011 · 2.8k
Raven's Mist
Paula Swanson Jan 2011
Dead dwell beyond the Pale, in quick silver mist.
Whispering eternal, within their sleep.
Waiting patiently for Raven's angelic kiss,
for their souls, upon Blackbird wings, to sweep.

Whispering eternal, within their sleep.
Now entombed in stone, cast by their sins.
For their soul, upon Blackbird wings to sweep,
the long journey of forgiveness, now begins.
Now entombed, in stone, cast by their sins,
accounting for their life and of deeds done.
The long journey of forgiveness, now begins.
As Raven waits, with blessed, cold steel gun.
Accounting for their life and of deeds done,
so close to Heaven's gate, yet denied.
As Raven waits, with blessed, cold steel gun,
to release pardoned souls, once sin enshrined.
So close to Heaven's gate, yet denied,
along the shores of mist, boiling cold.
To release pardoned souls, once sin enshrined,
steel shot will kiss stone, breaking its hold.
Along the shores of mist, boiling cold.
As upon cruel rocks, of shore, she roams,
steel shot will kiss stone, breaking its hold,
to allow their souls, at last, to soar home.
As upon cruel rocks of shore, she roams.
Waiting patiently for Raven's angelic kiss,
to allow their souls, at last, to soar home,
dead dwell beyond the Pale, in quick silver mist.
This poem, in Pantoum form, was written for a contest in which a picture was posted and we had to write our interpretation of it.
Jan 2011 · 983
Sweet Morning Dew
Paula Swanson Jan 2011
Soft, the Morning Dove,
does greet the new sunrise.
Calling me to waken,
wipe sleep from my eyes.
Drawn to my garden,
as sunlight starts to breach,
to lay a golden crown,
upon mountains, out of reach.
As a gentle breeze comes,
calm and serene I kneel.
dance, the delicate blossoms,
so on their petals revealed.
Fresh morning dew.
Perhaps to take a sip,
would taste of flowers,
sweet upon my lips.
Jan 2011 · 667
It Will grow Back
Paula Swanson Jan 2011
I stood and grimaced into the mirror.
Every single hair, it's end was split.
So, out came my trusty shears.
And that's the long and short of it!
Jan 2011 · 709
Inner Flight
Paula Swanson Jan 2011
I seek poetic inner flight,
to pen the beauty that I see.
My words may differ from my sight,
pulled from me emotionally.

To pen the beauty that I see,
needs but the closing of my eyes.
Pulled from me emotionally,
images of life realized.

Needs but the closing of my eyes,
salt in the wounds, responses cold.
Images of life realized,
I go deeper within the folds.

Salt in the wounds, responses cold,
as around me, my world decays.
I go deeper within the folds,
to keep poignant demons at bay.

As around me my world decays,
my words may differ, from my sight.
To keep poignant demons at bay,
I seek poetic inner flight.
Jan 2011 · 1.5k
Translucent Pearl
Paula Swanson Jan 2011
A single translucent pearl,
drifts down a wizened cheek,
from eyes where dreams still swirl.
In a body weak with age,
The mind paces it's cage.
As memories still speak,
a single translucent pearl,
drifts down a wizened cheek.

The bloom of youth long gone,
yet remembered is its song.
From eyes where dreams still swirl,
as memories still speak.

A single translucent pearl,
drifts down a wizened cheek.
This is written in a form called a Sonnetina.  The rhyme scheme and refrain lines are very exacting.
Jan 2011 · 2.1k
Ten Ballerina's
Paula Swanson Jan 2011
~~ Ten Ballerina's~~fingers dance

                                   Across the keys~~entwined for romance ~
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