Kathryn Stewart McDonald

Always

Sitting on a bench

As even stars die slowly

Certain only the sunrise.

 

Early morning clouds

Hide river willows bending

Dew moistened trees cry.

 

Limitless echoes

From fear never far away

Sorrow has icy fingers.

Explanation

The black hole of the universe

An exit

Through which emptiness is

Expelled

Once realization sparks awareness

Of lost humanity

Far too late to make amends with

Mankind

The silent screams of suffering are seen

As exploding suns

In distant galaxies traveling eternally outward

To the edge of nothing

And then beyond the void the epitome

Of isolation

Colors never canvassed rage in those shades of dark

All things must end unseen as sons are born

Until suns die

And even the remains of suns are sometimes seen

But too late to touch

From the edge of here and now to

Somewhere else

We send our metal monsters for clues

Searching

Unceasing curiosity

The end results from ignorance.

For Franz and Photographs Left Behind

With camera nailed like night

To nullify only the emptiness

Eyes so narrow could not see

 

Records made realizing remembrances

Of reality from which so far

Removed and remote he grew

 

Scavenger of solace he sought

Scenes of sempiternal sorrow

Savior now of shattered and scarred

 

Finally the forage from which

He forestalled his defeat from

Feeling and forejudgement faded

 

Left after capturing cautious remnants

Of characters possessed by carnaged catechisms

Careful lest his camera be revealed

 

My friend, death is dirty and deceitful

Drugged and drowned you died

As all your dreams were left demeaned

For the Whale

Death dancers

From the sea

Came this raj

To die

 

On sacred sands

Of Nan Madol

Dance your mourning

For the king

 

He lies wearied

Ancient warrior

Proudly scarred

Taboo for feasting

 

Shaman sing

Tale of Tears

Song of Sorrow

Honor these bones

 

Magnificent modengi

Raj of the sea

We weep for you

We weep for you

 

Safe at last

From Ivory Thief

Safe at last

On sacred sand

Masks for Lost Faces

 

At the edge of the world

Someone sang a song to God

The ultimate audience of one

A song of sorrow and mistakes

With a dance from a broken dream

Counting scars with steps

Left the world, became instead

Sacrosanct and certain

So judgments failed and then

Sheltered from society

 

Now with a mask for everyone

Something strange and unseen remains

And reflects only those faces now

Who buy and sell a name

And with the broken dance

Steps sing words unsaid, thus

Nothing is lost in translation

Plaster cast or sculpted mask

Icicle melting fast

The last fly of winter—an albino roach

 

Or a butterfly in the snow, even a

Broken rainbow in a midnight onyx sky

An impression of that face might show

What really is or who was.

As even plaster masks cannot

Conceal or deny the eyes

Magritte is gone

None are left to fear

As no one really looks

Behind the eyes.

Saipan

 

Saipan you sleep surrounded by sea

Gentle your jungles, soft in the light

My home, my home, crying, calling to me

 

Saipan you sleep surrounded by sea

Washed warm by waves lost from my nights

Mystical music makes kind memories

 

My home, my home, crying, calling to me

Magical mountain now far from my sight

Island of emeralds remember me

 

Saipan you sleep surrounded by sea

Hear me shaman, nothing here that is right

Totem of Taga please set me free

 

My home, my home, crying, calling to me

Return my soul, sky spirit, lost light

Taga, protect me, so far from the sea

 

Saipan you sleep surrounded by sea

Totem of Taga please set me free

Island of emeralds, I remember the sea

My home, my home, crying, calling for me.

Shades of Stillness

A shoreline free from storm

Traces wet shadows

Quiet clouds and solitude

 

Three unbroken turtle eggs

And driftwood

Damp sand at dawn

Sidi Bou Saiid, Tunisia

 

The moon on turquoise Tunisian nights

Gleams ghostly on the minaret of ivory mosques

Sirocco sand does not blow in spring

 

Light fog feathers the land

Curls itself and wraps around

A gnarled olive tree

 

God sleeps in the street

Still warm from the last day’s sun

Night shadows are long and thin

 

This desert never fights

It dances to the shores of Carthage

And colors the world gold

 

Sidi Bou Saiid on the back mountain

Has risen from the sea

In blue and white jasmine perfection

View from a Cliff

Centuries of fog

Gently shield the sea

From the glare of stars

 

And fishermen

Glide through the night

With lanterns.

Copyright 2019 by Phosphene Publishing Company

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