Friday, October 3, 2014

Three Poems by Ralph Monday

Moon Woman

vivid dream making love to the moon woman after she
told the village children women moon stories pulled me
into her silvery sex warm cold like icy tales told by old
women no pots pans kitchen apparatus sewing needles
just earth rock tree mouths lips thighs woman song ancient
as moss marking hair pressed breasts nourished the world
where I was safe was home was eternal journey on finite
end females in perfect accord perfect understanding of
moon mystery under old old sky cloud talking us each
month by mouth by letter by phone by car and road and
asphalt and skyscraper and cave and stone and eyelids
of morning of evening of afternoon and ocean and sky
and nocturnal owl and katydid cry and neap tides eclipse
blood moon blue moon autumn moon winter moon woman
moon animal moon heaven moon hell moon all the laughing
crying lunas dancing in our eyes fingertips lips thighs smooth
smooth sex where we taste the woman taste know the hunger
that will always be unsatisfied for mother maiden crone


mythic cleansing

god gelded castration began with augustine constantine
            took up the cross sent heaven to the sky beheaded satyrs
sylphs bottled in wine casks dropped in the wine dark sea
            zeus and jove and diana and artemis and dionysus and
hera and juno and aphrodite and venus and aries and mars
            and all other male/female divines stripped of golden girdles
sent tumbling to dante's dark vision all the popes and priests
            and bishops laughed at nature's veil made opaque where
angels now invaded the air with swords and blessed wings
            taken from birds that whirled in air crying out dissent
bloodied wings bloodied thought bloody hands desert soaking
            up as oil to anoint all slippery things to come with ethereal
come pumped in by disciples dreaming three magicians playing out
            of tune palms garland for the crown

medieval mulligans

everyman now has the day and castles and cathedrals pie in the sky
             and ibrahim's kaaba house to target the towers later after
the last prophet slept in the cave from its womb fathered by gabriel
             caustic castration continued and the word set the world on
fire where streaming red and black ants horse mounted met to decide
             word of god still undecided but feast of olives figs dates pomegranates
succulent as that in the garden for people of the book marching toward
              land holy to make afterwards unholy looking for woman marks
moles pimples birthmarks devil's etchings set free by mythic cleansing
              on time's straight arrow where season's cycles must alpha and
omega for woman cry is naught but unseen desert night birds to be
              plucked eaten veiled tossed away unless hands needed to
knead bread borrowed wombs ruined by children's cries becoming
              determined autumn red dark ants still marching

postmodern towers

babbling towers covering the world two old faiths old flesh dissected
              by mammon and the great war here these twin dichotomies
beacon for newworldorder wait as slumbering elephants contained
              within planet's diversity all peoples all skins all colors all
tongues wagging not knowing metal angels carrying death's message
               gyre toward screens and steel and brokers of lives and flesh
and blood mornings evenings midday breaks love affairs broken
               marriages broken children debts like boulders concerned about
who shot jr and lawns and condos and pools marguerites sipped
               lethe's liquids not knowing medieval mulligans made the
great war made this crossing of waters forged saudi schemes
              that will make the bush burn as these plummeting turrets
make the sky dark at noon choked on the ash of forgotten centuries
              on tiny screens all over the world the seeing goes on

Limbs like Dark Branches

That morning your tongue turned to leaves
articulating changing seasons where you
walked with green moss, tangled vine
as hair.  In the evening a waning moon 
became your pupils, your laugh sound
of an owl among treetops.

By the witching hour your body's heat
forced all the insects absent, a skin-fed
fire that made me turn my eyes away
where it consumed your dress and left 
you naked, smooth brown skin belonging
to a Mayan priestess.

At dawn your kiss left forest traces on 
my tongue.  I knew the stuff of streams
running to the sea.  Your limbs, like
dark branches, carried you away to
mate with life.  No solace in your passage--
I would not see your kind again.

Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN, where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses.  In fall 2013, he had poems published in The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review, and was represented as the featured poet with 12 poems in the December issue of Poetry Repairs.  In winter 2014, he had poems published in Dead Snakes.  Summer 2014 will see a poem in Contemporary Poetry:  An Anthology of Best Present Day Poems.   His work has appeared in publications such as The Phoenix, Bitter Creek Review, Full of Crow, Impressions, Kookamonga Square, Deep Waters, Jacket Magazine, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Crack the Spine, The Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes, Pyrokinection and Poetry Repairs.  His first book, Empty Houses and American Renditions  will be published by Hen House Press in Fall 2014.

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