Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Philip Lawrence Feb 2018
your smile, and
standing on tiptoe
to brush a wisp of hair
from my brow
Philip Lawrence May 2017
Two eased from the sedan.
A blanket, a brimming wicker basket.
A pond filled with geese, the birds claiming the embankment.
Water’s edge, he spun the blanket outward and
The geese scattered, and the cloth descended in an almost perfect square.
The valley’s familiar diversions, the white steeple a mile away,
Copses scattered acres apart, poked above the low brush.
Elbows propped in the afternoon heat  
Listening to the rustlings in the bramble
Until the valley’s natural rhythms brought him sleep.
Awakened to the rustling of paper,
He watched her scatter bread crumbs,
Circling the water with goslings in tow as they
Nuzzled at the bits of dough, an odd parade
Until a goose made chase, and the dithered fowl
Marched her brood away
And the woman laughed an undignified laugh in delight.
Alone, glasses descended from his furrowed brow,
An envelope withdrawn,
Elegant script, long luxurious parchment perused and then
Extended to her on her return.
Her lined face turned away, skyward,
The glorious heat warming, much preferred
Above the chilling words.
Together, they sat until the day had cooled
And she wrapped herself in a thick sweater and
Their shadows distorted as they relinquished the day,
He guiding her in the gloaming before the beams of light
Bounced unpredictably in the irregular road.
Philip Lawrence Jun 2017
Though I tremble now, and my eyes glass,
And my words wander as they
Search for a final sense of this world,
Dare look beyond, for I remain
Young with joy and foolishness,
And I am stout of heart and limb within,
My passion undiminished, my love unshaken, if unspoken.
And when I am finally gone,
Immerse in the warm breeze between the leaves,
Smile at the robins chirp,
Be mesmerized by children,
For I will be there,
Incorporeal, ubiquitous,
To envelop you as I have in life and will always,
Without limit.
Philip Lawrence Apr 2017
Amsterdam Avenue, Sunday morning
Stubs of moisture collect across the panes
Then rivulets, thin as capillaries
She lounges on the sofa
And edges her bare feet between cushions
She is wrapped in a thick towel
Bare to mid-thigh
Hair ebon and slick
Pale face aglow
Her freckled shoulders glisten
And she smiles
Philip Lawrence Oct 2017
Two, side-by-side,
Standing, silent,
Awaiting our decision.
We choose the smaller,
the younger one.
Hooray!
Excitement, commotion,
A readying of things.
Congratulatory words
alight upon us.
A marvelous choice,
You are perfectly suited,
the kids will adore him.
The gate unlatched,
whisked into another room.
A bathing, inoculation,
presented flawless.
A modest sum tendered,
a signature penned.
A dizzying,
back-seat free-for-all.
We speed away.
New family member,
new best friend.
Each of us curious.
How big will he grow?
What tricks will he learn?
Who will be his favorite?
The questions abound,
except for one:
What of the other?
Philip Lawrence May 2017
Her speech is soft,
And she withdraws without offending.
A need for privacy, a gated soul.
Watchful, assessing all that one does,
yet not judgmental.
The tenuous connection of the wary,
careful with other humans.
But her compassion enormous,
reserved for the most unfortunate, who
through wretched happenstance  
are unable to make their own way.
The sick, the feeble, the troubled,
the emotionally destitute,
somehow find their way to her door,
the unknowable gift by which the needy
intuitively understand human kindness.
A rare generosity,
an uncompromised sense of right and wrong.
A shunned autistic boy befriended,
rescued four-legged friends,
clothing gathered for the poor.
A homeless teen brought to tears by the purchase of a prom dress.
No great wealth, no abundance of resources
waiting to be dispatched at the touch of a screen.
Only a wherewithal borne of an impassioned need to help,
to speak out, maybe to erupt in angry persuasion
to sate an abiding sense that one must do what one can.
Written for a friend.
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
I dig into the glass jar and withdraw my hand
I fling my arm and follow the seeds
As they scatter on the crusted snow like pepper specks
Skittering, helpless to stop
I wait for the sparrows and the starlings and the hawkish blue jays
The bright red cardinals all stuffed whole and round
Under a winter coat
Early morning is best
Not garish, like noontime
My steps are high in the deep powder
To the narrow stone posted on end
The earthen mound having sunk since that warm day in May
And I strike the ice and brush the crystals and
His name appears down its length
Black, hand-painted letters
I speak to him, my companion of fourteen years, in an easy tone
There is furious pecking beneath the sunrise
Company of a sort, bribed for the moment
And neither of us is alone
Philip Lawrence Apr 2018
warm May morning

early cool breeze  

pock-marked bleachers

men loping lazily across

a verdant carpet  as

bright-white baseballs are

snared under ice-blue skies

and as three-year-old eyes

dart unfailingly, and

sneakers kick up and down

mid-air while tiny fingers

grip the metal chair in

full anticipation
Philip Lawrence Aug 2017
Cast off the carapace,
Reject the shadows,
The years of silence.
Bellow,
Boast,
Soar.
Stalk with Orion,
Lie bewitched by Cassiopeia,
And love,
Immerse in romance,
Avail oneself of kindness,
Stoop low for the hungry child,
Caress the brows of the better angels
Before time’s cruel erosion
Renders the faint-hearted famished,
Shackled to the plow
When the final growl,
The tocsin before dusk’s silence,
Rattles for a life not lived.
Philip Lawrence Mar 2018
A glimpse, as
morning creaks awake,
and one hundred blackbirds
feast along the cleared patch of land
where seeds, cupped and flung open-handed,
are strewn across the white and white and white
until, sated for the moment,
the fowls erupt in a calamitous flurry,
blackening the dawn,
succumbing to the urge to move on.
Philip Lawrence Jul 2020
Elusive, mischievous feline, you confound me,

you are stardust, quicksilver,

a pink-nosed rogue, indifferent to beseeching,  

oblivious to the outstretched palm,

and as I lean near to listen with all attentiveness,

you withhold even the momentary purr,

choosing only a quizzical look and a single blink

before the paw lick and scamper,

and the search to grace elsewhere.
Philip Lawrence Aug 2020
I wait, seated behind the arched letters of the cafe window,
riveted by others who move urgently, soundlessly, beyond the thick
glass, scurrying along glistening sidewalks,
winding between glaring headlamps in the slick night,
to lovers, to friends, to family, to home.
I remember no words, only the sting of hot coffee,
a hurried gulp to stanch the welling pain, and to quiet
the certain quiver of my voice if left to speak.
Yet once into the dampness, standing together for a last time
in the crystalline night, the balance is seared into hard memory
as I watch you lift a speck from my collar,
grooming me, as before, and then a smile, wistful now,
and you rise on tiptoes to brush a wisp of hair from my brow.
Silent, hood now raised in the misting dark,
you find the corner of the red brick building and
vanish.
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
Immobile
Chin tucked
Against the winter cold
I stand as ever
Common as the wind ridge
On the snowfield  
It is late
Evening is near
And my breath shallows
Oh, to be subsumed by the warmth
If only once
To spin dizzily and happily ‘round
In the bright circle
So that I may
At last
Exhale.
Philip Lawrence Apr 2018
the park is broad,
a swath of land
with crisp playing fields,
and verdant hillsides,
and tortuous paths, and
split through the middle,
a spine of water,
and we walked those paths
and sat by the waterside,
and angled our sight
through the trees to glimpse
the skulling youth slice
through the cool water
in iridescent hulls,
and then we would up and run,
his pink tongue flopping joyously,
the sleek ebon coat a marvel
day after day, until he sickened,
and he waited patiently,
carried to riverside berth
to laze before the golden marsh grasses
and follow the osprey's search  
until the day cooled and there was
a whimper, a huff
before graying paws were lifted from earth,
chin nuzzled in appreciation,
until I walked that stone path alone,
as I do now,
as I have done for years,
and each day I wait for the
blue jays and the robins to quiet,
and the morning breeze to calm,
to hear the sounds of jostling stones,
old paw steps in tow,
and I smile at the path
that is bright again  
for I know he does not want me to walk alone
Philip Lawrence Dec 2017
We climbed over the East River
and the iron web encased the roadway
and I pressed against the window
as the granite squares of the bridge sped by
only to stop along an embankment before
tumbling down to the cobblestone walkway,
running past stone tables with old men
hovering over soapstone knights and
to the promenade, to the railing,
stunned by the grand sweep of it
from the squat cut-stone icon
to the glass spires huddled on the far shore
elbowing for prominence
to the sunset reach of New York Harbor
stretching southward
far beyond the fingertip of Manhattan
past the tugboats that
scurried in the channel
along Governor’s Island
and on past the Liberty Torch
and out to sea.
love, peace, home, memory, New York, sunset, relationship, couple, life, death,
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
I knew when your hand brushed my collar,

removing a thread,

and removing all doubt
Philip Lawrence Oct 2020
The grains fall through corseted glass,
time squandered, regretted,
opportunities irretrievable,
a life whispered, then silent.

Listen – do you hear the music?
It plays on.
Strut, leap, beam wide-eyed,
ignite a soul ablaze to

inhale the aroma of the lush
severed blades of late summer,
grin at the smiling sunflowers,
sway to the music of love,

broad-hearted, full-throated,
spear the brass circle, then cast it into the sea.
“Oh, that. That was nothing.”
A life to see.
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
Deep breath, then another. I held my drink steady and began to walk

an awkward walk, a little too deliberate, my steps conspicuous,

almost silly as I feigned nonchalance until a fictional cough as I

neared you. Your attention caught. Was it also feigned? I didn’t want

to do any of this, this wasn’t me. But a promise if I ever saw you

again, a promise to oneself, that must be kept. And so, it was. How

could I have done otherwise, leaving you to chance.
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
Winter is near, and night drapes quickly over the city, a black satin

sheath to be decorated by the early stars. But the skyline is

different, the glass and stone soldiers that elbow for prominence at

the river’s edge don’t shine bright until the river blackens out of

sight, not until the soft whoosh of the final ripples from the ferry

boats lap up against the pier pilings. No, the skyline sleeps late,

then awakens not for the city, for it stretches and smiles brightly,

before an open-mouthed inhale of cold night air, all show, an

opening number, a roaring, leg-kicking first dance for those who

stare and yearn, who pine in nervous indecision on the far shore,

tantalized, pawing at the ground before, perhaps, bridging the

pitch water to join the city splash, for if one stays put, feet planted

at a distance, beyond the parquet floor, well….
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
they whisper to one another as they lie on the cricket-green

shoots of spring, where delectable images are conjured and

crafted into place, and together they dream of the pale,

white heat of summer, and blue curls of ocean water rushing

sun-bleached grains, and the sudden flash of autumn, always

a surprise, the most radiant leaves to be collected and pressed

between forgettable pages until sheafs of white lay atop

the country cottages, their bejeweled eaves sparkling for holiday

as the snow-laden pines lining the rural lanes frown under the

weight, a seasonal banquet expected, promised…hoped for
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
at the corner, he reached for her elbow

and held it gently as they crossed,

her lips parting in betrayal at the touch
Philip Lawrence Dec 2018
Brown and brittle and shrunken,
and having slipped through the tines,
or escaped the blower’s roar,
they tumble across the hard earth
carried by the December wind
to settle beneath the boxwoods
and then lay quiet under winter’s blanket
with the hope to see another spring.
Philip Lawrence Apr 2018
Earth tumbles sideways, and
I lay in heavy snow.
I swallow deep breaths of cold night air.
It is painful to breathe as
I face blue-black sky.
Stars, brightest before dawn,
cluster above me, and
dance like a whirligig.
I wheeze.
I think I am breathing deeply.
I am not.
My ribs feel to bend and crack
and I clutch at my chest, move my arms.
The small exertion does not lift me up,
it does not ease the pain.
Oh, ****.
I understand, and I try to call out.
I can make no words,
only a puff of vapor that
dissipates into exposed brick.
What time is it?
I cannot make much sound,
and it is difficult to move.
I wonder when someone will see me.
The arc of the streetlight,
blocked by the maple tree.
I should have cut it down last fall.
Lost to a shade tree?
Marguerite will not wake for an hour.
She will be alright, so will the kids,
families of their own now.
What was that poem?
Third grade, no fourth.
I read it in class.
Billy Herschel hit me with an eraser
when I finished.
The wet snow was too heavy.
I see the plastic shovel
upright in the drift.
Uncle Nick went like this.
Dumb *******, I knew better.
I hear car tires rolling noisily down the street.
I lift a black glove and move my hand.
My ribs stab at me. It is too dark.
I cannot see her. She cannot see me.
I let my hand fall deeply into the snow.
The crystals make their way under my collar.
It is cold, very cold, and it feels good,
keeps me awake, as I feel very tired,
pushed mightily, deeper into the earth.
My watch. I am not wearing a watch.
I will not know what time I will die.
I think to blow puffs of air into the sky,
and I hope that someone
will see the tiny smoke signals.
I smile at the thought.
I hate to dance.
Embarrassed to dance,
embarrassed all my years,
and there is now little time.
I hope there is time.
I am sleepy.
I think of my dog, gone some twenty years.
I see his paws, his gray muzzle, and
his last three breaths.
A single sparrow finds the telephone wire.
It is dawn,
my eyes are closing,
and the dark is warm.
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
We walked among
Manet and Degas
and Delacroix
Ran Gucci and Hermes
through our fingers
Rode bicycles
On the Champs Elysees
And wore berets  
At rest beneath the Tower
And in a cafe at twilight
We drank too much wine
And we laughed
In the pink glow
Of the city
Until it was dark
And later
Along the Seine
Drops of lamplight
shone on the water
And she spoke of how
Paris was like love
Living only for the night
Its beauty
Vanishing by morning
To return only when day
Again falls into darkness  
To caress only others.
Philip Lawrence Jul 2017
Five-thirty p.m., 1985,
A crowded bus.
The passengers generate heat as
The men stand round-shouldered
Reading newspapers, and we all
Sway to the rhythm of the city traffic.
I scan the rows for an empty seat and
I angle past the others, ignoring all
Except for one.
He stoops under a worn gray hat,
An overcoat overwhelms his slight body
And his dark eyes glance from row to row
With urgency as the bus halts.
A seat opens and the little man
Moves toward the vacancy.
I am closer, and I will have it before him.
The man grips the overhead bar for balance.
He is short and his coat sleeve slides
To his elbow and faded blue numbers
Appear on his forearm.
They are clear enough.
I stand motionless as he slides by me.
There is room for him to pass, but
He steps sideways.
He does not look up.
He says nothing.
Philip Lawrence May 2020
Days once lived in anticipation, anxious for love,
yet ever hopeful for the ever lorn,
now lost to a world wary and frightened,
proximity the new Devil’s door,
the prescribed chasm much more than the height of a man,
as hope for a brush of lock, a goodnight caress, are abandoned,
leaving the embraceless many.
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
I spoke to an old man on a dewy summer morning
We sat on a park bench under a spreading oak tree and he
Spoke of the space beneath his desk where he waited for the flash
And when Oswald grimaced in pain and
The joy of sniffing freshly printed mimeographs
And the shame of My Lai
How he helped his father pack his things when left as a boy  
And when he wept at his dog’s last three breaths
He recalled the kindest person he’d ever met
And that he once had had faith
He said he remembered everything
And then he moved on.
He loaded the trunk first. Packages neatly wrapped – parcel post-ready boxes in dull brown paper with tidy strings tied squarely around – were gently placed next to the spare tire and a small toolbox.

A frayed Raggedy Ann doll was placed in the back seat, her worn yarn face facing forward. The painted head of an old rocking horse was laid beside her where at one time two young girls swung their legs impatiently, unconcerned about scuffing the seat in front of them.

When he settled in behind the wheel, he reached across the front seat, opened the door, and took hold of the woman’s cane, which he placed in the usual spot between them. When she settled in, he started the engine, but he then emerged from the sedan.

He walked to the garage window and pressed his face against the glass for a better look in the amber autumn light, his gray beard crinkling against the cold surface as he scanned the empty space. He jiggled the lock twice, just to be sure.
Philip Lawrence Jan 2018
A distant rumble,
Only a tickle of memory,
Ages into it all from
Once callow disdain.
Hubris unrealized,
Now unspoken as
The hourglass grows heavier,
Evening thicker, and the
Lauding echoes
Diminish beyond summon.
Philip Lawrence Dec 2018
The eulogies resound in stentorian tones for the great,
those of prominence, those who have ascended to the pinnacle,
those who have known power, and who have changed worlds,
whose names fall from the lips of every man, who are offered
unencumbered embrace, a deferential half pace backward.
But what of the good man, without position, sans societal perch,
whose wealth is paltry, accomplishment meager,
yet whose effort is no less herculean, no less courageous,
whose heart is no less pure, the good man doomed to failure
through paucity of talent, or missed opportunity,
or plain bad fortune, yet who resolves to continue, plod foot after foot to anonymous end, and whose name will not be voiced in so much as a whisper for all eternity.
Philip Lawrence Mar 2018
The pangs that once arrived –
unexpectedly, always unexpectedly –
and only in the deepest of nights,
now visit often.
They come at daybreak
when the squirrels scratch
at the rooftop shingles
before leaping off,
branch to branch.
They invade the dull
white thoughts
of green grocers,
and bald car tires,
and rotting leaves,
and baseball statistics.
They rush pell-mell
into the morning shower
to deliver an icy lacing
to the whoosh of warmth.
Pangs of omission.
Thoughts of not enough,
not having done enough.
Enough love, and enough joy.
Understanding,
and, yes, enough wealth.
But was there reflection?
Tangible kindness?
No, never enough kindness.
And now, as the shadows lengthen,
and the amber hues of dusk,
once welcome, bestow only regret,
they are golden rays no more.
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
Boardwalk beach goers
Strolled in ball caps
And in wide-brimmed hats
And in flip flops
And in cover-ups casually tied over low-slung bikinis
Lining the railing of the weathered pier
Eyes half closed, hands folded, heads atilt
Shoulders squared to a fading sun
A familiar form among the silhouettes
Twenty years hence
A cascade of raven hair
A billowing summer dress
My single breath
Then across rutted planks
To finally slake the thirst for another and
Be free of the malfeased heart
The lilt of perfume
Light, breathless, familiar
Transported back through time
To burn white hot again
Only to blanch at the precipice
Before the gray water
Silent
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
muddied shoes neatly paired by the fire,
the leather seat crinkles under my weight
as I inch closer, full mug in hand, the
ceramic feverish to the touch

the flames lick and recede, past faces beseeching me to stay,
swallowing me into the warm past, familiar, my skin,
my bones inseparable, still part of the many departed,
a night’s respite before daylight and the need to move on,

the hearth, broad and crackling, it pulls,
not yet I think, as I struggle with my pack,
not yet, as the morning will be cold but bright,
the path branch-filled yet passable, a journey still,

not yet I think
Philip Lawrence Apr 2020
The breakfast nook brightens,
suffused with impertinent sunlight,
arrogant, intrusive, disrupting dystopian
anticipations to dare yield the repressed,
now untethered from their despondent moorings:
grinning, chubby-faced sunflowers
electing a cadenced dance,
the pump, pump, pump of Hip Hop
thumping behind bodega counters,
the ponies of Assateague,
slick with lather and hope,
denuded thighs shifting in languid heat
atop hillocks of powdered sand,
the Jack Russell hurtling skyward,
disc clenched, her smooth white coat
suspended against nimbus curls
tossed carelessly upon a blue-black canvas,
Aquinnah, hallowed, striated escarpment,
resplendent at the shank of day,
fireflies, ice cream, and the irresistible beckon
of the evening pines that rock to the day’s completion,
whistling, familiar, reassuring.
Philip Lawrence Sep 2017
Better the gratitude of
a single child
than the angry
cheers of thousands
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
Hair grown white

brushed straight away

Gnarled spine

Shoulders unsquared

Padded stool

Red leather tome

Pencil scars

Yellowed borders

Crooked finger

Brittle leaves

Blurred mass

Rimless descent

Old friend

Immersion

Comfort alights
Philip Lawrence May 2017
Do not be saddened by our sullied and blackened shores.
Do not forsake your dream, for the tocsin will always ring
for those unmindful of origin,
who bear convenient constructs, writhen mores,
all weighed by the dunnage of fear.
Or worse.
Strive, persist, and wait and wait and wait
until voices rise and the pendulum descends.
For the lady still shines, clear-eyed and steadfast.
She still wants you, still needs you.
Your soul, your yearning heart.
She pushed the last button through, her fingers dallying over her heavy wool coat before she swept her hair and tucked it under her collar.

She rapped on the door. Twice.

She brought her other hand behind her back, the one holding the humble bouquet of flowers, the small bunch purchased minutes before from the sidewalk vendor three stories below.

Does he even like flowers?

The door swung open. She smiled briefly, her gift coming round.

These are for you.

Her gray eyes flashed with delight as his hand took hold of them.

She dashed from the landing without another word.

Who are you? he called from the railing.

Only the echo of his voice returned from the stairwell, and another smile.
it seemed inconsequential, at first,
an innocent reminder, a party next
week brought a quick turn away,
as if she had spotted someone across
the street, or perhaps jolted by the
thought of an oven left on

of course, it was neither, and
her gaze quickly returned, her visage
now sullen, acquiescent to the moment
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you"
Philip Lawrence Jun 2020
The chill breeze, long awaited, finds its whisper
in the tall grasses,
tilting the hydrangeas, full and round, pink and purple
as the hewn lawn, more fragrant as dusk nears,
cushions the fawn,
the newborn to again perch precariously
atop unsteady spindles,
to weave through his mother’s legs as she pokes,
then slides through the brush.
And as I raise my brow over the hammock's edge,
the squirrels hunch and chew and hop in unison
as they laugh quietly, my idleness risible,
before a third and final turn of the paragraph
renders me drowsy, the tome now abreast my breast
as a lazy arm falls without the swaying catch in surrender.
Philip Lawrence Jan 2018
It is time.
The tocsin clangs and
I wonder if we will answer.
Will we
Rise for those who cannot stand,
Speak for those unable to speak,
Shout for those too frightened to be noticed?
Will we
Beseech, cajole, beg for the destitute,
Chastise the greedy,
Kneel for the abandoned child?
Will we
Offer comfort for the homeless,
And solace to the fearful?
Will we
Help lift downcast eyes riveted
Motionless in the shadows
By power that yearns for the past?
Will we be passionate?
Will we be decent?
Will we be true?
It is time.
And for this, I do not wonder:
There, but for the grace of God,
Go us all.
Philip Lawrence Mar 2019
I still search for you,
or someone like you.
I am sad we no longer speak,
to love and talk the way we used to,
our thoughts unprotected,
like animals in the rain.
Philip Lawrence Apr 2020
The deadbolt turns and we move silently
along the perimeter,
cats marking our territory,
while panes sparkle,
portals into the nothingness below.
We sit and wait.
And wonder.
Philip Lawrence Apr 2017
The soft blow of the trumpet or
the strum of guitar strings cajole the uninterested
to see the hand-lettered sign,
the cigar box, the jam jar
as the loyal dog curls in the doorway.
The deaf, the blind, the besotted, the luckless,
all night thieves of blankets,
sellers of wilted roses on a double white line.
Ghosts on street corners who sidle through the rain
in search of some, in search of any
until a last breath among the silhouettes
of the night fires that lick at the black winter sky.
Philip Lawrence Jun 2018
old man I see you
blue suit and bow tie
and hat placed neatly aside
cradling your coffee
an absentminded gaze
through the tall windows
and beyond
to the young passersby
in a hurry
as you once were
busily home to love
to soothe the withering day
love that you once had
but has passed
old man I see you
your eyes a fluid blue
still
wistful
locked in memory
bittersweet
vivid
that plays before you
to touch
taste
breathe
a pas de deux of passion
eclipsed by time
old man I see you
and you are not alone
Philip Lawrence Nov 2020
I find the rough-hewn bench where we once met,

where my anticipation led to scribbled notes,

read and reread, each time returned to pocket,

only to be exhumed, unwrinkled, and memorized

once more, and sufficient to cause me to pace about,

to mutter, to rehearse hackneyed platitudes, fumphering

again, and again, until at last you arrived and laughed a

consoling laugh at my ineptness, enveloping me in a warmth

I had never known


And now, as I shift about, a gray spot alone among

the burgeoning reds and yellows and golds of the cool

autumn, I search the faces of passersby, knowing well

you will not be among them, yet wondering if I will

ever see you again
Philip Lawrence Jun 2020
A patient heart never tires,
as it sees all is yet possible,
dare believes all eternally imminent,
as it skillfully contorts the truth,
happily feeding the delusion
until the heart finally beats irregularly,
straining from ages of neglect,
famished from the absence of reciprocity,
the denial unearthed,
rendering the muscle damaged,
no longer capable of the largesse
which had long infused hope,
the brittle harmony broken, leaving
only the memory of what might have been.
Philip Lawrence Aug 2017
One need only tilt life's prism to
Feel the grey muzzle buried into the crook of an arm,
See the faceless sunflowers reach toward the light,
Inhale at tresses swung, and the release of attar,
Smile at papers strewn on a rainy Sunday morning,
Blush at a hand outstretched in anticipation,
And to close one’s eyes at the memory of a friend.
some say she was born with a broken heart,
unmendable by word or deed, and now armed
with a quiver full of witticisms and deft vertical
palm, friends, lovers, the world, all held at bay,
lest they discover her sorrow
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
some imperious, red-lipped, salty-mouthed,

others drift in gimlet-eyed diffidence,

all gossamer now, clarity only to be

found in the reels of Morpheus
Next page