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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!

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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.

There Was That Tear That Refused To Fall

There was once that tear that refused to fall
It lingered long but turned deaf to gravity’s call
A hospice someone had thanked and departed
Seems the end can be a long time before it is started

Instructions passed calmly for our nurse erstwhile
Morphine administered to salve a torment febrile
Half, then, quarter, then, tenth of breaths short taken
The daughter was only too aware though rudely shaken

Why did God allow such stupid pain to tartly linger?
Cannot God wave it all away with a half-crooked finger?
The line is that it is not ever ours to even wonder
At the lithe petal that can mock the mighty thunder

Mother then at long last breathed her living last
And son and daughter became bereaved newly-cast
And that tear that just would not suffer to fall
Was joined in torrents heeding mourning’s pall
A history written and rewritten for the to-be-departed
Seems the end can be a long time before it’s even started

A Wind, Promiscuous

A freshening wind
Promiscuously winds down the creek
Orange-black cat darts under the eaves
Two dead branches low as if to speak

A door squeaks, opens
The firmament is shaken
The cat shrieks
LIGHTS BLINK THEN ALL IS BLACK

It matters
A grin, a dripping of red pools
Fluttering wings escape
How does the future shape
Our dreams, if only ‘if only’ were so
Old and 60 and alone
Alone

A raining morning
Turn around
Floods in Wimberley
One dead, two missing
Happiness cancelled
Rescheduled for a drier time
Happy All Saints’ Eve

Peshawar

Come, come away to Peshawar
How can God be great?
141 lying, dead, there—
Does blood lust ever sate?

I believe, you believe,
But we believe different things—
Whose God is the right one?
Do we follow imams, priests or kings?

Go, go down to Peshawar
Do we bury Hope along with the dead?
Do these souls Archangel Michael credit or debit?
Is there not a better accounting instead?

You believe, I believe
Though played to a different chord
But, for God’s sake, please remember:
Leave vengeance to the Lord.

Weep, weep old Peshawar
Take time for sorrow for all fathers and mothers
And after the last anguished tear falls
We all will still be sisters and brothers