Poems for the End of the World

~ Sonnet ~

Dust We Become

When wither winds fell our brittle towers
And come the dread horsemen, devoid of mirth
trampling to dust the ill-fated flowers,
Misery descends upon the cold earth;

When dark are the angels, fallen from grace
To ashes they burn our earthly treasures
And if all hope is lost without a trace
Will we remember life’s simple pleasures?

Though the aging star bows lowly to weep
And cruel cold cuts the last living breath
Till sinks the last child, deep down into sleep
We speak not of this lonely planet’s death;

Until the bell gongs, for our time has come
When bone turns to stone and dust we become.

 

~ Free Verse ~

Cemetery Dance

The blood of gods
rains down upon the kingdom fallen
and the ravaged rock
wobbles to weave her cemetery dance;

No sentries guard
the ghostly ships sheltered in the
arms of somber skeletons
of long abandoned hangars;

Ancient code
propels the unmanned war dogs
sharpening their tungsten teeth
upon the shattered ruins;

Dust forgets flesh,
salt forgets the sullen sea,
and the ravaged rock
wobbles to weave her cemetery dance.

Lightning

If I am struck down,
let it be by a thought so magnificent
it changes the shape and texture
of the universe;

If I am broken,
let be under the weight of the words
of a poet, overcome by passion
and madness;

If I change,
let it be because I am evolving,
not because I’ve been tread upon
or defeated;

If I am to be saved,
let it be by that which is in me,
let it be that inchoate song
that swells and strikes my heart
like lightning.

Nearly Drowning Was Good for Me

Some time ago, I went to the beach and learned something valuable that really stuck with me. I was knee deep in the water. The waves were rough. It was hard to stand in the water without getting knocked off my feet. In fact, I did at one point.

It was a little frightening because getting back up without getting dragged under by the boisterous waves was harder than I expected. Somehow, I regained my footing. I wanted to go deeper out but non-swimmer that I am, I didn’t dare with those waves threatening to knock me about.

That could have been the end of it. I could have thrown the towel in and gone home. For some reason, I stayed there struggling to keep my footing. Then I got knocked over again. I went under. I realized that I’d really be in trouble this time if I kept getting dragged under.

I managed to surface again but this time, I’d inhaled seawater. I was coughing. My lungs burned. My eyes smarted. I was frustrated at this point because the situation was really trying my patience.

Just then, as clear as day, an oddly grounding thought popped into my head:

The water is not your enemy. It is merely present.

Amazingly enough, keeping my footing was no longer a challenge after that. The waves that had been bullying me became irrelevant. I stood there, chest deep in the water and I was comfortable enough to appreciate the warmth and buoyancy of the water.

I’d just learned a wonderful life lesson. How cool it would be if I could approach all the challenges that life throws at me with the same sort of mentality?

Hardships are not my enemies. They are merely present.

 

Disclaimer: Nearly drowning isn’t fun so please don’t try this at home, kids. Always play in the sea with a lifeguard present. Better yet, learn to swim!

My Supernatural Encounter

This is a story about that one time I thought I was being chased by a creature called a rolling calf.

Please, let me explain.

In Jamaican folklore, a rolling calf is a sort of demonic calf-like beast that roams along roadways, terrorizing hapless travelers at night.

In the stories that I heard while growing up, anyone who encountered the rolling calf would hear the shudder-worthy clanking of its chains. During some telling, someone must have included the cloppity-clopping of its feet among the terrifying sounds you would hear.

One night when I was in my late teens, I had one such encounter.

What I Thought Was Happening

It was dark and I was walking along a lonely, rural road. I was on my way home from I-forget-where.

Out of the blue, I heard this sound behind me.

Cloppity-clop. Cloppity Clop.

Strange, I thought.

Still walking, I glanced behind me to see what was making that sound. In the dark, I could only make out the hazy shape of a person. As this person or thing traipsed behind me, I could still hear the unnatural cloppity-clop of cow-like feet.

Unnerved, I whipped my head back around and started walking faster. My follower stepped up the pace too!

Cue the Twilight Zone music.

I started to silently freak-out.

Whoever or whatever was following me so doggedly couldn’t possibly be up to any good. Was it even human? Would a human’s feet sound like the cloppity-clop of some demon calf?

Was I being followed by a rolling calf? A freaking rolling calf in disguise?!

I didn’t dare look behind me again. For some reason, it didn’t seem like a good idea. Maybe I was just scared of confirming my fear.

I shifted gear into my fastest power-walk and wouldn’t you know? That beastly thing walked faster too!

The sound was getting closer and closer. I just couldn’t seem to get away from that rapid clop-cloppity-clop sound.

Finally, my house was in sight. I ran into the yard and slammed the gate shut behind me. I ran up the steps onto the verandah and crouched low, peeking over the banister. There was a streetlight in front of the house, so I knew I’d be able to get a good look.

Some woman in a red dress passed under the street light. She briefly looked up to where I was in utter confusion and kept walking. As she vanished into the night, I could still hear the cloppity-clop of her weird-sounding shoes.

The door to the house opened and someone inside asked, “what’s going on?”

Feeling like an idiot I stood, smiled and said. “Oh, n-nothing.”

What Really Happened

An innocent traveler was walking along a dark country road. Unnerved by the creepy atmosphere, she was relieved to see another person walking ahead of her. Figuring that a little company might help ease her fears, she tried catching up to the person in front.

When the person in front started walking faster, she started walking faster too, scared of the dark and still hoping to catch up. When the person ahead practically started running, she desperately chased after that person still.

So, this late night comedy unfolded with neither party truly understanding why they were chasing or being chased.

I hope this embarrassing story from my youth made you smile.

Every time it comes to mind, I dissolve into helpless giggle-fits.

I mean… really?!

A rolling calf… what was I thinking?

Mythology of the Future

What is it that makes human dreams?

Why is it that we create stories of heroes and heroines whose adventures span galaxies? Why is it that our dreams are so big, so fantastic, when the true “known universe” barely extends beyond the heliosphere?

I think about my childhood—books by men like Asimov, Bradbury, Niven and books by women like McCaffrey.

They planted all these wild ideas of possible futures in my head, indirectly shaping the evolution of my imagination. As a child, everything that I yearned for seemed to be things that only existed beyond the stars.

Even now, at night, I’m always looking to the sky for something I cannot name.

There’s no denying that there’s beauty in the world and tiny miracles in the way it breathes and carries us in it.

Still, we’ve demystified so much of it. Long gone are the Moby Dicks, sea monsters, and Shambhalas of the world. Almost every supernatural myth that we re-tell or reinvent to thrill ourselves with is borrowed from something ancient.

You tell me, what will be the mythology of the future?

Rainy Days

One stormy day last year, I stood in my doorway, watching the watery spectacle unfold. I saw the glistening body of a snake moving through the grass toward the wood line. There, at the edge of the property, stood a single tree, aflame with yellow flowers. Even amidst all of that gray and wet, that fire couldn’t be extinguished. It stubbornly swayed in the heavy wind.

For some reason, that image made me think back to my childhood.

In the country, we’d set out metal drums to catch rainwater. I’d curl up into a quiet corner reading while half-listening to the pat-pat of raindrops against aluminum and wondering if there was a word for the burning smell that rose up from the asphalt. Time would seem to stand still as the whole world became blanketed by the sound of steadily falling rain.

I still love these times best, when the world is drenched in green and wet.

Whenever it rains, some bittersweet feeling always fills my heart and I can’t quite shake that feeling of missing someone acutely.

 

Written for The Daily Post photo challenge, Nostalgia.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/nostalgia/