Gypsy Sea Sunrise: necks stretched out like hungry clams lurch for the Ibuprofen emperor whose numb fingers wave loners to café chairs— rivet them to sticky alligator seats, bottom sides textured with chewing gum madness; daydreams pull life’s canopy over sand and foam, seasick tides lick each empowered undertow sheer bag luck burlesques diffident efforts, tête-à-tête conversations revealing epiphany-like promises through opaque glass. Nightfall: along the coastline, bonfires blaze bodies gather, mouths breathe desire, minds re-imagine; moving between cosmic and material worlds, cleaving mustard greens like an armful of roses, a gypsy mystic dances like a whirling dervish toe-ring magic fractures limestone bones unbrushed by feet for millennia bangle bracelets and silver cymbals rouse ever vigilant, sleepy-eyed centurions stand guard over her Technicolor Roma. Sun-up: astronomical dawn signals nocturnal closure, dancing legs and burning feet cease rhythmically rocking shellfish strongholds; dense auburn moss calmly spreads its way south wraps a tranquil riverbed in nature’s sheath guides an Arabesque estuary toward a salt water fiord, lateral moraine, where nourished sediment dwellers burrow home high tides pull ashes, bathe shorelines littered with seaweed, driftwood, memories. Grace For G. M. Grace leaned against parked cars at midnight, full crow moon rays bathing her body in luminescent grandeur. Poised. Seductive. Her touch extended over an embankment like sprouting foxtail seeds resemble ballerinas that float on the breeze and hook into dog paws Fragile. Elastic. Insubstantial. Like bubbles blown from hoops that burst unpredictably, Grace’s rainbow brow sought barn owl benedictions waved goodbye to the summer solstice welcomed the autumnal equinox—a September song that harvested her deeply planted thoughts and sowed them in fields of winter wheat. Wind passed through cedar branches, eclipsed Grace’s mantra of green card foreboding added frivolity and enhanced shorter days and nights both waiting for December to push back twilight’s rays—scatter them in the upper atmosphere—brighten evening skies warm Dawn’s fingers on the rising sun’s heels. Wistful Lulamaes For Audrey Hepburn Tiffany windows display silver platters reflect morning light like vintage mirrors as pedestrians hide behind Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses, dressed to the nines like Holly Golightly pose then study its Manhattan showcase framed by granite walls on Fifth Avenue & 57th Street. Disguised as stylish escorts, men and women peer through double-pane glass, appreciate excess & exotica in equal measure, ponder fleeting holographic images of John the Baptist’s head etched sterling trays murmuring silent prophecies, portend gentle greatness & Big Apple panache for life beyond Sodom’s avenging angels. Truman Capote’s phantom emerges from Central Park shadows wears a white suit & hat, moves forward like a garden snail, maintains a two-block buffer, his high-pitched voice mingling with car horns & cabbies where rainbows end announces breakfast availability to Broadway street singers, Soho artists, moon river enthusiasts, New York tourists, huckleberry friends. Magyar Sleeves “The Colour of my soul is iron-grey and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my dreams.” —Claude Debussy Grooming themselves like cats, bat pups clutch onto their perch upside down, loosen artistic digits emerge from slumber in hollow trees, cave mouths, attic eves & rocky crevices. From inverted roosts, they drop into flight mode as membrane covered forelimbs navigate ultrasonic waves & echolocation identify evening canvases to paint with wings like a brush & palette. Moonlight colonies undercover zig-zag through mist & gnat clouds, rising from depths of stone lined wells, leave watercolor portraits during witching hours as children trick or treat wearing bat capes & cowls.
An award-winning author, poet, and educator, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in literary magazines, journals, and anthologies including Danse Macabre, Poetry Life and Times, Ekphrastic Review, and Sparks of Calliope. Warner’s collections of poetry include Rags and Feathers, Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Edges, Memento Mori: A Chapbook Redux, Serpent’s Tooth, Flytraps, and Cracks of Light: Pandemic Poetry & Fiction 2019-2022—as well as Masques: Flash Fiction & Short Stories. Currently, Warner writes, participates in “virtual” poetry readings, and enjoys retirement in Washington.
https://www.amazon.com/Cracks of Light: Pandemic Poetry & Fiction