Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sonnet: In the Quiet Hour

©  2016 Steve King
All rights reserved

It would be a mistake for you to feel
my silence as a shield against your love,
for I have ever held you close in thought
to fill the shadows that are gathered close—
and kept you in those dreams and wonderings,
forever at the heart of my repose.
I look to find a song to make you glad,
to bridge this darkness that will not requite,
a faith to bend my wishing to your needs,
to break your silence, that my silence brings.

My stubborn orbit soon will be unwound,
to feel the patient tenure of your pull,
no more eclipsing radiant delights,
nor folly to resist that final fall.

A new poem for Poetry Pantry

Sunday, January 17, 2016


©  2016 Steve King
All rights reserved

I can’t believe in ghosts—
at all.

Not me.

That sound I hear
is just the ancient clock
crying out cruel hours
and a cache of ruined days;
vagrant seconds spilling
on the threshold of that dark hallway.

I would say
I’ve never seen a ghost.
Strange fancies fall away
at will before my gaze—
as if undone by magic;
that is, if I believed in magic,
if it were allowable
beyond the issuance of dreams,
although each dream itself might seem as real.

I have never felt a ghost, nohow.
That breeze upon my neck
is from the unthought open window
beckoning strange airs
through all the attic maze,
up and down the shadowed stairs
and settling here, easy as can be,
close within this dusty window seat.

I have never held a ghost,
though I have tried:
the semblance of a memory,
husks of undone wishes,
rustling through all useful life,
endowing form to shades of other days.
But seldom in my ready moods
have spirits ever lingered to obey.

Yes, I have paused for many things
as they have come my way.
Most kinds of things, okay…
but never once an honest ghost.

Not me. 
Not ever nowadays.

A new poem for Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads

Monday, January 4, 2016


©  2016 Steve King
All rights reserved

These nights are never empty;
There will be a beat
to mark the waxing moment,
a drumming note to fill
each dreaming space.

But I will never know
if I am hearing or intoning,
listener or speaker;
or if the moment falls an idle thing,
tolling out the faint remains
of conscience staking claim.

I cannot say how any dream is held,
nor how it disappears,
nor whence it springs to hover briefly near:
always some unseen vantage,
where one may not follow.

But its pull is always felt,
and whispers well
of things that I should know,
or would have done,
or might desire,
just so.

Unmetered psalms of my own brief,
echo through the reflections—
all moments that suffice to gather
such a soul as mine.
And all the well-worn hopes remain
that one day they shall bring
a kind of peace.

Were I the sainted kind
I might make orisons of these,
curry spirits with incense,
beatitudes and hope,
even that singular one
to banish every doubt.

But the moment brooks no prayer,
and I must rightly stretch the word
to feel akin to any kind of grace.
I understand:  not every moment needs a name,
that triumph rarely may sustain,
that laughter clings but briefly to the air,
while seas of tears do nourish our domain.

And every moment shall renew.

Even love,
and every friend,
may only for a time be true.

The quotidian march
upon this spinning place puzzles:
every start and end will seem the same.
A humbling passage to embrace,
but should it measure happiness or care,
I know that I shall always march again.

Alas there are no ready gods to blame,
though unseen voices gather near;
though whirlwinds clamor at each turn,
to shout me down,
but never to explain.

A new poem for Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads