The Meaning of Grasp

Slide23The debris of white paint flecks in the golden hair
Of your arms is the garbage of love and light
–garbage whose original meaning was a “handful,”
A “grasp.” So I will grasp your arm, your hand,
Your chest, your body, and decorate myself
With your leavings, with your day’s work, and
Fill the nighttime world with the rubbish of worth.

–Shaun Perkins


454px-The_Beguiling_of_Merlin_by_Edward_Burne-JonesThe place where I found to rest was thick
With chamomile. I lay my head against its spongy,
Fragile stems and closed my eyes to the ants
Intoxicated by the scent, climbing toward heaven,
Or what an ant can know of it.

Soft, soft. Come now. Leave the door ajar.
Nimue, Nimue . . . you are not swift enough
You linger, come away. Leave it.
Leave the door ajar.

The air so alive with cold
All I could know

I drank the wine and listened.

You are too young to know but listen
Listen to each word. Then
Come away. Leave the door ajar
Learn to find the secret jolt.

Swimming across frozen water, chunks
Catching in my hair, my feet whales
Stuck again and again, my arms logs
Weighted by soot, dark and swirling
In the whirlpool my body was creating

Like powder
The smell of a rich woman ready
For her lover
The chamomile woke me
My limbs were stiff with dawn

I had barely began to walk the soreness out
When I found him.

–Shaun Perkins

I Have a Scary Story-Poem for You!

tumblr_lzkz1ebt5h1r6o3j4o1_500Howl of coyote, whimper of mouse,
Rustle in the grass near the poison oak.
Do you hear what she hears when you go out?
What’s in the silence between each frog’s croak?

Down by the pond where the creatures come
Ghosts in the air and the water shine.
The moon is new in the summer night
And black like the waters of a witch’s wine.

These are some sample lines from the story-poem I will be telling tonight during Ghost Tales at the Territory Tellers annual storytelling event! The Spirit of Oklahoma Storytelling Festival is in its 7th year at Seminole State College in Seminole. The festival starts this afternoon, June 7, and continues on Saturday, June 8 with a full day of stories and events, such as a silent auction, story swaps, and more. Continue reading

Poems for Tornado Victims

Moore photo, taken by Ken

Moore photo, taken by Ken

Some very well-meaning people are soliciting poems for a poetry anthology to sell to raise funds for Oklahoma tornado victims. Please don’t.

 Material Reason

 Say you manage to sell 100 of these books. The cost of making and shipping them will take up the biggest percentage of the money you get for the books. For a $15 book, you might make a profit of $1. Believe me—I know—I’ve done a lot of self-publishing. So, if you sell 100 books (very lofty goal), you will make $100. Continue reading