'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.' Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Psyche ~ A Clarification

Or, Break Glass in Case of Emergency

Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss 
Antonio Canova (1787)
(Photographer Unknown)

I will speak now
of the promise I made
to one who could only take me
in dark places –

I knew him only
by the taste of his lips
and the twist of his tongue
on secret flesh –
He sculpted me with hands
I never saw,
drove an arrow through my womb.

(And all the while
a perfect storm rages
framed by windowsill and pane:
what better image of chaos
in the known world?)

I want to explain
in words that will not die
beyond this page –
we were everything.

Do you see how I loved?
Wildly, without constraint
of self-recognition –
Wholly, halved only in daylight
when he was gone
and I became just another face
whom no one knew.

(And now the wind has risen
to rattle the door against its post:
a ferocious intruder
on this man-made
eye of the storm.)

I do not profess omniscience
being a woman
and not a god –
I thought he should understand
my curiosity as a flaw
of human nature.

I held a naked flame
in my left hand
and a dagger in my right:
preservation of self runs deep
but so does love.

(And now I hear the smash
Of hailstones upon the roof tiles:
it is only a matter of time
before my world collapses inward.
What then my chance against the storm?)

I know I hurt you, my love.
You lay unsuspecting
in the dark of your own creation
believing I was impelled to obedience –
but passion will have its way.

Even now your beauty touches me
through the constrictions
of my stygian sleep –
I toss in the disquietude of need,
breasts reaching, hips rolling,
my arms an empty circle –
When will your kisses fall
like rain upon parched lips?


This poem owes a great deal to the poetic works of Carilda Olivar Labra and is written in response to both the prompts in the Imaginary Garden this Valentine's weekend: Is Love a Tender Thing? and The Sunday Mini-Challenge: Promises, hosted by Karin Gustafson.
The narrative is based on the myth of Cupid and Psyche, in as much as all myths relate to universal truth and the human condition.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


I miss you, you know I do-- as myself or the miracles that never happen--
Carilda Olivar Labra


I asked for your forgiveness
as the home skies showered
a storm of missiles
in my backyard –
my shoulders were bare.

But you would not speak
a word in my direction,
left me to make my own way
through the minefield –
my feet were bare.

I waited for your return
beside an ocean of torpedoes
and counted the waterspouts
as they spelled destruction –
my fingertips were bare.

But you never came
to the one whose injured love
hadn't faltered; you did not
want my peace though
my breasts were bare.


Inspired by the poetry of Carilda Olivar Labra, featured in the Sunday Mini-Challenge, on Real Toads.
I was especially moved by her poem Declaration of Love --written during the Cuban Missile Crisis, October, 1963 and Eve's Discourse, from which the introductory quote is taken.