Virginia’s Poems

These poems were written by Virginia Carraway Stark during the online Poetry Half-Marathon sponsored by StarkLight Press on Sept. 13. 2014.

Poem 1

The exquisite shroud

Virginia Carraway Stark

I should mention here
Just for you two finishing your debate
That we are all frail vessels.
It reveals more to us
That we should wish them
To be larger than life
It no longer works for you
To sweep away the dust
And the cobwebs
I didn’t call you in this late hour
Just to chat
As you lay dying
With your leaking bowel
And your Sweet
Foul
Death on your breath
Pulling at my life force
Like chloroform
Dragging me down too
Soon the white cloth will cover
Your face
And these last moments together
Will always be a Mystic Dream
To me
The shrouded veil that waits
To claim you
Is exquisite and as I speak
The words of love
That spare me from regrets
Your eyes are dim yet glowing
And before you
Let go of my hand
You tell me
That The Virgin
Holds you on Her breast

Poem 2

this funny skin

Virgnia Carraway Stark

My body is my body
And it’s such a silly thing
It’s all people see of me
This funny skin I’m in
And I know you judge me
For my hair, my weight, my skin

People say I’m beautiful
And I smile
And I wonder what you mean
Are you seeing my soul?
Radiating my energy unto the world?

Or is it all down
To how I’ve arranged my hair?
Is my body still me
Am I reflected from within
To without?

Would you love my essence
If I was in another form?
Would you like me better?
Are you threatened by my intensity?

It’s such a silly thing
And yet
My body is my body

Poem 3

Pay No Attention It’s Good v Evil

Virginia Carraway Stark

They paid no attention
To the formal military situation
They should be handled
By an expert
Under medical conditions
Good can go sour
In unreasoned Anger
The psychomathematicians
Will read that mess
When there is the possibility
That he’s hid a gun
Under the floorboards
In Good: I have given thee spirit
and evil… it is an illusionary universe
Of ever passing forms
Evil is the insanity that slices reality
Good in the True story
We tell the Universe and ourselves

Poem 4

Humanity Makes Us Small

Virginia Carraway Stark

The last time I felt so small
It struck me
That ‘feeling all too human’
Was actually feeling
Like a small, keening, naked animal.

In faery tales
There are no proofs offered
Except the proofs given
While locked in a tight embrace
Or trapped in a chill, damp
Hole underground
Longing for the warmth
That equals love
Even in the underworld
It is feeling human
That makes us small
And that makes us
Big enough
To fill the world

 

Poem 5

Comfortable
Virginia Carraway Stark

I am twelve
I am not yet grown
And I haven’t learned
To be ashamed
Of what makes me a woman
Collapsed in a hammock
My white picot skirt
Covered in grass stains
And yellow smears from dandelions
Across my cheeks and nose
Sun and shade dapple my skin
I’m warm and safe
Every hill and tree is familiar to me
And my hands smell like loam
And puffball mushrooms
Reading a book
With dirt under my fingernails
While my dirty hobbit feet
Kick in the air
And a crown of messy daisies
White and yellow
Against my red
Slips over the bright blue
Of my dream filled eyes

 

Poem 6

I will never forget
Virginia Carraway Stark

I will never forget
That I have the power
Of memory
That lies and slander can’t steal
The truth

I will never forget
That like a feather
Made of down
I can dance through my recollections
See the truth

No one can dictate
My reality
Except for me

 

Poem 7

My Dear
Virginia Carraway Stark

If I was an animal
With hair so slick it turned to fur
My head poised,
Ready for flight
Eyes large and dew filled
A childling of the forest
Long ears listening for
The sound of a branch cracking
Or the snick of the safety
Being removed from a gun
Running through trails
Only known to me and the hares
my hooves are soft and silent
My tongue laps up the brooks and streams
Until snowflakes get in caught in long black eyelashes
Sleeping in the ice
Molded to fit my warm body
Until spring comes
And with the longer days
Comes my new dappled baby
On her unsteady feet
That sink into the mossy forest floor

Poem 8
Virginia Carraway Stark

The End of Amyntas the Third

To prepare beforehand
Amyntas sold his kingdom’s rights
To the noble timbers,
the cypress trees of Macedonia
He did it for allies
And lost a valuable resource
He feared for his power
Against his new allies
And implored the Spartans
To back his plays against Athens
He had three sons
The youngest of whom
Would father Alexander the Great
And after years of fighting and strife
Amyntas secured his right
To Macedonia’s trees once more
He died an old man
Noble and strong

 

Poem 9
Neophyte
Virginia Carraway Stark

Please be agreeable
To the actors on the stage
What they divulge
Is not perceptible to the
External senses of man
But it is in the consequences
Of the united will
Boiled down alchemically
Through cast and crew
Into, ‘lights, camera… Action’

Poem 10
My Fear
Virginia Carraway Stark

A defensive ritual
My fear of abandonment
Wondering at each door close
If it is a door slam

Of being accused of being ‘too’
Too much
Too big
Too funny
Too serious
Of being just… Unacceptable
By my nature

Learning that my light
Makes me other
Makes me weird
Until it is no longer a fear
It is accepted abuse
That this is the way
People can be
Jealous? Angry? Spiteful?

It doesn’t matter
Because I can’t change
Cuz I’m always just me

Poem 11
Heaven
Virginia Carraway Stark

What is perfect?
This breath right here.
The rise and fall of your chest
The sound of your heartbeat
Muffled and strong in my ear
It’s the feel of your fingers
Running through my hair
And my hands clutching your shirt
And the way your biceps feel
Under my needy fingers
And your chest rises and falls
And you, holding me tight
In your strong arms
Heaven in being your beloved.

Poem 12 (last one!)
Friendship
Virginia Carraway Stark

Deep and profound
There is no hypothesis
On which you can lay friendship
When through the
masses and crowds
You see those
Precious stones gleaming
And somewhere in your heart
You just know
(Sense, believe, feel and perceive)
And once knowing,
To never let it go

These poems were written by Virginia Carraway Stark during the online Poetry Marathon in August 2014. They will be published as part of a StarkLight Press Poetry Anthology later this year.

All poems copyright Virginia Carraway Stark 2014.

 

 

Poem 24

demure myrmidon

just don’t occur in nature

(to say demure myrmidon

that is, a mythical being

much like an unicorn)

to say they ever did is to

deride the ancient Greeks

and modern despots

(with no implication that

they are the same thing)

would be diligent

to prevent slander

the results of understanding

the myrmidon

may at time leave you feeling

that you are an esteemed funambulist

at best it is likely only hypnopompic

and yeah,

that’s kinda sad for you and you and you

because it is exactly that self same state

that resulted in this poem pour vous!

 

Poem 23

Tyranny

Ask yourself

if the tyranny

be in your place

in your home

your city

your land

your country

your sea

ask yourself

then go to bed

see how you feel

when you look in the mirror

in the morning

We can talk more then

 

Poem 22

Golden Clasps

A poor and loathsome beggar

Through devious channels

Put his filthy long-nailed fingers

Onto the head

Of a young girl’s golden curls

“You are my child,” He muttered,

blindly, his rheumy eyes cauled over

“Birthed in the ancient fires.”

She didn’t cry

Even when his rotten, toothless mouth

moved close enough to her ear

so that she could feel his whiskers

and his hot breath

“Can you keep a promise?” He asked

his voice trembled with his demand.

She nodded and only a mute whimper

showed that she was more afraid than he.

“Can you keep a promise?” He looked

full in the face. He brown, blood shot eyes

scanning her large blue ones.

Both sets were filled with unshed tears.

Finally she made her lips move and murmured, ‘Yes’.

He reached into a satchel

That could have been made of most anything

And put into her tiny, plump hands

Two golden clasps

She felt that something had happened

The clasps vibrated in her hands

The begger turned and left her

All ferocity was now gone from him

and he shambled with broken shoulders

and never even glanced back

The girl opened up her fingers

her face lit up with gold

She murmured, ‘yes’.

And put the clasps in the bottom of her jacket pocket

and skipped down the street

where her friends were already at play

 

Poem 21

Nyad’s Tears

The Lady in Blue

Her dress draped around her

Mingling with the ripples

In the water of her pool

Lined with rocks

Softened and

Covered in shag carpets

Of green and olive moss

The Lady laughs

her laughter echoes

Even dampened by the leaves

Of the slender birch nymphs

Her hero approaches

Strong and sure

Proud, impudent and kind

His eyes are the blue

Of her garments

She opens her arms

And he forces aside the waters

That drain off his thighs

In the heavy green waters

The skies are heavy

With pregnant red clouds

And he lifts her up

A shrieking, laughing

Lady Dryad in love

The heavy laden clouds

Murmur with thunder

Blue leaves the red

A bold of lightning

From straight above

The bold fills them

Their love protects them

As long as she remains young

And he stays strong

Nothing can touch them

How can he ever fill

The hole his dryad left?

No mortal woman

Could bring the lightning

Down on him

And he will always crave it

That love that

She brought him

Too late to realize

That when she aged

It wasn’t to deceive him

She then drank all her pool

And the waters destroyed her

Laid to rest in

An unmarked grave

Misunderstood and reviled

Her beauty inside her

 

Poem 20

Autumn Stream

Whereupon

You must tell them

‘here stands my other son’

He loved you and

he held you dear

As Hercules held Uni dear

And nursed from her breast

And you, my dear

Who never would trouble herself

As the morning dawn

Is too cold and clear

You complain that your fingers

Grow numb in the

late autumn stream

But I tell you,

What matters is that

As he sits

His back to you

Spine rigid

Heart broken

Tell him that

The stream never did matter

and that he is,

your other son

 

Poem 19 

Blood

Two gasping inhalations

and then

‘You have got to learn

To wing it

Only then can we

All flock together.”

She told me when I was age four

Then there was that day

The day of

Blood

They called her grandmother

I called her grandmother too.

She said, “Child,

Nothing can ever harm us

Save that which we fear,

and that which we love.”

Gasp

Breath like knives

In my lungs

Grandmother’s face

A mask of righteous fury

A quick inhalation

A sob

Grandmother holds me

The bad man dead

We both safe

covered in his murderous

Blood

 

Poem 18

The Great Deity

In order to make room

He lifted the little girl

Up into his arms

Above her,

His face hovered

The very aspect of

The Great Deity

Her mother taught her

That the rains that fall

Nourish the earth

And that even buttercups

should not be

Thoughtlessly crushed

But He lifted her up

To his stubble covered chin

He would always be

More god than man

To his little girl

He would be her daddy.

 

Poem 17

Abiding

I shall bide

Beneath the earth

and yes,

I’m well aware of

How that sounds

Then he opened his eyes

Well then…

What are we waiting for?

So that the blunt monster

Will give us all

A crock of gold

And three wishes

His open eyes close

We all know

The three wishes

Never work

Go back to sleep

Dark one

 

Poem 16

My House

My house

Grows in the trees

With flowers and moss

On the roof

Chickens and geese

Live so near

I can hear them clucking

and hooting

In their dreams

The wind sighs

Through the branches

Rough pine bark

Is only a hand’s breadth

Away

Sap hangs like

Turpentine gemstone

Sticky on the fingers

Sweet and biting in the mouth

Linden grows just

Over there

Spade shaped leaves

Beside the apple tree

Silence and peace

Except for the crack

Of the fire

And the creaks of the trees

I lived there so long

Now it’s just in my dreams

…And in my every cell

Somethings will never

Be far from me

Some beauties

Are just too deep

 

Poem 15

Ancient Ones, I implore you

“Oh Ancient Ones

My mild plea will not

Make you feel guilty

My intent is loving

Not that I think

You should care much…”

“You had best let be”

I heard from a monstrous

Throated voice

“There is no maid that

I could ascertain would

Ever go with You willingly.”

Anguished with guilt

I cringed

And prepared to incur

Yet more guilt

Benumbed with despair

Marianne stirred

The ageing coals in the fire

And brushed her soft curls

Out of her large, limpid eyes

As the villain and

The ancient ones

Bargained for her fate.

 

Poem 14

The Bally-bog

We now have to consider

the gibbet

They prayed

He would not requite his death

With storms or other

Adversaries

A bed full of fleas

Was more than merely witty

Then came the bally bog

Mud covered, they rise

On their bulbous bodies

Arms and legs like sticks

Their neckless heads

Grunt and gibber

The boggies chased

The murderous crew

All covered in fleas

They griped and they whined

Covered in bally bog slime

With his arms stretched wide

And a mouth full

Of rotten teeth

The bog-a-boo was relentless

Each man who hung

Old Charlie up high

Grew stuck in the mud

Human sacrifices left to die.

 

Poem 13

The Tattooed Lady

Train tracks like a tattoo

Down the arm of my city

Bogged down in boom time

Every house tells

Of another boom that flared

Then died

Cities aren’t trees

They are built for industry

Not for beauty

Or the practicality

Of water and air

Or even sunlight

She’s a tattooed lady

With children suckling

at her teat

I don’t judge her

Bark and leaves

Aren’t much fun to eat

Poem 12

The Gatekeeper and I

I had hoped that

Watching my footprints

I would stop going in circles

The gate master fiddled

And asked for my passport

I begged the gatekeeper

for cider and cake

In the old tradition

Of Wassailing

He told me to sing

But I couldn’t think of a song

Until I walked in more circles

Then I sang him this

Keeping time with the clapping

Of my hand on my thigh

Then he laughed in delight

And he opened the gate

We ate cake and cider

He said, ‘get on with you,

It’s gotten too late’

The door slammed behind me

I don’t know where I am

But I can’t see my footprints

And I have a song on my tongue.

Poem 11

It has happened

I dream in poem

Faking comas

Snorting laughter

Now it has happened

I speak only in poetry

 

Poem 10

Her Killer

The advantages are clear

I left my oxygen mask on because the

other did

with hope to find her

he knew where she was

and I doubted the smile

so

cris crossed with shadows

was her killer’s face

 

Poem 9

This Is Not a Drill

This simulation is not as the former

this dreadful trumpet

you’ll be the death of me yet

across the littered ground

(again, the choice is/was yours}

where you will find everything you

need

this simulation is not as the latter

I’ll send for the dreadful trumpet

that is,

I meant to say

I’ll send for the doctor

this was not a simulation

Shit the bed

reality fail

Poem 8

Kisses from Boreas

After some twenty of them

had been disposed of

during the waning moon

with costumes and masks and

enchantments

he now wished he had not sacrificed

his sons

laughing

they would never throw themselves

down weeping

to die of grief

we have to rise

just as vegetation dies only to

reappear in the springtime

what’s wrong with the way I kiss?

Asked the winter wind

everything

I replied even as I thanked Boreas

in the deep of my heart

for the sweet relief from the smoke

and the flames

then it was

during the waxing moon

when costumes are removed

masks unmasked

enchantment revealed

and winter is come

 

Poem 7

An Island Arises

Clothed in lavender and rosemary

boughs

iridescent orbits delight and entrance

coconuts and bongos interrupt the tranquil sight

volcanic stones make my tread light

I’m naked and unrepentant

rushing up an island arises to blight

the whole scene

reeking of garden oils, flowers and

clean

laughing, splashing all along I was just

bathing!

 

Poem 6

Hallucinations

He allowed himself

to be

carried away

by the massive hallucinations

he had produced

and why not?

He asked

of the wallpaper and drapes

bees fly,

birds glide,

balloons loft,

and pollen…

disperses

so too my sights

my visions

shall smear across the sky

shattering the retinas

of all who watch

he was a wizard and a magician

a necromancer and a king

he was a Hollywood producer

and his vision governed most

everything.

Poem 5

I’m not, I can’t

I’m not dreaming this sense of

allegory

I’m not imagining this sense of

melancholy

dark robed figures swing scimitars

in grain filled fields of wheat and oats

death is in the harvest

bloated bodies line the streets

no cart, no crier, no relief

I can’t make up the raging anarchy

I can’t unsee the sight of destiny

If this should be when we bid each

other adieu

recollect the times I tried to put my

arms around you

forget the times my temper flew

in passion’s flames I will collect your ashes

but there’s not enough to bury

beneath the tree of life

goodbye my darlings

and good night

 

Poem 4

Sway

Sway branches creak

all night long

in the frolicsome storm

I remember your voices

and the ceaseless chanting of your

leaves

sing to me your stories

on the autumn winds

rock me in your arms

until the world never ends

 

Poem 3

Her Face

Her face looked gaunt and old

her body bloated more

each time I saw her

she thought she could block up the

door

with a pendant of the goddess of

disappointment

entwined around her neck

on a silver chain rich with tarnish

divorce and disappointment clotted every doorjamb

she was only so angry

because nobody loved her anymore

I don’t live with her

Like ivy

my love puts fingers into every crack

that her despair left behind

I would rather tear the structure down

than to live with her old corpses

anymore

 

Poem 2

Elements

Air

I breath you

you caress me

hold me

hot or cold

every minute is you

your quality dictates mine

you send my voice far

or rip my words from my throat

water

i meet you

you greet me

as I pierce your skin

you negotiate my cells

plumping me make me more than dust

so we drink each other

earth

I tread you

you uphold me

you are the grit of my teeth

as I ingest you

in all your mineral glory

you will one day eat me in my entirety

fire

I worship you

you warm me

or beat me to blisters with your

flames

without you i am form without

function

slower slower until I still

mind stops all movement cease

you are my passion and I am wild with

you

I am statuary without you

spirit

I acknowledge you

you laugh at my knowledge

like a toddler who realizes her cognisance

in the floating of a feather

and that memory courses through all

thought

even in the null of the void

it is just me laughing at my own

realizements

that’s all it’s been all along.

 

Poem 1

Not Even Awake

Not even awake

six am. Has come

sleep is no more

yet it is

it is the nobility of dawn

the integrity of doing

what for me

has not ever been

done before

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