The Romantic Poet of the Internet, William F. DeVault williamfdevault@cityoflegends.com

a few selected poems from William F. DeVault's massive catalog.

 

from out of the city

 

From out of the city came words. Small words.
Words like lead pellets, ringing on armour, stinging on flesh
and carrying a message of rage and honor defended.

The prophet spoke in broken syntax, the facts spoke
for themselves in time and he was carried to the city square
to be stoned to death, in accordance with the law.

Morning slid over the horizon as if on rails invisible,
and split the night like Trinity. Infinity seemed possible
except for the silence of the waking world, one eye open.

Mourn the night and rise. Rise to your feet and climb
the hill you always said you'd climb before the end of all things.
For it is upon you, even in the optimism of dawn.

Mourn the night and rise. Rise to your vision, rise!
The afterlife is not waiting for you, but you for it,
and the madness of martyrs may call it too soon.

Mourn the night and rise. Spread your bastard wings
and catch the feral winds that come on the sun's fire
to sweep away the night into small shadow piles in corners.

From out of the city came words. Final words.
Words like Eden. Gethsemane. Golgotha. And then.
And then. And then, the silence. The violence of indifference.

 

bohemia


the wind is warm. formless and granular. the sand whips
the masts of the ships that never sailed, failed voyages
dry docked and stillborn, worn like a mason's hands.
the road is unmarked, lightly traveled, a pilgrim's afterthought.

the old man, blind in one eye, shades his brow and whispers
a solemn greeting, resplendent with time and tragedies.
"welcome to Bohemia", he rasps, dry lips spitting each word
like watermelon seeds at a long forgotten 4th of July party.

he rises. joints stiff and sore from the scores of times
he has risen out of common decency, even for those unworthy.
dignity and respect, reflected in a genuflecting smile,
warmer than the armor of the amourist, or something like it.

he motions you to sit and offers a scone or some warm tea.
"I remember what is important", he says, the mind still in motion.
the chairs are wooden, plain and solid, the paint scratched
and the table patched more than once out of necessities.

the wind continues to sing. And then he speaks, rapidly,
words unheard anywhere in the universe anytime before.
the poet's tongue dances though trances and transitions,
memories and good intentions, untended and befriended.

the wind fades, the sun sets, and the voice holds court,
sport of the mind, grinding the fist sized rubies to dust.
then blowing them away with a puff of breath, mocking death
and the stuff of riddles and religions, pigeons sacrificed.

the final syllables are what you came for, the final stanza.
you strain to catch your name in the arcane utterances.
it is in there, you are certain, the curtain cannot fall
without your acknowledgment in the dance of the decades.

you raise your eyes to thank him for his courtesy, despite
all the unrelieved grief and find him gone, leaving behind
only skin and bone and the riddle of manuscripts memorized
and now gone on a wind that resumes its mocking wail, outside.


strange...but beautiful

 

strange but beautiful
the arc of the lark, a curve of unswerving passion
fashioned in jasmine and honeysuckle wreaths
to stop the nosferatu's teeth
from more than a taste
from laying waste
to what, in haste, was imagined love
and some immortal dream of joy
that mirrored what I'd seen in the sun's cleft,
or so I imagined, in hope God had left,
but it came from blood
not the ether that folds cold memory
into the shrouds of distant stars
the better to bind noble scars
strange but beautiful

strange but beautiful
I can sense your presence
but I cannot ken the vector of your approach
and like Hector, I cannot fight
what I cannot touch in the light
swinging blind against the walls
as I kick against the pricks
I would place palms to cool stone walls
and wait your arrival, eyes shut to silence
the shadows of the fires
the shadows of desires
that would blacken flesh and bone
and drag me to the precipice
to dance for the fates my amomancies
strange but beautiful

 

Bragi to Freya, on his deathbed

 

I am not blind to the beauty
but like a paralyzed man
his bed a prison
unable to touch or taste or smell
only those things brought to him
or that, by accident, slip though the walls
of glass and steel and watchful eyes
that institutionalize lies
to their own ends.
the sterility befriends
those whose clothes tell a tale of wanderlust
in worn soles and frayed hems and dust,
dust of a thousand roads
some walked to the horizon
some merely tested with timid toes
like an unfamiliar water pool at dawn,
yawning a frigid maw to pull you in
and cramp body and soul.

I am not blind to the beauty
but bound to it.
The sound of it is like music to a deaf man
who can perceive the bass line as it shakes
the snakes from the foundations of a world
made of a necessity, a necessary doubt
of things spoken with too much conviction,
words used as truncheons
to beat down relevant inconveniences.
The luxury of truth is something few afford
in the discordant umbilical left to hang,
to dangle at an angle on the edge of cliffs
we once leapt from, unafraid of the consequences
of gravity and the pursuit of knowledge.
I can see it, eyes open or closed,
limbs and lips languid or posed
like posturing candidates for a title
I am not sure I would or should award again.

I am not blind to the beauty.
I am not deaf to the music.
I am not cold to your touch.
I am not tongue-numb to your taste.
I am not unaware of your perfume
as you enter this room
and leave a telltale marker to be followed
into Elysium, if I am willing to rise
from my chosen catalepsy
and wear again the patchwork pelts
and the mark of my station and office
to follow where I swore I would go
when the word was given in silent mouthing
from across the room but in plainsight,
for I am not blind to the beauty
as I plant my fists in the stones
and press upward with aching muscles
to fulfill that which is ordained of me.

 

dance naked in the sky (for the right set of lips)

 

split second timing
turn on a dime and
find the prime number at the top
burn the walls to the ceiling
leave the world reeling
don't dare start unless you can't stop

climb the wire
light the fire
and dance naked in the sky
live like a goddess
no time to get modest
it's a crime if you just try to get by

show me a reason
to know that your teasin'
is an invitation to dance in the sky
I don't like to take chances
on third string romances
just tell me when and I'll never ask why

climb the wire
light the fire
and dance naked in the sky
come, don't you falter
take me to your altar
for the right set of lips I would die

 

I rained poetry

 

there is no fear on the edge:
joy.

joy is what I find in the instants
between moments
when my feet are touching nothing but
sky
and the rocks recede
to return.
sooner or later.
driven by grave gravity
and the intemperate nature of natural law.
but
in the brisant moment,
leaping from
precipice to precipice,
I am reborn,
triggered and transfigured.

worn away are the chains of
the pains of
the stains of
mortal mediocrity
and I -
I am one with the clouds.

and I rain poetry.
(for that is my nature.)

as you turn your face skyward
to catch a few drops
on a tongue parched
by the dry air of memory
and the sun of shallow sentiments,
sold in the Hallmark rack
in the name of mass seduction.

and I rain poetry.

to irrigate the fields of forever
and make them ready for the seeds
planted without your realizing it
when you waved to me
as I ran the cliffs
high above the plains of stale acceptance.
and danced.
and danced.
and danced like a hurricane.
at the thought of you,
naked in the rain.

and I rained poetry.

bringing the thunder at the appropriate moment
when all other senses were spent
and only sound could
penetrate

the wet shell of overloaded synapses.
what passes for the echo
of fire that surged
and purged
the very ions of our irony.

and I rained poetry.

calling the winds to lift me.
to gift me with the words
that you would carry,
eroded into your sandstone soul.
nevermore the monolith,
but an aggregate of your essence
with flecks of my pitchblende.
bound to you by eloquence
that quenched an ancient thirst,
cursed to you
in a garden you will never see
except in the mirages of the maelstrom.

and I rained poetry.

and it was nothing.
compared to a single, honest kiss.
but it was,
in the absence of passion,
a worthy golem in the armies of solitude
up
on the cliffs
where I still dance with the winds.
and call the thunder.
even when no one watches.
or cares
or dares
to dance along.
(for that is my nature.)

 

Hephaestus to Aphrodite

 

You are beautiful.
I, deformed.
A god, no doubt, but not one
that they burn fragrant oils
to gather the favour of.
I am unworthy of you,
unworthy of your love.
It burns within me, this passion,
and yet it burns before me
that for all bonds and bindings
you will never really love me.
Just the idea of me.
The lame god, in the forge of souls,
hammering shape to metals
I have drawn out of lifeless stone.

You are beautiful.
I, deformed.
Cyrano suffered thus, and ultimately
it cost him the woman he loved,
who would have loved him back,
I suspect (ask Apollo, he would know).
But he was man and she, woman,
we burn at a higher degree,
our passions set fire to the skies
and people run and scream and dream
that their hearts could survive such heat.
But they are not that sturdy.
You seek balance in my malformations.
You laugh and smile and feign passions
beyond the novelty of my hideous countenance.

You are beautiful.
I, deformed.
For all your beautiful words and soft touches,
I know what and who I am.  I know the smell
of burning sulphur under my nails and know
that my kisses are that of a brute, a thing.
Not a god, which is what you deserve.
I am twisted and I know my place.
Those things which I craft, that is what is sought
by those who follow the twisting labyrinth
into the hot bowels of the Earth to find me.
Lovely ornaments of silver and alloys I alone
can make and master, for I am Hephaestus.
But that does not make me beautiful.
That does not make me worthy of a goddess.

 

into the grey

 

I can't imagine love

unless it is cast in the image of you.

Graven images of joy

and peace, telling me all that is true.

But you

have slipped into the grey.

And you

have nothing left to say.

And you

won't be coming back again.

And I

have forgotten what it was like when...

I can't imagine love.

I have lost my way, and all I can say

is that you are deity to me

after a long night, watching blackness melt away.

But you

have slipped into the grey.

And you

have nothing left to say.

And you

won't be coming back again.

And I

must live in violent silence 'til the end.

 

I will come for tea

 

I will come for tea, as promised,
to make certain you are well, in your exile,
hiding out from the complexities and vexities
that got in the way of who you wanted to be.

I will bring a small, lacquered box,
which I will take with me when I go,
leaving behind the gift of this year's visit, always there,
but never the same and something of a mystery.

I will come for tea, as promised,
and you will show me your garden, a source of pride
and life and the colours you draw upon to paint
and write and give us sight into the world you rule.

I will walk the cliffs with you, the sea crashing
with practiced rhythms that we will have to adapt to
if we are to speak with anything more than eyes
and the occasional touch to shoulder or wrist.

I will come for tea, as promised,
never making the offer I once made, for you know
it is still there, like a floorboard that creaks when stepped on
and never needs to be spoken of, unless you want to say "yes".

 

the warm wine

 

She was midnight. Bright light and warm as life and fire.

Soft lips. Her hips made for the touch of this man’s hands.

Dark hair. Nowhere did she deny her true desire.

Kisses wander beyond her heart. Naked she stands.

Her breath, small death. Bright light. Delight, her vows inspire.

Warm wine drawn out to share. So fair. Her bed: Pain’s pyre.

Sentimental. Sacramental. Gentle demands.

 

She was the gate of fate, burning my heart ashen.

Waking. Taking. Slaking her thirst with me, the well.

Draining and sustaining my heart in her fashion.

Soft. And sweetly. And completely lifts me from Hell.

Tender splendor, no pretender to her passion.

Angel made flesh she seems a dream. Pale permission

To touch and trust when dust is legacy I know too well.

 

I will lay back and her attack will make me bleed

wounds of a love, cleansing for the sowers’ passage.

Make way the grey and play and stay. Fulfill my need.

In her mission no division: Peace and couer rage.

Warm wine. Divine. Consign me to life, I concede.

Release and cease the days of grey, just come and feed.

Let me, set me to her purpose. Share my vintage.

 

in the memory of lovers

 

Perhaps it is the season
to place my faith, again,
in the joy and the passion
of a woman's deep heart.

To offer up my honor,
my hunger and my heart
to the fates, for my part,
as a sacrifice to their whims.

I have not lost a step
on this road of dark corners
where whispers are murders
and rewards are quite rare.

But I can't see my failing
to see this through till mourning
replaces a voice warning
of the shadows that linger.

In the moments she ponders
there's a bittersweet venom
on the kiss of a woman
to the light or the dark.

On the lips of an angel
I have tasted redemption
and sad desecration
when she ponders too long.

Or when choosing unwisely
not knowing or caring,
her shallows breed suffering
and the currents then fail.

I cannot stand for her
if she doesn't come bearing
or at least shout a warning
when the demons abound.

On the black brick'd road
on which I will yet wander,
I will, in truth, wonder
what is under my tread.

I shall seek a soft solace
but not a surrender
I will take no pretender
again to my bed.

I will drink my new wine
in the memory of lovers,
each angels who hovers
will light a new light.

Be she destiny, incarnate,
or yet another missed moment,
I shall keep to this torment
undefeated, through the night.

 

love is an howling beast

 

love is an howling beast.
consumed by rage that cannot hate.
fate, sealing wax and clay and stone
o'er bone and blood and flesh.
yes, flesh, meshing in memory.
memories born of hope.
torn to grope
in darkness, when what you need
bleeds out in the gutters
as silence utters
a grave pronouncement.
a riot act, a solemn pact
stacked atop distant mountains
too far to see more than
featureless white.
I would peel back my own flesh
with raw fingertips
to know again the texture of her lips
the scent of her hips
and to not have as mocking memory
the trips to the well of her heart.
I am that grotesque statue
left in silent field
for future generations
to wonder on the purpose of.

 

penny arcade

 

life is a penny arcade

where you drop your dirty copper moments

trace moments

into the slot of chance

and seize the handles

waiting for the raw shock

that challenges your will

and tests your desire to win

nothing more than bragging rights

 

then you

step right up

to the next machine

the metaphor

with more neon

and a sign that reads

"Try Your Luck

Two Cents"

and grab the handles

 

waiting for the Pentecost

 

there is nothing sadder than the persistent scent of your fading attar.
the sheets, no longer so warm and pampered by your frame, sorrowed.
but not as downcast as I am, clutching aroma'd memories to a scar
where once was a heart, fiercely pierced and glad to bleed unborrowed
emotions, potions imbibed in subtle sips not just to sample, but to prove
the leisure of the treasured pleasure to be measured in infinities.
a resurrection perhaps to be as prophesied in your eyes, to move
me to the transfigured instant of passion and purpose, or to disease
a soul already spread thin on wings of wax and stolen feathers.
as I am frail, so is the sun an inconstant lover, comfort in winter
and the furnace of the crucible of doubt in summer's span, never
more than less than welcomed according to the need of the lover.
and I have trusted skies too deeply to not regard the rose's kiss a true
friend before evidence of thorns is regarded in accepting the legacy of you.

 

Walsingham in Padua

 

I have given my word.
Strange word, word.
It carries itself and more, boring eyes in the back of the skull
when you are full of your own definitions of honor.

It is said there is no use
in worrying about the water
when you are dying of thirst and you find it, bubbling up pure,
cold and with the slight air of the center of the Earth.

I have lingered enough,
bare feet calloused by pain,
denying myself and my desires.  The fires a test of the metal
that is at its best zested by a kiss extended into madness.

I have broken with the past,
giving up more than you know,
accepting a new commission, a new purpose, head bowed
in humility that belies my arrogance and my skills.

You asked for me by name.
I am called back into service
of a distant liege who may keep me in foreign lands for a time
before acknowledging me at court, welcoming me home.

But I am grateful and ready.
I have counted the petals of the lotus.
I have tested the metal of my blade and my pen, obeying
the rituals that may seem arcane to you, but define me.

I will serve you until I fall.
I will not swerve or lose nerve
even if left, like Walsingham in Padua, to await the time
when all is to be revealed, I will stay true to my vows.

 

first date blues

 

I have the first date blues

Because the girl I choose to ask out

Already has a guy…who doesn’t take kindly

To skinny, four-eyed know-it-alls

Hitting on his girl.

 

So, Monday morning

At the bus stop

Will be pretty normal.

 

I have the first date blues

Because the girl I choose to ask out

Didn’t show up…and when I call her

She tells me she didn’t remember

And not to call anymore.

 

So, Monday morning

In English class

Will be pretty normal.

 

I have the first date blues

Because the girl I choose to ask out

Has a brother who thinks it funny

That anyone would ask his sister out

And he has a big mouth.

 

So, the rest of this semester

The laughter in the halls

Will be pretty normal.

 

I have the first date blues

Because the girl I asked to the prom

Has to cancel because she’s pregnant

With her ex-boyfriend’s baby

And she has to leave town.

 

So, the rest of my Senior year

At Morgantown High

Will be pretty normal.

 

For me.

 

the spot where she died

 

I could have thrown a rock

and hit the spot where she died.

 

No, not in a hospital bed,

respirators finally turned off.

lungs slowly losing their will,

alone, and trapped in the silent shell.

 

but here, in front of the store

where she worked, when it was Hill's,

not Ames, and the corner was

less fettered with unsightly buildings.

 

I was miles away, washing dishes

at the hospital, waiting for seven-thirty

to go home and not do homework,

as they rushed them to the emergency room.

 

He lived and lives, a constellation of scars,

marking how the kinetic laws of nature

threw him along Monongahela Boulevard.

She was gone before they reached the scene.

 

Nearly thirty years have passed and gravel piles

and construction signs mark the spot

where she died, in an instant remembered

only by those she touched in life.

 

And by those who read her epitaph.

 

sonnet:  a vintage passion

 

even to the taste of your tears and the texture of your fingertips.

I recall all the images of that afternoon so far in passed and past

that there are children with children who were not yet cast

in their mothers' wombs when these dreams last walked, lips

parted in silent prayer as lights merged against the shadows

the heat completing the alchemy, banishing doubt and sorrows,

sweat ran like the melting of ice on a cliff wall in springtime,

and leaving us a taste, on virgin palates, of an impossible wine.

tongue to lips and hands to hips and memory does not slip away

from a sacrifice that is willing and beautiful, as you were, that day.

Out of a heart given and proven in a moment of lust consecrated,

all of my memories of you are bound in that perfect moment, fated

to be snapshots in a mind still warm and plastic for the impression

you left in the attic of dreams, where we still share a vintage passion.

 

penance

 

against the odds
against the gods forced on us
by friend or foe, we fight.
beyond mere will,
where weapons kill more than
just flesh, slaying truth and light.

we have been cast, as tumbling dice,
amidst the mortals who repel us...
who would sell us for a smile
from cold idols carved of ice.
we have fallen. and have risen.
and taken penance given, every mile.

 

my killer wears my shoes

 

I'm smarter than I look and faster than you'd think
I know my way around the block and bring the kitchen sink.
So don't invent a one-armed man to sing of in the blues,
the truth is when all's said and done, my killer wears my shoes.

I've pissed off more than I care to think with passion and a source
of firearms and sharpened blades who'd intercept my course
if pushed just a little harder to make the evening news.
The truth is when all's said and done, my killer wears my shoes.

Don't sing for me an elegy that makes me what I'm not
if you should hear from far or near I took the final shot.
I probably had it coming, or at least I gave excuse...
the truth is when all's said and done, my killer wears my shoes.

 

Panther on the Beach

 

A poet's dream and invocation of dark divinity
spun of the ethereal webs of chance and sweet mortality.
A future memory calling of the panther on the beach.
Forbidden and forever. The rose, she grows just out of reach,
representing a resonant sweetness, nectar of a peach,
a poet's dream and invocation of dark divinity.
So innocently the Judas goat, la belle dame sans merci.
My blood, it burns in cascade turns, now in bondage to be free:
a future memory calling of the panther on the beach.
Hardwired, soul to sinew, as if the vengeful prophets preach
a fallen grace of lost face, disremembering what we teach.
A poet's dream and invocation of dark divinity.
I gaze, in rapt amazement, committing all to memory,
raging in a cage called propriety. A false dignity.
A future memory calling of the panther on the beach.
A visit to the edge of the enamored infinity.
Woven in words incarnate and the elegance of my speech.
A poet's dream and invocation of dark divinity.
A future memory calling of the panther on the beach.

 

from the parapet

 

the minstrel said
"the first cut is the deepest"
but I am not so sure...
as the only proven cure
for a broken heart
is to wrap it in swabs of clove
to desensitize the nerve.
and I will not surrender
my grandest passions
even to not remember
the feeling when the blade
hits the bone
and cuts through
to the marrow.

like last time.

and every time.

for the heart feeds or withers.
so let the candles be lit.
and the tapestries hung
and the windows opened
to let the night air
and the garden paths of stone
bear the tread
of the next fair woman
who will share the whole
who will bare her soul
who will dare control
the stallions of Apollo
as I brave the cliffs
in the name of love.

 

the Unicorns

 

Please come awhile, remain and play.
The unicorns won't come today.
The faeries and their virtued kin
shall stay away, to paint my sin.
with ancient red and angry fire.

Please come to me and linger, please.
I do not mock, I dare not tease.
Just bring with you an honest smile
and share with me, for all the while,
a love of life and true desire.

The unicorns no longer guard
the meadow just beyond my yard.
They snort with shame and true disdain
upon a hope of ages' pain
and brand me, by their pride, a liar.

 

Villanelle:  the poisoned pen

 

The troubador, he knows the truth, unsuspected and unspoken,
that tears the soul of every man whose heart and mind lay broken:
Dreamers die, for a poet's lie, at peace with their transgressions.

The miller and the blacksmith are at peace with their professions,
the priest will carry on his trade and take the strange confessions.
The troubador, he knows the truth, unsuspected and unspoken.

The sentry knows to challenge foes when in the night he's woken
from the disturbing thought born from what is in the barrels oaken:
Dreamers die, for a poet's lie, at peace with their transgressions.

The mistress and the novice seek each her own perfections.
The baker fires his ovens to be lost in his confections.
The troubador, he knows the truth, unsuspected and unspoken.

Warriors die for causes both obscured and held as the slogan
of their leaders, prayers in the shadows of Holy vows now broken.
Dreamers die, for a poet's lie, at peace with their transgressions.

Take these words as a sign of faith and as my memory's token,
the realization stands apart, against all false impressions.
The troubador, he knows the truth, unsuspected and unspoken:
Dreamers die, for a poet's lie, at peace with their transgressions.

 

Darfur (Jesus Wept)

 

Half a million dead in Darfur, in the Sudan.
100 times the innocents who died on 9/11.
Children. Women. Men. Genocide.
Wake up and see.
Wake up and see.
Wake up and see why
Jesus wept.

The rains didn't come
the sounds of the drums
the death knell kept.
Jesus wept.
Over the burning sands
the killing commands
of the warlords swept.
Jesus wept.
It should be true
that the evils evil men do
we cannot accept.
Jesus wept.
The slaughter rained on
as in the blistering dawn
the sun, the horizon, leapt.
Jesus wept.
Half a million women and children and sons and daughters
fall to the hate, their fate as wormfood for the slaughters.
Since when are 100 black babies worth less than one white businessman
in the eyes and lies of people who claim to be, to see, without sin?
Wake up and see.
Wake up and see.
Wake up and see why
Jesus wept.

 

the philosophy of dreams

 

touch me. for I am flesh, as you,
given to the same needs for air and food
and warmth, communicated between two bodies
at rest, touching in all aspects possible.
and many improbable,
as I pull a cat out of the quantum corner
and make it into roses to bloom in arcs
of every colour of a spectrum of another sphere
as they fill the room with exotic perfumes
I brought back with me on a trip to the stars.

sing for me. I will smile and touch your hair
and dare to sing along, when I know the words.
for we are at best in blended voice and thought
and flesh, yes, I recall mere moments ago
when I could not tell the terminus between
your light and my darkness, as angels averted eyes
and we made the case for unity between us.
it was. yes, it was. it was something I will write of
when I catch my breath and I can find words unique
and perfect and passionate enough.

dream of me. for I dream of you. I dreamt of you
even before I heard your voice. before I knew your name.
when all I knew was that, by the same evidence that I know
that there is a God, you exist and existed and I would find you,
even if I had to climb mountains of madness and sail,
sail forever, it seemed, on seas of the mediocrity of life.
for there is too much to be lost to the world if I was right.
if love is and was and will be regent. regret wets sweated sins.
but I am a penitent pilgrim, lost on the road to Golgotha.
seeking something more than the philosophy of dreams.

 

Bare Feet on a Wooden Floor

 

I ate a daisy today. (to settle a bet between my child
and my wife if I could or would.) Daddy is not so ancient
that he has forgotten the value of play in the lurking wild
of a newly discovered world. Mommy has been patient,
but loves and lives for and with this world, and late
at night, while our children sleep, goes on a date
with me in the kitchen, dancing strange emotions stored
in cookie jar hearts that never break. bare feet on a wooden floor.

 

taste of remembrance

 

you reminded me of memory.
not a memory.
but memory.

that twisted lift of something.
something. something caught
on the roof of my mouth
like peanut butter.

but it is a soft mystery
that wafted in on winds
I had not smelled
since midnight in Venice,
with the jasmine
and the dreams
that coiled in eddies of air
caught in the shadows
that melted into you.

true to your nature.
true to my hunger.

your shoulders bare to my touch.
your eyes closed to my thoughts.
and all else open and warm
and something like music.
something like music
when it comes upon you
suddenly, but beautifully,
like a lover at first waking.

and memory tasted a lot
like your lips.

 

I should have been immortal

 

lying in fields of orchids, I dream of roses.

there is not...there will not be...

there can not be enough time to taste

all the wines.  I should have been immortal.

 

the wind blows warm when I crave the ice.

the pie is cut.  but I want no slice

of it...yet the cake I need

has been served all around.

 

I have sailed the sun and touched the moon and

fallen to earth in death's calling...but where

are the ancients...I must know.  I will go to see

their tombs...for I am too late

(or they passed too soon).

their's will be my destiny, too...to dream

of fires that shall not burn in my earthtime...

to carve my name on a sapling and not live to see

the process spread my words to gargantuan proportions...

 

yet, security beckons.  there is

a sort of pleasure in knowing that

death waits around a farther hill, and that

you will be blessed by its frostbound visitation.

 

but I should have been.  I could have been.  I would

have been immortal.  there just isn't enough

time for the roses.

 

the darker angels

 

a unity of luminescence.  The presence of an ethereal,

incandescent thought,

caught in the quintessential webs of our predestinate,

obstinate denial of what

is not less than the truth.  Reality, flinty and dark,

like obsidian geodes, hard

cards in the tarot deck of the infinite universes’ possibilities,

a guard

pardoned for their diligence

by their sleeping master’s whim and will.

killing time with a clockwork knife,

a blade unsheathed to silence,

violence foresworn for the incumbent

threat of guilt and penance,

from whence flows our memories,

cold and callous and calculating.

And God sleeps with one eye open, tonight.

 

radiant tigers

 

welcome to the land of radiant tigers.
bright eyes like coherent beaming ruby rods
fiercely piercing the fearjungle of life.
pouncing like Lord Byron on a first draft.

poets glide on the slip and slide emotions
whetted and wet with the potions of passion.
sweetmeats met in a feast of least persistence,
an insistence on the order of a random universe.

roadwork with the soda jerk mixology of words
that effervesce with a laugh in the daft draught
of expressions caught caterwauling to glance
off the silvered glass mirrors of albedo'd radiance.

welcome to the land of radiant tigers.
citrus stripes on cocoa black, warm as memory.
cold as calculations in an impatient ledger,
counting found funds, lost time, and three deep breaths.

 

all poems  copyright William F. DeVault

 

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