Saturday, February 02, 2008

CONTIGO

Contigo

I like the way your arms enfold me
And your body rests so gently on mine
Or the way angles and curves enclose each other
And merge into become one never ending whole
I like the way our unacquainted tongues meld
in sweet unison
Speaking the same language
. . . for once . . .
even understanding
I like the way we come home to nest
After a long day’s work
Wanting no more but to sit
Enfolding each other
Listening to the steady beat
Of the metronome within
We swim in style toward feelers outstretched
I like the way we cross time and space
And oceans deep
To flow together
In the silent memory of God

© Kalypsoul
12.14.05

PATHS CROSS

Just one of those days . . .
Locked in a gaze . . .
A-maze . . .
We meet . . .
We greet . . .

For a reason . . . every reason
A season . . . all seasons

One precious moment
Of serenity
I see
The timelessness of you and me
Merge into
Vast eternity

Fathomless . . .
Like the mind of God
Boundless . . .
Like His love

Now you . . .

Reach across . . .
Raging ocean of tranquil blue-tea
In whose depths still our forefathers lie
Tearful children of the sea
Yearning for life-giving unity
With Nzinga . . . and Zuwena . . . and Yaa
There in lush green Mwafrika

Glide on, stately and pacific
Across the measureless Atlantic
Realm of Papa Dambala
And the mysterious Yemanja

Skim over foam-whipped peak
And fog-dipped bleak

Ride on, dusky thane
The wind, your silent, fleet-footed steed
Fly on, majestic eagle
Full-fledged and free
Master of all you see
Sail on the ocean breeze

Was it only yesterday
Those laughing eyes
Probed my depths
Unmasked my lies
Seeing all
Sweeping all
Intense . . .
Peeling back layers
Of hard-nosed pretense

‘Til trembling core
Laid bare
Of fear . . .
Of never wanting to care. . .
To feel . . .
To yield
To need . .
To concede . . .

Lying dormant
Almost dead
Tiny seed
Dry, withered, buried deep
‘Neath mounds of driven snow
Not wanting to grow . . .
Never needing to know . . .

Until You . . .

Watered by the well Spring
Of your vibrant soul
Warmed by the Sun-blast
Of your searing touch
Wooed by the Son-shine
Of your calming smile . . .
Wakening . . . wondering . . .
Wanting . . . ever so much

And so . . .

At break of dawn
A Rose is born
Radiant . . .
Quivering . . .
Fragrant . . .
Giving . . .
Tender petals in awe unfurl
Open to this strange, new, world

Engaging floods of furious rain . . .
Embracing storms of blinding pain . . .

Endearing rays of blazing light . . .
Enfolding walls of starless night . . .

Enthralled by all
Encompassing all

Whatever the season . . .
Needing no reason . . .

To love . . .
To live . . .
To be . . .

At last
Enjoying . . .
The immensity
Of . . .
Me



******



The most beautiful gardens bloom
In the heart

In your eyes and in your smile
My soul finds its resting place
And
Is refreshed


©Kalypsoul
8/8/99

PRINCESS

Princesses and kings-to-be
throwing coins to vain peasant seed
blowing streams of kisses
lapping up their every cheer
then palace-ward again

pillows drenched in blood and tears
hands twisted,wrung
hung out to dry
billowing sheets no longer white
stains of grief indelible

lives wasted lost forever
to human tenderness
joy and laughter
now forced memory like pearls forgot
of tallow grease aged,long cold


hearts lily frail
weeks-old, sere and dusty brown
faded images of togetherness
freedom, happiness, serenity
of soaring birds and grassy green

shimmering crystal droplets
perched in dazzling tentativity
upon delicately veined petals of yellow rose
watching the ripples play
hide and seek across the bay

wondering where do they go
where did it all go?
I too had it once, I know I did
eons and eons ago
then saw it all slip away

drip, drip, drip
ruddy drop following ruddy drop
while I stood helpless
marvelling at its beauty
Tell me

can it ever come again?
can we forever smile?

© Kalypsoul
09.15. 1997

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

AGENCY

AGENCY


All around me the clawing tentacles of darkest night swirl, jeering,
taunting, laughing at my indiscretion, hurling contemptuous invectives at me, pelting pellets of scorn by the handful, plunging me deeper into that mire of shame.

Did I kill him?
Absolutely.


And yet, I feel no guilt, no shame. My eyes focus on the center of the deepening vortex, the tiny bubbles of diaphanous, ethereal, kaleidoscopic color floating their way up to nuzzle my face, to cuddle me in their spreading warmth. Despite myself I smile, a smile that grows exponentially, finally bursting into peals of laughter. Laughter not cackling with evil, but effervescing into joy . . deep, soul-felt joy.

I used to love him once.
Even more than I loved me.


A love that knows no bounds. We sit side by side on the beach, burning skin touching burning skin, merging as one into the moonlight, listening to every gurgle, every gush, every tumble, every bellow, every crash as gentle swash produces powerful swell, breaks into a million pieces in the height of ecstasy and reproduces itself all over again. We tentatively touch and explore, seeking to recreate the movement of the waves. Natural perfection.

Yeah, we used to love each other then.


But seasons change and summer slips into fall. Then honey-dipped smiles turn down their corners, grit their teeth and grimace. She . . . silvery-tongued She . . . holds out a full, nectar-coated teat to him and greedily he drinks her in. And fall eases itself into winter. Leaves shrivel up, turn brown and dry, then die in the glorious afterglow, and we stand stripped bare of those fashionable threads we wear. Seeing for the first time the barrenness of our naked souls. Stark white and ugly. Then comes that December time when love lays itself down all feathered in the first whiffs of snow, and drifts calmly off to sleep. Then ushers in the freeze and limbs grow stiff.

I didn’t even know him then.

And winter rapes the very soul of summer hope. Slashes and burns and lays waste every once sun-kissed tree. Landscape rolls bare as far as the eyes could see. Huge mounds of ice hide red, ebbing heart that bleeds itself into frigidity, casting silent pleas of help to ears that fail to hear and eyes that cannot see.

Then what had he become to me?

The hunter’s report, the reaper’s scythe, the bulldozer’s roar, romping delight on freshly covered, petal-strewn grave, then stomping it some more.

So yes, I killed him.

I put an end to his charade, hastened love’s transition to that place called forgetfulness where only healing, no harm exists. I took his lame excuse for love, folded it carefully and tucked it eons far away. Now it lies cold below six plus feet of tainted earth, where it can neither feel nor flirt, nor feed nor on occasion hurt.

I killed him . . . and . . . so what?

Yes I feel neither shame nor guilt. You see it was either him or me. I killed him so that I could be. A reasonable choice, you must agree. So yes, I stand before you now, alive, joyous, and finally free, after a million years of misery, able for once just to be . . . me . . . simply because . . .

I killed my memory.

And I don’t give a s*** if history doesn’t absolve me.


© Kalypsoul
11.23.07

LABOR DAY

LABOR DAY

There will always be a Brooklyn
Greener pastures with saloon doors
On hinges that swing
This way and that
But do not conceal
Tall rawhide boots with silver spurs
A mouth-twisting, cigarette-dangling, gut-wrenching drawl
A holster slung low
And a trigger finger spinning
Its hardware like a dancing top

And yes,
There will always be
A brand new set of hundred n something sneakers
And boot cut jeans
And another ghetto-fab designer name
Splashed across scrawny chest
That heaves faster and faster
With each thought of
Colder, more glamorous climes
Of mistletoe and red-necked reindeer
And jolly old Saint Nicks
Stockings hanging laden from
Every mantelpiece
And crisp bright crackling fireplaces
And yes, molten marshmallow dangling from the end of sticks

And there will always be
Another cheap hooker-turned-PrettyWoman
With pinned up skirt, big hair and down-home crawl
Lingering defiantly
In the tropical blackness of the air
Eyes bright with hope
Glistening like so many dancing notes
On a tenor pan
Looking skyward
At yet another
Giant metal bird
Winging its way
To
Yet another
Brooklyn


Eyes that turn their noses up
At the tattered clothes of
Yet another wizened bum
Sprawled off
Sunning dirt-caked, all-exposed backside
On faded-green, paint-peeling bench
In Woodford Square
Thinking of the time
When he, too, lived the Brooklyn dream
But that was long ago
Long before the shackles snapped
And dropped him plump
In the middle of
This god-forsaken land
A land long forgot by time
Without a dime
And even longer before
He turned to
Very very petty crime
Yes
All in good time
While he still listened
To Valentino sing
“Trinidad is nice, Trinidad is a paradise.”
While young upstarts
Bushy-tailed and starry-eyed
Spend their only blue
On gilded grill
And crystal bling
And conjure up
Grandiose schemes
Of their very own
Brooklyn

Exploitation
Sexploitation
Touristication
no vindication
Yes
There will always be
For every immigrant- wannabe
Another
Brooklyn

But not for me

I don’t care if it never ever again have
Another Brooklyn
Cause in Brooklyn
No pretty glitter costume
no blue-painted, tail-wagging devils band
could ever look the same
or
feel the same
no headpiece
could fit so smooth
or look so good
cause there the sun does broil not blaze
to a cool 107 in the shade
and it does take that Yankee drawl
and gangsta hip-hop swagger
right outa your crawl
cause even when it hot it so damn cold
yuh cyah even jump chip or break away
an even yuh soul does feel so old
yes, even on Labor Day

Yes, yuh see
In Brooklyn
It ent have no doubles, chip-chip or boil corn vendor
Not even slashed-to-perfection-with one-cutlass-swipe coconut water
It ent have no parang, no chutney-soca
No Panorama, nor Grand Savannah
No Skinner Park, no bake n shark
No Maracas Bay on Ash Wednesday
No words like obzokee, ramajay,
mirasmie or tootoolbay
It ent even have Papa Bois or Sukuya
No La Djablesse or GanGan Sara

Yes, it hard . . . it real hard
Here every little joy does only have las lap
Every grand entrance call only final clap

Yes, I may be old, ugly an on top o dat, duncey
But it go take more dan greenbacks to fool me
Yuh see . . .
I know why dey call It Labor Day
So I ent goin no damn way
Plus I ent have nutten to prove
Mih name ent Stella an ah ent lorse no groove
Yes, I love mih lil country
Where talk ent jus cheap . .
It totally free
Where every taxi driver, every lime,r is a politician
Every sus-su or whe-whe banker a mathematician
In every street-corner shit-talker is a philosopher
An every black-hen chicken could be prime minister
Every dog an he sister could wave dey manifesto
Cause is always party time in Trinbago
Yes
Times may be hard, real, real hard
But dat doh mean ah want any damn green card
To tell de honest to goodness truth
Yuh see right there at de very root
Of dat same silk cotton tree
Is where my navel string done bury
So alien ent mih identity
I jus here in body only
Cause my yaad
Go always be
“Sweet, sweet Trinidad . . . “


©Kalypsoul
12/19/07

COCOYEA BROOM

Cocoyea Broom

And kids plucking out one by one
The few stray weeds. . .
I dream of papa lying there
with gray mustache and striped pajamas
hands clasped in final payer
like it never was in life. . .

I dream of mama
Frail and weak
But laughing singing and downing a glass of Old Oak
in one gulp
Puffing a pipe
And drinking a demi-tasse of café
Black and strong . . .

I remember
The festive strains of parang music
Cuatro, box base, mandolin
Hoarse cracked voices
With toothless grins
Bare feet and stained overalls
Coco-panyol day off
Black cake and pastelles
Ham and aguinaldos
serenals
Ponche-a-crema
And mucho mucho café
Full-skirted swirling dances
And appliquéd alpagatas. . .

I remember her raspy smoke-filled voice
Her trembling hands
Barely able to hold a flame to cigarette
dangling from pursed lips
strong veined hands
counting money from her shop . . .
holding down the fort
long after he was just a distant memory
long after all that was left of him
was that strange bump on his forehead . . .
and his gray felt hat
as gray as the satin lined box in which he lay. . .

I remember her holding us close to her
Huddled faces hidden in black and white
polka dotted skirt
screaming into muffling folds
where are they taking him?

I remember how
Smiles were all we had. . . .
watching it all through stained glass windows
on the world
Watching how life and death
Danced merrily with each other
As grandmothers continued to pick rice
As children never paused at play . . . .

Everything . . .
Was so simple then . . .

Simple, bare and swept clean
With
Cocoyea broom.

©Kalypsoul
10.21.07

Tiptoe

TIP-TOE

It was BIG, too!
Not huge –
for folks like you,
but to me -
yes, siree!
More than we could ever fill
And I was thrilled,
so thrilled that we
had to agree to. . .

Tip-toe, tip-toe gingerly
around his-story
in order to be.. .

divest myself urgently
of all that delineated me
shave head clean, for sure
change of nomenclature,
kill that mother twang,
forget all the latest slang
purify my very skin
from the likes of kith and kin,
ropa nueva was the price
acceptance of another Christ.

And it was clean
And so so green,
the kind you see
in fantasy
and envy’s eyes
romanticize.
And spot-out free.

And Yet . . .

Almost instantly,
engulfing me,
encapsulatingly,
enclosing mean Sargasso slime
pilfering rhythm and rhyme
force-feeding frenzy
gurgling gutter- a- lly.
Such indecent brevity
luna de miel sin honeybee.

Everywhere
A thousand sneers
grubby hands dart and dare
to sully this
unforced pair
of wistful bliss.
Mango pulp lips,
To caress and kiss.
And finally to slip
juicy ripened joyousness
onto warm expectant tongue.
Waiting too damn long. . .

But not raped uncut
from milky teat,
wasted life
on darkened street.
Rough shod in charge
on gutted stones –
with bruising,
unforgiving tones.

Tip-toe tip-toe silently
Even surreptitiously
Around, about, and in-between,
Safe from Mr Squeaky Clean.
No shut eye, no rock-back rest
No put’ em up, no lean-back fest
Must see the risen sun.

So I
had to just
up and run.
No backward gaze.
No time to laze
No shoes, no cardigan,
and such.
No contact lens, no keys, no watch
Under the gun,
Just had to run.

Until I
could breathe the air
of just one damn day without fear.
In country lane
And fluted panes
of tender scenes
and evergreen
where fairy queen
and lovers preen
adoringly.

Isn’t it fun-ny
how ‘tread carefully’
becomes
redundancy
when. . .
at last. . .
you are
FREE?


©Kalypsoul
05.06.07