Saturday 30 January 2021

Three Poems by Judith Borenin




Swing Low

The playground is empty save

for a song wavering on wind

 

gusts and the repetitive snap

and release clinking of chains.

 

Swiiing low sweeeet chariot

commin’ for to carry me home.

 

And home is a place she hopes

someday to find as higher and

 

higher she climbs with each pump

and thrust of her legs – fingers

 

wrapped tightly round the links

of the chain tethering her to the

 

world - this playground of dust.

I looked over Jordan and what

 

did I see - her father’s a ghost who

rarely returns – a band of angels

 

commin’ after me – her mother a

disembodied smile – commin’ for to

 

carryyy meee home. As the metal

poles churn losing grip on the ground –

 

Ka CHUNK Ka CHUNK – with each

snap and release of the slack in the

 

chains her fingers still cling to. She

saw clouds crumble in the roof of the

 

sky when the world was a playground

of dust - when all things were possible –

 

when forgiveness was enough –

commin’ for to carry me home.


 

The Way Things Shine When Cloaked

 

in darkness.  Stars fleeing like

bats from black holes

 

hidden in the sky. Lights from

mastheads moored along

 

the shore that stare and blue like

glowing eyes over a black

 

sea. Indoor lights that beckon just

like hands to lost souls

 

passing by to move in closer for

a shaft of comfort

 

which cannot warm. Sparks that

float like paper

 

lanterns from the hollows of

ringed black eyes

 

of nocturnal raccoons who

prowl past the last

 

perimeters of light. The chartreuse

shock of a green shoot

 

inside a moist black cocoon of soil

as it wakes. Or how bad

 

dreams drive hands to reach

for bedside lamp

 

chains in the middle of long

and lonely nights. 

 

The last bright white blaze

that shrieks from

 

death’s darkening gaze before

each synaptic snap

 

and spark is suddenly erased.


 

Who Am I?

 

I hide behind a mask.

I am a blast

of black breath –

 

a smile climbing out 

the window of

a roadside wreck.

 

I am a flatlining sun

beneath cloak

of grey. A gutter of

 

moon in an emptying

drain. A neon

white vein stripped

 

clean of its blood. A gale

hooded neck against

a gleaming windowpane. A

 

black plastic scrap ripped

free of its load. A

curled paper of darkness

 

left stranded in the middle of

a deserted road.

Words are permanent

 

graffiti scrawled across my

skin. My ears ring a hum

of pandemonium. My

 

eyes are mere cut outs of

parchment epiphanies.

My fingers are flailing

 

acrobats over a widening hole

scribbling equations

on my yellowing vellum soul.




Greetings - 

Judith is a poet living in Port Townsend, Washington. Her poems have appeared online and in print journals including: The Raven Chronicles: Last Call, The Floating Bridge Press Review IV, Ethel Zines 3 & 4, Synchronized Chaos, The POETiCA Review, The Night Heron Barks. Her chapbook, The Evidence & The Evermore was published by Ethel Zine in 2019. She used to have a black cat named Lothlorien.


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