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Sep 2019 · 244
Mirror Moon
Michael Briefs Sep 2019
There are those who pray to the moon!
Does one pray to the moon as
an orbiting rock held in place by gravity,
or does one pray to the light reflected by it?
Or, to the gravitational pull the moon exerts
on the ocean or on our hearts?
That is, does prayer of this kind happen
when the night is moonless, black, and lonely,
or not?
I would guess not.
But the question persists:
what is it that imbues the moon
with its quasi-divine qualities?
Is it merely the faith of the Seeker,
the Nightwalker, or the Primalist?
Or is it that the moon is,
essentially, a mirror
of our own light,
our own darkness,
our own loneliness and
our own divinity?
Certainly, it summons us,
on a deep, soul level,
such as it draws up water
from many fathoms bellow.
And so, it goes...

In all of this,
the questions linger,
the darkness abides,
the mystery takes hold.
Aug 2019 · 162
Stars in Your Eyes
Michael Briefs Aug 2019
The night plunges around me
like heavy water.
Cold and dark solitude overwhelms
my world, as a withering undertow
that won't let go.
But I still can see
the bright brilliance
in the air, far on high, where you live.
And I see you untethered,
dancing and flitting
among the jewels of heaven!
Your play, wonder and levity
attract me and I take hope.
I aspire to ascend above
the callous quagmire of despair,
the torrent of our tragic world,
to see your charming face!
The stars shine in your eyes and
your luminous heart
shows me the way!
With you I can rise above this
shadowy grave
to become a soul
of iridescent splendor!
Aug 2019 · 179
Pure Whisper
Michael Briefs Aug 2019
Silence soothes us,
it turns a moment
into quiet windows
of expectation.
But if we give our selves over
to those moments, our souls begin
to sense the mystery in between
those rushed seconds, those harried pulses...
until all the reeling and riot is hushed,
and a pure whisper
is revealed.
Indeed!
We hear our secret name
and wisdom abides!
The gift of silence
is knowledge that is
at once a rapture
of the soul
and the anchor
of the heart.
It is a quiet
of the self
in a place
of pure
being.
Aug 2019 · 156
The Gossamer Voice Within
Michael Briefs Aug 2019
What does she seek there in the dark?
Something whispers to her from that shadowy ark!
Murmurings as gossamer thread spin their tale.
She rises from her bed, as if coaxed by nightingale.
The mystery and the moonlight weave a dream
she cannot seem to flee.
The ponderous old chest disturbed her sleep,
so, she kindles candle flame to illuminate the key.
Outside her window, the moaning wind blows.
The ancient house utters unsettling creaks
and mournful groans!
All her courage is summoned for a search in
the pitch-black room.
Will her discovery bode well or prefigure the tomb?
The dimly cast light, the howling wind, the
enigmatic gossamer voice within...
This is a little pre-Halloween trifle. The picture that inspired this is at:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210754770401366&set=a.10208174166607884&type=3&theater
Aug 2019 · 101
Good Night
Michael Briefs Aug 2019
"Good night."
I need to find the darkness...and silence...
and the vacuum of inertia.
Because if I don't,
I won't be able to sleep.
Indeed, then...
all that space,
all that distance,
all that emptiness
will consume me.
And I shall never shine
again.
She leaves...and the silence comes for me.
Aug 2019 · 304
Temple of One
Michael Briefs Aug 2019
Listen and you will hear
her soul breathe silently,
while she prays.
Watch and you will see
the vine climb higher and
the steep stones sway.
No words uttered, no bells rung,
yet all power centers in
her temple of One.
The picture that inspired this is found here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208355246814776&set=a.10208174166607884&type=3&theater
Aug 2019 · 93
Poison
Michael Briefs Aug 2019
Poison ingested,
defenses engaged,
struggle to survive,
turmoil in its wake.
After all that,
I refuse to be among
the walking dead.
I will rise again.
Sometimes people can be so heartless. Sometimes those are the ones we've given our hearts to. Sometimes all we get back is their poison.
Jun 2019 · 552
Turn of the Time
Michael Briefs Jun 2019
It is a night like any other.
The room is semi-crowded,
the lights are cool, ambient and allusive.
The music glides and shimmies,
reflectance of electronic symphonies,
with a sinuous pulse to
provoke and tease.
Still, you sense a creeping unease.
You are on your second drink...yet,
somehow, even the 12-year old
Macallan is getting a little too familiar;
its usual savor of spiced plum, dry sherry and
salted caramel dies a slow death
by a cold-water corruption -- its once
robust quaff is reduced to a faint, forgettable flavor.
The dreary day, too, has been flat, predictable,
diffuse in focus and devoid of passion.
Life has been set adrift, on trepid tides.
The dissonance of these thoughts
unsettle your soul and mind.
You feel some kind of reckoning  
approaches and is unavoidable.  
Under your breath,
you ask in fraught confusion,
"What time is it? Why am I still here?"
The Bartender sees the lingering trouble
in your face and he provides
a moment of empathy, of quiet
understanding.
He reaches for the bottle in response but
suddenly stops and looks past you,
over your shoulder.
A subtle smile forms where
a sober shade once stayed.
He sees something that has changed
the energy in the room,
pivoting as if on a dime,
to a sweeter wave,
a smoother flow.
Someone approaches…
You realize you must turn to look, but
slowly, friend; get your bearings...
Settle your thoughts for a beat or two.
You stand and turn, adjusting focus...there she is.
"....wait. Whoa...
Breathe, brother. Steady, soul!"
Then it hits you:
You realize the sensation you feel,
that unstoppable, sharp, sweet,
seductive suffering,
is the longest and strongest
Of long, lost friends.
You remember
why you are here.
You know the time,
this moment you've waited for,
for so long.
Your heart speaks and  
your eyes lock in,
to capture hers:
"Hello..."
Jun 2019 · 235
In The Morning
Michael Briefs Jun 2019
First, I shall slip into sleep,
dark and deep.
Then, morning will rouse me
to life, with it's breezy,
cool breath,
the gossamer, peaceful sun-light
and your golden, eternal beauty.
Jun 2019 · 99
Stories Yet To Be Written
Michael Briefs Jun 2019
The crushing night draws near
but we huddle closer,
hands and
voices extended in support.
The raging fire shatters the
divide between safety and chaos,
but we burn hotter
for the peace we know,
the homes we built,
and the bonds that sustain.
The howling riot
tramples our culture as
our society shudders with hysteria,
but we keep our faith
in humanity high;
we look upon this trust as our
Stella Polaris,
our guiding light!
We will never surrender
to the fear, the dark
or the savage within
or without.
Nothing shall defeat
the beacon of truth
we hold in our hearts.
Nothing will diminish the
dauntless dignity
that arises from our core!
For there is a redeemed
future yet to be realized.
There are ingenious flights of creativity
yet to be cast,
and there are heroic stories yet
to be written...
In the end, right now,
there are humble hearts
-- our hearts --
yet to create beauty in the world.
Jun 2019 · 62
Coin of the Realm
Michael Briefs Jun 2019
How is it that we become great?
By never letting go of hope!
Great, by always reaching for our better tomorrow,
no matter what!
My heart tells me
to always look to that side of
the coin,
as it rises and descends...
the coin of fate twirling air-borne,
glittering high,
pinging out
that true harmonic ring
in a moment of outrageous possibility!
May 2019 · 195
The Wild Blue
Michael Briefs May 2019
Realize
that the world is old
and you are new.
But your soul is older still,
and the mysteries
you will fathom are, finally, few.
But, be present and listen...
for the air around you
carries a sacred truth,
and you will see the clues.
Go forth with eyes alert
and become one with
the wild blue.
As you wander,
as you courageously
reach,
you will discover
what is true.
May 2019 · 999
In The Air Above Amritsar
Michael Briefs May 2019
On a morning
misty and silent
I lift my gaze.
I float in the air with my friend
-- in a Balloon of many hues! --
above a land of
unbridled diversity,
a land imbued of an
ancient haze.
Ages of untold
days blur in
literal abstraction, in this
enchanted place.  
Alas, I struggle, bruised by all that
my mind cannot capture.
Rationality wants its place
at the table of experience
and reason seeks to define this rapture.
But I have to leave the doors
open to something else...
something wider, some
new synthesis.
I reach for a new level of existence.
In time, I will
learn to dance
to this dislocation;
I will
learn to let go and
accept what I
cannot fathom.
A heady view from our craft
of levity and lightness
supplies a calming reprieve
from my apprehension.
We drift high through hot
atmospheres and above
pungent savannahs,
seeking to release tension.
We let ourselves drift in
the limitless space of God's
breath, bringing our
breathing into the pattern of
eternity.
The hush takes hold...
Suddenly, we are over come
with spontaneous celebration!
We exalt in the
wisdom of the Sage sublime!
We embrace it all, in thrall
to visions divine!
We pray to the ineffable
with our laughter and
make love in the moment
with our tears.
All our fears are cast away
and we accept a gift offered
by the mystic pulse
of Mother earth.
A view from our balloon
is the prism which
opened our eyes
to the everlasting
light!
This lofty vantage from a
buoyant craft birthed
the soul's
transcendent flight!
The picture that inspired me to write this is at this address:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208529862980071&set=a.10208174166607884&type=3&theater
May 2019 · 396
The Summoning
Michael Briefs May 2019
I AM...

I am not weak
but without your strength, I can falter.

I am not ignorant
but without your light, I can lose
my way in the darkness.

I am not compromised or diminished
but without you in my life, I am not all
I could be.

I am not dead
but without the summoning
of your love,
my soul lies in cold shade, entombed,
desperately reaching out for
resurrection.

I am not mute.
I still have my voice -- reflected with
emotions of sadness and joy, sacred longing
and sultry desire, laughing levity and
bitter indignation, sparkling song and
studied erudition -- and this voice calls to you.

Just call out to me and I will answer!

I am here,
waiting for your presence.
I am waiting for your solace.
I am waiting for your spirit.
I am waiting for your passion.

Come to me, for
I am yours!
Apr 2019 · 205
She Brings Joy
Michael Briefs Apr 2019
She enters the room
and her ambient light fills
the darkened corners.
Where once there was sadness and doubt,
her loving favor cheers all our mourners.  
Where the world, each day, hurls cruel
barbs at our hearts,
she brings exuberant joy, levity
and the seeds of a new start!
Her warm, voluptuous beauty and
style inspires all who see her.
She generously shares
her sparkling smile and
luminous eyes,
revealing a soul that is pure.
In these troubled times,
her overflowing enthusiasm is infectious!
We need her expression of love, friendship and cheer
to show us a new direction.
Thank you, darling, for your spirit and light.
You have given me a new strength to fight!
This is dedicated to my friend Tish. What a wonderful lady! I am so grateful for her giving heart and kindness.
Sep 2018 · 765
Rise to the Light
Michael Briefs Sep 2018
Even as you move
in dark places,
surrounded by icy perils;
even as you search
deep under,
scraping sharp rocks,
darting by jagged jaws
with black eyes – floating in a world
of sunken ships and drowned crew --
keep searching.
Reach out and kick,
extend and bend,
flutter your lithe legs
to slice the murky veil.
Your intrepid frame
is contoured and sculpted
by your steady courage and
steely will to survive.
You weather the slings and
sharp things flying by you,
in your rush to get back
to the surface, back to the light.
You've slipped in and out of
fiery cracks
in the crust of the ocean floor;
the volcanic glow shimmers
in your eyes! You have felt
the hot breath in your chest;
you have lived with the painful
eruptions of injustice,
scorn, and your indignant anger.
You have seen
the scars and tempests of the deep.
You have faced the ugliness and
the vast impurity
of mankind and our volatile time.
And yet you keep your sight
focused high;
you struggle to ascend,
reaching for the light above.
You rise back to the surface,
back to the open sky,
blue and radiant!
You will take in the cooled
aspiration of the renewed future
you will create!
When you emerge, sister,
we will all breathe the pure
air of freedom!
VOTE BLUE
Aug 2018 · 173
The Gaze and the Gift
Michael Briefs Aug 2018
I was indifferent
to the hot winds of May
As I busily made my way
Toward a higher ground;
To a quiet place where
I would stoke a slow burn --
A place to rejuvenate
In motion;
To find release and
Refine…
To beckon my strength
Return.

And there, in the midst of my striving,
I heard her draw near.

My attention arrested, enthralled;
The moment nigh with grace profound.
From that familiar hum and thump of Life:

Now…

I might be blinded by my faith in
Things unseen…
I may be short-sighted in my
Ever-present need,
But I swear I saw you smile at me
And your look lingered
Illicitly.

Her golden face, her glance, her grace,
Her stride reached inside of me.
My breath was caught dead, my mind
Rapt in expectation of a spirit that seems
Ancient. I received her gift with urgent longing.

Oh, what a moment to be touched from within!
Time stood frozen, suspended on the point of a needle,
And all things were held in the grip of a gaze,
Seized by her angelic brilliance.

Now…

I am undone by the
Sign and wonder
Of this woman.
How her form and fire
Captivates and beguiles,
Bewitched in desire.
Raptured in sheer mesmeric
Separation
From that quiet place of self.

And I was taken away on a hot wind in May.
She lit a slow burn that rises.

A glance, a gaze and a gift
Surprises.

Her smile…
Aug 2018 · 4.9k
I Fell
Michael Briefs Aug 2018
S       I found myself on a sheer rock face of desperate desire.
H      Holding on to her presence, in the danger of my devotion.
E       But I lost my grip. I missed a step
and my heart skipped a beat.
E       Then she was gone...
R      And I was loose! Plunging, caught by a force of nature.
R      White noise filled my ears and dread filled my heart.
O      In a primal panic, a terrible cry shattered the blackened sky.
C      Her face faded away and I was left reaching for a line --
K      Trying to avoid the rocks below.
F       I tried to find some way back up the mountain.
A      I clutched for the breath in my lungs,
C      The breath that was there before I fell;
E       That moment skipped over,
F       When I lost my grip and you were gone.
A      I carry the pain inside, searching for release.
L       But life goes on and on, day by day.
L       Outside, I am quiet, I hold a steady gaze.
L       But inside, the scars grind like metal on metal,
O      Between a rock and a hard place,
V      Until the edge within becomes razor cold.
E       Like a steely blade inside a silken sheath,
H      The knife buried beneath, poised to draw blood,
O      When the balance is tipped, the pressure too much.
P       Will I crash on jagged agony below or will I let go the dagger,
E       To reclaim the climb? To reach again and find her face, aloft...
Yup, this was the big one. The all-time heart break of my life, circa 1986. Just obliterated, shattered, vaporized me. I am still trying to find my way back up.
Jul 2018 · 397
Secret Scars
Michael Briefs Jul 2018
Her scars come
from time.
Her beauty comes
from eternity.
Her strong heart
is the gateway.
Her soul is the secret prism.
Her eyes,
the mesmeric
jewel of a sublime mystery.
Her lips,
the fleshy focus of a temple
containing pure
light and deepest dark.
These are the treasures of
her naked self,
her raw scars,
her wise soul,
her dark secrets,
and her unyielding
strength.
Jul 2018 · 184
Lift Your Rose
Michael Briefs Jul 2018
Lift the rose
of your passion
into the night sky!
Within you,
her heat,
texture,
and fragrance grows.
Above you,
Heaven awaits!
Eternity is an endless
garden of such desire.
See the lights
and wonder!
Jul 2018 · 1.5k
Seek Love, the Source
Michael Briefs Jul 2018
Love is the path.
Love is the light.
Love is the substance.
Love is the journey.
Love, the destiny of all!
Give yourself to Love!
Love speaks truth (sometimes painful)
and proclaims poetry, mystic and joyful.
Love sings songs of courage and delight!
Love sees all beauty and struggle.
Love acts to heal, to forgive, to touch, to embrace.
Love sees you and hopes the highest hope!
Love is the SOUL of Justice, Truth, Beauty, and all creation.
While Love gives light, there is also Darkness;
Darkness is a part of Love but does not command it.
We have the dark in our heart and flesh but we also have light.
Love is the source of that light so let the light and dark play!
From such play comes all ART
and the power to overcome sadness.
Love is the power of all life.
Darkness abides in life but it can also consume it – Do not let it.
Fight the danger of darkness with the hope,
courage and light of Love!
Love is your one hope.
Death is not the end,
Love is.
Jul 2018 · 743
Her Dance, My Prayer
Michael Briefs Jul 2018
Your beauty is such that all your walking upon the earth is a dance!
You are at once as weightless as light and yet connected to my world like a natural miracle.
Indeed, you are the lightning strike of my desire, burning in my soul!
Dance, my love! See the wandering world...but come back to me.
You have left your mark and I am forever quickened by your light.
God, please bring her back to me! Do not let us lose our synergy!
Jul 2018 · 169
Gates.
Michael Briefs Jul 2018
There are two gates to Heaven.
One is through the gate
of your own death.
The second is your own heart.
Death is for you
alone.
Your heart, however, is for the world
entire.
The question is
will you open that gate,
while you live?
Jul 2018 · 124
Color of Your Soul
Michael Briefs Jul 2018
Blend your colors,
Splash your spirit!
Strike postures
Of passion,
Step a dance, pyrrhic.

You are water, you are
Light, you will ponder,
You will fight!

Shout loudly,
Whisper softly;
Pray with intention,
Sing in melody.

Live the art of your soul,
Give part of your inner gold!
Then you will surely be celebrated
When your story is told!
Jul 2018 · 448
Search for a New World
Michael Briefs Jul 2018
With the signal sun brimming
in the distance, 
I open and find a new world misty
and in silence. 
Emerging
from a drowsy dream,
still foggy and unsure,
slowly, I conjure my courage
and sharpen mental contours. 
I know I cannot stay
trussed in the safety of my room;
I must, indeed, trust
in the bountiful beauty
of the day's bloom! 
I will rise to seek, reach for and
express a hopeful prerogative. 
It is a vital yearning that
remains illusive,
iconic and evocative.
The search for a truth that coaxes
my soul to a higher place. 
In this quixotic quest
I will try to connect with ancient ways. 
Perpetually receptive to the piercing
insights of those immortal spirits,
I follow this path
where ever it leads,
even to the mysterious silence
of strange spaces.
Jun 2018 · 135
The Silence of Her Beauty
Michael Briefs Jun 2018
You are soft, secret, sufficient, and secure.
You are silent now but inside gather words --
Your soul is bubbling, fizzing, foaming and
Swirling with words:
Thoughts, songs, prayers, poems, shouts, and
Affirmations constantly churn!
From all this riot, rhyme and reflection,
Comes deep understanding --
You know what is good, what is true.
You know how to speak to the heavens and
To your own heart. Alas, what really
Separates the two?
All this beauty, strength, and poise centered
In the quiet of your serene shrine.
You are warm, you are loving, you are funny,
You are fine!
Be yourself and tell us your truth,
For your silence barely conceals what your beauty
Offers freely as proof.
The picture I used to inspire this one is here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213076233156484&set=a.10208174166607884.1073741828.1113041505&type=3&theater
Apr 2018 · 229
Monument
Michael Briefs Apr 2018
THOUGH
the wind may whip and howl
over the fields yonder
and the ages bring
a withering decay,
we shall not be moved!
We are deeply connected
to the great, wide world
and blessed by the warmth of the sun;
we will drift with the cool of clouds,
we will shine with the shimmer
of distant stars and
we will rise
with the mysterious pull
of the moon!
In dark or light, we
will
dream
of the ancient and the new.
And while the wide world turns,
we will proudly stand and
testify to the undying strength.
We are
living stones!
Apr 2018 · 7.4k
Artemis In Silence
Michael Briefs Apr 2018
Artemis of the wood,
sweet skill of deadly
silence,
her accurate aim and steady
strength
finds the subtle seam,
between
all things.
Her swift sentry,
airborne,
elegant and true,
flies with focused
ferocity.
The soft,
wet earth
surrounds and
welcomes;
her realm of the hunt.
The scent
of the fallen leaves,
cool and colorful,
subdue
my soul.
The forest hush is all that
remains...
Poem inspired by picture at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213076227916353&set=a.10208174166607884.1073741828.1113041505&type=3&theater
Apr 2018 · 158
Quiet Murmur
Michael Briefs Apr 2018
Seek your inner-power;
focus your mind.
Immerse yourself in the sublime
quiet that hides in the moment.
Align your breathing
with your heart’s beating.
Settle the motion of thought
into the center, your core,
the seat of your soul.
Let time drift...
let go of each phenomenon that may
impinge upon the journey within —
you will become only
your breath and
the beat and
the quiet murmur
of your heart’s longing...
Apr 2018 · 164
Friends In Her Forest World
Michael Briefs Apr 2018
Light to light,
Lantern-lit sight,
Whispering secrets and taking delight!

A humble home hides a girl,
In a forest-enclosed world,
But all within has a mirthy glow,
As murky gloom descends below.

She brims, in her silent room,
With sparkling glee,
For no mere shadows
Can dim her sweet fancy.
For see: she has Elven friends aplenty!
And she has fairy fire!
"It is not time for sleep!" says she,
For unbounded wonder is her desire.

The fay guests weave enticing tales
Of mythical adventure,
While she sprinkles them with queries.
Their voices twirl like incense fume,
Weaving spectral theories.

For hours on end, all through the night,
She coaxes a high reverie,
Until at last she drifts asleep,
As moon beams caress her, heavenly.
The picture that inspired this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209731394737614&set=a.10208174166607884.1073741828.1113041505&type=3&theater
Apr 2018 · 145
Twirl of Colors
Michael Briefs Apr 2018
Do you see the twirl of colors,
myriad and fluttered?
Do you see the air
lighted and the dance
of lovers?
In a savory slice
of your eye's aperture,
a pomegranate-spray of life's
joy is captured!
See the joy and beauty
in every second,
while you can!
Your heart
has only so many potent
moments,
in its earthly span.
Inspired by the picture located here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208823412918636&set=a.10208174166607884.1073741828.1113041505&type=3&theater
Apr 2018 · 146
Eyes Flicker
Michael Briefs Apr 2018
Many, too many,
Stumble and lurch
Through the daily procession.
They wander lost,
Grinding their teeth,
Just going through the motions.
They hold their tongues
And swallow their pride;
Their hope is mute
As they stifle
A primal cry...

We let our dreams wither,
We give up on the struggle,
We let our light flicker
And try to avoid trouble.
There is so much we are missing --
A universe of delights!
We need only
Seek the beauty within
And stand up for our rights!

So open those windows!
Open those souls!
Let the light pierce
Those murky holes.
There is a dark place that needs
To be swept.
A lingering loathing there,
That always crept.
A curse on our bliss, a
Hex on precious joy.
Why do we allow this?
To live as fate’s whipping boy?

We must scatter that cruel crow,
That tries to torture our eyes.
We must see the world fill
With an irisated glow,
To give our dreams wings,
In azure skies!
Michael Briefs Apr 2018
Invisible and silent.
All from nothing.
A "being" that dwarfs a giant
but is never aging.
Original essence,
primordial mind,
but eternally absent, one
we can never find.
For we cannot see nor can we hear
that which we believe
is objectively clear --
the timeless mystery,
the source and summation
of all that is.
Indeed,
why do we call this “no thing”
by the name of “God”?
From the fathomless
silence, why must we
seek a disembodied sound?
We imagine it "up there"
but it is nowhere
to be found.
Still, we cling to it,
like frightened children,
for we are afraid to be alone;
we are afraid to lose ourselves,
our reason to be, and for
all our sins we must atone.
Alas, even though it is
invisible and silent
it still drives us on,
almost to sheer madness
and beyond.
But in the deepening darkness,
what sound do we hear?
What else is there,
when the chips are down,
but our
blood and
our breath
to battle the fear?
In our bitter doubt,
will we ever find the courage?
At the end of the day,
should we follow,
desperate and scared,
or should we lead?
If God is not there,
how then is it revealed?
If God is quiet, how
will the story be told?
The answer is
with us.
We must speak, act and be bold!
When there is blind indifference
where a vision of justice should be,
we must raise our eyes and see!
When there is a hopeless hand
reaching out for salvation,
we must grasp the moment,
to rise above our station!
When there is a lapse
in the light we must
become the shine lost.
So we must do that which needs to be done:
Love, listen, cry, feel, fight, lift, hold, give, and serve,
whatever the cost.
Why do we seek the dead among the living?
Why do we bow to nothing
when we should stand for something?
God is not there...
But we are here!
We are God in the world!
This is the only God there is.
Truly, we must do this or
God within us will depart.
If we do not, God will dissolve
from our heart.
If this last faith fails then
God, our light, will die.
And there will be nothing left,
save the silence...not you
nor I.
I have written this out of disgust with those who treat their faith as self-apparent writ for all the world to see. I am fed up with those who treat their religious affiliation as a license to think themselves superior, to see themselves as "the blessed ones", but then cast judgment on anyone who travels a different path. There is nothing self-evident about the reality of God unless by the peaceful, loving, giving, self-sacrificing, humble behavior of the believer. God is either revealed as the source of love, peace and understanding -- as I believe God to be -- or as the source of arrogance, hatred, fear, and violence. Which is it? That is entirely up to us.
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
See. See her relax, comfortable in her own skin. See the soft flesh, sheets, lights, and shadows. See her lover in reflection and their intimacy in refraction: feel their world of togetherness; their bond is now and in every future moment, no matter where they are as individuals. The bond that will never fade. Love perpetual, touch of desire, shared spirit, shared space, a room for their oneness, with comfort, with silence, with all human warmth the world has within it.
See picture of painting here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214644312157479&set=a.10208174166607884.1073741828.1113041505&type=3&theater
Mar 2018 · 109
The Sacred Keep
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
The hallowed halls
are
structure,
art craft,
spiritual labor,
architectural mastery
and an arena for our inner lights.

This place exists to paint
a transcendent
vision upon the sky!
The forged canopy
of our devout industry
provides a contrived enclosure,
a fixed canvas, and
a sacred keep,
dedicated to the numinous
desires of the human heart.

And our prayers go up
with our song...
the mystic
echo-drone of eternity
reverberates around the pilgrims.
The anguished utterance
of the soul
seems to stick to our bones.
But the sound still
ascends,
flying free from the cage,
within the house of the Lord.

Our ethereal longing is as pure incense,
fragrant, sweet and heady,
before the King's heavenly
presence, all around us.
The picture of the church that this poem inspired is here:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214827775983960&set=a.10208174166607884.1073741828.1113041505&type=3&theater
Mar 2018 · 138
Be The Beauty
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
Sometimes,
it is art that reminds us of ecstatic love.
Indeed, sometimes art is found
in each other, and in ourselves:
in the way we laugh, how we heal,
how we create joy and
prove our tenacious courage.
Sometimes, it is we who transmit
the beauty into the world.
Be the beauty you seek -
Make art of your inner light --
And you will find love's embrace.
Mar 2018 · 107
All This is Yours
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
Who needs a Bible?
Who needs a building?
"Some day son, all this will be yours!"
Wait, strike that. It already is!
Just, don't forget it and don't ignore,
how this is all yours;
this is your earth, as long as you can
accept the gift bestowed.
So, be thou meek,
seek thou peace,
praise your joy,
lift your everlasting soul!
This is ours to love and care for.
Do you really need any more?
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
"Sometimes, late at night, sleep comes not to the weary.
Some rooms will not stay silent.
Some houses stalk their inhabitants with ghastly intent…"
**************
My travels in Eastern Europe had brought me to a strange place, located in the dominion of Romania. I sojourned to a destination about 13 miles to the North of the city of Timisoara, where I found the sprawling expanse of an ancient castle, once used by Stephen the Great of Moldavia (1457 – 1504). It was literary pursuits that lead me to such out-of-the-way stops, as I conducted my research. By day, this gilded station offered many fascinating discoveries: a grand library filled with treasured tomes of old; an enchanting, if moribund, Ball Room where opulence once found its true expression and extravagant masquerades took place; I saw mesmerizing chandeliers and an impressive sitting room, within the Great Hall, which was home to a majestic hearth.
On the day of which the events recounted here unfolded, the hearth was enlivened by a roaring fire the caretakers built for the guests. The blazing timbers provided much needed warmth on that sodden, wispy, late-autumn day. I admired the armory and the regal Coats-of-Arms. I skulked with trepidation within the bleak and forbidding dungeons. As I explored the many rooms and passageways, it occurred to me that this was a space mysteriously ensouled with medieval history and told of a former glory, long since passed. I felt caught up in the enigmatic atmosphere as I gave in to rhapsodic ruminations of what life must have been like, in those distant times. Yet, I also encountered something more…something which disturbed my revelry, by degrees, as the day progressed.
As I opened my imagination to a divining altered by the antiquarian surroundings, I began to detect a more malevolent, yet unseen, presence. Illusive whispers wafted toward me from a distance; my trammeled vision seemed to perceive phantasmal shapes with the similitude of persons, lurking. There appeared unexpected movement, but when I looked there was nothing. It was as if the shadows in the rooms and hall ways were reaching out to me, almost clawing at my clothes. Something otherworldly was trying to convey to me that I was not alone, even as I conducted a solitary route. The startling sensations seized my lucid mind in fits; a wrinkle in reality reared up but quickly dissipated, causing me to question my reason. Had I heard someone speaking? Was someone crouching yonder, just beyond my field of sight? What made my skin crawl and the hairs stand? It was these transient but peculiar incidents that I carried with me into the evening.
The night had come, with full moon looming high. After a delicious meal, I took my evening Brandy with a book, in the reading room. I read of the history of the castle which expounded upon both the marvelous and the disturbing of its 800-year existence. The Medieval world in Romania was indeed a ****** time (i.e., in wars against the Ottoman Empire) and the castle dungeon "apparatus" were utilized to dark effect, over the centuries. I had felt a very “close” and unnerving atmosphere in that part of the castle; a palpable sadness hung in the air...and I felt there was also a latent anger that lingered. I could only imagine the tortures that were carried out there. I turned in about 10:30, with the day’s events, the rigors of my travels and the thoughts of history preoccupying my thoughts. After a while of restlessness, I drifted off, as a boat upon a mild bucolic lake. The peace, however, would be violently upended. At the late hour of 3:00am, I awoke with a start and sat up, sharply, in my bed. The cause of my upset was this: I thought I heard a voice in my room where no other voice should have been! Worse still, this voice seemed cloaked in villainy; it was harsh, guttural and brutish. It cackled and threatened from the black corners! In my panicked state, I believed that someone or something sinister was watching me! I struggled to discover a source, as I blinked furiously, looking this way and that! My sight was, in turns, elucidated and bewitched by the ethereal countenance of a moonlight-enticed obscurity. For a time, I felt utterly enslaved by the oppressive persuasion of this sudden horror, as I trembled in the semi-darkness of my esoteric enclosure. “Who is there?!” I called, into a deadening silence. My ears filled with the sound of my heart beating and belabored breathing. During those enthralled minutes, I became aware of the various occasional creaks, groans and pops that tend to emanate from old buildings in the quiet hours of nightfall. There was a drone of wind gusts outside, as well, that impinged upon my hearing. When, after a quarter of an hour had lapsed, I heard no further nefarious sounds, I began to calm myself. I decided that I may have been dreaming or mistaken a natural sound from the old castle for something unexplainable. I laid my head back down but kept a weather ear out for any odd disturbance. My restfulness began to flow, slowly, back to my soul. My heart steadied, my breathing became measured and drawn out, I thought of more pleasant things… Quiet returned to my mind. Sleep cajoled and invited me back to a relaxed state of suspended consciousness. Deeper I slipped into the lake of these languid hours…
That is when the unexplainable returned: the naked horror of the moment! The twisted evil of that VOICE in my ears! A savage FACE next to my burning skull! Boney, hairy claws on my gasping throat! A reviled breath most acidic and repellant forced its way into my fleeting, aghast sentience! I recoiled from that side of the bed and leaped away, towards the door, in the dark. I crashed to the cold floor as sweat poured from my shrieking face. I clamored upwards, clutching the handle, swinging the door open, and I stumbled out into the hall way! The scream of undiluted shock echoed through the ancient building.

All the sound I heard was white. All the light I saw was red. All the world I knew was black fear!
Not a poem but a short story. Just enjoying writing up an homage to my favorite Ghost story writer, M.R. James.
Mar 2018 · 273
Alice Takes Tea
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
It may be grey and gloomy,
out on the moors,
but we have our cozy world,
inside of doors!
Our world is secret and snug
and looks out on plaintive air;
a sprawling country field with
blowing mists thither and who knows where.
We'll have our tea and our stories
and our expectant silences.
We'll let the bleak backdrop of time ebb
and flow, while we admire a vase of Irises.
Ours is a curious cradle of contentment --
just two friends living
a shared imagination against
a mad world, rife with resentment!
We'll spend the hours and stay our journey for
we have peered through the looking glass
and finally come to know:
our trip is spontaneous and
it doesn't matter which way we go!
Mar 2018 · 506
Summer Jive
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
Sophie sits quietly, soaking in the sounds.
This Jazz club suits her perfectly,
As she swallows spirituous rounds.
The music is hot, with Latin-flair, and
Pulsing, staccato, percussive drive.
The air on her shoulders is moist
In this Parisian summer jive.
Sophie tastes the twilight culture,
She lives for the buzz.
She won't accept the ordinary, she
Vibrates with bohemian blood!
She loves her music live in her
Sultry summer jive.
Mar 2018 · 205
The Heart of Carmen
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
Carmen free! Carmen fair.
A Brazilian holiday finds her there.
She caresses the surf with her sandy
Feet, her golden legs are lithe in the heat.
Lovely Carmen, this Island girl complete!

The sound of the waves lifts her soul,
As coastal breezes waft orchid scent.
The carefree melodies of samba song
Soothe all of life's malcontent.
These moments give her pause to muse
On all the promptings of her heart.
She wants to know her deepest truth,
Her love's voyage she must chart.

She savors his passionate words,
those expressed in ecstasy.
The honey'd notes of his desire
Ever to make her life happy.
They share a strong connection,
her spirit is joined to his.
Her destiny feels close enough to touch,
Her life could find true bliss.

The seaside surf swims over her toes,
The amber sun descends to the horizon.
Carmen's thoughts move upon an ocean,
As her ardent heart is guarded by Poseidon.
Yes, there's no getting around it: I'm just a big softie. I love, love, love women.
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
"Let it be red,
let it be ripe,
let it wield ruin..."

"Lick and taste the desire...for vengeance"

"The fire within, from the dragon's cradle,
lies and gives heat and pure breath, as spirit, wild.."

"Orb burned black,
Tender center attacked,
Pure blood refract,
See through pain
To the crack."

"Queeny damsel feigning need imperiled,
She whimpers sweetly, like a pixie's herald.
I spring to service, with comedic tripping,
All the while, behind that mask, her ruse is dripping."
Pieces drawn from my "Treasured Visions, Words of Wisdom" gallery, on my Facebook page
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
I am a tree, grown in the shade, and today I stretched my branches to tremble for a while in the daylight. I came here to tell you good-bye, my beloved, and it is my hope that our farewell will be as great and awful like our love. Let our farewell be like fire that bends the gold and makes it more resplendent.
Selma did not allow me to speak or protest, but she looked at me, her eyes glittering, her face retaining its dignity, seeming like an angel worthy of silence and respect. Then she flung herself upon me, something which she had never done before, and put her smooth arms around me and printed a long, deep, fiery kiss on my lips
I love KG
Mar 2018 · 173
The Shadow of Her Shine
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
"My passion,
The purest flame,
It burns on untamed…."

           All these years have passed as I look to see
           Why my soul still carries forth this inner fire.
           The question I need to answer may be
           All that my life stands for, to know I am not a liar.

"A light in the dark; it refines my heart,          
Searing the dross, of so much lost, away…."

           It started in the eyes of a child, the essential self within.
           How my heart grew with desire, in the delight of a friend.
           The impulse to embrace another, to hear her laughter sing
           Has been a guiding star in heaven, all I want my life to bring.

"But the heated steel leaves traces of harms past…"

          My hope to please her led me to a fateful day
          When my world of desire was shattered.
          In broken pieces my heart lay and
          All my hopes no longer mattered.
          She turned on me with anger and I recoiled in shame.
          So exposed was I in that terrible moment
          And everyone could see my pain.    

"Memories marked by scars and burns…"

         The scar of that day I bear with me and it won’t recede.
         My search goes on to find a way out of a jail, I must be freed.  
         Will this moment ever be reversed,
         As polar extremes can realign?
         Or will my heart forever morn the shadow of her shine.

"….As each precious and painful one takes its turn
In the fires of my passion."
Yeah, some things that happen never really leave you.
Mar 2018 · 106
Northern Light
Michael Briefs Mar 2018
The world I travel in is full
of gloom, tears, and the unknown.
Yet, you are always there,
even when I am alone.
Even when my path turns to
dark, you will be above me.
I will never lose sight of
your eternal and lofty light,
to recover my power to see.
But still I find that I get lost;
I search, it seems, in vain and
I fear the river cannot be crossed.
In those times of doubt
I need your presence;
I need your solace,
I need your purity --
You are my goddess!
When I travel blindly, I only
need raise my eyes -
You are there to guide me,
In the deep blue of
the night skies.
Feb 2018 · 118
Morning Flower
Michael Briefs Feb 2018
Morning flower, mild light,
misted and
diffuse scents drift
as kites.
Dew kissed and cool,
pale air through a
cloudy pool,
over our small patch
of earth.
The brushing grass gives
us a place to grow,
to search for
the heavens, like the rose.

You are so beautiful,
you are
nature's gift.
You are my sun,
beaming and raining
blankets of warmth,
but you also bring the mist.
The bond between us
will always endure storms
and sense shadow ghosts of
miasmic forms.
Sometimes thunder booms
and looms in the
distance while the space
between us sizzles with
white radiance.

But we plunge strong roots
and emerge from the
nurturing ground of love;
our love that will not pass
away but will
always spin and swim
in the vastness of space.
Our love
will always return
to the sun,
the warmth,
the life and spring well
of creation.

We will always grow here --
we will rise and die and rise
again --
on our little
patch of heaven.
Jan 2018 · 165
Room To Roam, Luminous Tome
Michael Briefs Jan 2018
In the corner of my room
stands a desk,
a humble desk beside the window.
Upon the desk lies a tome,
open and inviting, that
leads me on a path I will continue.
At the lonely hours of the night,
I cross the threshold to strange
and seminal worlds,
illum'd by simple candle light.

In truth, the tome casts its own glow:
it gives me its glimmering gems of wisdom,
its waning Moonstones of inspiration
and the precious treasures
of knowledge that emerge from the
shadow!

My soul seeks these pearls of
grand vision; I seek to
enrich my view
of our whirling, protective sphere,
to unearth the subtle shades
and hidden layers of
Her verdant frontier.

From my solitary desk,
windows of crafted prose and
elaborate description open to
a world rich in
wondrous experience!
These pages are portals
of the exploration the mind, the
discovery of the heart, and a
spirit of enduring resilience.

From the pristine pages of
my beloved books rise
mountaintop vistas on
our multifaceted world,
our diverse history
and our creative power.

And the light flows to me and around
my lonely room.
Dec 2017 · 3.9k
A Kiss Upon the New Year
Michael Briefs Dec 2017
A kiss.
A small thing,
like a mustard seed
compared to the crushing
pressures of our desperate world.
But, doesn't the sweet, small, precious
gesture revive the soul,
heal the mind,
and quicken the flesh?
Oh, yes, richly so!
May the new year give me
thus,
this fleeting gift,
that small miracle.
May it come sweetly and
may my longing be satisfied,
to experience a taste
of a unity divine;
when two lovers,
in the twinkling of an eye,
become one.
May the mountain of my
solitude be moved,
may a resurrected heart
rise in it's place.
Michael Briefs Dec 2017
I live in a world of rapidly diminishing returns,
Seeing the days grown short.
Looking out to the horizon,
A shadow rises against the backdrop.

Pulling my coat against the chill,
I shudder as my weary eyes water.
Another day grinding
To a halt, times of laughter
For which I cannot barter.

I walk a lonely path, my feet echoing
Foot falls on the firmament.
I drag the load-stone of a troubled past
Made permanent.
I struggle to keep up, to push forward
The leaden weight of existence.
All around me is dead air,
A dull roar,
And my quiet, hard acceptance.

My life in the blackened breach,
With hope just out of reach,
And all my defenses engaged.
Sculpting the weight, and act to create
A monolith of defiance,
On this mortal stage.

But the elements scorn and
Reject my weakened will.
I've become averse to the sound
Of my own heart.
When will it be still?

In my desperation, my restless mind drifts:

I feel like I am lost in a forest of petrified bereaved.
The face of sorrow chiseled on everything God has conceived.
Branching up with life ended long ago.
Of those rooted to the ground, the posture of exaltation is
Twisted and gnarled, stunted and calcified.
All here are defeated,
All denied.
These vanquished stand upon an ashen earth,
At the foot of a heaving mountain of fire.
It dominates the landscape, thundering and quaking,
Churning with molten mire.
The power beheld is hollowed and hellish,
A betrayer of my heart's desire.
Devoid of fertility, it sends its toxic waste
Spewing toward the lurid sun,
Its fume chokes my parched throat;
On my knees, I feel my life is run.
The mountain is a false god, lying.
It receives my agonized worship,
From a soul whose prayer is dying...

I want to wander astray,
To leave this wreckage and flee;
Slipping through the wire, undetected.
I would spend a day
Far away from the war flags
And scorched battlements --
And the smell of death,
Deflected.

If only I could face down
The demonic mountain of fire
With a renewed heart of passion!
To recreate the charred landscape
In the image of my life
Reawakened.

I must try
To utter a new song
Of exaltation,
From a love that is triumphant!
A sound soaring up toward
The warming sun,
A new day expectant!

The sculpted monolith will finally
Be raised, completed...
A graven icon of my spirit, undefeated.
One of those I wrote when I was feeling, particularly, the loneliness and separation. That hasn't changed but I have learned to live with it, a little better now.
Dec 2017 · 152
Elowen, Winter Song
Michael Briefs Dec 2017
While wintry air blows,
Aswirl with busy gleaming,
The quiet woodland drapes
With a white, misty teeming.
The falling, hushed deep
Gives a sleep
To the striving
Of creatures and the wild
Entangled roots,
Brambled and sprawling.
Air silvering, hearts warming,
Breaths fogging...

Elowen,
Fairy of the forest cold,
Goddess of the Winter way of old!
She-Sprite, dancing between the trees
Of our friendly woods,
Fleeting amidst the venerable Stand
Which silently
Protects our neighborhoods.
Her rarefied breath,
Her crystalline eyes,
Her graceful hands
Casts an enchantment --
A spell known well, within in our souls.

Our spirits, adrift in dreaming, know her
Song's whispering and it thrills us,
As we sleep
Beneath the whitening silence
Of her wild winter
Deep.
The picture this is based on can be seen at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210693382306702&set=a.10208174166607884.1073741828.1113041505&type=3&theater
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