Tongue-tied 

NOTE: Depression is insidious. A dark and ravenous locust-cloud, it can arrive without warning and strip everything bare before you are able to find your wits. Warring with depression in myself can also become the battle of watching it attack those I love. These current writings are about that fight.

We are getting help.

—–

She once held her cup beneath the faucet of my mouth and drank deeply seeking understanding. Lately my words are clumsy incantations chosen with worry and whispered with care at the keyhole of her mind’s door. I keep getting the order wrong, mispronouncing the dialect. When she flinches, my own mouth floods with the acidic taste of smoldering ink and paper. I used to be the poet with the agile and well-oiled tongue — a skeleton key. But the locks are changed, there’s a secret code. I do not know the language and can’t remember how to conjugate the verbs.

—–

AUDIO FILE:

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Wallflower

NOTE: Depression is insidious. A dark and ravenous locust-cloud, it can arrive without warning and strip everything bare before you are able to find your wits. Warring with depression in myself can also become the battle of watching it attack those I love. These current writings are about that fight.

We are getting help.

—–

She’s flirting with ghosts
who are stealing her soul
and all I can do
is tie my own hands,
sew my own lips
into a fake smile,
watch her fade into fog
a little more each day.

I am the rope tied to her ankle.
I am the Polo to her
distant cries of Marco.
I am grey and thin,
a beating heart resisting
my own evaporation.

She waltzes in a graveyard
while I sit this one out.
She’s borrowed my dancing shoes.

AUDIO FILE:

Feeding the Darkness

NOTE: Depression is insidious. A dark and ravenous locust-cloud, it can arrive without warning and strip everything bare before you are able to find your wits. Warring with depression in myself can also become the battle of watching it attack those I love. These current writings are about that fight.

We are getting help.

—–

It’s nearly four, and Darkness comes to nudge me from the depths of dreaming. Her cravings won’t be sated. Outside the window, a cry echoes once, then again — the black dog’s voice is neither howl nor bark, and yet both.

Darkness paces impatiently, her boots echoing with my heart’s “too much, too little, too much, too little” syncopation. I feel her in my skin and my soul sighs out a name. I feel the cold and warming bodies of my children and their children pressed to my naked breast, see my mother’s dry lips pursed in disapproval.

I invite Darkness to dine with me, again — to dine on me — as she has done before. It’s a borrowed, black, denim work-shirt she wears, and though it fits poorly, it pulls at me, like a black hole collapsing my lungs.

The distant black dog mimics a wolf — calling again, and the Wolf who shares my bed doesn’t flinch. She doesn’t sleep anymore, my Wolf. Instead, she warily watches as Darkness takes a seat at my table.

I offer my heart as an appetizer, always too eager to see this inky void filled and satisfied. The Wolf who used to lay her head in my lap now growls at the riverbank, staring into shadows. The new moon has drawn the clouds up over her head, trying desperately to sleep in peace. I’m not certain there’s any peace to be found in these small hours when the black dog calls.

Darkness eats daintily, wipes her mouth on my skirt, then flicks her ravenous eyes at my Wolf. Her greedy, plucking fingers are alder branches, stirring widdershins in the murky water of my soul.

She draws the tarot from her pocket, and the cards fall before me like winter leaves, thin and colorless. Five coins tumble into lonely orphans, with no bread. King of Cups stands on his head, angry and brooding, while the Lovers gaze anxiously on. The inverted Moon stares at her confused reflection in the water. High Priestess is here too, offering a hand through the labyrinth. But Darkness exhales a thick, wet fog, and gestures toward my Wolf. “Feed me.”

I attempt a bargain, counting out five coins, like sweet cakes, and my desperate heart breathes a name into the darkness. The Wolf’s fur bristles along her shoulders and I close my eyes, slipping finally into the deep end of the pool, where sleep swims elusively upriver.

—–
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Run – a November Poem-A-Day Challenge – Diminishing Somonka

It’s a game of chase!
Night echoes with primal cries.
Can you feel blood race?
When the moon is on the rise —
there’s a wolf behind your eyes! 
~
There is only one
urge that burns beneath my skin–
(When I tell you… RUN!)
–instinct shared by all wolf kin,
bare my teeth to taste your skin!
—–
For today’s prompt, write an activity poem. Of course, the first activity that springs to my mind is writing poetry, but there are many other possible activities from which to choose: running, driving, folding clothes, tying knots, casting lines, dancing, sleeping, and so much more. Pick an activity and write it out.

—–

POETIC FORM:

Diminishing Somonka
 
A form I created by marrying the Somonka and Diminishing Verse poetic forms:
  • two Tankas (5-7-5-7-7), written as two love letters to each other.
  • remove the first letter of the end word in each successive 7 syllable line.
 
Variation: Poets can remove sounds if they wish like “flies” to “lies” to “eyes.”

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AUDIO FILE:
 

Arc – a November Poem-A-Day Challenge – Diminishing Somonka

Need is a live wire —
arcing in me, a tripped switch,
setting flesh afire.
Tell me now, my charming witch,
can you scratch this constant itch?
~
Chaotic moon child,
I can see, you’re all aquake,
your pulse running wild —
watch you tremble, feel you quake.
Do not doubt, I know your ache.

—–

PROMPT: 2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5 

For today’s prompt, write a wire poem. A wire poem could be about something that needs wires–like maybe a robot, TV, or automobile. But birds huddle on telephone wires, people wire money to each other, and kids can get wired off of too much candy and/or caffeine. In fact, I’m surprised I haven’t written more wired poems over the years.
—–
POETIC FORM:

Diminishing Somonka

A form I created by marrying the Somonka and Diminishing Verse poetic forms:
  • two Tankas (5-7-5-7-7), written as two love letters to each other.
  • remove the first letter of the end word in each successive 7 syllable line.
 
Variation: Poets can remove sounds if they wish like “flies” to “lies” to “eyes.”

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AUDIO FILE:


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Nightly – a November Poem-A-Day Challenge – Diminishing Somonka

My Wolf, can’t you see,
how I long to hear you speak,
feel you howl at me —
slowly climbing to my peak
as more night with you I eke.
~
Throughout this dark night,
I have watched you, rising slow,
felt your beauty bright —
drawing out my howl from low
in my body, until — Ohhh!
—–

PROMPT:2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

For today’s prompt, write an animal spirit poem (or spirit animal poem). What I’m thinking is to make the title of the poem the animal and then write a poem as if you are that animal. Or look at ways you identify with that animal. Another possibility (if this is too New Age): Write a poem about an animal. Period.
—–

POETIC FORM:

Diminishing Somonka
 
A form I created by marrying the Somonka and Diminishing Verse poetic forms:
  • two Tankas (5-7-5-7-7), written as two love letters to each other.
  • remove the first letter of the end word in each successive 7 syllable line.
 
Variation: Poets can remove sounds if they wish like “flies” to “lies” to “eyes.”

—–

AUDIO FILE:

Surrender-Song

I was the moon rising
in your eyes, and you
the wolf–laying a rope
of stars at my pale throat.

They cut my tender skin
with diamond blades,
and my flesh wept
blood red with joy. 

Their surrender-song
still echoes in my head
–as the sun spills golden 
into our bedroom window.

I will sing their fading notes
–each one my gift to you.

—–

AUDIO FILE:

Something Red

2016-05-20
@Benedict Gacutan

 

 
There’s something
about white underthings
under other things
a red dress and
black strappy sandals
lips painted red.

There’s something about
white, pure and sacred
something holy
in the pulse
beating red
under milky flesh.

There’s something
in a whispered prayer
a hard swallow
past a tight throat
a trembling hand
touching your hand
your face.

There’s something
about the look
in your hungry eyes
black and dark
an iron wolf’s gaze
white teeth, red tongue.

There’s something
in that fairy tale
a girl in red, walking
in a dark forest
wide eyes, white
seeking wild.

There’s something
holy and sacred
in these trees, on
this hallowed ground
blood and hunger
spilled and sated
— something.

—–

AUDIO FILE: