Merlin rests on marbled porch
weaving music into wind.
lovelorn strings, strumming
wisdom; memories drift,
on violet clouds.
Red-dust sun sinks, pulling
crescent village moon
Lingering, he porchplays,
whispering frosted poems
to Evening Star.
Mermaid swims to his weary coast
and begs for legs.
Merlin strums in blackberry night
braiding songs with
secrets. Porchcat sleeps
curled on Merlin’s
He beckons Alabama
brings Mermaid back.
Merlin strings sorrow’s song.
Mermaid cries his iceblue tears
and begs for legs.
Merlin pauses at porch edge,
considers granting mermaid wish.
In silence, wizardfingers
cascade. Spells cast,
seaweed curls float
on frothy waves.
Merlin pulls Mermaid to chin,
She spied him from under the watery
That fair captain who set sail every
In blackness well past purple sunset,
Away from his city of light.
She wondered if ever they’d chance to
And she cursed her silveryblue fin;
So different were they, & from places
She lamented they’d never begin.
Yet one night, when the captain was
On violent seas of emerald and teal,
His ship’s hull split in two while the
moon laughed above;
With Triton, Mermaid struck a quick
“Let me take him,” she begged, “’til
To walk again on the Mediterranean
I’ll care for him in the sea I call my
‘Til he’s well, then I’ll see him no
Triton nodded in agreement, and
Mermaid wasted no time
Doing what she now knew was fated:
She slid her apricot arms around his
shoulders and chest,
Swam home, let him rest, and then
And when he opened his eyes, he saw
she wasn’t a dream;
She went to him and touched his strong
And lightning shot down from the
stormy ash sky
Warning Mermaid of what certain harm
Could come from taking this dear
Into her cerulean bed as her own.
She longed to love him in her watery
But stood by her word, & so with
She kissed him once softly and cast
her dark spell;
The captain fell into a deep sleep.
She delivered him to the Mediterranean
--Her promise she did faithfully keep.
And when the rosy sun lifted a sliver
Above dawn’s bronze horizon line
The captain awoke with blurred
Of shipwreck, tho’ he bore no bodily
Then a flash of memory showed him
A mermaid with long gingered curls--
A mermaid who treated him gently
In aqua depths among starfish and
And this memory stayed with the
captain for life;
Many more years did he sail
Mermaid perched near the point of his
Watching him traverse the volatile
And she hoped that he knew, as he
traveled the world,
His mermaid wasn’t merely a fable;
This mermaid, who couldn’t love him in
every possible way,
Loved him every way she was able.
Scarlet priestess, ivory thigh,
Apollo’s messenger, hear my cry!
Look into bronze bowl & scry;
speak your visions, tell me why.
Leaves of laurel, bleached moon on
gaze deep in midnight’s onyx eye—
breathe my future’s vapor sigh
from serpent’s crevasse to blackened
my destiny, your words imply.
Do not this meager request deny;
The truth on your red lips is nigh—
Love, loose my crimson heart to fly.
peony silk & glass
pearl princess adrift
clouds gather & roll,
sisters’ watery song,
snowy veil for flame;
with icy fringe; Bride shakes
wings, gold ring,
to a black
Amphitrite for release,
gingered curls escape,
past ivory shoulder
core; peony silk
Bride heads for shore.
under slivered moonlight,
silence on damp foamy sand,
merge & are welcomed
& emerald fin.
Bride is no
You come to me in whispers & white
showers, summer’s troubadour.
Wrapped in midnight’s ebony
velvet, we recline, entwined,
under this high star
carpet; your thirsty
secrets pass to almond
shoulders & pale apple
blossom ears. Whisper
again your crystal promises
& songs of July’s deep
jasmine. Your words
are nectar & my neck
is ripe for the wet sugar
of your ravenous
sun presses higher in pink morning mist;
grass, ultragreen, with cool dewdrop, glistens;
traffic flies frantic past my small windowpane
In a rush,
I hear your
clouds float by in the shape of wild tigers;
& the sun
arcs high at sweaty noon, blazing;
& the boys
on the job sit down to ham sandwiches
& a nap,
I hear your
storms roll in from the east side of the state;
& the cars
hurry home on the interstate, late;
& the rain
plummets down from the silver ash sky
I hear your
rings spiral around a lush moon,
asks me to be his pale bride,
& the waves
crawl onto the empty seashore
I hear your
alone under midnight’s spell,
counting the seconds ‘til the teapot shrieks,
locking the doors at the end of the day before sleeping
blankets the toes of tall oaks;
on this cool carpet, removed
from July’s white heat canopy,
dress me in rose
petals & cream kisses;
I am your scarlet Queen
into black lilac,
night’s full ivory
curve. Stars spill
across a feathered tulip
our Gemini hearts
in shifting gold shadow
and light. Clover cushioned,
we spiral, braiding
breath & limb,
arcing into dawn’s
solitude’s deep jade
labyrinth carving pale paths,
sore fingers scratch dust
on twisting endless roads.
on gray shadow days; hungry
scrub pines claw
my spine; chestnuts bite
bruised knees. No milky moon
glows to guide me.
It is missing;
so much is missing.
& then rain tumbles;
cool platinum teardrops
pour from flannel clouds, cleansing
craving from blue bones.
feather my cheek.
calling silently into an obsidian
starless sky for the cherry
blossom pink of a New Dawn.
& day breaks, blood orange
on the plum horizon,
because of your honeyed