Genghis Khan At The Typewriter

Genghis Khan sits down at the typewriter, a portable Underwood.

His tortured soul desperately tries to conjure up a Mongolian metaphor for love.

It is a task of barbaric proportions.

Mongol is, as yet, an unwritten language birthed from bone and mayhem.

The sounds are raw and feral.

No font can cage their nature.

But the Great Khan, Universal Ruler, senses a sonnet steeped in The Steppes coursing somewhere under his leather-laced armor.

Certain tribal concubines have indicated this to be his heart.

They have placed their tiny bird-like hands over his iron chest and summoned forth strange visions.

A heart!

As if the Great Khan, master of Central Asia, scourge of China, has need for a heart.

Empires are carved out of destruction, death.

A heart!

A heart would be a liability, a stigma of weakness.

And yet?

Genghis feels an unknown creature course through his veins and stop to drink at the place where the concubines held their tender young palms.

His coarsened skin tremors at the memory.

And so, Genghis Khan, Emperor of Oceans, sits at the typewriter, a portable Underwood, hands bloodied with conquest, body still suited for war.

He sheaths his emotions in strands of silk and sends them forth like arrows of unspoken words in search of prey.

These weapons are of a language that cannot break, complicated, strong.

And once embedded in the heart, the tender teasing of the twisted silk opens words into poetry and the wound seems insignificant.

Copyright 2013

(For Bryan, who loves history, even when it’s invented)

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THE GIFT (August Postcard Poem 2017)

Late at night,

he retreats to the basement,

empties his pockets

of tiny glass spheres.

 

Upstairs,

his wife and daughter

unravel their dreams,

weave them together,

discarding the disease.

 

He works all night,

stringing globes into balance,

flicking them at random

just to hear the sound.

 

He is creating his wife

a windchime,

forged of their daughter’s laughter

so the night breeze can serenade her

when the dreams start to fade.

 

Copyright 2017

CHILDHOOD IS GRIMM (August Postcard Poem 2017)

He had always wondered

about Little Red Riding Hood’s mother.

 

What kind of parent dresses a child

in a cloak reminiscent of a matador’s

invitation to danger,

yet alone hands her a picnic basket

stuffed with smells

that will draw every beast in the forest?

 

Little Red is a magnet for tragedy.

 

And what kind of mother

sends a naive child,

who easily confuses a costumed wolf

with her grandmother,

alone into the woods

to walk the gauntlet of death?

 

And the savior woodsman,

who hacks the wolf with his axe?

Does it not seem odd

that he is so close at hand?

 

He turns the page

as his daughter demands another story.

 

This one is Goldilocks.

He will never get to sleep.

 

Copyright 2017

ONE LAST MOMENT (August Postcard Poem 2017)

On the corner of Fort and Ferry,

on a late Tuesday afternoon,

the hydrangea bush near the statue

explodes into bits of poetry.

 

The hydrangea is ancient,

overgrown,

pushed through time

from ornate to eyesore.

 

Neighborhood discussions

favor substitution

of a young pink azalea.

 

So he cuts blossoms

out of blue-velvet paper,

writes metaphors

of beauty and love,

dignifies the neglected hydrangea

with one last moment of life.

 

Copyright 2017