MAJESTIC

In Marble Halls

WayneSL 2013
a vision shared

You float through the room,
majestic in your steady flow
yet fluid in each sensuous step.
Your sheer gown loves the glass-smooth marble floor
a wave in the wake of your tender toes.
My gaze is captured by the gentle curve of your thigh
rising to a graceful half moon.
Yet full, being double.
Through the gauze I see the dimple
come and go as you move.
Your geisha hair frames a solemn-seeming face
yet thereon lies a hint of smile
which does not lie
is not painted on
is born within
borne by thoughts and feelings forged in fire
to beckon me into your wake
and so I swim behind this lovely vision
to the chamber of love.
Therein you take seven months to slip the shroud
from one soft shoulder to your breast
and I can scarcely breathe
to see the next and the next and your collar bone so fine
the gentle rise of your smooth, spare belly
and your navel and still other signs of your humanity.
Your nipples loved the slipping misty cloth
and stand erect to crave another touch.
I caress them with my eyes
until it’s time for more.
As the shroud falls farther past the fertile hips
and valleys hiding streams within their depths
I tremble just to leap into your river, yet
I dare not still to draw my ready sword
in reverence for your gentle revelation.
Onward and off the shroud more quickly falls
your lovely legs the pillars of a temple
where ardently I soon shall give my all.
The pool of silk around your feet lies spent
the treasure it had guarded now revealed
and I cannot stand longer but must kneel
and beg your leave to enter with my steel.

BEFORE WE DRAW THE LINE

seriousChris

Christopher Slater-Lunsford, who will never draw the line.

Wayne Slater-Lunsford Spring, 1991

The World is both within us
and without us
Before we draw the line.
When we have not yet slowed
our rising forward fall
up into life.
We still trail clouds of glory.
We still own all that we perceive.
We permeate our universe
and grow diffusing
through the ether of experience.

Clear jello with little colored spots
spreading out toward each other
each color cloud another life.
You’re East to me, I’m West to you
our colors mix in the middle
and there’s a new shade in the rainbow.
We as children many selves perceive
other than the ones that elders see
those elders call us make-believe-
the persons that we know ourselves to be.

Panther

Yellow-eyed black at raising claws to slap

This one is nicer than my dream

WayneSL 1988

Gray unpainted pews in a gray unpainted station
hints of brown beneath the dust
no train, no bus.
The man in the pew ahead is holding
a huge black cat
long and thin, of silken soot.
He holds it like a baby at his shoulder,
rocking forward, pats its neck
and the cat glares back at you.
Rocking back they creak the pew
and the panther takes a swipe.

Taloned paw on snake-thin foreleg,
lifted high in graceful motion,
flung down, stretching out to strike,
but not quite reaching eye and lip
The wind of a near miss ruffles your hair
and all you can do is gag and stare
The yellow eye is welded to your own
and every slap comes closer…

Outside In

With apologies to M. C. Escher

With apologies to M. C. Escher

WayneSL 1989

The sky is a shiny black pearl
bubble
enclosing a crystaliquid world
precisely poised
with moon and stars lighting tiny structures:

Mountain forest silhouette
against a glowing silver sky
enclosed in darkness hidden greens
and russet brown of redwood bark
rapid rabbit heart waiting breathless
black beetle busy digging like
claw of cat with large and
limpid eye enclosing

Turns Left

MoonTree

WayneSL  1990

 (to be read aloud- not for the eyes alone)

A tear of joy
a tear of heart
the tares of life
when leavers part
the part you knead
your needs depart
a life of leaves
and branches.

The branches fork
spread from a crotch
the dogwood bark
but bark peels off
peals of the thunder
nervous cough
the coffin creaks
and listens.

The creeks a flood
the flowers float
too light to fall
two lightnings bolt
lithe wood is rent
the rent comes due
the dew comes.

To do, to die
the die is cast
cast out the doubt
decide at last
the side of right
the right to wrong
the left won.

Night Wind

Image

Shadow, our first and Last cat

WayneSL 1989

My soul is restless as a cat on windy nights,
when thoughts like pretty ribbons
in the wind are dangled briefly,
catch my eye, I reach, and
off they go, to draw me out and on
to dance the dervish, fly aloft
in silvern light ascending,
whiskers twitching, wideyes shining . . . .

Freedom, Bound

moon in clouds

Play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata as you read this.

WayneSL to Bryan 1987

There is so little comfort in your life;
you have not spent your
self
on comfort.
Naked madness
howls in empty lots
on moonlit borders
of my thoughts of you
Your search continues
in exile.
Eating garbage and dandelions.
for years.
Sleeping in the bus depot
while the buses leave.

You, who hear the music
of plants and mountains-
who know the feel of wood in hand
and shovel sunk in dirt-
and see the patterns
of the stars
and molecules
You spend your time
amid the greasy peeling Formica,
among the moths and mosquitoes
on streetlamp peninsulas,
overlooking tar-river streets
or walking out along the strand
of the interstate ocean,
and harboring in
dusty over-used slum rooms
with too many coats of paint
unless you
sprout like a mushroom on some morning lawn,
awakened by dew settling
to sparkle on your
stubble-bearded face
or root through mountain forest floors
for grub
and stride across the desert.

Cat Dreams collection (WayneSL 1990)

Image

Night Wind

My soul is restless as a cat on windy nights,
when thoughts like pretty ribbons
in the wind are dangled briefly,
catch my eye, I reach, and
off they go, to draw me out and on
to dance the dervish, fly aloft
in silvern light ascending,
whiskers twitching, wideyes shining . . . .

Outside In

The sky is a shiny black pearl
bubble
enclosing a crystaliquid world
precisely poised
with moon and stars lighting tiny structures:

Mountain forest silhouette
against a glowing silver sky
enclosed in darkness hidden greens
and russet brown of redwood bark
rapid rabbit heart waiting breathless
black beetle busy digging like
claw of cat with large and
limpid eye enclosing

Puma

Don’t move.
Shallow breathing, slow and even;
silent heart.
The mat of leaves and twigs can barely hide you,
and he can smell you.
Pacing the light spot of the clearing
the puma is moaning low and long, insistent
to find your puny hairless flesh;
and you can smell his musk.
You sweat fear
he sweats rage
tail twitching, nostrils flaring, eye slits searching
Don’t move.
Don’t breathe.
Swallow the scream, still your shaking.
Still.

Warm Nuzzles Waking

Drifting up from dreams of comfort,
smooth, cool sheets and warm weight on my chest.
Claws retracted, paws that knead the covers,
and a purring, furry snout beneath my chin.
The murmur growing, glow begins to spread
Delicious stillness in my limbs
a sleepy fog inside my head.
The flush extending down my sides,
the smell of cat pee jangles me awake.

Cats don’t always land on their feet.

Panther

Gray unpainted pews in a gray unpainted station
hints of brown beneath the dust
no train, no bus.
The man in the pew ahead is holding
a huge black cat
long and thin, of silken soot.
He holds it like a baby at his shoulder,
rocking forward, pats its neck
and the cat glares back at you.
Rocking back they creak the pew
and the panther takes a swipe.

Taloned paw on snake-thin foreleg,
lifted high in graceful motion,
flung down, stretching out to strike,
but not quite reaching eye and lip
The wind of a near miss ruffles your hair
and all you can do is gag and stare
The yellow eye is welded to your own
and every slap comes closer

Cat Cars

Huffing, lowroll-strutting
prowling panthers,
Menacing darktint
thruster barons,
hunt the smoky crime-night street
and smell my fear
amid the dust and grass blades.

They glide by, purring
gut-low growl of
ego anger, self-assured
piston-pounding cylinder drums.

One crouches back to gather
paws and will and
sudden force uncoiling
flaring forward, burning
blue-white path through rushing night
Howling heavy metal
engine guitar gravel
turbine scream projectile
lengthens down the row of yellow lights
leaving a scent trail of sweathot rubber
burning bakelite, smoking grease
and hot black-carbon breath.

Speculum

Waynesl 2013

I’m vertical
and trying to herd these cats
that are my thoughts and feelings

in a stampede of surly turtles

out the door and off to a job

I am learning to loathe.

I slept only a few hours
and don’t remember any dreams;

just a vision
through a cracked porcelain mask and a plate of glass
and another cracked porcelain mask

of my own crystal tears.

English River

That voice- a girl?  her silver tones a dulcet spell
so sweet and small and silk-thread thin,
yet filling forest rill to dell
Out of sight and ken,
yet kin to my own spirit, she
In tune of pouting Fairie Queene
Sitting on a moss-beard stone
in dappled sunshade moist and green
She sings a simple song-
an herb to cure the dryness of my heart.

“Swim in the English river…” she sings
A water sprite, then, must she be.
“Swim in the English river…” again-
I wonder, might she swim with me?

This Lorelei who hides her face-
or capercaillie in the bush-
Can this song be a call to me
or does the breeze conceive my dream?
do leaves and hollow branches tune
and all conspire to draw me on
or is my heart the author of this song?

I stood upon the bank a while
and watched the flowing river swell.
I raised my face and closed my eyes
and breathed in clover, moist and full
the long wet grass, the lone green tree
a buzzing bee and dizzy me

And I have slipped, and joyous fallen in.

From pole to pole the river flows
and up the sky in fountains
and back again across the stars
to rain upon the mountains.

“Swim in the English river…” she sings
A water sprite, then, must she be.
“Swim in the English river…” again-
I wonder, might she swim with me?

dream language vision
poem grown out of a recurring dream Bill Vaughn had
03/13/90