WILL SHADBOLT - POEMS
Will Shadbolt loves to read and travel. He has lived in Germany and China and been to a dozen more countries, each time bringing plenty of books along for the trip. He currently is back home in America working as a proofreader. When he is not completely exhausted after a work day, he blogs here: willshadboltblog
The path is velveteen black broken by
Patches of stars between cloud and branch.
I can see the beginnings of the road,
The flashes of flowers, for this is Spring,
But now by night beauty has gone.
The buds and petals tremble,
Resemble fetuses and dead hope,
As stars become dots of blood.
I walk it, an attempt at a cure for
Odd insomnia—in daylight the trail
Brings me up, arguments become
Smiles—but now the late hour only
Blackens my mood. And then comes a turn.
Footsteps. I look up at the man,
He goes by head down hands in pockets,
And I wonder what misfortune has
Forced him to walk the path?
At night the barbecue coals burn
A mirror for balls of nightlight:
Bright and visible, each star almost
Distinct like distant faces.
Each star too far for us to
Know it in detail.
Across the bonfire,
Shadows like lace
Obscure my uncle’s profile.
My cousin sits next to me,
But extending my arm,
I cannot reach him.
They come in Spring as little buds
And grow forth to green sails
Mapped and crisscrossed by veins.
A trail lined with brush and trees and
Shrubs—a good spot for a date.
Then comes the Summer simmer,
Shades creep down to offer respite,
An offer we are glad to take.
Sun burns down, making an
Oven of the world.
We don’t care.
But the green goes, replaced by colors
Of stars, and the finale begins.
Like tears they fall, slow and
Rhythmic, and crunch underfoot.
I step and step and hear the music
Play in the wind. I look back down
The path and all I see is emptiness.
When Blue’s forces near the horizon, Black’s attack.
The first strike paints the sky’s edge dull crimson
But Blue regroups, hits back, and the horizon
Deepens in color until it is a distant
Flame that flickers, mixes, purples
The once Blue expanse. And then like a
Rose, the battle bloom’s into war:
Yellow gunpowder blasts,
Red fresh wounds.
Black’s forces overwhelm
And the world turns
Gray, dark gray, black.
Battle scars--flickers of whites dot Black’s land.
But Blue will return, rested and restored,
To plant another flower come early hour.
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