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Allowed

Have you ever been
To a place for just us
Where it was okay to do
That
When she wanted you to reach

Down

There

When you let her unbutton
And she would
Reach

Down

There

She let you slip it off
Have you been to
A place of…it was Pure
Where sharing was breath-taking
A look and a slow deep smile
You were free
Touching
Wetting
Opening
Growing
Breathing, catching your breath
Losing your breath
Holding on
Letting go
But not wrong, never wrong
Just
Yes
Please
Go ahead
Have you ever been

Allowed

My Bad

Scarcely believe my eyes
She walks thru the iron gate ajar
Hoping against hope
That things have gotten this far
Can’t believe it’s gotten to this
Chasing yonder wisps of love
That never seem to arrive
Because my push pivots on your shove
But believe, she’s standing right there
The setting Sun gilding her eyes
A rising Moon plaiting her hair
Is the chardonnay correct
Will my earnest suffice
What brings the morrow
To equal this moment half too nice
Dishes done, I’ve gone half-mad
Surprise visit, and she likes my bad

Her Surreal Highness

Her Surreal Highness,
The Fairie Queen Helen Of Tippie,
The High Duchess of Laney,
Order of the Dreaded Honey Bee Sting [Knight & Plank Owner],
Nurse Most Excellent of the Shire of Greater Bastropia [Ribbons with Flourishes & Bows],
Hottest Reddest Heart Insignia, First Class, Distr. (Education) of Lockhartton,
And dozens more exquisite honours and accomplishments regal,
Was in mourning.…

Sally Gossamer Wingstep, hesitant, took one step,
Then walked slowly onward from her nest;
No fluttering nor soaring above the Fairielands—
Grounded, given the great sadness, she thought best.

In the distance…The Queen’s Tree…
Her great branches weighed down in sorrow.
Betrayed The Fairielands further grief:
There was to be no Queen’s High Tea tomorrow…

Sally felt so awful to feel so awfully angry;
The Queen’s loss was far worse than a missed party.
Even though Jonathan Spider had woven her the finest dress
Which shimmered bright while flowing about her curves smartly.

But the yawning emptiness in the Good Queen’s Castle,
Even the young fairie felt as she struggled with how she was feeling.
She could not grasp the meaning nor see a path ahead;
The sheer suddenness had left all their minds sore and reeling!

Absentmindedly, Sally rounded into Copse Square,
And came face to face her Most Regal Presence!
Wide-eyed, stutter stammering an apology quick,
Sally keenly hoped she was making some sort of sense.

“Oh, my dear Sally, it is you!” Queen Helen said.
“Are we not cavorting across the sky?
Such joy you lend us with your loops and curlicues…
But you are walking, please tell us why.”

Said Sally: “Oh, Your Highness, I thought it improper to fly
When in these dark days we mourn with thee.
We too share in your deep loss, and weep.
We agree on foregoing this year’s High Tea.”

“Nonsense and nettles!” roared the Queen.
“As our spiders weave and the highland bees make honey,
I will care to have our fairies unfurl their wings, to fly,
And so to rule the skies, whether they be dark or sunny!

“So, such and such a time that has as now passed…
Methinks, it is time to move on, I most solemnly decree.
Yes, he has gone, but we shall recall his Royal Goodness—
Sally, care we must and shall host a Great Celebration Tea!”

As swiftly as their wee silken wings could beat the wind,
The fairies carried The Announcement all over and beyond the Fairielands:
All who had furled their wings were to don their most Fun and Glorious Finery,
And TO FLY into the Castle Ballroom with all the Joy such a Fete demands!

At the appointed hour, our fairies looped, soared, fluttered, and flew,
Doing the most ambitious winged acrobatics into the Castle Ballroom;
Even Queen Helen, in her richest Duchess of Laney silver livery,
Flew around such that even the keenest witch could not match on her broom!

Sally Gossamer Wingstep, seized the room—such curlicues and soaring loops!
She was wearing a new shimmery gown, so tight and true to her young frame, without guile.
Her Surreal Highness, The Fairie Queen Helen Of Tippie, The High Duchess of Laney,
Joined in the fairies’ rapturous applause, and did give Sally a nod, and a knowing smile!

Wondrous fruits and cakes and teas were served to the celebrants in abundance.
Her Majesty even allowed the Royal Tea Keeper to let loose the rare jasmine.
From now, and for the time ahead, she would remember the lifting joy
From her subjects as on this night all joined in the grand celebration of him.

So, the Great Celebration Tea ended as a wondrous success—
The Good Fairie Queen went to her rooms while floral aromas caressed the air,
Because surely you know that what is best with good jasmine tea
Is a hearty, loving serving of Tender Laney Care!

In the Dark, in the Cold, in the Quiet and All

A simple shameless shuffle
From blonde to brunette
Until he woke up again quite alone
Realizing only now it was so too late

That you really must make a considered choice—
Decide finally who you want to take to the ball,
Or you will certainly, in the end, pass all alone
In the dark, in the cold, in the quiet and all

The music was a rapture,
Fiddle and accordion entwined,
Her unfurled skirts blossomed across the floor,
All were happy, two-stepped, wined and dined.

Next morning bags were quick conveyed,
Gone Concourse C to return to her places up North;
You slow walked to the parking garage
Not realizing the so on and the so forth:

That you really must make a considered choice—
Decide on finally who you want to take to the ball,
Or you will certainly, in the end, pass all alone
In the dark, in the cold, in the quiet and all

A road trip here and a visit there
How you acted as if you were above it all
Everyone was coupled, partying, and fun
Now he wonders why is it no one ever calls.

The best ones really are all taken.
All the smart happy ones have debarked the bus.
You thought love will always be out there;
So, why should you have to make a fuss:

That one really must make a considered choice—
Decide on finally who you want to take to the ball,
Or you will certainly, in the end, pass all alone
In the dark, in the cold, in the quiet and all

Now the eyes fail, hair thins out,
And the joints no longer so strong.
Am I really the grasshopper in the end
Who must admit he was so so wrong?

That all really must make a considered choice—
Decide on finally who you want to take to the ball,
Or we will certainly, in the end, pass all alone
In the dark, in the cold, in the quiet and all

Summer Fancy

Across the dank protean mire
On the slope of a mowed field
The breeze rumples a page over
And the lass missed the poets last verse
Bewitched by the youth’s jogging pace passing by
She dared imagine his arms about hers
And pondered about passion’s cruel curse

The sudden rain scampered our lass
While the boy turned north and to dorm
The promise of Summer freshened newly
Like Latin winds bringing Mercury back to Rome
And a new Arachnida’s web is woven
Life and Death never pause nor long tarry
A half Moon finds the eve’s far horizon
Rooms aren’t the only thing empty back home

Shy winking stars spangle up
To make smart the Southern sky
Lass and lad miles apart wash dishes done
Neither knowing the others’ longing heart
Many mini plans made for reading nooks
A mighty edifice rises in the Tangipahoa
A counselor and her crook’s getaway suite
In a half-told love tale just at the start

Puzzling

Crimson currants scatter across the plate;
The ruin of his proposition dies on his lips—
The longing and the loss go begging, too late,
As two tired hands sag draped across her hips.

While puzzled puzzling puppies whimper without reason—
Is this the sure path to the higher parish ground?
Milady, crossed, throws vexed hurt blames and accusations;
Limped, the poet crawls away to contemplate a grayer sound.

Storm warnings fall, the sun finally peeks out;
The happy and free saxman takes the stage for his solo
Another rainbow dies unlit without a Southern doubt;
Can we sixters renew old loves, is it yet the secret go slow?

Leg raisers, push-ups, and the latest anti-cholesterol drug:
Guys muster what little left they have to play her knight errant.
Girls, wriggle and giggle, and deflate their swains with another shrug;
Boys, bluster and muster, try to achieve the ultimate, yet can’t.

Why is Love so hard to find and put softly in a peaceful space?
Why must Time dry up all dreams along with such a lovely face?

A Gulf Storm Warning

We know nothing much good happens after the midnight hour,
So I hold little hope for these late writ lines.
Knocking about my Alexandria, at last, cleaned bower,
Remembering a lost love this old heart forever pines.
Storm warnings now up all along the Gulf coast—
Flash floods looming to wash away the humid mire.
I believe still it’s you that I miss hardest and most.
Reunite? Tis ever beyond that which I could hope to aspire.
Dribs and drabs of longing sated in your Facebook posts,
Whether mountain stream or shells along a sandy beach.
How is it we manage to pass young memories to graying ghosts,
And that one true love flies off to be forever beyond reach?
Dishes all washed up and time to take scant wishes to bed;
Today’s crossword awaits there to challenge clue by clue.
Though instead of the Los Angeles Times, I rather be with you instead,
And on the nightstand next to us were your newest daisies blue.
This storm will pass, and Summer blue skies will again find the coast,
Though it is ever you that I will miss the hardest and the most.

Brass Tacks

That heart of gold I was searching for
Has passed me, bye, and found an ending elsewhere;
Chasing the sunset and the final mystery—
Grow old, die, who’s gonna cry or care?

Finest wines and vines splendid,
My only lasting loving friends.
[We’ve] some trouble down there,
With no lover to share these bends.

Harvest some words for this one empty page,
Everyone else out there chasing the latest rage.

Don’t tumble much dice, do you?
Crimes of passion outweigh the ones of neglect.
Maybe I never ought to have learned
That most things in life we all can cathect.

Refill the goblet and wipe the counter—
Whimsical droplets tell their own tale;
But you came for something more eclectic,
Not this wheeze with no secret to entail.

Grow the rhymes to fill up the charm;
Empty is as empty does, what’s the harm?

Catering to hearts promise-given to another;
Forgiving Alabama and Neil Young, now so old;
Like I said, dropped my heart of gold, sure as not—
Such an old story the young won’t hear when told.

Finest vines give wines so splendid—
My only lasting loving friends.
Born in the 50’s and so damn sure:
Wish I’d found that love they say never ends.

Hey Everybody

Hey, Everybody—
Come sing this song,
If you can feel Life’s Love
Then you’re welcome to come along.
Yo, Everyone!
Raise your sweet voice;
If you crush on the next sunrise,
Then you know that this joy is the best choice.
You, over there—
You’re my brother or sister, oh man;
Lend your heart and strength,
We’re all just doing the level best that we can.
Hey! you right here—
Take a chance to know:
That together the hate barriers will fall.
And, as One, United, we can make this Life Love grow.
Hey, Everybody!
Come sing this sweet song;
If you’re still in this, our Life with Love,
You know you’re most welcome to come on along.

Older

Remember when we did as we pleased?
Now we’re wrinkled, gray, and diseased
With Rage that crushes any caring heart,
And drops us low to our knees—
There is no succor or understanding
For respite or for relief for any parents’ pleas.
Why do we think ourselves
Into such boxes of darkness
Into that snare of ever wrong turns?
To put down hard roots
Into a never loved land,
Grasping, with our heart that burns—
Another lost kite strung over a high tree,
Another lost thing we swore to safe keep—
Living a clueless life beyond what we hear or see;
As now I lay me down to sleep?

–Amberly Alexis Barnett’s body was found in an undisclosed location early Saturday morning hours after authorities began searching for the 11-year-old, who was last seen at her aunt’s house in Mt. Vernon, Ala.