All posts tagged poetry

the defense rests

this work is from the collection of poems called “living in epiphany” ©2000. to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

The Defense Rests

Exhibit 1 – Bell Jar

I am alone, and I am waiting, the world around me turning,
And I’ve sealed my heart inside me in an apothecary jar.
There is peace inside this stillness, in the endless day’s unwindings,
For even though I know you’re out there I still don’t know who you are.

Exhibit 2 – Wind Chime

The chimes are ringing and you stand there. Your hands are brushing snow off.
The glass inside me is exploding with apocalyptic force.
And you’re smiling and you’re speaking while my knees beneath me shaking
For in the face of my denial I now know it’s you, of course.

Exhibit 3 – Soap

There is fear in this, and loathing, despite the torrid hope that’s building,
And with soap I want to wash this clean and make it whole and pure.
But your eyes have now misread me. You misunderstood the trembling
And we crossed the line unheeding that, for this, there is no cure.

Exhibit 4 – Willow Tree

I am alone, and I am trying to make sense of all this crying,
And to live with your denial while I sit beneath our tree.
For your face keeps reappearing, and the world around me bending,
For as much as I keep leaving something leads you back to me.

Exhibit 5 – Stones

We have talked all night. It’s morning, and I watch you while you’re sleeping,
While the pain of our forgiveness collects inside me like a cairn.
For although we spoke of loving, of compassion and of learning,
Something deep inside us both knows that these empty fields are barren.

Exhibit 6 – Ring

With this ring I to you promise that this hope is not for nothing,
That one day we’ll rise above this and our hearts and souls fly free.
But although we are together, I just cannot see forever
In your eyes, and this is binding me to something that can’t be.

Exhibit 7 – Box

I am alone, and I am empty. The box beside me now is waiting
For the things that once meant us to us, the objects we adored.
We made promises, and broke them, and both love and hate were spoken.
My defense, sir, is this token. I cannot love you anymore.

l.t. dougherty 1999

untitled

this work is from the collection of poems called “living in epiphany” ©2000. to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

I could bring down the sun
to burn by your bed
I could hollow a hole in the sea
I could build you a castle
of ribbons and shells
but I cannot make you love me.

I could carry your children
I could carry your debts
I could carry your grief and your pain
I could carry the wind
in a brown paper bag
but I cannot carry my shame.

I could tear down these buildings
and carve out a pond
I could fill in the space with my tears
I could weave you a garden
with the length of my hair
but I can’t live without you there.

I could fill you with stories
to make Schezerade weep
I could sing them all down on my knees
I could tie all the stars
in a knot for your wrist
but I cannot make you love me.

l.t. dougherty 1998

epitaph

this work is from the collection of poems called “living in epiphany” ©2000. to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

Epitaph

I place flowers on the grave of you
most every single day
even though I know you live
but half a mile away.

l.t. dougherty 1998

the spaceman’s last question

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

The Spaceman’s Last Question

Do we dream in the icy stasis-state?
Do we dream when the heart beats hours apart?
When we close our eyes in cryonic sleep
do the images still float and flow?

Do we dream as the years go floating by,
do the landscapes unfold to the mind’s frozen eye?
Do we picture our loved ones, our hated ones, those
who indifferently wander around in our sky?

Is it like sleeping or is it like death,
or is it the shadowland hung in between?
As we float between stars in our small metal barge,
do we dream, and when woken remember those dreams?

l.t. dougherty 1997

 

a simple explanation

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

A Simple Explanation

it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…

a little angst for breakfast
and a coat around my soul
i wrote you poems in the bathtub
and i carved a little hell
in the back of the big mirror
that i hung beneath your sigh
but it was never more than nothing
it was never more than something
sometimes it could be anything
this lie

it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…

you called yourself an angel
and i met you in the sky
i held you up against the sun
and melted you in rhyme
is poetry the end of reason?
let’s be practical, we said
but it was never more than nothing
it was never more than something
sometimes it could be anything
what we read

it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…

now i hate you, no i love you
you’re a band-aid on my heart
you’re a coda, you’re a symbol
you’re a shaped and subtle art
of the retelling of my secrets
into something huge and fake
but it was never more than nothing
it was never more than something
sometimes it could be anything
a mistake

it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…

doff my hat and seal the box
buy another deadbolt lock
wrap it up in masking tape
call it just a willing rape
tell the world it wasn’t you
deny, destroy, rebuild anew
fuck you all and jesus too

but…

It was never more than nothing
it was never more than something
it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…
It was never more than nothing
but sometimes it felt like everything
like the world upon my shoulders
like an ancient chinese secret
like a rocket, like a hammer
like an angel in the rain.

l.t. dougherty 1996

old lover

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

Old Lover

his face
crossed the room
like a curse.

my cigarette bound me
to this small section of
space
and i tried to remember
frantic
how to leave inconspicuously
and failed.

wearing my best face,
i could only wait for his greeting
hoping i did not appear
dressed in bedsheets
and welcoming.

l.t. dougherty 1996

bad karma

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

Bad Karma

how do i hate thee?
let me count the ways…
i hate you like oil hates water
like acid hates bleach
like a really really really bad virus.

i hate you from the
deepest
blackest
festering
pits
of my soul,
from the places where i grow
gangrene
pus
warts
and hangnails.

i hate you
with every atomic fiber
of my body;
my teeth
my hair
my bones
wish for your destruction
with every breath
that fills my lungs
i ache for your undoing.

my children would hate you
were they more than unconcieved ideas;
my ancestors curse your living flesh
with their dusty jealous lips;
i have trained my cat
to pee on the clothes
you left on the bathroom floor,
and i re-routed your mail to tasmania
yesterday.

i hate you so much
if you stood on my doorstep
and cried
for your wrongs
and begged for me
to take you back,
i would.

l.t. dougherty  1996

this mourning

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

This Mourning

This mourning
wears me
like a blanket,
stretched i am
around my grief;
this mourning
wears your name
like twilight
wears the day gone by.

This mourning
is a box that closes
a puzzle-box
of endless latches,
this mourning
gives me small surprises
wrapped in chains of tiny lies.

This mourning
is the sun not shining,
your eyes not shining like the sun;
this mourning
is the lying down of two
who wake as one.

l.t. dougherty  1997

angels song

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

Angels Song

In the ivy cloaked quiet
the grey will close around me
and you may never find me again
here
I will curl against the leaden hart
and rest beneath his belly
sleep upon his shoulders.

No, the wind did not speak
of your coming
Stone voices silence,
blindness is no stranger.
I would lie amid the freesia with you
but fear your rennaissance noise.

Still,
we shall speak no more of this;
I will bury my heart
beneath the rosebushes
and cry in the pool
beneath the trees.
Turn left,
because the hart turns left,
and I will sleep beneath the lichen
my face against the clouds.

You may search
at the hospital for wounded angels
where I’ll be trying on
new wings.

l.t. dougherty  1990

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