SIMPLE PLEASURES ELUDE ME LIKE FIREFLIES
By Shirley Jones-Luke
Simple Pleasures Elude Me like Fireflies
Joy flits away in the moonlight,
solitude is the crystal tears of stars
dropping in clouds that shift restlessly
above a dark world, I feel the wind
numbing my spirit, freezing my being.
hardening the center of me, this core of emotions
I reach up, moonlight slips between my fingers, the stars
are beyond my grasp like fireflies, glowing
about me, in constant motion.
Nature knows no shadows
Light has abandoned us,
Heat of the earth punishing doubters,
Air is moist a jungle brush of growth
Provides no shade
Tall grass wet soil huddle together
Nests in the eaves of houses path of a cool breeze,
saves us a warm wind slaps away the dew
our skin sweats a fly on a flower near a windowsill,
its beatened wings create ripples in the air
a natural rhythm clouds gather cluster in the atmosphere
starting the process again
Traced then sliced
a thin line split
Open the skin
Reveal its secrets
Intent of organs
Grinding my essence
Into a meal,
Eat the malice,
a broken barrier,
no way to conceal
You left an artifact in your cup
green tea turned brown
It was too beautiful to clean.
I leave the kitchen entering the crisp breeze of the yard
where was your home before they rode by
in unison, solemn faced, off to war?
you touch my shoulder and I feel the weight of your fear,
knowing that I cannot ease it. I cannot contain it.
Shooters holster their guns in sagging waistbands
at the intersection between neighborhoods, seeing our presence,
raising their gang signs in the air,
Their youthful auras brighten the dark streets
and we raise our hands in response.
When I was young, we took over the hood;
and the police knew our names
Now the police give us a knowing nod as they drive by, as the youth
hide furtively in the shadows of the intersection.
I take a deep breath and cold air ices my lungs,
my heart is already cold.
When I breathe out, my breath is a ghost,
floating before me, seeking
By dawn’s light, the tea has stained the cup.
My apologies for not cleaning it.
The gang has reclaimed my soul.
Water washes away the stain.
Fear washes away my soul.
A Line Across the Moon
glisten off gossamer lines
Glows in the moonlight
shining down through a black
sky decorated with the
ornaments of the universe
Where stars are placed just so
the planets could align around them.
A rope catches the moon
off guard, pulling it towards
the sea, the ocean greets
the globe, waves clapping
With applause, the wind whips
the moon away into my
hands, I hold the glowing
Orb like a precious jewel
cut by the universe and
given to me to guide
my way through the
Darkness, it burns the
palm of my hand and
I drop it into nothingness.
About the Author:
Shirley Jones-Luke is a poet, writer and educator. Ms. Luke lives and works in Boston, Mass. She was a 2016 Watering Hole Poetry Fellow. Shirley has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her work has been published by Damfino, Deluge, ENUF and Fire Poetry.