The Unicorn Curse

O friend, have you yet to meet
the unicorns in their froth-maned flock?
Hooves of onyx, fierce and fleet
and their hides pale white like marble block.
Fear them, O friend, and their gaze,
their eyes like pure-polished porcelain
that flinch not from brightest rays
or from any malign course of sin.
They look like frolicking steeds
galloping across the Springtime plains
alike to many horse breeds,
but they will suffer no mount or reins.
Suffer! To suffer, indeed!
For they bridle a man’s life instead,
as they did me, and mislead,
like a mug of witch brew to the head.
Their aspect is not equine,
but headed like babes but a year old,
and their hearts are not divine,
but unfeeling, cruel, deathly cold.
But what favor they show oft
to virgins who dare to travel far
to touch such a mane…pure…soft…
following Virgo, from star to star!
But what of virgins oft said
to be honored among these pure things?
Come, if you dare; lay your head
in their laps and see how their touch brings
a curse such as no man wants,
such a curse of loveless wanderlust
until ones memory haunts
the lonely years, one’s youth gone to rust.

Insectoidisms

The honeypot ant stores its trove
in its abdomen, bloating, fat, swollen as if
to burst,
engorged like a water balloon
stuck to the faucet head,
distended with cornucopian liquid
until the workers gather round
in the winter months,
to feed from the golden stores
that they offered from their wages
to feed in their time of need,
like honeydew welfare,
feeding until the honeypotis
shriveled
like a government in deficit
until the times of plenty return
and they distend again,
growing large, but not truly
excessive,
stuffed by the workers once again
for the winter months that will return,
that will always return.

The caterpillar grubs along the
tree branch, crawling, toiling,
nibbling at the summer foliage,
working to weave a womb to
birth itself again,
to take to flight on beautiful wings
and vacation in sunnier climes
away from its former life of inch-by-inch
drudgery, to
drink nectar not unlike the gods,
but only if he is born on the right branch,
only if he is not eaten by birds, by
spiders, by wasps, by
circumstance,
consumed from within by parasitic worms,
and then, even if his metamorphosis
succeeds
he can splatter across a chrome grill
on highways of speed and tech and
luxury
he could never have dreamed of.

But look at the dung beetle,
obsessed with his toil,
covetous of his dung, of his
stinking heaps as he
tiptoe-sprints like some absurd
Sisyphus
or, perhaps, Atlas,
shoving the bowel-ball along its way
as if it is his own
Shirikodama;
he is a Prime Mover,
in a manner of speaking,
his whole world before him,
reeking with conceit, his conceits
rolled-up before him until he is
blind to all else but his
Randian preoccupation,
paranoid with his pretense
that his fecal ball
is the world itself.

Kentucky Roads

Kentucky roads ambush one another,
around oak-cluttered, cedar-posted curves,
headlong fighting, brother against brother,
as your car dips down vales, winds up hills, swerves
around and down, uphill and corkscrewing,
the roads colliding, tamer roads ending
in perpendicular paths, forks skewing
as if led by goats, drunken and wending;
as if planned by the Hatfields and McCoys,
neither knowing much about pathfinding,
except for feuds, grievances and their ploys
to destroy the other, their wrath blinding,
blinding like the blind hills through Kentucky,
startling even the locals with their twists,
with their turns, the morning drivers lucky
to avoid deer in the deceptive mists.
But there is beauty amidst the dangers
and beauty born from the dangers, likewise,
the roads like those mysterious strangers
given to mood-swings, those who dive and rise
in such quiet, unassuming stretches
that surprise, like secret boozers abed
who drink themselves crazy, the sad wretches
hidden away in hollows, each booze-head
rousing at once with a start, with a heart
palpitating in staccato, offbeat,
off the beaten path, or lounging apart,
a crumbling road far from maintained Main Street.
And there are snatches of flowers afield,
wild-flower peripheries, the speckling
of confused colors while the old road yields
to green sprawls, winds in tall grasses heckling,
jeering the roads on in manic delight,
daring their frolicks, their serpentine ire,
threading the Bluegrass with an asphalt bite
that kills bikers, motorists, tricks a tire
to slide and drift on the loose gravel bits
washed from driveways when rain falls like a tide,
and the railless bluffs, the potholes and pits
that buck cars and throw them to the wayside.

Sheathed In Silk

Unsuspected, the blade sheathed in soft silk,
as we blindfold ourselves with the attire
of kinder roles, as if kin to the ilk
of angels whose white wings often aspire
toward toplofty clouds, though we steal from
the calf its milk, or the lambkin its veal,
to render the comforts of our kingdom;
the wool, the cream, the calfskin, each filling meal.

How stained are our hands with the coins we snatch
from the pouch we slit in a neighbor’s throat,
that crimson pouch without zipper or patch,
which, once opened, now gapes as the scapegoat
sacrificed to devils for devotions
while we bleat like innocent lambs lined up
for slaughter—Bravo!  Our martyr notions
would have us, shameless, on such scapegoats sup!

But lo! The blade betrays its brutal truth,
reflecting killer in a crimson sheen,
the guilty stained with victim blood, forsooth,
and not so easy a thing to scrub clean,
nor does silk conceal the guilt wrought therefrom,
but bleeds through, leaking for all to see
lest the witness make blindfold wherefrom
anointed he, too, is likewise guilty.

Shun the shade! Forfeit the silk! Forsake yet
the dagger and rending the bloody purse!
Abandon evil, its comforts, forget
aught else lest you reap the tannery’s curse!
Such a world is for scapegraces alone
and its light illumes by human tallow
while the eyes flinch from what is thereby shown,
sheathed in silk alike to Justice, fallow.

Ambition

I was as the candle quite bright
in the corner, amidst cobwebs,
aflame, yet misplaced in the night;
alike tallow as its glob ebbs.

My tallow dribbled down to aught,
the flame fed by a finite host,
burning the wick away to naught—
no more, now, than a smoky ghost.

The bright light I gave was unseen,
lit only in neglected nooks,
and though I burned both bright and keen,
I commanded no second looks.

Forgotten, forlorn, extinguished,
a puddle lax in the drip pan,
melted by the ambitions wished
to be illumed within my span.

Yet, I burned nonetheless…so bright,
if only for sake of burning,
giving it my all for a light
meaningless in toil and learning.