Tag Archives: Villanelle

Unreal.

“Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.” G. Washington

How did everything real come to be so long ago?
Those days of dragons and dreams, before language twisted,
beating hearts into four-cornered boxes to hold woe,

torquing cooling glass that shatters. These are the slo-mo
days of Babylon, when we spark, flare, tower, hiss …
How did everything real come to be so long ago?

Torches were real, once, before guttering down to glows,
and now this fans them back to flame, coal by coal, encysted,
charring hearts into four-cornered boxes to hold woes,

answers hammered into broken questions, … so it goes.
Divided and whole all at once … it’s what existed.
How did everything real come to be so long ago?

Now unreality carves strange curves, distorted, slow;
shadows limp as if beaten down, while we’ve resisted
beating hearts into four-cornered boxes to hold woe,

saying, no!, these are not the places we want to go,
the crowds, soldiers, sadness, fears uplifted & fisted …
How did everything real come to be so long ago,
beating hearts into four-cornered boxes to hold woe?

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Weather Villanelle

The radar is hot with orange and red —
“High winds, large hail,” the announcer drones.
The coming storm feels sluggish and edged.

We waited for hours, now time for bed.
Worried about sleeping, my son moans.
The radar is hot with orange and red,

Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Detroit form a wedge
of suffocating air, windborne “stones.”
The coming storm feels sluggish and edged —

my mind is buzzing with words unsaid,
disordered fragments echoed alone.
The radar is hot with orange and red.

Outside mourning dove nestlings have fledged,
but the next batch of eggs are building bones.
The coming storm feels sluggish and edged.

“Turn off the lights,” my dad always said,
now it’s computers whose circuits could blow.
The radar is hot with orange and red —
the coming storm feels sluggish and edged.