Amaryllis

How can you be so tense and serious,
Dear Amaryllis; don’t you know the only way to bloom
Is not with shoulders up, hands balled, arms trussed,
But through two far-flung arms like sunlight’s starry plumes?

Just as a flower may reveal its face
And spreads its light into a soul-lit place,
It opens in a field of blackened space
To wrap it all into a bright embrace–

All but the bud. No light can reach inside
A fist of folded arms and face cast into stone
And overcast with shade, as if to hide
The very thing that should be shown and should have shone–

Oh Amaryllis! much have you abused:
Aurora’s gift of beauty never used,
Prometheus’ sacrifice refused,
Apollo abandoned–you stand accused

Of killing off the very thing you are,
Like weeds that choke the life from their own sprouting seeds;
Some suicide, self-fratricide, bizarre
Oblivion, the price of which is paid by me,

The one who wished to witness that beauty,
The one who always dreamed what it would be,
The one who only just wanted to see
Your flower blooming, petals light and free.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Love Lies Bleeding

There is something breeding, Love-lies-a-bleeding,
Says I to the dead Amaranth,
For I’m not misleading, but I feel a breathing
That’s wrapping my neck with romance.

For something is breeding when Love goes pleading
For feeling embraces again,
But Passion is leading, her dewdrops are beading–
Men die when she’s all that remains.

But something is missing, Love reminiscing,
Says the hangman to the headman,
For you say I’m wishing, but I say I’m kissing
The lips of fair Death as deadman.

For something is missing in Amaranth’s string,
When she’s tugging him up from the ground,
But that’s not dismissing the way hangman’s hissing
With drooping black hood at her frown

There’s something completing, Love-lies-a-fleeing,
Says Death through her red velvet lips,
For lies are in meeting, and lies are in greeting,
But Love-lies-within earthen hips.

For something’s completing when Death comes defeating
Her friends and her foes all too soon,
And hangman is cheating, but it’s only fleeting,
For everyone hangs in full bloom.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on October 11, 2012 at 7:14 am  Comments (1)  
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Amaryllis, the Nightly Amaranth

I never knew my Amaryllis well
Until she turned full bloom to Amaranth
Beneath the moon, and underneath that spell
Her petals fell, while mine were deviant.

She once was the white of innocent eyes,
The ones well-rested still unstained by red,
And I–yes I, the devil in disguise–
Spotted her in that sacred flower bed,

But in another light, by that dark sky
Her color bled, but fed on purple stain,
She bloomed again, her face unchanging dye,
While I was left behind–her red remained.

Her love lies bleeding now, and feeding on;
But truth be told, she feasted all along.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on October 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Lightning is a Strobe and the Thunder is a Bass

Born from weakness, shaped in heat,
The Golden Calves appeared to him.
Their altar was beneath his feet,
And so he danced in praise of them.

Some others joined him for the feast,
And two by two more came as well,
Each worshiping their separate beast,
But all beneath a single spell;

The women bent into a bow
In praise of great fermented grain,
And close behind to praise the plow,
The men, stiff-chained, all bowed the same.

And when the sacred spell had passed,
And all the grain had turned to chaff,
From Sinai Moses came at last,
But found no altar, dance, nor calf.

~Michael Danger Caskey

She Could Peel an Apple–In One Long, Curly Strip

Forever is always a moment away,
As if ‘twixt the tick and the tock of the clock,
There’s a moment it skips, that you miss as it stops,
And she was between that, but she never stays.

Forever is only a hair-breadth ahead
On the edge of the world–horizon met plains–
And one step from “never was heard from again,”
But beckoning me to her nowhere-shaped bed.

Listen! She’s muttering something obscene,
Between the swift censor of celibate time,
Its second-hand breaking her promising lines,
As if warning me what infinity means.

But she is infinitely calling me near,
And constantly tempting me walk towards the ledge
To hang on the side along Damocles’ edge;
Forever’s no friend, but she’s calling me dear.

She’s promised that she will be kind through the years,
She’s promising me of a love with no end,
She’ll promise no price on affairs we’ll begin;
She feels I’m her lover, so why feel I fear?

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s Yours

There is a place in distant Aberdeen,
Unseen between the gravel esplanade
And golden sand; not quite a place of Dreams,
But where they visit reveling abroad.

Within this sacred seaside hideaway,
There somehow stays, imprinted in the sand,
A pair of prints around the ocean spray
That mark the steps of woman and a man,

Who, side by side then turning face to face,
Must have become reflections of the dreams
That danced, clasped hands, and reveled in this place,
But never stayed; not in fleeting Aberdeen.

I tried to stay as well, but not for long,
For there’s a different shore where I belong:

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 23, 2012 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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To the One I’ve Only Dreamed Of

Dreaming Fantasy

I’ve seen you in my dreams before, some night
When I slept well, when sleep seemed more complete:
The stars aligned, conditions were just right,
And you were there, my vision made concrete.

Above were golden candles burning fog,
Beside you, marble made of mercury,
The dinner guests were chatting, yapping dogs,
All drinking and dining on mystery;

But of the things both great and small and more,
Of all the fantasies I saw there, too,
Of everything I fancied to explore,
I found I only dreamt because of you.

I don’t sleep quite so soundly anymore,
For beds feel much more empty than before.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 22, 2012 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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That Missing Song

That Missing Song

I came from the lip of the waning moon,
That snipped the night of starless, dark, and free,
And dipped me down through glowing white pontoons:
Reflections on the waves of troubled seas.

I went to where the cracks of sunbeams stray
Through seams of tree-lined dusk and dawn,
To cast their strings and play those golden rays,
But found it quiet: that old song had gone.

I came before the steadfast face of time,
That showed more rocky wrinkles than before;
I asked him when the missing sun would shine,
But that old man’s not speaking anymore.

I looked up, longing for the backlit moon,
But there was Venus–and her glowing tune.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 9, 2012 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sing a Song of Sixpence

Sing a song of sixpence, pockets full of rye,
Johnny with your sixpence, bellyfull of wine,
Pulling down the drink since there’s something on your mind,
Quit searching for that sixth sense, the other five are fine,
But you’re not one to think when you’re looking for a sign.

Jenny with some rue seeds, better take some rye:
Pockets full of wishes never gonna shine,
If you get your sixpence, give it to the grind;
Money where your mouth is, bread is close behind,
But Johnny’s got your sixpence, and Johnny’s doing time.

Johnny’s on the down-low, Jenny’s on the climb,
He’s looking for his chance, but the stars won’t quite align,
She’s taking what she can, but the can won’t ever chime,
So sing a song of sixpence, sing a song of rye:
Songs with happy endings always cost a dime.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Food in the Hand, and One from the Bush

I wonder what goes through the squirrel’s mind
When it approaches, from its hiding-spot,
Her feeding hand and boyfriend close behind,
Behind his camera, waiting for a shot.

She says beneath her breath “it’s fine, it’s fine,”
As if this madly grinning giant child
Defines how fine it is when she inclines,
Staring with wild eyes and wilder smiles,

Yet nonetheless it nears her step by step,
Each in between a cautious thoughtful pause,
Considering if altruism’s kept
In such a mousetrap-hand and open claws.

It takes the food and flees somewhere discreet;
I wonder if it thought the taste was sweet.

~Michael Danger Caskey