jornales

for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

The Bootmaker (for One Shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by Rob Hanson

He wraps his broadness
around the air he gathers in quiet
hands poking a wasp caught in a web.
Overhead a patch of sunlight–
he fails to see the breeze
brushing its plum seeds:

his eyes clouded over
for the flights of mourning doves
breathless as once they alit
on her gray hair whiter
than Venus rising before she flew off
leaving him a smile in a cast.

Mornings encase him in this chair
that moulds his spine arched in years
renews his fingers to love the iron last–
he fits today the dancing tips of a shoe
the red-haired woman tears each night
and comes storming in

her breath of fermented cherries
swarms on the leather swatches the jute strings
the hammer and anvil softening them as if
oiling the edges of buried embers
he bends as if cowering in fear as if
a female fox sears him with flaming eyes.

Her eyes waved on tips of ocean weeds
the first time she smiled pulling him
in an undertow of coral reefs
unresisting he yielded to her depths
softer than mollusk flesh
more supple than oyster cheeks.

She braids her red hair this morning
pulls tight her cheeks baring her teeth–
he knows from where she draws water
the well in the woods some elves abandoned
in the spring for an ocean
breeds red dragonflies that turn into wands.

In the pool under the elms
he waits at dusk long after the sun
has turned away long before the moon creeps up
as if shy for its stained cheek and curved chin.
In the wan light she rises over the reeds
afloat, a smile framed by her white hair.

Her red hair catches sparks
from skids of the hammer he blinks
she nudges him—words turn into grunts
from joints of his chair the weight
bearing down on his contracting heart—
“Come tonight I’ll dance for you.”

Her white hair catches foam
from far off billows, she swirls around him—
a braid of tenderness suffuses his darkness:
“Leave the welts on your table to melt in the night,
the lasts will walk away, your chair
will fold onto itself,” she intones lulling him.

She loosens her red hair
baring her neck down to the screaming lights
tearing her apart, her shoes bursting
at the tips, the soles flying
lost in the woods where the elves
now ghosts in the well catch and keep.

She knocks on her bare feet–
the mourning doves unfurl their despair.
She pushes the door open. The half light exhales
stale air from his chair. Up close his head bent
as if intent on her shoes–a spider web
wraps his beard, tighten his lips unsmiling.

(c) Alegria Imperial
Composed from a photo prompt by Rob Hanson and posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry, THE gathering place for poets and artists who share their passion for their art while nurturing each other. Come join us!

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June 5, 2011 Posted by | free verse, narrative verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

mid-Manhattan (from memory for one shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by Scott Wyden

a sun tracing its autumn route
never seen here
no shadow falls from slants of light
columns of smoke
the weeping in tunnels
the grating of steel cogs

here only the dream of skies
on narrow slits a canopy propped up
by concrete, glass and steel
needles piercing the day moon
blinking at humans
dogs and cars–toys of King Kong

sunset grinds
a maddening ruckus:
cars rushing as if to escape
people shaken
along with a colony of ants
deadened by the rasp of wheels

blasting horns wheezing air brakes
a wailing ambulance
in a duet with a fire truck
and police cars
in a rush to save a kitten on a terrace
hanging by its paws

the swarm on sidewalks
darkens with dusk
a flowing mush of bodies wrapped
in thick armors of invisibility –
black coat, jacket, cape, cap, boots,
and square-toed shoes

here, no unhurried strides
heads don’t turn
lost in inner spaces
no one misses who gets snared
and stalls: the throng belches on
eyes riveted to warning lights

“Don’t Walk” the wound up toys
stop “Walk” and do
I am lost here
I shed my name I wonder
about the color of my hair
the hue of my skin

I have turned mute
“I’m sorry,” I lisp
as if I really am
sorry about a slice of sky
the undertow that pulls me
to surrender

to the winking stars

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

A poem written from memory prompted by a photo of Scott Wyden posted for One Shoot Sunday for an absolute challenge at One Stop Poetry, th inimitable gathering place for poets and artists. Check out the other poets’ take! Click on OSP on my blogroll.

May 29, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments