Brittle Oblige

The ordinary room clear rigid

that broken glass, you said,

that broken glass on the floor.

Familiar as more glass in disarray

slight fear un-guilty moving

away from that spot on the floor

avoid danger, clear out—be shy

noblesse oblige broom and pan

glass room rigid un-tidy danger.

That broken glass on the floor,

turn a page of the magazine.

Familiar even, leave the floor

remedy apparent transparent—

you said, broken on the floor, again

again, glass shines, danger, even

warns this floor spot, broom and

pan oblige, un-said moving away

broken glass spot shy noblesse.

This Way

Lean not too heavy upon that spade

that turned bright soil aside this day.

“Make way, please, he’s coming. ”

Take that bandana to the cold sweat

poured out for love and for labor

the promise took two days to core.

“Please, make way.”

Oh, he’s coming, the final call, claxon echo.

“Make way.”

The going is the more precise motion, gone the blush of youth

clad in uniform, guilt in metallic finery upon your chest

the livery of merit, brave and true, the best.

And now you have come,

this far and no further

till then, when for us to receive our portion straight we meet.

For me, a simple boat with stout oars and sail alight upon the water

retinue songs and silence, voyages complete–

bright flames, haze, and soul lifted skyward ablaze.

c. Lemuel

21 June 2018

Being the Hero

Calculated distant

gulf imposed later-day Dives–so thirsty:



un-wanted, excised, selective dross un-made.

Mortal memories exiled


my loss,

or more marooned,

on a witch’s island.

Knowing the ill conceived plan,

ship of rudder-loss

no traces no currents to Ithaca;

not to spare me

yet to save you,

imagined humiliation.

That sea, chasm across wide divide

an illusion, mockery

how once sweet water

rancid turned.

And how none-to-drink shall slake the parched tongue;

pursue rogue leviathan intercept

cradle mast-plagued sea bird of death

yet worthy company dis-missed– or condemned, a sacrifice, a trick.

Wine-dark sea beckons

the horror,

the horror,

the horror

its gales howl.

c. Lemuel

21 June 2018