Selected Poems

By Steve Newman

O honored Dionysius

O honored Dionysius
Dost thou have a potion for me?
To summon thy brother Morpheus
and close the day and night
that change my name from one who seeks
to give and receive love
to a modern day Tantalus
who can only come so close
to her touch
her fragrance
her lips
before she is yanked away
and set as a star on my horizon
just beyond my grasp
and understanding

he woke alone

he woke alone
as times she had
so many nights and morns
for even when
she shared her bed
the night before
with some errant knight
of moment or month or more
and passion filled
every crease and corner
caressed and idolized
and physically sated
the fingers that reached
towards her heart
could never hold it
past a beat or two
and so
she woke alone

she woke alone
as times he had
so many nights and morns
for even when
he shared his bed
the night before
with some lissome lass
of moment or month or more
and yogic mistress
drained his strength
and sated appetites unknown
from places unimagined
the bodies that melded
could never reach
nor hold his heart
past a few moments
and so
he woke alone

they woke alone
as times they had
so many morns and nights
for even though they
shared their beds
and flesh
and imaginations roared free
their hearts remained untouched
for fears and tears
they could not show
nor share

their fragile dreams

ocean breeze

ocean breeze
blew autumn cool
across sands ripe
from september winds
strewn with
forgotten pails and shovels
and blackened wood from
fires flickered like stars
on summer nights

walking
no words in the air
voices long gone
ghosts
chorus in his heart.

no eyes on  him
or to him
empty is his view
till he rounds a spit
and sadly within
perched a house forlorn as he

well worn with age
it guards its place
waiting for those once there
and the blood of its
wooden heart -
rooms that held
children’s games and young voices
pealing like bells on holidays
the roof
furrowed by seasons and seasons
still held the laughter gone high
windows now eyes that never blink
and empty they splash dry tears
on empty floors and walls
where once love painted every inch
but of those that once were
the breath of the space
either gone beyond water’s edge
or turned their face away from
this quite so billowed place
to return
never
front door covered and hammered shut
keeping anyone from entering
this abandoned
temple of a long lost clan

and he stares at this painting
done by a Hopper on breathing canvas
and knows his sad and solitary heart’s brother
and as such
his own
and they both have done naught
but wait for miracles
long smoke
scattered by winds of time

but miracles have different names
and now one stands outside
his own shuttered depth
an invitation in anticipation
do I dare let her in
where another’s love
has been
will she take my heart apart
and leave it shattered
as shells after a storm

(inner cue of laughter to self–)
and when and where
did I get the idea
that I could stop the sound
of her voice
replacing echoes long gone
and perfume
new from her
washing away old fragrances
gone long ago except
for bursts in my memory
and the caress of long fingers
that touch my skin
and thrill my heart
in ways
if once known
now freshly born
and the taste of her lips
soft on mine
a vintage never known
my first drink
my first taste
from a cup
ages old yet new to me
raised by eyes
soft as cashmere
holding tears to cleanse my sight
and the light from her soul
reaching into corners
dark

too long

***

Steve Newman is in his third semester of the Psychology grad program at the NSSR. Father of two; grandfather of two; he holds that it is the journey that counts – the destination is the same for all. A wounded healer – “if you haven’t been in the mud, how do you know how to get it off?” Believes that most things in life are transitory illusions and the only thing that has real value is love. You find it – work like hell to grow it and keep it!