The Ballerina’s Rose – an elegy – Poem


In loving memory of Garrick Bledsoe and Kayla Stephens, friends for whom this elegy was written.

The Ballerina’s Rose


What could have been a happy life,
blinked out in the dark last night.
In doing so it took the sun,
and robbed us of the light.
What is left is a reflection,
Sunlight fractured no direction.
To feel this way, that’s what we do;
To live and to love is to love and to lose.


What should have been a normal life,
happy husband, happy wife,
blinked out like a firefly.
Now those toys those kids adored,
will gather dust lost on the floor.
No more of those who were so close,
They’ve left the world, and leaving us,
have turned what we thought bright to dust.


What should be yet never is,
is something very serious;
It makes you think would may have been,
what should have been can never be;
It’s all just like the falling dream.
Where we fall from no one knows,
And when we land, we die to go—
To wake and look that we may see
the silent room – Eternity.
Why wrestle when one’s widow walks,
The story’s over, they are gone;
They left this world, but left a girl,
and while we wait alone,
for the never breaking dawn—
Let’s sing the Ballerina Song.


The light that so shines twice as bright,
may shine for half as long.
We shouldn’t wait until they’re late,
to put them on a throne.
What have we then? These hymns,
and songs?
Echoes fading long and drawn,
are not the croonings of a bird,
it’s simply what cannot be heard,
except by canyons, by the Earth–
Where we all will be interred.


Memories when written down,
Spring to life as magic somehow.
Although that future’s road is closed,
we still know how to see them so
within this pen they live again;
We’re ruled by cause and consequence—
Where are they now?
They’ve closed the lid,
with a rose she’ll never hold.
She died in darkness in the road.
Nor smell the scent,
will we again,
or hear the laughter in the den.
And we the family and friends,
wonder what there could have been.


Driving wild, hair in the wind,
Death was waiting round the bend,
not as a villain, but a friend—
The war for them came to an end;
Death is real, and life pretend.
It doesn’t matter how it ends, or ‘if,’-it will;
It’s over now, just stems and sticks,
Driftwood floating twenty-six,
Twenty six, too young to fall—
What have we left, our hymns,
our songs?
We have the Ballerina’s Song,
It is, ‘The Never Breaking Dawn.’


To live is but to write your name
in disappearing ink;
To watch it fade like footprints,
on a wave-tormented beach.
A seed we all fall from some tree,
And from us fall the Autumn leaves,
as dandelions in the wind,
we blow them and they scatter, then
they go away somewhere to grow.
How they begin, how they will end—
Appreciate your family, and friends,
you’ll never know when it will end.


They say we should not cry, nor mourn,
for those we lost walk with the lord;
We will see them all again,
and we will see them soon.
A band-aid for a gunshot wound,
that never stops, and bleeds,
it bleeds and seeps into our dreams.
And in those dreams we sometimes see,
them smiling by a silent stream.


It might sound odd, but this is true,
when you see them in a dream,
they are looking back at you;
They float around inside our heads,
and wake us wailing in our beds.
And while they’re trapped inside our mind,
we make for them a paradise.
Golden spires, velvet streams,
and for them the Siren’s sing.


These images, these scenes, our things,
where ghostly walk they through our dreams—
We cry, we pray, what can we do?
Death came for them; it comes for you.
They may be there, and looking down,
Wishing that we would not frown,
life is only what you make it,
and is why it is so sacred;
And if we choose to turn to booze,
we have but memories to lose.


They say we should we should not cry, nor mourn,
for loved one’s lost walk with the lord;
Even if that was the truth,
not a belief, something we knew—
We’d still weep, that’s what we do.
And if they’re in a better place,
I’d trade my life and take their place,
To see their family, their children play—
One more day for them to stay
so we can see them laugh and play,
“I love you” uttered as they fade.


I see them all in silent rows,
going out where in they go;
We need to stand there and to cry,
one after another, why?
The funeral was held for us,
For us to say goodbye.
What hurts the worst no one cay say,
it leaves you sleepless in the night,
a waking dream becomes your day;
They may be somewhere else, yet lost,
trapped outside of time, a ghost.
For all the ghosts which haunt us most,
are the ghosts we did not know.


When the Red Queen dies, the queen she was,
she’s carried through the crowd by love.
And her mother, my dear friend,
inspired me to take this pen,
to never let them be forgotten.
To show some beauty in this life,
in lowercase under a light,
I think I may have been too late,
to say the things I wished to say.
I’ll save them for her, face to face,
If there’s a heaven and I manage,
to find a way to sneak into that place.


To live is but to write your name
in disappearing ink,
to watch it fade like footprints,
on a wave-tormented beach.
From the trees we fell as seeds,
rooted rose and sprouted leaves,
to die and scatter with the breeze;
dandelion puffs caught in the wind,
we know where they start,
and where they may begin.
with no idea how they will end.


Dying flowers, rhetoric,
that is what the preachers said.
That this will not be the end.
That may be, but look, you see—
They have left us, that’s enough
for anyone to grieve.
Wherever they may really go,
she is leaving us, and so,
that is itself enough to mourn,
as shadows lengthen in the morn,
children of the light forlorn,
turn to the night so that it might,
halt a never breaking dawn.


We need to hurt,
we need to cry;
This is how we say goodbye.
All we know is what they took,
the pages from some future book,
of events yet to unfold.
And when she died, I went outside,
And wistful looked at a blank sky.
Now we’re chasing yesterdays;
our photographs become our graves.


What have we left to let us know,
they see no blue moon no sun yellow,
we have our anecdotes and jokes,
none of which replace them though.
The crazy angel, free and wild,
the wild angel cannot call,
to a never breaking dawn,
but they can dance by happen chance
In my Ballerina Song.


To cope sometimes we’ll have some wine,
to wash away our fears, our tears,
these photographs are ghosts arranged,
after they’ve gone in lacquered frames;
we sometimes talk to them in vain.
Silence the answer is the same—
A picture does not know its name.
As was the sun when she passed on,
time itself must carry on.
It takes the rich, the poor, the weak,
the strong;
We’re not really living,
we’ve been dying all along.
And most of us are doing it wrong.


The scenes in dreams of golden rings
all of them lost, no longer seem,
quite bright as they used to be;
That spark inside when it divides,
and disappears—the body dies;
it separates then dissipates,
and rejoins the circling sky
to ever go around us by.
Write a note,
set it on fire;
when it fades it just may find her.


No more will I see her there,
by the water, tasseled hair,
no more playing truth or dare.
Spin the bottle, there it is—
My first kiss, we were but kids,
and that I doubt I could forget.
Though sometimes I wish I could,
so I didn’t feel this way.
If I could change it, I’m sure I would,
all day every day.
If I could have one moment delayed,
the future would change in so many ways,
it’s possible she could’ve be saved.


A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
dissipates once more to go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see the ballerina pass,
and what a show;
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
she does her number, strikes a pose,
then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the curtain, in her robe,
the dancer does not see the rose.


To see such easy comfort cold,
sitting in a pew, we’re told—
Everything will be okay,
don’t worry, doubt, just wish, just pray.
But the one of whom they speak about,
fill empty seats within the house.
That quiet church, that sad music,
it is designed to make you lose it.
A variety of colored flowers,
decoration for a higher power.
The reason for the obsequy,
their reason to be loud,
was not a witness in that crowd.


In that quiet church, that silent scene,
I saw faces smiling on a screen.
Her penultimate place to rest, the flowers,
from the family and friends around her.
Then the music came so loud,
startling the yawning crowd.
The sympathy, the empathy,
and chasing you is misery.
The misery will never stop.
It chases you until you drop.


This is the dash between the dates,
these are the words and not the dots,
that they chisel into rock;
an angel sleeps just underneath,
With multicolored flowers, bold—
Plucked in bloom, like her, and cold,
and once picked the beauty fades;
The dying decorate the grave.


I’m just a poet you may notice,
that these words are just my roses.
Every verse is not a hearse,
I’m not here to make a grave;
it is a bridge, it is a wake;
If you look between the lines,
you may see familiar eyes;
A lost friend smile, a lost friend wave.
When they died I did not cry,
I thought it was a dream, a lie,
For her to die at twenty-six,
and him to die and leave his kid—
We’re ruled by cause and consequence.
The blood, the color, that rose red pose,
around her pooled her dead eyes closed—
The violence comes, the violence goes,
What has a dancer but a rose?


Upon that grave, that stain of Cain,
became a promise to fulfill;
that salvation for the thief was real.
So there they lay, for all of time,
no one can take it back, there is no Why;
That’s just a philosophical alibi,
that we use to justify—
Why nature’s cruel, why life is wild;
Why gift us life if we must die?
But it was true, and it was so:
There’s nothing that can change the past,
no–not even hope;
That’s why Pandora’s box was closed.
For the ghost that haunts us most,
is a ghost we did not know.


Life isn’t fair, nor should we dare,
assume some outside purpose there;
to comfort people with their fear—
There’s no edifice to settle this,
it’s all just cause and consequence.
That doesn’t mean it has no reason,
When we can’t come to terms, we burn,
but when we burn is when we learn.
Some are so bright that like stars,
as we see them burning from afar—
For even if it’s dead, and dust,
it shines in heaven high above.
Because of the speed of light,
all those stars that seem so bright,
may long ago have dimmed and died,
washed away with the time, the tide.
And out it goes into the night,
to leave us waiting and forsaken,
by a dawn that’s never breaking.


A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
dissipates once more to go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see the ballerina pass,
and what a show;
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
she does her number, strikes a pose,
then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the curtain, in her robe,
the dancer cannot see the rose.


Destiny weaves spider-webs;
the waters comes, the waters ebb.
I guess it’s nature, so they say.
They measure time, and measure days;
Morning coming, Autumn eve,
I will recreate the scene:
Two young adults, if more, not much,
where lost in that moment such
that it repeated many times;
For when our life, it flashes by,
you return to the moment when you died,
so when you die you may, you might,
get caught in a cycle reliving your life.


This is how we see the morning,
how we see the sky,
Another day, the new sun rise,
and hear the mockingbirds go by.
When the unseen sunrise comes,
the people stand in silence, dumb;
And listen to that silent drum,
the one we’re always marching to.
We all take different roads,
to the same place in the end–
forever reliving our visions again.


It will repeat, we’ll go to see,
our sleepless loved ones quiet at peace;
Destiny weaves spider-webs,
people cross and intersect;
this is the way that we connect.
All the choices in our lives,
to alleys lone and those alive,
to alleys where the good guys die.
We choose those streets,
we talk and meet;
a brick wall where it all leads.
“No Escape,” is what it reads.


To see a girl her life unfurled,
chasing fireflies at night
we ran around with such delight.
She was a dreamer, now a dream,
I came unraveled at the seams;
each patch of quilt only she filled,
cared for me when I was ill,
And thereby, being curred,
to see we live this way – absurd,
forever falling like a bird,
into an invisible world.
To stop, to move, the choice is cruel,
for time will play us for a fool.
For those who went for her, to weep
saw her there at peace, so sweet.
Her cheeks not dim,
her hair well kempt;
And in her hands that dying rose,
we leave it there and therefore buy,
our friend’s bus-pass to paradise.


To live is but to write your name
in disappearing ink,
to see it fade like footprints
on a wave-tormented beach.
A seed, we all fell from a tree,
that’s why we have that falling dream;
We’re falling all day, all our life,
And when we hit the ground, Goodbye
As we grow we too have leaves,
which fall to be caught in a breeze—
A dandelion, uncertain wind.
Cup what you have dear in your hands,
For when spring dies they’re gone again.


It’s never over and when we’re older,
we’ll hold those pictures of them closer.
And in that moment realize,
long as we love they’re still alive,
not in a grave, that silent place,
in our minds the child still plays,
on trampolines and roller skates
Points in time they intertwine,
they intersect and when we find,
a child who lived and died so wild,
has found their way to Miracle Mile.


A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
to dissipate to once more go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see it pass, and what a show—
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
She does her number, strikes a pose,
Then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the curtain, in her robe,
the ballerina never gets to hold her rose.


To be this sad proves only that,
in the end sleep we as kings;
We have the same things in our room,
reserved for all of us – the tomb.
There is no way to just move on,
when a piece of us has been torn off.
So notice those who live alone,
for all who’ve gone, who must then move,
down into that silent room.


I cannot raise them from the grave,
But I’ll preserve them on the page.
And while I think, she’s on the lawn,
her hair brown and braided long,
smiling as she plays, a song—
She hides behind the lines and smiles,
Think with her voice and pass it on,
let it echo till it falls.
The body shed, they’re on their own,
their faces on this page have shown—
That we chase yesterday, we long,
to try to see what can’t be shown,
just close your eyes and there, they’re home;
The body shed, they get to go,
to merge with clouds which hover low,
into the sky to fall as snow:
And at the winter’s ending blow,
out of our owns having had to hold,
a China doll does not get old.
The person who you love is gone,
but we must hold this vigil long.


We whisper to the dark, the night,
just in case some spirit might
in that silence hear our plea,
and wait for us to fall asleep
crawl into our ears, our dreams—
Only to leave when morning comes
they disappear and we go numb.
What we expect, the light, bird song—
Is in the never breaking dawn.


To see them so alive in dreams,
makes it hard for us to bring
ourselves to get up, out of bed,
to walk around the house half-dead.
We wish to live that sleeping lie,
to whom we give these blessings to,
it never seems enough to do.
“I’m sorry,” or, “I’m here for you,”
are band-aids made for gunshot wounds;
This is the cure, this is the truth;
at first it burns but then it soothes.
To bring them comfort, give them calm,
show the blind the rising sun.


Those faces past don’t seem to last,
although we hold on fade they fast—
Until we get to see, alas,
that life is more than just a dash,
between two dates under the rain.
No need to call out to the deaf,
or interrupt that sleep of death,
where neatly dressed they peaceful rest.
Always scared and ill-prepared,
we’ll meet them at the cross-roads there;
And in the self-same way,
for disconnected moments often,
intersect like fate.


Life is not the words, nor dash;
Life is different, life is mad.
When intersecting lines are crossed,
names can be stricken out, and loss
cripples both the weak, the strong.
You can’t go back,
you can’t move on.
You wait for dawn—which never breaks.
For those who sleep so sweet a sleep,
have never yet been known to wake.


A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
to dissipate to once more go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see it pass, and what a show—
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
She does her number, strikes a pose,
Then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the curtain, in her robe,
the ballerina was the rose.


To scream at one who hears you not,
who long ago this woe forgot—
For innocence is what has died,
the child in us, the Lord of Lies,
tells us all will be alright;
we all return to Earth, interred.
To be fossilized, conserved;
We cannot walk between these worlds,
is it okay for me to say
that I intend to haunt this page?
It might not serve to help you by,
but if you look close,
between the lines,
You just may see a pair of eyes,
familiar—watching as you cry.
And if these mazes endure ages,
they’ll live forever in these pages.


I say these things that haunt our dreams,
so we may make new memories.
Memories to help us sleep,
to keep us from choking when we scream.
That I might become a guide,
to help you guide a wounded mind,
where they’re alive outside of time,
where she smiles, and, still alive,
though to our mortal grief not bound—
Untouched by the accident,
resurrected, heaven-sent.
There is no place where she could go,
that could lessen sorrow, so,
Unless it was to come back home,
not to lay beneath the stone,
so cold, so long, forever, alone;
for they will never see the dawn.


That stone we fear that year by year
Draws ever near and in our fear
we see it clear;
we try to run, and blindly, dumb,
stumble through life, drunken bums.
Lost in a daze for on that day,
I had nothing left to say—
To decorate a grave this way,
that beauty may somehow assuage,
so learning of it in the night,
I found my pen, turned out the light,
There I lay, I closed my eyes,
and saw her waving to me, Bye.
Then I saw her going by,
in a car into the night,
and night is all she may see now;
we cannot speak; we don’t know how,
to see the dew glow on the lawn,
of the never breaking dawn.
Such few years between them both,
and as such were not enough;
Somehow that sweet girl might have found,
someone to turn her life around.
Someone to be kind, and be nice,
to smile and talk with her at night;
And now they’re gone, and we all know
such sorrow when we see them go.


One moment there, one blink, they’re gone,
we’re on that very path alone;
marching to the banging of a madman
on a drum;
Time calls us weary wand’rers home.
The next dawn died when that moon rise
unseen by two pairs of eyes,
their essence having faded to the background of the sky,
to forever go around us by.
Out of this there is no sense,
to take the young, the innocent;
Through all of this, this I have learned;
get too close and you will burn.
But that scar is not a mark
I’d have the heart to pick apart,
I’d wear it just to keep the pain,
for losing it would be a shame.
The sun suspended in the sky,
presses the night against our eyes.
It is when you can’t move on,
that you understand a never breaking dawn.


Life is too short and we all know it,
we cannot keep alive one moment,
in a glass that it may last,
a present always, never past:
Think of her face, think of his laugh:
And they may appear,
look harder and the faces clear.
Sitting on a couch she was,
beside a light where motes of dust,
ricocheted away in chaos just as us all day,
No one knows what could have been,
we know what cannot be.
In this case,
today they may
be safe–alive–inside page,
Tomorrow is not guaranteed;
anything that may have happened,
was killed by that action, fractured—
And for this there is no answer,
Life is painful, life is rare,
to think about her lying there,
pulls my heart into my throat.
I lose my mind, I lose my hope,
We look for comfort and for peace,
but no belief can stomp out grief.
This band-aid on that gunshot wound,
will always sting, they always do,
it’s hard to breathe, and still we bleed;
maybe this is what we need.


Nothing would be better
if our friends could live forever.
To never age or fade away;
all the graves could be replaced,
and turned into a happy place,
garden groves, where children play—
Where someone may just wish to stay.
We’ve seen it coming all along;
Death comes too soon, and stays too long,
and when he comes he takes it all;
But I’ve been wrong, and all along,
they’re living here inside the song.
To lead us to the golden dawn,
where days unending never fall;
It won’t go down,
there are no clouds;
the light has struck the surface now.
The nighttime came and now it’s gone,
the sun comes up and breaks the dawn.


A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
to dissipate to once more go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see it pass, and what a show—
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
She does her number, strikes a pose,
Then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the writer and the prose,
this is the Ballerina’s Rose.

Improvising poetry, just for fun – 5 june 2019 – A Stranger’s Land


When the army’s came and took the North,
Yisrael fell first and things got worse;
Deported to Babel, in long caravans,
From the Hejaz to Iraq on scalding grains of sand;
The cream of the crop was taken and dropped
into a kingdom just to stop
A movement to replace their throne,
a king of their own who feared the Lord,
not some cretin with protection,
Under an empire’s wing, there’s plenty of room
for shade, for all,
to wither away with each custom, each Law,
until it is a story, then,
told b campfires now and then,
until the Exiled ones return;

As they set off in the night,
the caravan was lit up by the light
As God’s own house burned to the ground,
a book to praise the fires formed;
For if God is the Word and the Word was inscribed,
by fingers of fire on stone from the skies,
the Laws of Moses were inscribed.
When the stone cooled there emerged,
in the whirlwind unperturbed
proof a penatent voice is always heard,
if prophets less;
As people marched from Canaan on,
Nebudchenezzar from his throne,
Like Marduk’s rage to raze their homes.

A generation passed and some forgot,
the language of their home and thought,
it may have just been one of those tales,
an excuse for children for the pain life entails;
But haMashiokh King Koresh,
Anointed of the Lord, no less,
decreed that those who there remained
might return to their homes again.
And beneath the sky where stood
Solomon’s temple now, though bare,
as a mirage danced on the air –
it was as though a tiny hole had slipped into the world,
and looking through the eyes which saw
burnt into the land of all a new covenant and law.
The temple, yes, it would arise
from the ashes phoenix like
Vyohmer Elohim (so said the Lord)
And on he went, thus “yehi ohr”
And God said let there be light,
Vehi ohr, and the light returned –
Hallelujah, Adonai,
May your lost children learn,
To understand thy silence and not
seek out such words.

Where the plot had been marked out,
the measurements and workmen found;
They’d give their Lord a chariot
a merkebah with flames, a jet,
that he could leave his solemn home,
Escape the holiest place to Roam,
to hear his people sing their songs
by the rivers of Babylon.

Oh! How can we sing for our Lord
In a Stranger’s land?
Oh moon, ye lesser light,
How light you, sometimes are we
In the longest nights while wakeful we toss
And turn and dwell on home, just there,

The rose garden and the vineyards
Bloom in absentia
To remind,
The whole of what we left behind.
Oh moon, you lantern for the lost
Beacon, guiding light that drew Nomads across
The tip of Iffrikiya into Ethiopia; from Nubia to Egypt and Anatolia;
Yerushalem and and the remains of the wall;
That’s the secret, that’s the key;
To stand before the winds and cry, Not me!
If you want me dead world,
You’ll have to kill me;
Obliterate each hint and footprint that told of our of exile,
A group of people all lonely, together but nowhere, silent but buzzing
Busy are the bumblebees that have that work or die for the Queen disease
Though it’s a farce and much to brief,
As Arjuna stood between two massing foes
As some strung bows and others horns
The battle call the blood, fair Morn,
Remind me of Tomorrow and it’s gift,
Is a distorted etch sketch of brief events
The cat in the marketplace, mew, and off,
To those who sang in exile by the Rivers of Babylon

How do we worship the Lord our God without a temple, speak!
His Ark and covenant were plucked beneath the dear Lord’s feet;
And as his temple crashed in flames
He whirled about, a word, a name
A judge and jury, an unending flame,
The holy fire that we’ve seen in the deeds of Elohim
Suggest that more than anything that he,
Thrived on awe and pageantry;
And never seemed to show a care
Of the most righteous whose constant faith,
Was an act of piety and aped;
So we rubbed our hands as insects may have done,
To summon the fire that puts to the pire
The seal of justice for the Cryer.

So the deeds and stories passed,
Treated with gloves and handled like glass
Out of fear that the God who loves,
Would give us no choice and let us be wrong?
Doubt not that God holds all things,
As all are Potencies,
And each effect within the set of space and time
We have
The carptender God can set off and plod
For some long needed repair;
Water oh Lord the fields that are dry,
And give not sight to the blind, not one,
But cure blindless, please let it be.
Give the world the courage to reject the ease of war
Over the challenge of peace;
And kneel knot before thy God unless he’s earned his keep.

So we sing a song of our Lord,
In a foreign land by the stream;
For God doesn’t dwell amid incense or tell,
The alphabet to aunts;
He must have greatly underestimated a bit or all of his creation
When this being who is divine asked us to take on faith despite
The questions formed inside a mind
The Pastor tells me God designed;
But I’ll sing for my people, instead;
For they are not of flame, and yet
They are potencies of God, we must,
See the magic in their touch,
Serve our fellows and in doing so serve God;
That we can be as the Mantis,
Purest in piety;
Who mindless folds his hands to pray
Unaware of the listening being, above
Who breathes life into new worlds
And makes sparrows out of mud.

So shine on us, you borrowed light,
Give comfort to us in the night,
As we skip the rocks along
The reflective rivers of Babylon
Which in their squiggly waving lines
Was disturbed by a hand divine
And draw with skill and dignity
The Sacred City was the lesser
Of that potency;
And if I do not make it past
The bridge to Jannah and am cast
Into the molent seas,
To live as one who does not yield,
Who leaves his share for gleaming ‘ere
And pays the Sacred Tax;
The coin was cold inside the bowl and rattled hollow
And who knows –
Who can? With human reason dare we ask,
What goes beyond the door and room,
With God’s footstool and his broom,
Where there the fire in its lair,
Radiates a sense of life through vibrations into time
A metronome which keeps the track
Of planets as they circle black.

If all is lost and I must die,
I will die praising Adonai.
And if the story was nothing but
Tales of tragedy and the worst of luck,
But amid the cries of those who died
Is the prayer living on,
A shadow that keeps walking though
The interference in appearance suggested the strength of soul;
It takes a ray of light some great great wealth of time,
30,000 years a photon for one ray to arrive
At the surface and once there reaches the Earth 8 minutes later,
And the light is only stopped,
When it accentuates our form
The sunlight came all this way only to be ignored.

A poem for my favorite fictional couple, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson


A Poem for Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson

“So I deduce,” a start –
“A truce!” I called,
his hands up-held,
“Surely, Sherlock, some stain,
some smell,
has given you unique detail,
and through some voodoo
only you do,
you’ve riddled me out,
you’ve found the clue, indeed!
The moon!
In reflections upon wayward shoes.
But, tell me then, if you’re to read,
My comings and goings and deeds today
“Misdeeds, indeed,” he said, “I’ve seen,
my friend.
I’m afraid you’ve lied to me again.”

“Misdeeds?” I laughed. “But Holmes…”
“You did not lie about the phone?”
“How could you know —
“Not answering – just banging on..”
“I was alone?”
“Because, my friend, I’ve called you, too,
You hate the phones, and more, the booths,
old fashioned aren’t we, stubbornly,
so instead of picking up a phone which rings,
you’d rather with a station’ry,
send a wire to me at Baker St.”

“How would you know I sent a wire?”
“Across the telegraph office,
for several days,
that Bakery has been ablaze,
and that soot, that ash, has put
the smell of smoke upon your boots.
You waited, watching, quite sad, too,
A man of letters, what do you do?
So full of feeling, and  un-tethered,
you left the phone and took the ledger.
A wire you wrote, and for that smell,
does more than your voice to tell,
you stood stiff and bored and thinking,

“And what if I deduce your day,
Sherlock Holmes, monsieur, surely,
You woke to the ringing clock,
at dawn to listen to the docks,
A tincture first, and coffee, pleasant?
A little needle and brief heaven?
Then full of vigor, what to do?
Call on Mycroft, play the Sleuth?
Not now, for Mycroft has gone sour;
his Pall Mall lodgings dank and foul.
You read the paper, yes you did,
the agony column – scratch the itch;
and as you read that smut each day,
you callous up and draw away,
cocaine for dawn, morphine for day,
so excited by this violence
you’ve decided and invited
me to join you by your fire.”

“Clever, very much so,
The fire’s lit for something, true;
Pray tell me, Doctor, how does one do
what one does when one is you?
How often have you told a lie that through
the Strand did multiply,
and underneath such curious eyes,
You told the truth with utter lies!

“How do you, friend,
With just your pen,
your mind, and paper,
focused in,
And focusing
On this plot point and this plot string,
which seem to in the ether hang,
on each sweet knot we pick to fray;
Yet when to me, if truth be told,
It’s all apparent, boring, old!
And when I’ve caught them,
they may sing.
Of glories, sure, but such misdeeds!
The ones your readers love to read.”

“Let’s take a dogcart to the bridge,
and see who lands at 9;
for Watson this new crook of ours,
Imports much more than wine!
Put down your pen and grab your gun,
The fucking game’s afoot, Watson!”

Poem: One Summer in the Sun (Shakespeare tribute!)

One Summer in the Sun

Sweet lights, sweet candle,
burning far away and slow –
Candle in our music box,
Spotlight upon this cancelled show,
Light each path that in my past
in one form or another torn,
From Yesterday 
Each new day born,
Sweet mother may it glow –
That we sweet orphans
though unimportant
have the fingertips of light to keep us
on that road.

For their summer in the sun,
one yawn before the winter’s breath,
a ring of smoke blown through the gates of nowhere.
And life, the beautiful nothing,
a candle for its own sake lit,
begins to blur and fade,
another song from the record played.
Once so great, and now so small,
now a whisper in the hall.

Once to live, and wonder why,
to rise and fall under the sky.
Summer rises;
summer sets.
One summer in the sun is all we get.
The sun will smile,
and sun will fade;
a single dash, between two dates,
poor written by the hands of fate.

One moment caught inside a bulb,
our destined hour to abide,
with all the living things trapped inside.
Lighting for but a moment,
snow scattered on the desert’s dusty face-
glimmer in the hall and go their way.

One after another, into the sky for miles;
a blind caretaker, with a hammer,
forever walks the aisles.
His calloused feet to scratch path,
to on occasion tap the glass–
releasing light back in the air,
to Saturn’s seat without a care.

Destiny behind the veil will play,
with all the vessels on the waves.
Slaves to the lighthouse, in the rain,
Miss Destiny, the ball and chain;
until she folds, and counts her pay,
and, in silence, walks away.

No more moments from the box to take,
from the fountain by the waste.
Life, brief candle,
one summer in the sun.
Tomorrow and tomorrow,
then there are none.

Life itself, a momentary scream,
amidst the sea of nothing gleamed,
a murmur in the ivy by the well,
one verse in the narrator’s Book of Tales.

The title of our story is,
“One Summer in the Sun,”
Tomorrow and tomorrow,
then they are done.
One chance to bloom,
one chance to shine;
to rise and fall under the sky.

One summer in the sun in winter’s way.
All of those who to the light have went,
when their pocket watch of time is spent,
turn brittle in the air, fall to the ground.
The sun rises.
The sun sets.
A summer in the sun is all we get.

The finish line, same as the start,
oh what a nobody has in his heart.
A thousand roads to nowhere,
lost highways to the sun.
The finish line is the same place,
the human race begun.

And in that race together,
we all finish last;
those faceless watcher’s, in the crowd,
recline their heads and laugh.
Again and again, the cars go in,
desperate circles round and round.
sometimes they brush against each other,
seldom to make a sound.
And blind they pass each other by,
in a tempest tossed around.

Before the blind man, with his hammer,
turns to face your aisle,
laugh with the best of them, and smile.
And this is just graffiti,
scrawled on time’s unending walls,
by no one left for nobody,
a fragment in the stall.
Tangles in the Earth’s coiffure,
for life— a limited time offer.

Another verse, another song,
some sort of old-time sing-along,
of pebbles lost in sand and foam,
who sing alone, and murmur make,
while they their ride on the carousel take.
And then they sleep, once more to dream-
of all the things that flashed by the screen,
patterns in the ivy and their seams,
an arabesque oft told before,
of those who run blind on the shore.
With all of them on their way to see,
the Wizard of Oz for sympathy;
the highway is long, how awful to know–
the door at the end of the road is closed.

Let the hands wind up another,
song for the music box.
And let the shadow shapes around the candle,
play till the melody stops.
By candlelight or dark of night,
their path forever paved;
every second of their life,
the same sad song is played.
Again and again we figurines spin,
a lullaby loud for no one to hear,
turns static into silence, fades,
as dust upon a mirror.

Another poor player, whose hour forgot,
those passionate words on the stage.
Another soliloquy, the sound and the fury,
bit player lines erased.
Characters live; characters lie.
Some do nothing, instead wonder why.
All of them are together lost,
together to laugh and to cry.

Some of them love,
and some of them hate;
some look out, some in.
For a moment fleeting contact made,
another to begin.
There’s no such thing yesterday,
no tomorrow, and no then–
just a now that never ends.

Poem: The Glass Umbrella

We are the footprints by the Sea.
The waters come,
and waters leave.
Miss Sea, you see,
your children taken;
Children of the Sea forsaken.

See me sea Miss Galilee.
Bring back what she took from me;
bring back what you swallowed whole.
The yawning, old,
and wide mouthed urn,
lolled on, but never turned,
her deaf ear,
to me,
to hear,
my confused shouts at her.

Without a word at all to say,
she waves at the night and day.
She rolls about within a dream,
the carousel goes by overhead;
to it she turns her mirrored head.
She simply looks to it, and all,
and we, like leaves,
around her fall.

The beach we leave our footprints on,
The waters come,
and then they’re gone.
We are but footprints by the Sea;
The waves come in,
and then we leave.
Miss Sea, you see,
your children taken.
Children of the Sea forsaken.

Ancient sea, Miss Galilee,
can you see yourself in me?
As I see myself in you,
glowing white, and tinged with blue.
Can’t you see what you have done?
The lolling sea saw none.


“I see,” I said, and that was that;
standing at the shore of black.
I hear my own words echo back.
In those waters,
I saw me;
another reflection in the sea.

This was after ten years passed:
I returned, sat in the grass,
thinking of all who walked that shore.
Never did I see her face,
a glass umbrella had replaced,
the girl whom I adored.
My love would walk the shore no more.

But nothing else, and nothing more;
no more of who I once adored.
No more to God could I implore,
or to the umbrella in her stead.
The face of the mourning sun turned
the glass umbrella, from the sea,
rolled ashore and laughed at me.
Then I knew,
and saw it all,
inside the glass umbrella fall.
I saw myself again, alone,
forever by the Sea to roam.

On that day I watched her play,
with birds about the shore.
I heard her laugh and nothing more,
as the Sea,
came and took my love from me.
Buzzards circled overhead,
like nature’s garbage men.
I heard them call,
and heard her laugh,
and felt the kiss of Caiaphas.


A finch had washed up in her place,
from the well amid the waste—
who floundered by the Sea,
and then flew on.
The bird fluttered for a moment,
and was gone.

As beautiful as the Sea might be,
her own face she cannot see.
In my dreams, she comes to me,
and sees her picture on the wall.
By my family, and me,
a portrait of Miss Galilee.

As wondrous as she looks, at night,
shimmering with the silver light,
she looks sadder in the dawn.
When the sun shines in her face,
when daylight takes the nighttime’s place—
she yawns again, and sighs.
Children of the Sea walk home.
Deaf, Miss Galilee rolls on.

Earlier in my life, I went,
found a home which I could rent.
I called my child to say:
“Come see me, come see the sea;
we’ll have some lunch,
then get ice cream.
You have to come;
you have to see,
the face of lady Galilee.”


A while we stood,
where lolled the waves,
under a sky where seagulls played;
for her, my world, for once, to see,
the lovely face of Galilee.
From the waters, walked ashore,
played a while,
bonne nuit, amore.
She splashed about the waves, my
and then she splashed no more.

I remember she flew in.
We had some sandwiches, and then,
hand in hand walked with a grin.
She laughed the day away.
She wore a blue dress, made of lace,
and had a smile upon her face.
At night she walks my dreams this
for when she splashed,
that faithful day—
the Sea took her away.
The waters took my living dream,
and left me here to stay.

The Sea looked into me, you see,
and saw what she could take from me;
my dreams could not just let it be.
And when it looked, at me, it saw,
the same thing when it looks at all.

How could she tell us what she sees?
The way she sees all things go ’round,
she speaks in whispers barely sound.
She sees us dance,
and hears us call,
all at once,
but not at all.
The glass umbrella falls.

We are the footprints by the Sea;
the waters come,
and waters leave.
Miss Sea, you see,
your children taken;
Children of the Sea forsaken.

Poem: Another Yesterday

A little stroll
another day’s assembly rolled
Off the line for but a time
And La, de, da it goes.

The quilt of day
Under which the children play
A walk
A little talk
It cannot last they say
and our tomorrow will become
another yesterday

Sunshine, the quilt of day,
Under which the flowers lay
Breathing, a walk
Nobody’s talk
It will not last they say.
All tomorrow’s in the end
are our dead yesterdays.

Light in strands bejewel the lawn
The birds red morning’s wake up song
The crickets chirp away
Languid sky the clouds sail by
Around a carousel of why

Laughter, someone’s in the room
Flares through the night like fireflies
Amidst the pearl studded sky
The moon in golden fleeces by
For all lived and nothing die

Flowers in the windows bloom
A sonorous song and cheap perfume
The lilac down the wall
Yesterday the sun was read
Today turned opaque purple dead
Stars look through their narrow holes
In the Heaven by the Foal
Another off the line has rolled
Only to roll again, again,
That stone on the back
we beggar’s call sins

Another yesterday appears
A figure in the future reared
The shadows of tomorrow leer.
Vague shapes silhouettes and gray
To like a doll’s face wither fray
There goes another day,
And one more is gone

How long is the song before,
the sojourn life our last detour
The door creaks shut and
there, alone,
Into our silent catacombs
Our Sleeping Chamber just below
To go
The undiscovered country and the row
Turns nothing day is gone
Back where we beings all call home
Those silent dust filled catacombs
Into that category gone
Jump rope and etch a sketch
And songs
Barbershop quartet sing alone’s
Children’s laughter, rum-tum-tum
Daffodils and bubblegum
The flowers fall under the Sun.

Poem: Living Memory

Milo, are you there?
How have you been old friend?
“You know—“
I saw Diane, again,
“Her ghost?”
Of all the friends that I have lost,
she bothers me the most of all.
“What did you see?”
She waved at me.

Through the window,
down the eaves—
She follows me into my dreams.
“She can’t return.”
She never leaves.
“A haunting?”
I guess, possibly.
“What can you do?”
I’ll talk to you.
“God, this feels like déjà vu.”

There is no cost to put on loss.
“Life has a price.”
But can’t be bought!
For when one dies,
a sun has set;
We have one life.
“That’s all we get.”
It’s not a lull,
it is a bye.
The sun is swallowed by the night.
To get to live is such a gift.
“It isn’t offered twice.”

“Most of you believe the lie,
that life’s in infinite supply.”
Memories are all we have;
“A soul trapped in a photograph.”
Touch her brush, and feel her hair,
“And watch her as she disappears.”
Above she hovers trapped in space,
With a white dress and a glowing face,
“Try to grab her.”
Childish laughter;
She evaporates.
So much I wish I could have told her.
“And now it is too late.”
She’ll live forever on the page.


I guess we’re chasing yesterday–
By crisscrossing memory lanes;”
All I think of is her name.
Shelly who I barely knew,
Was as good as me or you;
Giotto’s charity and grace—
“It’s written plainly on her face.”


Loss is the name we give to Death,
But we should never use regret.
Nor should we ever so forget,
That’s something we should never do
She lives in me, and lives in you;
“And now upon this paper too.”
A eulogy to me you see—
Are shadows of a slanted beam.

Taken young and far too soon,
She died under a paper moon.
I guess I just believed that lie,
That life’s in limitless supply.
“That might sound good.”
It would be nice.
Life is a gift not offered twice.
“The rarest thing—you get to live.”
No words can any comfort give.
She has gone, and hope has flown;
The soul at last has made it home.
Far too many I’ve seen leave
Retired to our memory.

Poem: Necromancy

10 March 2015
Op. 44 (Necromancy)

When reading prose, tall-tales, and poems,
we start not knowing where it’s going,
and yet we know it’s brief.
The beginning, insincerely,
leaves us with just our memories
Guideposts spread among a web
allowing us to find,
the friends we’ve lost,
we’ve left behind
More than childhood, more than time,
A new Sun rises–night expires;
The moving-finger,
fleeing fire–
Trembling, each word looks both ways
then moves onto a newborn page.

That is the madness of our lives,
to know that will fall to time.
Forever gone, for Heaven lost,
we give our life,
That is the cost.
And one by one–it’s true for all
Leaves look their best after they fall
Green is lovely
but the change,
the transformation in the rain
Draws us in because we know,
the scene is finished, yet the show,
Goes on–as it must go.

The past expires in the fire
we must not weep for time;
For conductor, in his bluster,
hath made Despair a crime.
So we arrange our quirky games
to keep felled leaves alive
And the embers we remember
does much as we define:
It pushes us, and focuses
the lens’ to let us see,
that we may stain a windowpane
to frame our fantasies.

When I was nine my father died,
I could have wept;
I could have cried,
Instead I played a game.
I’d say his name, cover my face,
walk in his room and pray,
when I uncover my eyes,
he’d reappear, he’d come alive;
My hands removed, I’d find, instead,
his portrait more the empty bed.
It never happened,
so I imagine,
at least I have my dreams.

Some times I see him while I’m reading,
I put away my book.
It’s just a pattern often scattered
and yet I always look.
And that mirage must give us pause,
to remind ourselves that someone else
looks at the stars through iron bars
with no fantasy to help.
Our memory quite eerily
can resurrect the dead

We know that hope, if truth be told,
is desire in a noble robe;
It’s all inside our head.
Yet to deny these soothing lies,
is yet more painful still,
There are some who come undone
some don’t want to heal.
And our fair Queen, in love with grief,
Would deny love just not to feel.

That is the reason Hope is treason;
and Faith is on the hill.
An overflowing wishing well
Is proof enough there is a hell.
So dedicated to a ghost,
They lose themselves,
they can’t move on;
As all are loyal to the Throne.
The Royalty may give for freed
the price is what they take;
They clean the vase until it breaks.

And all that noise is truly poison
Lost in the past, we’re stranded;
There is magic in this madness,
For it makes us Necromancers.
Who with some spell may defy hell,
From the grave onto the page,
from ashes to the canvas:
defying time line after line
We are the Necromancers
A painting, opera, or poem,
is life in a more lasting form;
And life being one brief season,
snow on the desert’s face
Calls on us who have the touch,
to replace the footprint
and leave in its place
A beacon that the lost may trace,
Through all of time, through history,
and reclaim what we were missing.

And those moments we thought stolen
Defying time and death,
we find them waiting,
Mother Mary,
we do not have to pray;
Though for you it may be noon,
For some a dying day,
In that last second, resurrection;
The end defines the play;
So last call–a pint for all!
The fire fades away.

Poem – the Death of Dawn, 18 November 2015



In my dreams, sometimes it seems,
I do not wish to wake.
For in those dreams, I get to see
a lovely long gone face.

When smiling Dawn lay on the lawn
she saw a star strewn sky.
And in the sky stray fireflies,
flicker then dim before they die.

Before the Dawn had died alone,
the sun rose every day.
Before I found her body drowned
Life was our playground played.


In my dreams sometimes it seems
that I cannot escape:
the image of a drowning girl—
her hair in tangled knotted curls,
that blank and lifeless face.

We walked through the woods into
a clearing by the stream;
in her eyes the clouds went by
it felt just like a dream.

Before miss Dawn had died alone,
I saw her every day.
Before she fell into the well
we laughed the days away.


In my dreams sometimes I’ve seen
a narrow corridor.
Of all the pictures on the wall
my friend miss Dawn’s I often saw
at the end a padlocked door.

Taken young and far too soon
she died under a paper moon
and the sun refused to shine.
The mourners in a silent row
stood by her coffin heads hung low
the guests marched in a line.
Of all the eyes that passed her by
none of them were mine.

Before she drowned without a sound,
Merry went our lives around,
Her angels in the snow.
I see her passing by me laughing,
Before she died, to go,
Her gentle grin, my gentle friend,
These words will never know.


In my nightmares, when I scream,
I wake to find a dying dream—
a signal now long gone.
Alone we walked once through the woods,
found a stream and by it stood,
In our secret place alone.
We held hands and often laughed,
As clouds above us by us passed,
we watched the water run.
We sat on the dew-soaked grass
the water was a looking glass
for echoes of the sun.

When the night came then we saw
a star above us shoot and fall,
“Make a wish,” she said.
“You’re all I need to be, you see,
you take my wish instead.”
“I don’t know what to say, or do,
instead I’ll make the wish for you.
I hope you have a happy life.
I hope you sleep well every night,
And joyful wake by morning light.”

Before the day when sad, I prayed,
Don’t let her leave this world.
Let her stay, live, laugh, and play.
Let live my flower girl,
To me she gleamed, like gold it seemed,
Until she faded from our world.


I don’t dream as once I did,
When I was still that naive kid,
Those candy colored clowns,
Now I see a vacant face,
Where once a smile was in its place,
And painted upside down.

Now they stand beside a fire,
sick and hungry, ‘lone and tired,
Wringing frostbit hands.
No place to sleep they lay and weep
In antique caravans.
It was gray as though that day,
the sun refused to show.
Figures passed like static glass,
In a muted dull gray glow.

Before the empty alleyways,
That gallery of dying days,
We held hands as we passed.
Smiling people lined the streets
And they all raised their hands to greet,
Us children nod and laugh.


These days when I try to sleep,
I feel that water on my feet,
From that young body drowned.
I pull the covers from my bed,
Try to talk but shout instead,
A pill might calm me down.

Every day she was away,
I knelt beside my bed to pray,
That my words might her death delay.
I only wished for one more night–
That she might see the moon shine bright.
She did not live, I’m sad to say,
And never saw another day.
After she fell into the night,
Between the worlds and out of sight,
I turned and silent walked away.

Before I left that laden floor,
I walked through narrow corridors,
The same scene in every room.
Machines and tubes like lungs were used,
Where the sick lay dying soon.
They weakly lay, three times a day,
When they all were fed,
And there they lay ‘til they became,
another of the dead.


In a daydream, by a grave,
I watched her there as dead she laid,
in a coffin ivory bright.
When she went into ground,
I had to speak, sad faces round—
Her grave with jasmines white.
Since Dawn was a friend of mine,
I wrote her eulogy;
And to me, soliloquies,
are tears that somehow rhyme.

“Dawn my dear, though you can’t hear,
You meant the world to me.
Your fondness for the springtime leaves,
That languid smile without reprieve,
If only you could somehow see.
I think of you and every hour,
And now you are another flower,
Of the field that laid its head—
Back onto the garden, where
Once it lay in bed.

Before I left I took a step,
And paused before her gave;
I could not speak but yet I wept,
I had nothing to say.
When I obliged I turned my eyes,
To meet her pale white face,
I took the rose and left her posed,
with a lotus in her place.
Before she walked the narrow hall
Her tearful face these ink-drops fall,
I heard:
The sound of a mocking bird.


The manic dream of that day gone,
I stay awake, all night, all day,
going mad when I’m alone.
In a nightmare of the day
where multicolored faces play,
I could not see her face;
And in the prism of the day,
The multicolored facets play,
I could not speak at all.
When read her will I sat there froze,
her pictures lined in narrow rows,
In the end she said it all.

In her will she left me but,
A plush panda cotton stuffed,
in her absence was alone.
The stitching frayed, so often played,
since her death left on its own.
A bear once soaked in joyful tears,
Had came apart through all the years.
The toy had found its long lost home.
When it was mine I found her note,
in her languid cursive wrote:

“Brandon, you know, I loved you so,
You’ve always been my friend.
From the day we met, until the end,
If you’re getting this note now,
I have died someway, somehow;
I won’t see you in God’s world again.”


I first saw her in the sand,
Where castles made by her own hand,
by waves were left for dead.
This is but my castle,
For you, the light, the dawn,
Tragically you’ll never read
The labored saddened song.
And where you are, the worst of all,
You cannot hear me for you call.

After the hope has died inside,
The bone wall confines of my mind,
There grows a golden rose.
The light of which often reminds,
Of that tragic scene when I rewind,
That frozen moment long ago.
It follows me into my dreams,
And unravels at the seams,
When she sang that song I know.
Often that long dead voice is heard,
Again as sang by mocking birds.

Then it’s over, there it goes,
Down into the memory hole,
Where a dead rose withered blows.
It’s beauty—the beholder knows—
at the end of season goes,
and listless all the words that fall,
just static scribbled on a wall.