Shade

i sit with this silence
alone with sleeping wind’s breath

the shade has grown long
slowly covering day’s nodding head

wrapped in vines’ creeping tendrils
i dreamed of night time

cradled by bees’ beating wings
nestled in blossoming thyme

sun-kissed melancholy
summer’s height reached

the savoring of a slipping moment
toes tickling tile as floor creaked

alone is not always lonely
sometimes it’s beautifully free

as a hummingbird dips and zips
sipping sugar water empty

my friends the crow, the woodpecker
the dragonfly — they know me

as humans come, promise, go
i prefer to be let be

here in the shade of night
alone with sunset’s last sigh

i sit with this silence
i close my eyes

~ Em C. 8.5.18

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Dark Sails

your dead dark sails billow
in the storm you tried to escape;
the one you aimed away from,
only you aimed the wrong way.

the way was rigged before
you chartered your doomed trip —
the patched vessel’s hull…rusted,
even as it moored in its safe slip.

you followed a fool star’s direction,
your fantasy in sky she wrote,
above glass water she beckoned,
twinkling false signs of hope.

onward into vast unknown,
i watched from wandering shore,
waving my warning arms,
all the harbingers you ignore.

the storm you failed to escape
shred your canvas heart,
trailing dark sails, straight
into toxic seas,

you sailed yourself apart.

~ Em C. 6.21.18

*For Anthony Bourdain, and anyone else who’s ever been taken for a ride by a manipulative narcissistic sociopath.

Afloat

you died at the cusp of midnight
but no one knows for sure
the exact minute of departure
you carried your own sword

the sweat from life still dripping
down skin that kept you here
a shell around the broken
bones that never really healed

a voice that sang for the world
echoing truths in ancient air
singing intricate melodies
to words that carried fear

they carried love and anger
pain filled notes dance in black
dotted paper trails
lyrics of loss traced your tracks

giving your all to all, we followed
till your breath’s untimely end
yet we still follow to this day
since we haven’t found your end

woven like exotic tapestry
you weaved lives in decades’ time
as from restless times come beauty
painted true colors by your design

you died at the cusp of midnight
alone — so one would think,
yet souls of millions buoyed by you,
and your music won’t let us sink

afloat we travel onward
lightened by your light
never to be dimmed, nor
succumbed to endless night

~ Em C.

5.16.18

Peach Suns

when all is left are peach suns

setting on water’s bed

when stars unsettled

sparkle, messages unread

when words fail and thoughts

rail, beating drum inside

your head,

when names fade, and smiles

die, dispatched along time’s map

when efforts fall short

stuck type writer keys

letters never stamped

when clock stops

the phone won’t ring, and

i love yous hang

in vacant space

when lips mouth heart’s oath

muttered under stale breath

when reconciliation hurts

more than distance kept

when silence heals

the broken space deep

within cracked chest

when knowledge of self comes

when everyone is gone

when only you can fix what ails

no one else can take that on

when all is left are peach suns

giving way to dark’s ascent

when stars kindle in morse code

look for your map within

~ Em C.

5.15.18

And All

Somewhere my soul is dancing

In a world where it is loved

Where it is seen and heard and respected

Where it never has to defend

Its vibrant energy for breath

Its never ending quest

The way it beams passion

How it strives for its best

Somehow my soul will surface

From suffocating depths black

The kind that choke the spirit

The kind that strangles hearts

I’ll know the light upon arrival

It will embrace my being whole

It won’t question my motives

It will hold me

scars and all

~ Em C.

4.13.18

Time Kept Time

time kept time, and kept us dancing
to jazz band rhythm section;
warm lights, sweat and searching hands
dip me over your lowered arm,

swooning, I fall
into swing

piano tickles my spine
in all my right places,

just like your eyes,
they glide across my pages
playing notes I’d long forgotten,

you tune me
until I sing

as liquid jazz voice melts my ice
in jaded blood frozen with loss;

remind me once more:
I’m the woman
you wanted
once upon a time…

want me again, harder
spin me again, faster

remind me to forget
the world, to become
our music

~ Em C.

4.3.18