Gospel of the Golden Hour

In the distance, rain clouds
drop millions of miniature prisms
as they march upon Mechanicville.
But it isn’t the Sunday afternoon
shower catching my attention.
As too little sleep dims my vision,
today closes its solar eye
over the rooftops behind me.
I cast a shadow a furlong eastward,
seemingly reaching for the trees
that glisten as they breathe in
the southwest breeze.
They’ve taken on a flaxen glow,
like a coterie of Fox News bunnies
beaming into their key lights.
They’re fair in the balanced
auric light, a photographer’s dream,
turning them into brilliant beings
of otherworldly luminescence.
The rain’s turned into an inclusive
rainbow spanning the Hudson,
while I turn to the west and
am enlightened, my face taking on
a glowing mask of a rapturous mien.
It’s as if all of us have been touched
by a greater power at this, the Golden Hour.
And that’s Real News.

This was one of those allegedly inspired pieces that drew me out of what I was doing and demanded to be written before it was lost in the darkness. I’m not saying it was a divine inspiration or even one of any importance. The premise/hook/true subject didn’t occur to me until I finished the first draft, which this, for all intent, is. But the trees really did look like a bunch of hyperventilating blondes heaving their bosoms in the glow of the Golden Hour, which seems some sort of blessing for those of us who view such light as a gift from above. And I mean more than 93,000,000 miles above. Photo © Joseph A. Hesch 2016

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Thirty-Nine Over A Hundred

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It seems not long ago
when I traded a life
of deep dark for one
in the twilight with you.
These shadows have always
towered over me, just as
I’ve always dragged them.
I just wish I didn’t
shift them onto Us when
You and I became We.
In the dim light, you pled
not to hurt you.
I didn’t, but it seems
I’ve done not much but
hurt since then.
It’s my darkness,
these cursed shadows,
they dim my sight
and I race headlong
into pain, its burden
holding tight against
the light you shine
to cast them away.

The title? Don’t ask, ’cause I ain’t telling’… 
…As if I know.

The Sharp Edge of Day

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Breeze combs out the trees’ bed head,
while maple leaves, catching low
morning sun on their top sides,
bob up and down as if dawn’s light
carries weight in addition to
blinding strength.
Dew refracts the sharp edge of day
into millions of diamonds, tiny gemstones,
precious, yet soft as morning kisses.
A hunger-emboldened rabbit, piston legs
slowly pushing out of the shadows,
finds a twig full of sun-laden leaves,
consuming their light like that cloud
the breeze pushes south to north
will eat the sun’s. But not before
late-hunting owl’s taloned shadow
takes rabbit’s light first.

This piece, persistent as dawn through an east-facing window, broke up a potential nap I really needed today. I can always sleep tomorrow.

Nothing Beats Nothing

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The light must’ve played tricks
with my eyes. But my eyes were
always so gullible when they
wanted to be.

They can spot a phony like a dog
can sniff out an escaped con.
But, with a blink and my mind’s wink,
I could believe you’re there before me.

Or they could believe the lie
when you were. Perhaps that’s why
the dark, so scary in my youth,
emerged my ally as an adult.

In the dark there are no illusionist’s tricks.
There’s just the truth of nothing.
And dark nothing beats dazzling nothing
standing right in front of you.

Didn’t want to write a poem today, but storyteller Joe didn’t wish to play in prose. Maybe, now that this verse-type scab’s torn off, that other kind of story might allow its telling.

Emotional Ecdysiast

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With his five o-‘clock shadow and
jiggling belly, with most of his sense of shame
left in the pocket of a terry cloth robe
hanging just off-stage, the poet once again
danced bare-ass from his bald spot down
lit in the spotlight he personally aimed
from the cheap seats of the Internet.
The voices in his head, the winds
of imagined storms, the reports of cannon,
cracks of a pistol, a baseball bat,
a ten-year-old’s twisted forearm,
they drown out any sounds he might hear
from the invisible audience.

It’s not that the light blinds him to their
existence, or that he closes his eyes
whenever he thumps across the stage
wearing nothing but pasted-on metaphors
and transparent hopes of recognition;
he now only looks within because
he’s already seen what’s out there.
And what’s out there is a mirror
reflecting a mirror, reflecting a mirror,
infinitely trading him for him,
them for them and all for one another.

Tinsmith

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Tinware Desk Lamp, late 1930s, Bandelier National Monument.
Made by a Civilian Conservation Corps tinsmith.
Photo via Wikipedia

The bristles of his broom brushed
the debris of a life from the entrance
to his old house.
Though the mat in the doorway
lay stained, showing years of
his dark tread, scuffed, like
a permanent shadow, you could
still make out a message:
COME.
This is where he entered his apprenticeship,
learning a craft, like that of a tinsmith, transforming
new emotions, base as pieces of cheap metal,
into shining lamps to light this new path,
so others might enter. He hangs each
new piece near his old heart’s door.
The one with a new mat that whispers
COME.

Poem #16 (sorry, life really got in the way) of Poem- (nearly) a -Day NaPoWriMo 2015.

Reflection Upon a Winter Night

Daily Shoot 12.18.09: Flame

Flame (Photo credit: incanus)

Once was a time when twinkling
candle lights in the windows
could warm even this wintered soul
enough to carry it until green
was a living thing again. Tonight
it lies in that long, bloodless moment.
It reflects this pallid season of giving,
these abbreviated journal entries of light
pressed between the covers
of yards and yards of velvet night.

What will it take to poke awake
any remaining embers to a smolder,
breathe ill-remembered fires
to the merest crackle of being?
You brush my hand, lacy, absent-minded,
barely noticed, and an old sensation
swims up to what passes for a heart.
The corner of my mind reflects glimmer,
its own Light in the East. Veins sense
a temperate pulse, gifts of a life.

And you’ve saved me. Again.

© Joseph Hesch 2013