“Country” by Christina Knowles

stones on riverCascading watercolor gravel

Winds and descends

‘round shady bends

Decaying pastel stones

Trip precariously over hills

The breeze

kisses the scented pines

Whispering clouds

Tell secrets

As the wind awakens

Russet leaves

Swoop and swirl in a mock tornado

While the maddening

Ticking

Of the insect population

Fades to silence

A dazzling autumn

Day in the country

Peaceful

and

Chaotic

–Christina Knowles

Photo snagged from wallpaperstock.net

The Edge by Christina Knowles

“The Edge”

woman-on-cliffs-edge

Linear lives stumble past

each other

in blind obedience

to an unknown god—

money, possessions,

success.

Occasionally we meet—

our eyes, our bodies.

Rarely ourselves.

But today I am with you

and your delicate flesh gives way to my touch.

Entangling limbs,

need fuses us together.

Sweat drips like tears down our bodies,

cleansing our souls,

washing away rivers of indifference,

momentarily.

I am connected to you in this instant.

We seem to be one, our souls speaking a secret language.

Occasionally we meet—

our eyes, our flesh.

Sometimes ourselves.

Waves of sensation subside with the tide.

Relief flows evenly across our bodies like summer wind.

I emerge less than whole, transformed;

already retreating into my separate self.

Our bodies touch,

but there are miles between us.

Your heavy weight presses me down

smothering my humanity,

turning me into another

in an endless procession of animal-like

bodies, soulless.

Occasionally we meet—

our eyes, our flesh.

Why not ourselves?

We are separate

until

we once again find that common ground

with each other

or someone else.

This newly born awareness grows

while emotion fades

away—like an old man breathing his last.

Lingering

on the edge of bliss,

on the edge of emptiness

Until that day when we finally meet

Ourselves

–Christina Knowles (1998)

Photo snagged from transparentwithmyself.wordpress.com

“I Know” by Christina Knowles

Holocaust

“I Know”

Please don’t tell me

what I already know

what I don’t believe

anyway

‘cuz I’ve considered the source

So where are these angels

sent to deliver us?

Heard it before, no need to discuss

I know, I know

God’s not a vending machine

But I’m not asking for a Coke.

I’ve heard the clichés

I’m not buying today

Mom’s dying and Dad’s in jail

Sister’s going to foster care

and I’m going to hell

I know, I know

His ways are not ours

How could we expect them to make sense?

He never gave you a mind ‘cuz you was supposed

To think

Shut it up tight, and believe with all your might

One might think He really doesn’t want you to believe

Don’t listen to reason; it’s just there to deceive

I know, I know

He’s our invisible friend

in the sky

We need to have faith

Faith like a child

Because only a child could believe it

Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny’s

Our path to perceive it

I know, I know

God is good no matter what He does

He always gets a pass

Find a parking space—Praise God

No answer to prayer; He’s just telling you to wait

I lose my job; He has a plan

No worries; it’s better than Crack

Hardly any withdrawal when you come off this Smack

I know, I know

He works in mysterious ways

And it’s not His fault, 10,000 die in an earthquake

or six million Jews at the hand of His creation

We just live in a broken world

because some chick had no willpower

Of course, who are we to question that logic?

If you do, He may well devour

you in that last hour.

I know, I know

It’ll be okay, some day, some day

In eternity

The imaginary place where God makes up for all the shit

He did to you in this life

Your only life

Don’t hold your breath

Go ahead and breathe while you can

There aint gonna be no TV angels

Coming to touch your miserable life

Maybe, if you’re lucky,

He’ll just ask you to sacrifice your child

To prove your loyalty

I know, I know

At the last minute He yells, “Psych!”

All in good fun

After all, He murdered His son

See what a good father does?

He’ll cure your cancer—don’t call it remission

Even though it will probably come back

But don’t ask Him to grow back limbs

‘Cuz He’s a union fan

Do you really want to spend eternity

with this man?

That’s blasphemy

I know

A travesty because we only exist to glorify this

That’s morality?

I don’t think so.

I know what I know.

–Christina Knowles (2009)

Photo: Snagged from http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/holocaust/about/03/daily_life_gallery.asp

“I Grieve” by Christina Knowles

“I Grieve”

BRITTANY_ALLEN_SCREAM1

Lost and faltering

Floundering in the sea

Of my indispensable need

Need that intensifies in the darkness

Unlimited and unending

How can I describe

The hollowness of loss?

Do I speak?

Will I risk the words

That once released

Continue out of control

Throughout the breath of eternity?

Shall I know the result

Of these intemperate thoughts?

Or slumber in the oblivion of the dead?

O, tranquil are the deaf

To the choruses of loss

For to speak, to give voice

To that which is in reality

A scream

Would spin this wheel interminably

Or if it be little more than a squeak

Choked and muffled by grief

Stutter and trip

to a premature conclusion

How then do I proceed

When lost and faltering, I grieve?

—Christina Knowles (2015)

Photo snagged from trulynet.com

“An Ocean of Possibility” by Christina Knowles

“An Ocean of Possibility”

fishes-underwater-on-a-tropical-beach-wallpaper_3960

Language in a thousand pieces

Inadequate to express

An ocean in a million directions

Overwhelmed but not afraid

The obvious creates meaning

Without limitations

Another recognizes the idea

As my mind reconsiders beauty

A jungle of first impressions

I dream of the possibility

I compose it

This silhouette

From my desires

The passion in me

Turns my reality into

Dreams

—Christina Knowles (2006)

Photo courtesy of Bing Images.

“Apprentice” by Christina Knowles

“Apprentice”

GoodFon.su
GoodFon.su

Chipped wood

Nicked and dented

Purposely abused to create

What was not earned

Am I a craftsman then?

Or a liar?

Fabricated walls

“Aged” plaster

Crackled paint chips

Shards that flake off into

My shaking hand

Like broken glass

Glass like metal shavings

Their fragmented images

Steal my light

Sending it in a dozen different

Directions

Confusing me

With ambiguous fingers

Pointing first this way

Then that, iridescent swirling hope

A spectrum of half-truths

Promise the possibility

Of a lovely destruction

Even an apprentice can make something

Beautiful

Now and then

–Christina Knowles (2015)

“Dinner Party Queen” by Christina Knowles

cocktail-partyEntering your enormous and lovely apartment,

you greet me with your gratuitous smile,

your plastic-flower image, and oh-so-courteous temperament.

You taunt me with your high-styled manners

and your generous remarks snub me as they normally do.

“How do you take your Beluga?” and “Which wine do you prefer?”

and “Oh, I didn’t mean to assume—I’ll be happy to select for you.”

You quickly explain to all of your friends

my regrettable shortcomings and beg them to forgive

my sinful lack of politesse, and then

politely excuse yourself and float across the room,

leaving me blundering in your cultural forum.

As I bitterly gaze at your perfect state,

your fashionable clothing gaily stabs me in the back—

your mission in life, so-to-speak.

Crimson faced, I hate to admit

your silky silhouette does look stupendous

in your A-line frock and jacaranda dyed heels.

I would never say it conflicts with your artistically painted face,

contrasting so vibrantly your pale complexion.

Bullhorn-bright and swelling with pride,

you sweep through the room, bulldozing my dignity

with your swanky attire and arrogant demeanor.

Slowly, I slide away from the circle of beautiful people

and fade into the paisley wallpaper,

which, I might add, is out of style.

Here I blend

Again, I gaze in your direction,

your elegant coiffure turns up its nose at my violin-string hair.

Mortified, I hide

humbly in the corner reserved for shopping school dropouts.

Slouching behind your ornate décor,

I look down at my flower-flocked frock and Payless shoes,

and ponder my sanity—why did I come?

I really must control these masochistic tendencies.

Swallowing down my caustic remorse; emerging

I slither my worm body over to your graceful self

and settle at your satin shoes.

Weakly, I rise up through the ashes of my incinerated pride

and face your rude disposition.

“Although it’s been so lovely, I really must be going,”

I croak as I meet your captivating blue eyes with my insipid ones.

“Before dinner? Oh well, if you must,”

you drawl so gallantly, perceiving your work is complete,

and I may again return to my hovel, properly placed.

Recognizing the dominance of your station, I retreat.

Backing down from the challenge, I fall into line

at the prosaic end of the pecking order.

There really was never any debate.–Christina Knowles

Image from laplayaclub.com

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