Thursday, October 21, 2010

Joe Amaral - Three Poems


I wanderlust amidst wood groves
Wondering if plants perceive pain
If a petal squalls when ripped from stem
If a branch quails when snapped
Akin to the crack of a cavitated skull
The nests in her maelstrom eyes
Jumbled sticks writhing in confusion

The wraiths of your lullabies
Whisper between recesses
Empty heart-shaped wrappers
Crinkle absolute silence
My love regressing thoughts
The residue saltwater on skin
Sweetly bitter shrapnel

It peels the casing from my unripe mind
Shatters the escarpment framing my soul

I ratchet my eyelids tightly agape
Skydiving from alpine boundaries
To lie grounded in wait
Hoping you return from the high throne
You so lithely scaled
To join me in this desolate wilderness
Of querulous grief

Floating Awry

I stopped swimming
Halfway out
To meet you

You had anchored in
Long before that
Perhaps the ebbing
Swung you to sea

You became mesmerized
In the Neap tide glow of

Either way I found
Myself drowning
Thirstily in leeching

I caught a surging wave
Churning it spit me out
Onto gritty spackled sand

Ensnared now I see your
Brown head bobbing on a
Mounting crest

In the fading horizons
Once bright colors
You solemnly raise a hand
Waving our love
A shadowed goodbye


The ridge-backed mountains constantly
bristle at the ascetic sunrise, craggy
hackles rising to snarl at the skyline
The drums of thunder ensnare my soul

You veil yourself in a cloak of divinity
Saying you’re reformed and reborn
This simply means you are something different
than you used to believe

Elements astir scorch clean
Nostrils singe snorting brimstone
Bits of body and rock fragments raggedly chirp
ever since the sterile soil expelled her elixir

We are old ladies in the Arctic with unpaid bills
Our heat was turned off
This tenuous feeling of being swallowed
indulges my ambivalence toward mysticism

I petition God, but He no longer exists
The Devil’s music is never off-key
His tendrils of darkness dismantle and
encircle my caving consciousness

Joe Amaral spends most of his time spelunking around on the central coast of California. He is a paramedic by trade but a world traveler at heart. Joe's work has appeared in Eclectic Flash, Paradigm, Underground Voices, and is forthcoming in A Handful of Dust and in an anthology by Wicked East Press.

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