All posts tagged Myth

Waiting For Orpheus

Published September 13, 2013 by rlmcdermott

I waited for someone
who never came–
a woman in black
sitting beneath a paper tree

I saw an old man and his wife
the woman was bent like a harp
he had played her for years
black notes falling from her spine
a song sung over and over until
she disappeared inside her bones

this is the price of love
the fine white powder
of her back scattering
with the white blossoms
falling from the trees
the sap of his bitterness
sealing her fate

this is the garden where I remember my life

blue flowers on a red blouse
the sweet smiles of lost friends
the geometry of an old woman’s back
white cherry blossoms and a stone bench
a little girl who could not be loved
a woman who could not stop loving

the poem in my heart
has no words–it waits
for them like I wait
for you in a Kyoto garden
beneath a painted moonWaiting For Orpheus

The Salt Doll’s Song

Published July 25, 2013 by rlmcdermott

if the
you love
you down
until you
then love
it from
a distance

the ocean
counts only
the sand
an attrition
that a salt doll

taking the
high road
the blue
beat echoing
slap after slap
flesh on flesh
the sweet
cry of gulls
singing over
the bones
of civilizations
long lost to
the tongue
of memory

the task is
the weaning
away of love
a dissolution
this melting
down of limbs
grain by grain
until only the
taste of you remains.The Salt Doll

Echo’s Song

Published July 18, 2013 by rlmcdermott

all blue is blue
in this sad place

loving you has
not been easy

you were born
to sing and I
was born to listen
to that singing

where’s your voice
now here in this
place of small sounds
and of secrets

what is it that I love
your eyes hidden
your voice unheard
your pale skin yet
to be caressed

it must be the
sadness in your
wild heart the
fearless spirit
in one so afraid
to live apart from
his own story

why did the gods
whisper to me come
into the dark woods
and find his heart

Sweet Narcissus
some of us are never loved
we never know the flower
the moon’s reflection in a still lake
the smell of juniper and jasmineEcho

The Muse

Published April 14, 2013 by rlmcdermott

I speak of nothing
and it speaks of me;

this speaking
is my poetry.

I stand alone
on this stark cliff–

a toothy girl
with hungry dreams.

They come
and leave

these fishy men
on boats of pine.

I call their names
with my sharp tongue.

My mouth is
full of words

I cannot say
and so I sing

of better days
that will not come.

A prisoner
of the gods,

I am at sea,

a monster
on a rocky shore,

always calling
and never heard,

always seeking
and never found.The Muse


Published July 31, 2012 by rlmcdermott

A gorgoneia,
she could
not save

the smell
of baking
bread coiling
the cave,

her sister’s
and then

the snakes

in the
of her

she could
not comfort
her own

She looked
at him,

her eyes wide
with what
was blinding
about her,

and waited
for his
bright gaze.

A shield,
a sword,
then all
was stillness.

her name
and then
a sound
from her
own mouth–