20 September 2004
Slow she plods through ancient house
of wood and glass searching dazed
in empty rooms cluttered with clothes
and torn books for memory of faces
forgotten when flames of desperation
obliterated meaning from photographs.
Together thirty people with hammers
and saws and buckets of shining paint
restored this ancient home to condition
of pristine glory reflecting lost era
gilded with power over all human lives
but I think ghosts of greed and hate
seep from splintered walls of silence
she whispers groping blind at midnight.
Her fingers tremble reaching out slow
to touch muscle-rippling chest of man
stretched nude on white satin sheets
though your skeleton glows under skin
green with soft phosphorescent hunger
for love that rots from a ripe peach
black and withered hard in summer sun.
Growing old far beyond fertile flash
of youth I ache with brittle bones
fragile as fractured chandelier glass
bound by tense stiff strands of tendons
that tear when I climb creaking stairs
for they translate moaning of cold wind
as I feel my gin-soaked organs slosh
inside bag of sagging sun-parched skin.
Aching drive of lust to live each hour
pushing against bounds of convention
fueled my headlong plunge into old age
because whirlwind of parties and sex
saturated sponge of my brain with flash
of blinding joy that jazzed my nerves
with endless banging howl of hot desire
till my head pounds from hard headache.
I should have died a thousand times
before dawn as I stumbled blurry-eyed
through driving rain or screeching wind
or shivering ice stillness toward home
through signless maze of vast Manhattan
after hours of hot slithering human souls
packed together in high tower apartments
drinking and smoking and swinging to horns
for I am razzmatazz queen of wild jazz.
Old woman with wrinkled skin chuckles
at forgotten joke that surfaces sharp
as iceberg shark from muddled memory
then pauses by cracked window to stare
at boys and girls wearing long hair
and jeans and shirts dyed with rainbows
who swirl to pounding beat of guitars
where five boys dance on wooden stage.
Crazy hippies think they invented fun
she grins shaking her head with delight
at how life seems to swirl in a circle
because whole world went crazy with war
after roaring age of jazz and gangsters
planes dropping doomsday bombs on cities
obliterating millions of people with gas
and fire and bullets splattering brains.
World war against fascist dictators
destroyed that gilded age of my desire
so I had to work singing on Broadway
shaking my behind to earn a few dollars
and I even got filmed several times
preserving shining beauty of my youth
on shaky black and white film that spins
lost somewhere in a vault without a label.
My spirit is captured dancing forever
on never-seen film while my hot flesh
withers dry and cold sagging on my bones
so maybe my soul will live after I die
resurrected in eyes of some young boy
who watches me dancing without cease
a thousand years from now in ice room
as he wonders how to label my existence.
Who perceives this ghost that I became
moving without cease inside wood skull
of my house still chasing Rainbow Elves
like I did when I was a cute teenager
running through misty forest of Wales
after eating mushrooms with purple eyes
for I found Fairyland behind willow
on swan lake where they dance on stars.
There she was ancient Ice Moon Mother
Titania wearing long gown of white silk
shimmering with diamonds in moonlight
singing as Elves danced in wide circles
around forest queen so alive in flesh
as though she sprang from torn pages
of forgotten theater show born again
to seek mystery of our strange universe
hidden inside crystal egg of my heart.
They were filming a forest production
of Midsummer Nights Dream and I played
Peach Blossom carrying silver platter
heaped with peaches for everyone to eat
and director with mustache and a spark
of diamonds in his eyes kissed my cheek
proclaiming you are most perfect Elf
to dance in Fairyland on gossamer wings.
You will live forever he shouted loud
and here I am more than forty long years
after that magical month still half alive
feeling like I am a thousand years old
because last night I saw a man in a suit
step from Apollo starship onto my moon
boots kicking up stardust with eagerness
to walk beyond bounds of our little world.
Clara Belle looks outside large window
of her Victorian house onto wide street
of Ashbury in San Francisco to watch
Grateful Dead jamming electric guitars
and she smiles as a thousand hippies hop
up and down in light sparkling drizzle
whispering today you are young and sharp
and full of life jolting electric desire.
Forty years from now will you remember
power of revolution hurtling your souls
through space on this great spinning world
for today Oberon and Moses have returned
reincarnated as that long-bearded prophet
who leads your lost souls from cement maze
to discover your spirit of eternal love
that blooms like flowers through sidewalks
delicate wings of Fairies lifting you high
to soar for a brief hour over bloody war.
My brothers died in forests of Germany
and my sons died in jungles of Vietnam
but where will my grandson die in what war
fought forty years from now over ideology
or some other mad invention of a warmonger
who spins illusions to blind eyes of men
marching with blind obedience into battle
where they will die for a rich greedy king.
Fortune and Fate twin sisters of time
cannot be stopped like that new folk song
where have all our flowers gone to hands
of young girls who marry good young men
gone to war as soldiers falling in battle
to fertilize a new generation of flowers
helpless pawns on chessboard field of power
manipulated by puppet masters in towers
unless you exercise free will and choose
to create garden of Eden in your backyard.
Ancient Sibylla hidden in her golden cage
lies down exhausted from seeking truth
and love as her ghost departs her flesh
to soar with voices of chanting children
toward eternal glowing light of our sun
leaving her memories behind in faded photos
that flutter scattered on wooden floor
when a storm breeze flutters lace curtains
and lightning flashes over Lanikai Ocean.