Burnt Pearls

pearls speckle velvet sky,
                      dotted around her neck
fair face he saw in space,
                           true love he can’t regret

for every time he gazes
                      above the jilted earth
with toes firmly planted
                           in indifferent blades of grass:

the weight of her loss
                      suffocates him complete
his air becomes hers,
                           her wings elevate

lifted to the fabric of time,
                      a memory sketched
for him, she would paint
                           her love in constellations

is this the premonition
                      that came far too late? 
their painful parting broke
                           this magnetic enchantment

as fast as they collided,
                     they equally repelled
a fire too hot to burn forever,
                           a destiny befallen

pearls drop into the dewy grass,
                      burning blackest holes
she cries in stars,
                           his was the only love she knew…

truer than all that has passed,
                      truer than cosmos’ rigid rules

he reassembles her,
                          burnt pearl by burnt pearl



~ Em C. ~



The Tenant

one lone lamp
in an otherwise dark room
breath of an animal
exhales in opposition to her inhale

(the only other set of lungs,
aside from hers)

she is warmed
by the heating pad beneath her back
by the creature on her lap

and closing her eyes
she sees nothing
nothing to think about

no one to care
no one to care about
no one to care about her

left to her imagination
— that groom she can’t unmarry,
slung around her mind like a yoke,
dragging her to and fro;
pulling up the roots she used to trust,
trenches dug with the claws of her past,

planting seeds
that once bloomed
into love
or never into anything, a bust.

what is worse? she wonders:
to imagine the impossible
and feel the pain of reality?

or to have imagination expire
to settle into numb silence

unused, it takes up space in the soul
like an unevictable tenant
not paying rent
lounging on the couch of the mind
feet up, waiting…

~ Em C. ~


Silver Ribbons

silver ribbons of sunset
along bobbing waves of time
no different from stretching morning
no different
from yawning night

tuned sharp this clockwork body
on black matter sea
perched in nests on shoreline
this human
is humanity

beauty in the gritty
feathers matted down
fluffy like new birth
toughened wise
by predators

soar on silver ribbons
stalking from the tree
top of heights branch
farthest sights they see

find me
darting under brush
beneath the clay

when the coast is clear
i’ll swim
to nearest rock

reaching for sunlight
to the path
in the freedom
to see
another day

another day
to sing at sunset
to evade the next attack
to live in wakened moments

to live
without regret

~ Em C.~



another day buried
choking in the news
suffocating on the soot
of a government’s taboos

another day of tragedy
senseless spilling of young blood
watching survivors revolt
watch politicians run

their mouths cannot tell
the truth to save their lives
money in the bank
NRA decides who dies

fuck the ones who pander
who welcome slaughter to distract
how many youth have to pay
for your 2nd amendment “right”?

a right to own an automatic
was never on the list
framers meant slow-load muskets
no hellfire of raining bullets

rise up young ones, we need you!
your voices fly above!
the world can only change
if we demand it does!

use the tears you shed
as oil in the lamp
never settle for their no
or a generic rubber stamp

it’s time to say enough!
there is no excuse that makes
the money grubbers’ arguments
stand up to moral gates!

shout until they hear you!
scream until they hide!
we have got your backs —

all of us must fight!


~ Em C ~



Now is it time, Congress?

It’s not a black and white issue.

It’s mental health.

It’s security.

It’s access to guns that no one needs access to.

It’s a Congress who happily takes contributions from the NRA and in return they are lax on regulations, repeal existing regulations, sit and twiddle thumbs, wait for it to go away…until the next time.

Money is king.

Our children should not have to fear going to school.

Parents should not have to bury their children.

People should be able to enjoy concerts without fear of raining bullets.

When the 2nd Amendment was enacted, the type of guns available shot a couple rounds. The possibility of someday there would be an automatic rifle designed to cause the most carnage in the shortest amount of time was not even conceivable.

This is not a time to debate anymore. This is time for action.

When is it time?

Many yesterdays ago.

Small Faces

it was a lecture to remember

— the way the rain typed out its notes,

delivered by an ominous sky

that sang a waning winter soliloquy

to anyone listening,

“spring is coming, but i’m still here”

rat-a-tat-tat, pay attention…

or you’ll miss the point.

the answers you seek 

are hidden

in the way skies write,

the test of human life:

to recognize

the order of things,

that we are just students

in the university of the universe,

small faces

peering from behind our paper,

pens in teeth;

some of us awake,

some of us asleep.


~ Em ~