Under the Sun

Sun glowing,
Dim and red,
Through sooty smoke
Stinging eyes with
Ashes of sacred forests
Burned black.

Heat bearing down
Like the breath of a Balrog
Blowing through
The caves of Khazad-dûm.

Despair and dehydration
Drains the strength
Of even the flowers
In the field.

Destruction
Through overexposure
To life-giving forces.

Only in the darkness of night
Is there hope.

8/9/18

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Under the Sídhe

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Outside the cities
Under the cairn covered
Hollow hills of Eire,
The Aes Sídhe sit
In mansions bigger
Than the hills
They’re built under.

Driven underground
By the sons of Mil,
As they took the island
From distant cousins.
Naming their new home
In honor of the enemy
They worshiped
Among the oak groves.

Driven underground,
But not the dark damp
Underground of worms, bugs,
And corpses.
Nor the dark black
Caverns of Twerg miners.
Not even the cozy comfort
Of a well furnished
Hobbit hole.
Rather, underground:
Otherside of everywhere,
Inside of the outside,
Parallel to our perception,
Adjacent to reality,
An island covered
In apple trees.

Driven underground
By the followers of
A jealous foreign god,
Who’d brook no rivals.
An enemy more
Cunning and subtle
Than any Formorian,
An incursion not recorded
In the Book of Invasions,
Which was redacted
By the victors.

Driven underground
And diminished
In substance and size,
Demoted
From Gods
To kings,
From physical
Forces of nature
To ephemeral,
Transparent
Fairies and sprites,
Fallen angels
Cast out of the light.
Lucky little leprechauns
Hording pots of gold
At the rainbow’s end,
Or a rainbow of marshmallows
And sugar filled
Cereal bowls
For your breakfast table.

Outside,
Under the hollow hills of Eire.
The Aes Sídhe sit
And wait.

7/28-8/3/18

Note:
Sídhe is pronounced “shee”

Drifting

Drifting down the docks at night
In someone else’s clothes.
The passers by look right through me
As they wander to and fro.

Walking through dark dim light
Trusting my feet to fate,
Pulling me unwillingly from the reservoir
Back to the interstate.

Road weary, body aching,
Looking for the way back home.
Head is dizzy, hands are numb
The world fades into monochrome.

Battered black and white photos,
Yellow tapes corners, crooked on the page
Men with old fashioned hats and fear in their eyes
Barely concealing the white man’s racist rage.

Burning houses and burning crosses
Smoke fills the ebony skies,
Bloodied brown faces look up
To see a hood covering all but the coward’s eyes.

Walking relentlessly down
That dusty old Dixie Highway
Moving further and further away from
Woody Guthrie’s sacred golden sky-way.

Hitchhiking highway in dim light,
Unsure if its dusk or dawn,
Quietly humming a happy tune
From an old Big Bill Broonzy song.

7/17-7/26/18

Notions – tanka

Held oh so tightly
The most peculiar notions
’til knuckles are white.
Views must change to fit the facts,
Facts can’t change to fit your views.

7/24/18

My response to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 94, “Beliefs & Strange,” #SynonymsOnly.

A Senryu on Writer’s Block

Words are not flowing
The ink is dry in the well
I am struck speechless.

7/17/18

Inspiration – a tanka

The Nine Muses

Pen put to paper,
Record the gifts of the Muse,
Scribbled in frenzies,
Possessed hand cramped and swollen
Until the thought is finished

7/17/18

Response to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 93, “Inspiration & Plan,” #SynonymsOnly.

Image is a detail from a 2nd Century Roman sarcophagus depciting the 9 Muses and thier symbols. They are, from left to right:Clio (history), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Erato (love poetry), Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry),  Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), Calliope (epic poetry), Terpsichore (dance), Urania (astronomy) and Melpomene (tragedy).

Found at WikiMedia Commons.

Indie Blu(e) Welcomes John W. Leys — INDIE BLU(E)

Very honored to be included among the talented indie-authors at Indie Blu(e)

John W. Leys is an indie poet/author from Redmond, Oregon. He currently posts his work on his blog Darkness of His Dreams, which he started in 2016. John has been writing poetry since he was 14 years old and has had his work published in a variety of small publications, including Omnibus—the literary journal of the […]

via Indie Blu(e) Welcomes John W. Leys — INDIE BLU(E)

Spellbound – Tanka

Spellbound, enchanted
Words of a cherished poet,
A salve for the soul,
Caressed by holy verses
Writ on pages now yellow.

7/12/18

 My response to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge NO. 92, “Bewitch & Treasure,” #SynonymsOnlyColleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge NO. 92, “Bewitch & Treasure,” #SynonymsOnly.

Bran the Blessed

Bran, blessed crow,
Revered raven,
Son of the seas,
Brother of Branwen,
Defender of honor,
Keeper of the cauldron
Of life.

Gave Branwen’s hand
In marriage to Eriu’s land,
Revoked once the abuse
Of the King was clear.

After the battle
That broke his sister’s heart,
His disembodied head,
Cleaved from his neck
By a friend,
Talking and joking,
Keeping his comrades company
On the long
Journey home.

After 87 years
The sorrow settles in.
A silent head
Laid to rest
Under the White Hill,
Gazing toward Gaul,
Protecting and defending
Even in death.

7/6-7/7/18

Eriu’s Isle – a Tanka

Northwest of Prydein
Enchanted Emerald Isle,
On the border ‘tween
This land and the other-world,
From which the Banshees still wail.

7/3/18

My response to COLLEEN’S WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 91, “Magic & Green,” #SYNONYMSONLYCOLLEEN’S WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 91, “Magic & Green,” #SYNONYMSONLY.