because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

an overstayed welcome

Feathered pressures
filter through the slightly
wilted scent
of hyacinths, a spring
reneged of its
promise before
bedtime, all daydreams
on layaway until
a tomorrow when
the threat
of snow is once
again passed
and Easter flowers
forget their bitter-
tipped Lenten promises.
Then,
then the poets
will grow like grass
fed on a sun in song,
open windowed-
coquettes batting
long-lashed verses
at the heart of a city
and spilling secrets
from bound pages tucked
in unbuttoned sleeves.

(Until then let
the runners run
and the dreamers
drink. You and I shall
close our eyes
and breathe deep
of dying hyacinths
as we
wring the holy water
from our best Sunday
sheets, making nests
from nightmares and
sweatstains where
together we’ll lie
down to

wait.)

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24 responses

  1. valerie

    love the bit wring the holy water from sunday best sheets…

    March 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    • thanks, valerie. that’s one of my favorite bits as well. I’ve kinda had Catholicism on the brain for some reason lately. and thanks for stopping by–it reminds me that I haven’t checked out your stuff in waayy too long. expect messages from me later. i have a proposition for you.

      March 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

      • valerie

        i haven’t been posting much there. i need to get back to it : )

        March 31, 2011 at 7:50 am

      • just saw your new post up there– nice. btw i also like what you do over at head for the coast

        April 2, 2011 at 7:45 am

  2. Let the runners run and the dreamers drink…a gentle press, combined with carefully crafted images, word-play delightfully tinged with that religious connection while growing, in lines, more powerful for the reader. It builds, descriptively and splendidly, to that end-in-waiting. Well written.

    March 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm

  3. Amazingly beautiful, lyrical. Loved it!

    March 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm

  4. Am hearing some echoes of T.S. Eliot which ain’t a bad thing!

    March 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    • wow! no it ain’t t’all. thanks 🙂

      March 30, 2011 at 11:47 am

  5. tz.missjane

    Yes!
    The parenthetical speaks of place worth waiting in.
    Perhaps change
    “the threat
    of snow is once
    again passed”
    to “has once
    again passed”?

    March 29, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    • missjane, thanks for your thoughts and the critique– I’m not sure that it really changes much to either meaning or impact. (Maybe it sounds a bit more natural tho?) I will definitely keep it in mind for future edits!
      Thanks again 🙂

      March 30, 2011 at 11:53 am

  6. This is beyond lovely. Simple perfection.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm

  7. Gorgeous, the dreamers will dream, and the fighters fight. Great poetry

    March 30, 2011 at 4:58 am

  8. ha. i really like that second stanza…and wringing the holy water from the sheets…waiting though sure gets me…smiles.

    March 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

  9. I love how this pulls me along. This is wonderful!

    March 30, 2011 at 8:40 am

  10. Chris, thanks for your thoughtful words. Glad you found the ending more a culmination than a cliffhanger…

    Seasweetie, blueeyes, Repressed (that could be a poem right there ;)) appreciate your kind comments. You guys are too sweet! Glad you liked it.

    Brian– another holy water fan. cool. 🙂 and it sounds like you have about as much patience as I do….

    Carl, always a pleasure. Glad you got pulled in.

    Cheers all!
    –jsl

    March 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm

  11. Very interesting style of writing. Enjoyed the poem, thought I am bit vague about the meaning of the last stanza. Maybe because I an new to poetry.

    March 30, 2011 at 11:53 pm

  12. “spilling secrets
    from bound pages tucked
    in unbuttoned sleeves.”

    That line just killed me. The image of lost secrets no longer bound by the restrictions of silence both terrifies and thrills. Topping it off with some good ol’ sky-pilot guilt worked well as the images seemed almost to feed off each other & become more strident in context.

    The poem as a whole seems almost whispered into the ear of the reader. Maybe that is the underlying lesson to be pulled from the ideas expressed… punishment by the removal of a venerated object standing in for the decisions we make as we move through the world. Striking especially upon multiple reads.

    Well, you’ve done it again JSL. You have a rapturously endearing way with words. Hope your corner of the world is sunny & warm. Take care,

    crb.

    March 31, 2011 at 1:59 am

  13. Sounds like you getting tired of waiting around for spring to pop up. lol

    March 31, 2011 at 5:47 am

  14. Fool, thanks for stopping by. And no worries– there’s no one “right” meaning– I’m sure it’s not just you!

    crb– “punishment by the removal of a venerated object…”errr–yeah. What he said. Why do half your comments go over my head? I’m gonna take “rapturously endearing” and run with it instead. 🙂

    No sun nor warmth here– still waiting. 😉 Hopefully you’re faring better wherever you are.

    Richard– yup. 🙂

    cheers, guys.
    –jsl

    April 2, 2011 at 7:38 am

  15. Wonderfully constructed, with a boatload of evocative and inventive imagery; the final parenthetical stanza is an odd but entirely effective mix of the innocent and the sensual. This is one damn fine piece of writing.

    April 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

  16. I love this poem :). There is so much emotion and imagery that just whirls around my head. I love getting dizzy from such beautiful things. 🙂

    Your works rock my world.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    • yuuki-chan, your words always make me feel i’m standing six inches taller. 🙂 Thanks so, so much.

      peace,
      –jsl

      April 12, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  17. Loved the split-identity in this poem. It doesn’t have the same pointed directness you usually use to drive home your point, but I think it works well in this poem. By invoking a more grandiose vision but wrapping it in language of the small-scale, it really opens up the distinct nature of the separate ideas between the stanzas. Style of the poem worked well & added a degree of complexity to the poem that reads beautifully. I can tell you have been writing more and while I plan on taking advantage and reading all of your latest, I had to leave a comment on this one in particular because it reached out & grabbed me (emotionally.) Anyhow, keep up the great work, and sorry I’m a gigantic horses ass about visiting the pages of all my poet friends. Beer is on me, and I owe ya at least a 12 pack at this point. Maybe even a case! Keep writing,

    crb.

    April 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

    • No more a horse’s ass than I am myself, crb. I like your idea of “split identities”– hadn’t thought of it so concretely but rather as simply a heightened contrast between the personal and the general. Glad this one grabbed you. Think I owe you a visit or ten myself…

      cheers,
      –jsl

      April 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

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