David McAlister is a retired graphic designer and software specialist. He was born in Ashland, Kentucky, and inherited a love of poetry from his mother and grandmother. Prior to his design career, he was an actor in radio and television commercials, and over a fifteen-year period, a rock ’n’ roll singer. Upon his retirement from the University Aviation Association, he was encouraged to publish his poetry and essays by his wife, Andrea Jackson.
The Gold of Morning
In the fiery gold of morning, two strolling lovers blazed, and wandered through the valley where a sable stallion grazed.
And the stallion sent a greeting that made the valley ring, as from the weighted apple tree, a mockingbird began to sing.
Songs from all its travels flowed from its memory, and the lovers listened, arms entwined, as still as still could be.
And when it leapt into the sky, the two resumed their walk, dew, like diamonds on their feet, peaceful hearts too full for talk.
What are you doing, she asked me. Listening to the rain. What does it say, she smiled impishly.
. . .
It says, The sky has carried me in weariness and pain. But all the burdens that we bear we will lay down again.
Behold how I rush to the arms of the earth and quench him, while life grows, wild. My song is delirious whispers of love, a love that is primal, and undefiled!
And my “friend” listened, quiet, with growing unease, shrinking so slightly within herself, retreating by degrees.
For the cry of the wolf made her frightened, the Shadow Wolf pacing within. She wanted her easy companion, not the famine beneath my skin.
I think I had better be going, she murmured. I did not entreat her to stay. We both knew that things would be easier in the public light of day.
As her car pulled away in the gathering dusk, she looked pale in the last of the light, and I lay on my bed of anger, and twisted beneath the night.
For Every Battered Boy
My father’s shadow filled the door, demanding, as he had before, “Why is your nose always in those books?” I mumbled, “I just like to read.” My heart screamed, “This is what I need! To be someplace that you cannot-- Oz. Olympus. Camelot. “There no one will mock me if I vow on bended knee. There, to the sound of a hunting horn, beyond the reach of your belt and scorn, in Sherwood, I laugh, strong and free!”
Home in All But Heart
How softly she speaks in the tones I remember, this girl, now a woman so long unseen. Where does she wander beneath conversation? To Scotland, perhaps, And a hilltop green? Does spring run its fingers through her long, red hair? Yes, it would always be springtime in the highlands, if she were there.
And where is she now, behind her eyes? A cafe, perhaps, with music and wine and friends whose names are unknown to us, beneath Parisian skies. But she nods as though she is listening from the land behind her eyes.
She has come home to America and is happy to see us, it seems. Yet, even in bright Georgia daylight, she stands enmisted in dreams. Behind every word is the lure of the world, the song of the sirens of Lisbon or Rome. She loves us but she has surpassed us, and now all the world is her home.
Yes, we would keep you, but how can we hold you? Looking within you, the truth that we see is that all that we cherish is bound to perish in time, if it is not free.
So fly to the arms of the world that is waiting and live all the things that you know you can be. But, some rainy day, reading "Cyrano," I hope you will think of me.
A Well of Fire
Her ivory skin and golden hair Gleam in the candlelight. The linens rustle, The shadows twitch, The fan whirls in its nervous flight. Her touch sends shudders through me, An earthquake of desire. In those windows of the soul, I see a well of fire. So gentle, loving, hungry, So precious in my sight, My fierce and tender Andrea, Embraces me tonight.