Friday, May 22, 2009

The Train

Black tie noose encircles me, keeping me yet farther from you.
The cool air arrives like a horse, rushing,
Galloping, the night surrounds us.
But the heat beneath my canvas cage,
Removes the frost from the night air.
My heart bellows, yearning for what cannot,
Should not be.
I hold you, our bodies melting together in the shadows,
But I still I am alone.

The blood red wall behind reflects my agony.
On this long train of suffocating silence,
My heart is the last car, the boxcar,
The last hope.
And the train speeds off into the night.

Come Away

Run, Run away
with me tonight.

Quickly, now before they
notice we are missing.

We'll ride our horses
like a boxcar out of hell.

Waiting, longing
Is this a dream? I might fear.
For do not wake me for the end is not in sight.

Red with Passion;
Our bodies intertwine
as we bellow out through the night.

Feel on your back the frost from the ground.
A satisfying mixture of sin and pleasure.

The Affair

A man, A woman, between them a red hot desire charging through their bodies like wild horses through an open field.
The chemistry between them bellows over like an erupting volcano.
They want to be together if only for this one night, alone in an abandoned boxcar
contemplating, should we indulge in our desire for each other?
This is a forbidden passion and therefore we are shielded from one another.
Shielded buy the cloth surrounding our lips, forbidding us to make contact and explode the passion we hold inside.
Passion so strong coursing through every nerve of our bodies like frost blanketing every object in its path.
The desire is bigger than both of us, the shield is strong.
Can it protect those we married and had a family with?
Only the man and the woman will know the deciding fate.
That is, until the affair becomes unshielded and the cloth has disintergrated.

A Prickly Secret

Penned in a boxcar, wanting to run, I am a horse ready to ride.
The door opens, but this is the wrong master.
I cannot run from this secret tether.

I know these hands, but tonight they are coarse, like burlap,
Prodding at the blanket ... why does he do that?
Wrinkles hide the darkest shadows.

He looks at me with eyes that don't belong to me.
I want to see what shouldn't be happening.
He shrouds his intent.

A tongue pushes against my teeth, searching.
This new fire makes my bedroom air feel like needles in frost,
Like a prickly secret.

A pinch, and the dull relief shows the pain was pleasure.
Startled, red eyes tear up with confusion.
"Let's not tell Mom."

I am a bad girl ... I am a soon woman,
My mind bellows when my mouth won't speak.
Is there any difference?


I can tell you are wearing that red dress
The one from the first time we met
When the frost was upon the windows
As we travelled our separate ways
I yearned for you, longed for that touch, that smell, that feeling

Until now, here in the warmth of this boxcar
Away from the hustle and bustle of life
Shhh...don't be frightened, we are alone
Like the cloth over us, they cannot see either
Stay close, hold tight, can you feel my heart
Racing like a horse to the finish line

The silence now is our comfort
The guilt will be gone in moments
As the bellow of night night breaks into day and our time comes to end
We go away now, until again the passion overcomes us


Oh to be a horse.
Free from your grasp.
Running from your stables.

Oh to be that flower
Popping through the frost covered ground.

I am screaming red.
Can you hear me through
My bellow?
Can you see me?
Do you want to?

Put me in that boxcar.
Send me far away.

Who are you?
Don’t you realize
How you’ve changed?

I don’t think I recognize your face anymore.

One Night

Darkness fulfills my desire
for your tender embrace
two lonely souls in the night
fate unites us as one

When the red sun rises
and your memory begins to fade
like the frost on the petals that shed in early spring
Will you remember me
my touch, my scent, my surrender

Did you leave quietly
or did you race off
like a wild horse in search of serenity

As the boxcar comes to hault
I see you through the window
embraced in her arms
Her gaze missing you, wanting you

Will you bellow out my name
when you're with her
or will guilt hide you from the truth
of that one night of passion and tenderness

Secret Passion

Is it wrong of us to feel such passion?
Disguising it as though to have shame.
It should be understood
That our affection exists.
Are we a threat to those who can see,
Like a frost to newly bloomed petals.
Why must we contain this passion
For others to feel more comfort.
Standing in your red dress
I imagine the fire burning within.
This passion should bellow out
That their shame is not ours.
Only in this room can we express our feelings,
Dark and cramped with the emotion between us.
Feeling like a horse in small boxcar,
Wanting to rise and open the doors.
To display this passion proudly
Beyond the boundaries of this room.
Will we ever be able to express this,
To be freed from the cloak of this room.
For it is a shame for a passion like this
To remain a secret from the world

I Wonder

I wonder what happened to them.
They wouldn’t have wanted us to be alone.
At least we found our red boxcar, to shelter us like they never did.
It gives us comfort to know that we can live together here.

Henry is off collecting water for me to cook with.
Pretty soon he will bellow that the bucket is too heavy for just him to carry.
He has a hard time admitting he can’t do things, but this is the one exception.
We’re lucky that he’s the oldest, and cares for us like the parents we never met.

Oh dear shy Violet is sitting near and staring off into the heavens.
She doesn’t seem part of this world, she’s more ethereal when she day dreams.
The breeze blows her blonde hair so that is sparkles like frost in the sunrise.
She keeps us all optimistic that life will only get better for us.

Wonderful little Benny is galloping toward Henry now like a horse.
He is always so happy and full of life, because he doesn’t understand what has happened.
He cannot fear because he’s still too young to ponder the possibilities of life for us.
Benny’s one task is to stay jolly and hopefully that joy will spread.

Me, I keep the family going, acting as Moms are supposed to, but I’m still a kid.
To me, saying “Jessie” is the same as saying “Mom” around here.
I don’t mind, but I wonder where they are.
Are they happy knowing we’re together, but we’re still all alone?

A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise

We embrace

The fire of your red heart beating

With the fervor of a thousand horses.

With hands held tightly,

Our grip begins to break.

So tender, so awkward,

Our lips inches to infinity.

The distance taking it’s tole,

A heart jaded by autumns morning frost.

A black tie, a red dress.

The hollowed out shells of what was once a man,

Once a women.

A photograph in my mind,

The only thing to remind me of what once was

Is now a boxcar turned sideways,

Destroyed, meaningless.

Jackson Pollock bellows,

His perfect picture returned,

All that’s left is the distance...

A picture of our torn up praise.

We're Not Strangers... for Tonight.

My how far we’ve come in such a short time!
From the frost of our initial meeting,
to this poorly painted hotel room where we hold each other now.
What a convincing aphrodisiac alcohol can be.
You don’t really know anything about me,
other than this mask I’ve put on for you.
I can only assume you’ve done just the same.
So what now… shall we take it slow and get to know one another?
No, no… there is no time, or desire for that matter, to horse around.
This night is strictly for business.
What will become of us tomorrow… will we paint the town red?
There’s about as much chance of that, as there is of rolling boxcars.
Will you bellow out my name in the morning when you realize I’ve gone…
…or will you even remember it?
You may not be the right one for me,
but you are the one for me right now.

House of Cards

Lie next to me
in a breathless sea of red frost
trapped in a boxcar of solitude
longing to bellow the words
neither want to hear

Can you rest your head gently
on your soft pillow
and have pleasant dreams of the sweet taste?

While I am numb
drained empty of my innocence
pain buried deep under memories
of hollow promises

Fingers crossed behind your back
candy coated lies
too wrapped up
in your make believe world
your house of cards ready to tumble

Thoughts seeking an escape
instead they are a lone horse
roaming through a field of desperation

Out of bed you climb
into the arms of another


A whispered word, a muffled promise, indistinguishable over the bellow of the hearts. The sound isn’t that of affection or the beat of recognition, for we are strangers. We were brought together in the frost of the morning to join as one before the eyes of God. A conspired union not of our choosing, an arrangement made.

Now here we stand, in a room where we will become less like strangers, our hidden identities begin to be revealed. I draw closer to you, hoping to know the man underneath. A storm of emotions crash through me; scared, hopeful, timid, excited. My adrenaline rushes, like the gymnast on a pommel horse, striving for the perfect outcome. At this moment, blazing through all the emotions and adrenaline, is a red hot desire to know you intimately.

But what of the future? Will you fulfill those muffled promises of happily ever after, or will we find ourselves dreaming of boxcars, hopping trains that take us far away from each other? Am I or can I be what you expect in me? Are you or will you become what I hope for in you? Do those who brought us together have the wisdom to have made a perfect match?

Can we become strangers no more?


Here we stand in our room of materialistic acceptance
The beautiful molding is a proclamation of our sophistication
Dressed for a joyous or sorrowful occasion
Embracing each other in the essence of coexistence
The walls that surround us is a testament to that very struggle
The feeling of warmth, as if a red sun were at our side at this very moment
As it desparately trys to shield us from the frost that is forming behind us
Where are we now? What are these walls that surround us?
Is this a cage that is keeping us in place as we try to endure
Or is it merely a boxcar, ferrying us to our final destination
Is there freedom in this place? Do we have a choice?
Maybe we are just horses racing to the finish line with blinders on
I can feel your warmth, yet I am not sure if this is your true nature
I am blind, but there is still room for you to enter, I am willing to invite
I only fear the emptiness that may remain once I am hollowed out
All I want is for you to speak truth, to tell me how you really feel
I try to let out a bellow of my true feelings for you
But I am restrained, this hood feels tight around my neck
As if it were a noose, and my next action could bring it bearing down upon me
Taking away my ability to breathe, to live, I am always cautious
And in being cautious, I will always be alone


With you I lack,
sense of smell,
sense of taste,
my sight.

Your heart like a boxcar,
sealed tightly.
You forced me in,
you suffocate me.

You coverd my ears,
so to not hear you bellow.
Why pretend to thirst for you,
you have no flavor with my mouth closed.

Like the late frost,
once it's spring.
The way it coats new crops,
you suffocate me.

I could never relate,
to the horses roaming wild.
I will never be as free,
as the red cardinal flying high.

With you,
I suffocate.


As we stand in celebration, you look so divine in the red dress.

I think of all the wonderful moments we had together.

The first thought comes to mind, you were sitting in the boxcar reading, as we were heading into the windy city…

I couldn’t help but look intently at your magnificence until the bellow of the train’s horn in the night’s frost startled you and our eyes became tangled.

It was at that instant we knew we would always be.

And now, is at this moment, celebrating 20 years of blissful marriage, I realize something dreadful.

I adore you and all that you are, or is it what I remember you as?

I don’t know you and you don’t know me, who we really are.

Do you even know my favorite color, or my favorite song? Come to think of it, I don’t know yours.

Many years we spent laughing, raising our children and yet we know nothing of who we are as individuals any longer.

Come closer and look into my eyes, I want to be your knight in shining armor, to ride in to rescue you on my white horse.

To be the man you once knew and to know the stunning woman standing in front of me once more.

Twenty years and now we are strangers, but I long to be strangers no more.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Here within my thoughts I feel your passion
We only exist in love
This is the only way we can be within each others embrace
I want to rid this burning-hot red feeling of lust and passion; it has taken its toll
Days go by and I long to feel your comfort in my presence
Shatter this accumulated frost that has started to overtake my bitter heart
It does not remember how to beat with strength and energy
Thoughts and dreams of you are soothing as a boxcar travels its route
Our love is not sought through the eyes but our affection is vivid
Our meeting is obscure for now
Sorrow will soon follow when you have departed away from me
The delicate memories are diminishing with you as I try to hold on to them
We will escape the morals and rules placed on us and experience our desires
Like a horse crossing the finish line, we also, can succeed!
Bellow for me and we will live our dreams as the frost melts


I am alone, going from one stop to the other.
my soul aches for my soul mate?

I go through life shattered at the thought of a meaningful relationship, going from one man to the next not knowing if it'll ever be right. I see red reliving the past.
So many dreams gone.

trying to forget, never fully committing.

I watch as the world swirls past me.
My world so small, stuck in this tiny boxcar space, I need room, air to breath, my own space
or so I thought for so many years.

Walking by a café realizing, that once had been a dream of mine ripped apart. I stop and stare blankly at the man next to me, yearning to see deep into him.

I saunter past to get out of the cold. The frost on the door handle snaps my attention of where I am and I bellow from the shock realizing it’s his touch...what is that sensation inside me?

I turn slowly sensing his warmth

he speaks, his words so warm and inviting. I find myself braced in his arms, anticipating his first touch, the past haunting me, the unknown of what’s to come, scared by these thought running through my head. Why so fast?

trying to fight the awkwardness I have never felt before. I realize deep inside the wanting, the need to feel the way I always imagined it was to be, wanting to be swept up and rode off into the sunset on a white horse just like the fairytale I remember as a kid.


I’ve waited for this day for so long, too long.
Since the red roses that grow outside my bedroom window first budded.
Now they have withered away, decayed even as my passion lives, the frost ending their existence.

I felt your presence even when you were not here.
I would close my eyes and imagine you riding towards me bareback while your horse sped faster and faster.
I’d bellow from my window, I am here, I am yours, always.
Then your image would slowly fade as if I was watching a boxcar speed to a distant finish line.

Now that I have you in my arms I will never let you go.
Feeling the rhythm of our hearts beating as one is the only need I have.
Even with my eyes closed I am surrounded with you, your scent, your touch, your breath.

Is this real?
Am I still dreaming?
Do I dare lift the darkness and gaze into the eyes I’ve yearned for?

I’m too frightened; I could not bear if my mind was playing cruel tricks on me.
So in the dark I whisper your name and even as I do you call out mine.
If this is an illusion; if I have finally broken waiting for you, in this room surrounded with our past, so be it.

I’d rather be in the dark with you than surrounded in the light without you.
This won’t hurt a bit. I don’t want anything from you that would be of value to anyone else.
I have slithered out of my world of frequent-flyer miles and hostile takeovers to inhabit the rayon space between reality and America. Between my boxcar and my cubicle.
In this cube of existence where everything is angles and protuberances, I want only that which is soft, malleable, easily manipulated.
I hope you weren’t expecting anything from me but to be that thing which breaks the red, silences the scream but for a moment.
Please don’t feel any desire to change me.
It won’t be reciprocated.
What I have lost is nothing I have not given over.
My life, like yours, was not taken from me but auctioned off.
Craigslist, E-bay, these are the chalices of meaning in this sphere of frost.
We have sought to find our worth in the bright light of commerce and instead have become that which is sold, hung on the hook of morality displayed with all the contempt it deserves and the worship it requires.
Show me that you don’t care, please.
When I wake, I will shatter the glass with a bellow upon seeing you there.
We will then mount our horse together and escape ourselves before we’ve had the chance to ignore one another.
I don’t know you, intimately

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aren't They a Lovely Couple?

Bloggers: Here it is, your very first ekphrastic assignment for the blog! Spend some time first staring at the painting, "entering" it (as much as you can, albeit it's on a computer screen), writing down your thoughts, ideas, emotional reactions, colors, images, narratives, anything that comes to mind.

Then, you must write a poem in response to this painting, with the following caveat: you must follow ALL FIVE rules I have listed below. It's going to be fabulous.

1. You must include the following words in the poem: horse, boxcar, red, frost, bellow.

2. You may NOT include the following words: love, veil, kiss, beauty, caress. (I can't stand the word "caress." It was once the name of a bath bar, after all.)

3. The poem should exceed 14 lines but stay under 25. Alas, that means no haikus, no limericks.

4. The poem should not employ direct end rhymes in a pattern. End rhymes are the ones that happen at the end of the lines: "Roses are red, violets are blue, I don't like end rhymes, and neither should you." Try to work with another kind of form; surprise yourself.

5. Include a setting for the poem -- give us a sense of the place. It does not necessarily have to be the place depicted in the painting; you might set us in a very different landscape. But give us a sense of location through description.

Go forth, have a marvelous time! Your poems should be posted before 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22.

Blog responders: Your job, after the poems are posted on the blog on Friday, is to select two of them to which you will respond. Your response (in the comment section) should tell the poet what you find striking/interesting/strong in the poem, and it should offer the poet some suggestions about where the poem might go from here, what you would like to see more of, what strikes you as needing more development. These responses should be at least a good paragraph. Your comments on TWO poems are due before 6:00 on Monday, May 25.

(Image from Mark Harden's Artchive)