Characters like offerings

Characters like offerings
thrown on oceans
under shifting skies,
bob up and down
on sparkled wavelets of desire,
where force of gravitas
pulls focus on a single all to all
that sucks in hard,
and spits back out again.
With quiet noise like summer dawns,
they twist and turn and slide
beneath the summer sun,
then run to catch the
summer supersonic transport flight
that carries them to thoughts
of summer heat and passion,
summer sex and love.

– to Ahsan, thanks for sweet reveries on nature, the ocean, changing light and summer.
– to Mukesh, thanks for thoughts about cinematography and filmmaking.

The jackal and the tigers

a jackal sniffing at tigers’ prey,
surprised by the moon in the night,
cries at the moon as if it’s a man.
then it gnashes its teeth and eats.

under the trees, the tigers recline,
and watch the jackal feed.
they look at the moon and blink their eyes,
and look at the jackal again.

“shall we run it off?” a tiger asks,
while another blinks and yawns.
“oh no, let it eat, let it have its fill,
there’s plenty of food for all.”

the answer comes from a tigress, of course,
the heart of a tigress is warm.
but a jackal who feeds in the tigers’ den
may lose his life after all.

a cobra’s asleep under the tree
where the slumbering tigers dream.
its duty, to keep the dirt away
from the spring where the tigers drink.

if the jackal thirsts and trys to sip
from the tigers’ pure water source,
the cobra will rise and strike just once
and the jackal will rise no more.

tell me no lies and I’ll tell you none,
my story’s authentic, you see.
though couched in a meter a fairy might beat
it’s as real as you and me.

Life on a little table

this little table
is chaos for me
home, exhausted
i shed what i wear
the table holds
artifacts of no time
and offerings for myself,
set in silver, like these:

moonstone pendant,
a polished sliver of clouds and blue sky;
green tourmaline,
that i wear at my throat when my spirit is broken;
ring from Tibet,
a mirror of love;

Life on a little table

and enamel for nails, the color of shells
two DVD’s V-Z and Waqt, unwatched for months
a paper cylinder, with some cotton-tipped swabs
woven-reed box
lavender bowl
small demitasse cup, from grandfather’s world

this clutter
these fragments
of life at this time
look strange,
there’s no room to type.


Stepping from a cab
onto a rainy street
in New York City
where I live
I’m splashed
by cabs that pass at speed
forcing force sheets of
dirty water up and over
enemies on foot,
like me.

Like that,
the risks I take
in loving you are sure.

Hiking on the streets
in summertime
in New York City
where I live
when it’s too hot
to walk and just the heat
makes blisters on my feet
when sanity is living
in the country for the season
only few remain
to face the heat,
like me.

Like that,
the pain I feel
in loving you is sure.

Along the ways I walk,
the sweet green hedges
that you offer hide
barbed wire that’s
the darkness and the hunger
of your inner self,
and all the little flowers
that you leave for me
hide tiny insects
in their hearts.

When you’re very sweet to me,
you double round the corner,
fast, just after,
leaving just the
sound of slamming doors.

Intentions that I live
to be myself,
despite the pain I feel
when I love you, despite
your sometimes feet of clay,
are true and real.

Your dispassion,
standing coolly there,
outside my home of love,
will not pull down its walls
that shelter us,
nor will the often chill
within your heart
tear warmth and sweetness
from my love,
to toss them in the wind.

I have no way to end this poem.
The future will provide its final lines.
I’m feeling dramatic today, it’s true,
but the pain I write in is real.
I want to see your eyes, see the boundary between the moment and you.
This is what you get for being really nice to me, then going away right after:
Whinging and tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.
Civilization has fled for the nonce.
I’m sitting at your feet on an uncushioned low stool of woven thorns, not of willows.

Autumn Sometimes Walks To Summer

Sweetgum trees, with ruddy leaves like stars,
their scent fills autumn air
from darkened ground to morning sky.

Their trunks are long-stretched, rugged necks.
Or are they legs, in stockings dark and rough?
Do sweetgums walk at night?

The dark and vaulted columns hold their
fiery autumn leaves, like burning stars,
above my head, and keep me safe.

Five-pointed flames are tender underfoot,
dry rustling snow of sweetgum leaves.
Red stars float down (and sometimes kiss my hair).

In drifts of leaves upon the ground
my walk disturbs a layered natural order,
stained-glass wines and reds are stripped away.

In blackened ferment where new earth is born,
a tuft of grass will sometimes show an August green,
untouched by all decay above its head.

© 7 Oct 2006 Heather Quinn

Autumn Sometimes Walks To Summer: Verbose

Sweetgums’ autumn scent
claims this sacred clearing
from the darkened, dappled ground
up to the morning sky.
A canopy of intermittent starry fire
is held above the
sweetgums’ long-stretched, rugged necks.
Or are these columns legs,
in stockings made of dark, rough bark?
Do sweetgums walk at night?
Their black-brown vaulting holds
the stars of fire high
above my head, and keeps me safe,
although a star or two is always
wafting down. They sometimes drift into my hair,
they rustle softly underfoot,
a dry, sweet snow of sweetgum leaves.

In drifts of ruddy stars upon the ground
my steps disturb a layered natural order.
New and tender, gently laid in current time,
the stained-glass wines and reds
are stripped away, and show
the brown-black ferment underneath.
And in that dark transition zone
where fire is changed to earth,
a tuft of summer grass
will sometimes show.
A gleam of August green,
untouched by fall’s decay
above its head.

Note: The title above comes from two places
of current color transition.
One is a grove of sweetgum trees.
The other is a mystery:
My gmail chat status was set to busy last night,
and when I woke today, I was available, instead.
It changed itself, from orange into green,
like autumn walking into summer,
like August grass that flourishes
under mounds of autumn leaves.

Sky Blue

the places, to live and to be,
for the artist that’s inside of me,
in wrenched-apart clouds were born,
from skies broken open by storm:

when i was a baby my mom
carriaged me outside our home.
my real mom the sky and the trees.
now i love sky, i love trees.

when i’m sad, i look in the air.
my sky blue and green mom is there.
within the clouds’ spaces i live,
my mother’s green leaves are my crib.

my feet on my mother’s tree arms
my head in my mother’s sky eyes
my arms side to side
and my fingers stretched out
my bare feet my fingers my palms
in contact with god and my mom.