Mix and Match

smoke and alabaster                          the purity of revelation
baby powder and snow                     east and west, dawn and evening
honey dew and mint cream              the illusion of perfection
ivory and seashell                               surrender and treachery
old lace and linen                                the white knight
lavender blush and ghost                  dead-white faces
floral white and corn silk                  cowardice and cold
parchment and pointing                    the second stage of the Great Work
champagne and vanilla                      virgin sacrifice
cosmic latte and glitter                       mercury poisoning
magnolia and pearl                             the boredom of waiting
flax, eggshell and bone                       death rides a pale horse

 

 

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Photo created by the author

The Contest

If only Eve could don a straw hat and vanish to the Isle of Paros!
Instead, she was trapped in the Garden, weaving hard lines

of blood as the beginning people judged her pink lady tears.
Where was her power over water? Lilith dried out in the desert.

They shall possess her forever and dwell there
from generation to generation.

As the mushroom cloud rose over the maroon lagoon
Eve wondered if it was, in fact, a good time for a trip.

She was wearing her lucky pearls and the new horizon
walking boots, birthday gifts from the ferryman.

It is He who casts the lot for them,
And with His hands He marks off their shares of her.

Sad to see swine die but she was really more of a snake person.
So she turned her last page with the left hand

of darkness and prepared to recycle her perfect skin,
gala smooth and hoping for first prize. Ka-Ching!

 

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Photograph created by the author

 

 

Sweet Dreams

It was not an ordinary day.
The east wind sparked salt and I awoke
to dreams of the unicorn. My old bones
rolled the waves and the falcon’s shadow
shifted. I knew what I must do.

Down Fast Eddie I chased the Dragon’s Tail,
surfed by leafy isles, rested in deepening
pools a while, glimpsed churches, spiraling treetops,
salmon swimming through castle walls.
I passed beneath Ness Bridge unseen.

It was the end of an ordinary day. So at So Coco
the waitress wrapped sweet fancies in tissue twists
as the last customer licked cappuccino
from his lips. At The Mustard Seed the chef marinaded
for dinner. At the Victorian Market they folded
tartan as gates clanged and the clock chimed.
In Falcon Square the piper belched away his ale

and no-one
saw my passing.  No-one saw the unicorn
fall.

 

Note 1:- The Loch Ness Monster is a mythical aquatic creature reputed to dwell deep in the cold waters of Loch Ness near Inverness in Scotland.  There have been numerous sightings and photographs showing a curvaceous beast rising out of the grey waves.

Note 2:- The unicorn is Scotland’s national animal.  A statue of a unicorn is located in Falcon Square, a landmark in the centre of the city of Inverness.

 

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Photographic image created by the author

The Fall of Icarus

(after the painting by Marc Chagall)

Perambulating through the sky,
carefree as a rain-less cloud,
the boy forgot everything.

With sun dreams in his heart
and wild angels in his hair,
Icarus flew on the easterly wind.

One by one, his feathers waxed and flared.
Flapping, folding like a fish, he fell
towards the sea of turnip faces.

His wings of fire split the morning,
pirouetting between life and death,
indigo smoke, the ochre of fear.

Upturned, the butcher, the ploughman, the undertaker,
the midwife, the milliner, the teacher, the whore,
the schoolgirl, the donkey, the ducks on the pond.

The boy corkscrewed down, down, down
while the ducks rose up in a feathery shroud.
Their chorus soothed his burning skin.

Their gentle beaks held him close.
Their rainbow wings bore his limbs
homeward, to a cerulean pool.

 

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Note 1:- My poem was inspired by Marc Chagall’s 1975 surrealist painting, The Fall of Icarus.  It’s an example of ekphrastic poetry, that is, a re-interpretation of a piece of visual art.  I have given the myth a more positive ending!  At present the painting is displayed in the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris.  Marc Chagall was a Russian painter whose dreamlike images often featured flying figures.