The Fiery Bird
The spaceship, the fuel, The Fiery Bird,
the vessel builder,
rubberized boots for my feet.
The woman in the leaden space gear
draining danger from the cusp of my tongue.
A great diffusion of emptiness
in a sudden outpouring of space.
The outer rim cemetery, bathed in star shadows,
a docking of red corpuscles and broken wine glasses
floating eyes of the traveler
closed to worlds of seeing.
The constellations have imaginary children,
rotating over eons, because they are
too few to comfort, others fled to absent galaxies
faster than the speed of God.
O’ my abstract brothers and sisters;
the humans have claimed us all.
Onyx and Sawdust
(meaning the girl
of a much greater story)
spent the first day of spring
bending glass animals
and folding little reminders of death
that smelled like vanilla and rain.
She even thought for a moment
that she could be alright
(but that was not her fable)
so as the songbirds left the courtyard
she nearly stopped breathing
suffocated by the treachery of onyx
sprinkled upon the constellation of her skin.
The King’s Horsemen
Forget what you think you saw.
The sunflower is already dead—
trampled by livestock no longer content
to be domesticate,
imprisoned by barbs and harsh shocks.
There are no handholds for what has passed.
Determined travelers will find where
the road ends,
a pile of gravel surrounded by cornstalks
and weeds. Disillusioned,
they abandon their steeds in haste.
Capturing the moment
is myth meant to console fragmentation of the familiar.
Experience defies being taken.
Alone, we are left to consider
the inner landscape of a sunflower,
needing to know its dreams,
the drawing out of its fears.
It will tell you it cannot be objectified
in permanent brokenness,
stand for longer than its own passing identity,
and will never be a source
for reconstituting life from accidental lifelessness.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.