Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Glaciers-in-Tibet-East Rongbuk

 

Today, I share an original poem I recently posted at Facebook (October 21, 2018, 9:09 PM), TO BE TOLD, BE STILL. Existing as a servant to GOD and abiding in a relationship with divinity poses many challenges to romantic love as well as to the hopes for family, home, and the stable relations of marriage. Endowed with mountain-moving faith, the Apostle Peter and others who were married made the sacrifice for many years separated from their wives while serving as evangelists and circuit preachers. It is written: Matthew 19: 23-30, King James Version (KJV): 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my names sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6: 66-68, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Discernment And Godly Love (06/26/2018); The Relationship As Servant (06/03/2018); The Practice of Love (07/27/2017); 1st “Poem-fall” 2017: THE SNOWFLAKE BALL (01/10/2017); Divine Jealousy? (09/11/2015); A Valentine, 2014 (02/15/2014); Family and Romance? (10/13/2012); Why Courage? (10/14/2012)

 

TO BE TOLD, BE STILL

It disturbs us to be told

be still and know

for the winter days begin

when we shall be encased in snow

and ice, all action frozen, paused

unwillingly, impotent, halted

like the sunshine process in the leaf

that turns the light to sweetness

from the root

 

Is it by stillness only fullness comes

the emptiness from all you know

dismissed, released

the days of frost rush over

hidden bulbs to bloom

in spring that may not be

how shall we bare or dare

without you

an evergreen of forest

 

can not exist alone

nor lovers without each other

embrace a new unknown

glacial abrasion, melting from

a heat of burning cold

putting aside our

youth with all its rage

succumbing to the quiet of old age

 

defiance and rebellion came

as wise, without deceit

and stealth, without fresh lies

through stolen moments

kisses fresh as dew

creating memories

that keep us new

and joined alive to life

 

what God has joined together

celebrate, receive as blessing

should deadly chill winds echo

I will never ever leave

and though we be apart

when shadows fall

in strength of what we share

I will not grieve

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2018. All rights reserved.

 

There is far more that should be considered, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

 

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The Freedom March

 

Today, reply is on recognizing poetry and prose, and a third poem is shared as Black History Month begins to conclude.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” Arts & Humanities:  Poetry forum who uses the ID “ugly duckling101” (Level 3 with 1,221 points, a member since August 25, 2014) posted the following:

Is this poem or prose? comment if you wish?

The little lunch box

She packed all of her favorite
puzzle pieces neatly inside
the numbered, shapes
and lettered ones.
Closing the lid with Yoda on top
she grabs the white handle
and places the little black box
into the now repurposed 10 gallon
blue diamond toy crock
stained with wine on the inside
and pulls out her etch-a-sketch
and gives it a shake
wiping it clean.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:  and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  (Matthew 12:  35-37, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Bloody Sunday — Black History (02/14/2018); Black History — Johannesburg Gold (02/05/2018); Poem:  Adam’s Time of Sleep (01/016/2017); 1st “Poem-fall” 2017: THE SNOWFLAKE BALL (01/10/2017); Where Should We Look? (02/04/2015); Spring-training (04/11/2014); Kill the Blog Writer! (04/12/2014); A Valentine, 2014 (02/15/2014)

 

“ugly duckling101”, here are some ideas I am willing to share:

Even where no one else “gets his thought,” or they may fail to “make their  point,” creative writers always must know their own intent and purpose.  Many professional writers will agree that the identity and process of their own works only emerge by accord and covenant (i.e., silent, unspoken agreements and contracts with those who will critique, examine, and read as mature literary persons including editors, publishers, reviewers, and teachers).  To be recognized as the work of a specific writer, a poem, essay, novel, etc. must display, express and impart a familiar style coupled with the peculiar insights, purposes, favored techniques, and understandings of its creator while also being congruent with, expanding on, and mirroring elements within the fullness of a reader (e.g., desires, longings, memories, thing that are now forgotten).  In the effort to achieve the highest levels for freedom of expression, many today are abandoning the formal models and patterns once used to establish discipline and provide standards for excellence among writers of both poetry and prose.  Hip hop will be heard as sophisticated oral and performance poetry, and part of its richness is that it blends techniques from cultural celebration and oral tradition along with devices for preservation and survival of intellectual property.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, my personal approach that acknowledges the need for simplicity and surprise can be seen in the following piece suitable to be shared as Black History Month 2018 begins to draw to its close.  The work is intended to be plain, yet, comprehensive and instructive in its focus:

 

WHAT SHALL WE WEAR TO FREEDOM
[A Citizen King’s Day Poem – January 15, 2007]

What shall we wear to freedom come the morning of the march?
Blue overalls or dungarees, white shirts with heavy starch?

New fiber, new resilience, just to walk a simple way
That may end in jail or bloodshed by the finish of the day?

A soft and easy armor for the farmlands where we toil?
The clothing of oppression for the Mississippi soil?

For the Alabama courthouse?  For the network TV news?
Our best suit from Sunday’s sermon, and our polished Sunday shoes?

Work boots from a Georgia chain gang?  Or the running shoes for play
And the things we may dispose of when the blood won’t wash away?

What shall we wear to freedom, all the tears we shed last night,
Now invisible and hidden as the morning starts to light?

Daubed in color, clad like rainbows, and in celebration best?
Draped in black to bury evil, putting racism to rest?

Sporting Irish green, or turquoise, russet, lavender or pink?
Naked?  Unashamed?  Non-violent, and secure in what we think?

Shall we not stand in our honor with our eyes fixed on the prize,
Answering the tattoo cadence taking not one step for lies?

Knowing death will come on quickly if we fly or sound retreat,
Let us steel our hearts with purpose, and go voting with our feet.

What shall we wear to duty, given wars are won by deeds,
The shackles of enslavement?  The innocence of needs?

A mask of feigned devotion to disguise a boiling rage?
A cloak of prowling power like a panther in a cage?

For the streets of Cicero, or Harlem, Oslo, or Hanoi?
Where the sacrifice of blood will purchase neither peace, nor joy?

Shall the promise of America, an equality of men,
Be forgotten in an instant because we don’t wear the same skin?

Those with whom we cannot reason can be bullied, can be bought,
Can no longer be inspired, followed, trusted, led or taught

True democracy is more than where you sit upon the bus
For it speaks to human dignity and touches all of us:

It’s a quality of being in our future and our past,
It’s a light shone on our children, and the things we build to last

More than all our secret longing, our opinions, our desire,
Our shared duty and shared privilege, and a flame of common fire

Fueled in spending of our taxes, and enacting all our laws,
Fanned in choosing all our leaders, and in purging out our flaws.

It’s the heartbeat of our nation, how that all may have full voice
Saying what we wear to freedom is a matter of our choice.

What shall we wear returning once the sun begins to wane,
And the shadow of the twilight swallows up the ground we gain?

Battle scars? A badge of courage?  All the horror of the day?
Having worn respect and laurels we should never cast away?

Put on smiles of hollow victory, the grimaces of sorrow,
In an agony of knowing we must trek again tomorrow?

Where imperatives of meaning and compassion fall to lust
Every covenant is broken, and we dare not yield or trust.

We must put on lasting values, and a strength that will renew
Through the righteousness and justice in the simple things we do

Where the process of believing and receiving truth through grace
And the march of faith toward Zion will continue to have place.

What we seek is that perfection where the things of light endure,
All the balance and completeness men achieve as they mature,

The fruit of silent struggle where the mind and heart once closed
Become open to discover through the values once opposed.

It comes down to understanding, and a dream we all may share
Even where we seek a freedom just to choose what we shall wear:

We must call to the Eternal, then step forward unafraid
To be damned or crowned with glory for the choices we have made.

 

What shall we wear to judgment, then, to bow before the King,
At the throne of purest worship where the holy angels sing?

Don the garments of his priesthood, or the jewels of his crown,
Our humility and reverence, casting every idol down?

For Chicago, Selma, Little Rock, Montgomery, tears afresh?
An uncircumcised religion, or the arrogance of flesh?

The water of baptism?  Lips seared from the altar’s fire?
The diadem of deeds that godly blessing will require?

Shall we rise up in that dawning wrapped in mantles of his grace
Golden sandals on our feet, and free to look upon his face?

In a coat of many colors, or a fragrance of the saints?
With a scowl of our defiance, or the curse of our complaints?

We ourselves create the record heaven holds until the time
We are called before the universe to answer every crime.

There’s no entry on our ledger introduced by demon foe,
Only wanderings and journeys where our spirit chose to go,

True salvation from the Lord is never won by sword and spear:
By each honest step in patience we elect what will appear,

What the Son of GOD will cover by his blood from Calvary
Will remain un-resurrected and no living eye shall see.

Should the books reveal our trembling, unadorned, barefoot, unshod,
They must also show this wisdom, that we humbly walked with GOD,

That we marched for heaven’s governance and liberty’s increase,
Having cast our votes for mercy and the flowing robes of peace.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

©Michael Andrew Williams.  Washington, DC.  February 2011.  All rights reserved.)

Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

john-lewis-bridge

 

Today, a second Black History Month poem is shared acknowledging faith as a grain of mustard seed, American democracy, and some of the special, present-day work of former civil rights leader, Congressman John Lewis of Georgia.  I was very impressed by a news broadcast that included the congressman responding to questions from elementary and high school aged children, their parents, and teachers.  Congressman Lewis explained to one student that when he first met Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the famous leader for social justice asked Lewis whether he was “the boy from Troy?”  [Troy, Alabama], and that was how Lewis at first would be known (see John Lewis Teaches Md. Students About Civil Rights Movement, by Meagan Fitzgerald, News 4 @ https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Rep-John-Lewis-Teaches-Md-Students-About-Civil-Rights_Washington-DC-473990323.html).

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.  Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain:  and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.  (Zechariah 4:  5-7, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Black History — Johannesburg Gold (02/05/2018); Secular History, Sacred Revelation? (01/11/2018); George Washington Owned Slaves (08/17/2017); Righteousness Exalts A Nation (07/04/2017); Fulfillment of His Dream? (04/05/2017); Can Christians Be Racists? (07/25/2016); Cultural, Political, Spiritual Growth? (07/10/2016)

 

 

BLOODY SUNDAY

A Poem Acknowledging the courage of Congressman John Lewis and the Young People of America Willing to Recall The Civil Rights March, Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, (03/07/1965) – Black History Month, February 13, 2018.

The Congressman was called to work, today
Among the young to point the path and way
A span to reach tomorrow that would arch
From yesterday that taught the bloody march.

The elder sat with sprouts and budding youths
Who showed a hunger for the lasting truths
To let them tap his courage once again
With wisdom words and answers that were plain.

Too often, we leave needed things unsaid
Because we fear to have them in our head,
Our heart, deep wounds that only close
When truth is shared and everybody knows.

Black students understood for things to change
The promise of America can’t be strange
Or foreign to those born, raised in this land.
For power of the vote, they took a stand.

On U.S. Highway 80 was the site
Where lawless pride created darkest night
With death and oppression threatening to destroy
The hope for freedom in the Boy From Troy.

S.N.C.C. rallied those who dared to walk in peace
So being without voting rights would cease.
After years of work, the time had come to go
But brutal police power told them, NO!

To register to vote at freedom’s call
Should never be a cause for one to fall
To fail in fear, or die, or run and scatter
As though it is not true that Black lives matter.

Corruption, hatred, rot, should not prevail
Even where it means you go to jail
The justice of the cause can make men strong
To be steadfast, and work to right the wrong.

When children look into the past to learn
Their lessons must surpass “burn, baby, burn.”
We fashioned then a voice to crack the silence,
Insured their home through patience and nonviolence.

The future leaders for our land have shared
With one who held the line that day, and dared.
They too will live the dream in victory
Casting the single vote to keep all free.

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©2018.  Michael Andrew Williams.  All rights reserved

 

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

masekelazebra

Remembering Hugh Masekela
And the Americanization of Ooga Booga

 

Today, my annual poem acknowledging Black History Month is shared.  A griot, musician, storyteller, and teacher, Hugh Masekela was forced to flee to the United States (USA) from his home in South Africa (USA), and he carried with him the rich culture, heart, and treasure of its people to six continents.  Masekela proclaimed a “promise of the future” and, at the same time, he projected a look to the human heritage and legacy many thought were irretrievably lost.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven:  and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.  And immediately I was in the spirit:  and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone:  and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats:  and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.  (Revelation 4:  1-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Acknowledging The Precious Things (02/01/2017); Prophesying By Music Ministers (11/06/2017); Poem — What’s In A Name? (06/05/2016); Poem for Amiri Baraka (01/15/2014); Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela:  An Acknowledgment (12/12/2013); GOD Speaking Through Song? (11/01/2013); Why Not One Bible? (11/02/2013); Recognizing True Prophets (05/02/2013); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013)

 

JOHANNESBURG GOLD

For Jazz Giant, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela (1939-2018)
Black History Month 2018

 

What for?  A dust pouch fat after blasts to make the rock release its grip

To be never unknown in a place where slick is hip

A brief applause that pushes the cigarette salesman away

The wail of the coal train whistling through the starless day

From this side of the cavern to the next, from this side of the pain, to the other

It’s what I would do were I free to love again

It’s what I would do because I love my brother.

 

What for?  I stand, I teach, Pan African oneness, Negritude, escape from apartheid death

Or Miles Dewey Davis challenging me, calling forth my every living breath

Mbaqanga beginnings heard where the little head boys don’t graze

Six continents to span, to finally say, I’m here, Diaspora home, and praise

Our ancestors saying, I am here, and, free at last, and my own man

I am here and free, in a strange, new ingot hoarding land.
What is wrong with moving, changing, growing, never still

Loving long enough for sons to receive an overspill

Hear me under the earth, come up from down below

Never let injustice quench the light of possibility, or cage Unohilo

We are always safe in the arms of love, and the bishop’s gift was not by coincidence

Hear the trumpet calling us to heritage without mystery to “Ooga Booga” with new excellence

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2018.  All rights reserved.

 

Acknowledging the fullness in the body of Christ, there is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

cotillion.jpg

 

Today, the Duke and the King are remembered in a poem acknowledging the transformation of a culture.

COTILLION DREAMS
A Poem for Black History Month, 2017

There has to be a time to count the cost
To recognize the price we paid to gain
Acknowledging the precious things now lost
By choosing sacrifice and not surrender

And so be made to value here and now
In waking hours meant to build tomorrow
Assigning value both to what and how
As well as consequences unforeseen

My granddad lived his dream of gallant night
The ballroom lit with crystal chandelier
The gracious daughters beaming their dark light
An assemblage of urban princesses and queens

The freedom to seek their love, a willing mate
Who would dance and soar forever until dawn
When sunlight would restore a harsh, black fate
Cotillion and its liberty all gone

Until another generation lifts their heart
With dreams and hopes of shining in brigade
Sounding a trumpet to announce their start
Our entering nobility, coming of age

Just as I reached the day to dream the same
A new demand for Civil Rights was heard
The balm that lessened Segregation’s shame
Erased by the dream of struggle, honor, triumph

The black men we had thought we would become
Would never exist, the way to manhood’s joy
Revealed as marches, beatings, death for some
Jack and Jill, and debutante days a memory 

We are to understand what we now see
Was paid for not with trinkets of the past
But with futures and roots to our reality
And it’s right to ask, did we pay too much?

A people blessed by GOD to reign with style
Harassed by weak and beggarly police
The Nation owes a debt, return our smile
America’s dream for our youth must not cease

The Ellington elegance and beauty yet alive
Our passion for human dignity no less
Is not to be taken away before they dream it
Their inalienable right to be gentlemen and ladies

Thug life and branding irons cast away
Knowing their lives matter throughout a universe
And given their fair chance they will obey
The higher laws of grace and cotillion unafraid

A birthright has to be more than pain
And crops of poverty
The tears of grief instead of rain
To drench our thirsting sons

An inheritance must be more than dreams
And a heritage more than death
Ripples of honor should merge as streams
And join to deep oceans of faith

The surface of the earth our dwelling place
The sky an expanse for flight
With room for stars and every race
Forging bonds of possibility

The unforgettable victory
Fearless generations knit
New vision that otherwise would not be
Sacred music for satin dolls

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:  12-13, King James Version (KJV)

 

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©2017.  Michael Andrew Williams, Washington, DC.  All rights reserved.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

the-true-story_thumb.jpg

Still from a film reading Genesis 2
ADAM & EVE (THE TRUE STORY)

 

Today, a poem is shared recalling Citizen Martin Luther King, Jr.  Surely, the legacy of Reverend King began in Father Adam, the inheritance of priesthood and service to a righteous Creator.  The first man was granted an unexpected rest, and perhaps, a vision of family, a sharing of unity and peace, and an image of his sons as life to overspread the earth.  For mankind, the lasting gifts of life all follow some form of death and release (we say, rest, sleep) that signals continuity and the fulfillment of eternal purpose.   There are to be multiple transactions of purchase through sacrifice (Psalms 50:  5, King James Version, KJV).  (See the film from 4thaluvofit @https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xxx7m-1iik&t=423s)

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory:  where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?  Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not:  thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.  (Isaiah 63:  15-16, King James Version, KJV)

 

ADAM’s TIME OF SLEEP
[For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2017]

Supposing Adam dreamed
What do you think he saw
new formed, the shafts of time
And vision fearless still

Lives that do not matter?
His own sons wearing chains?
King Cotton and Jim Crow?
Mammon the Oppressor?

There was no darkness then
His mind the lamp light flame
His heart a candle glow
Sleep oozing like an oil

He drifted from command
Surrendering his sense
And body to be made
A new creation two

For names the beasts had come
Yet all as kinds and pairs
Sparking a vague regret
There was no vessel meet

And death would have to be
the tool to bring release
From agonies of fear
unutterable pain

And unnamed loneliness
Seed from the earth could be
Seed in the earth could not
And so must spring from he

A she whose work to sprout
A race of living seed
Bold heirs of breath and grace
An heritage from GOD

Awakening he saw
The one whom he must know
Oneness without sameness
To overspread the earth

It was his Son who came
With miracles of love
To die upon a cross
A testament in blood

Why do you pale or shrink
That other sons dreamed too
Who heard our father’s voice
And spoke sight to the blind

News of new creation
The coming of brief sleep
That we would overcome
That justice would prevail

That the liberty bell
Of life would sound and ring
Divine glory will shine
The Father’s face will beam

Anointed with gladness
His true sons will embrace
Crowned with honor and peace
Free at last, Free at last

Awake clear eyes receive
The earth made new our hope
Black and white together
Eternally alive

Unchanging, so diverse
The family of man
In the full strength of love
To study war no more

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2017.  All rights reserved worldwide.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

 

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From the first “poem-fall” of 2017, a piece continuing to celebrate the New Year:

 

THE SNOWFLAKE BALL

The ballroom sky their dance floor
The flakes as sharp dressed men
Or gowned tiara crowned and shining
Like familiar whispers from GOD
That never before have been
Yet who curl and spin as familiar
Renowned, most excellent

The lifting wind of waltzes
They drive without collision
The perfect order of youth
Desire, grand parade
And yet each flake is different
Each one newborn, fresh made
As if there can be numberless

Ones and twos and threes
Not yet discovered
Hungry and ready for hidden love
Revealed within the dance
Afraid, unsure how long to stay
Bold because a smile was shared
Committed to taking a chance

The confidence of moonlight
Forbids all thought of drab
Grey-shadowed day
Knowing whispers of scandal
Will be scattered
By flurries of cleansing sun
The secret partners sway

And swirl to silent airs
The crystal beauty light
Anthems of joy
They pirouette as though
On a staircase of flame
How brief the spark that fills the lonely night
A celebration with no name

The smooth intrigue of romance
As a spring sprout love in fall
Is an awkward rhyme
Like a two-step out of time
That makes one linger late
In the winter’s first
snowflake ball

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2017.  All rights reserved worldwide.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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