Sunday, August 16, 2020

A Certain Morning

©Steve King

All rights reserved



This window admits little light,

even as the sky is lifting blue.

These morning clouds appear too soon.


Day upon day,

measuring in moons

and a slow dark drift of stars,

all disappearing, while I try

to purge these eyes of everything

that would invent new dawns.


I called indeed at first

from the distant center of a dream,

dreamed that you had answered

through a dark cloud of your own.

I could not hold those meanings

in a heart’s uncertain light,

so all the while I prayed to wake alone.


Watching to night’s latter end,

I’ll not disturb the shadows, no;

nor any of the rising shades within

that must at once be mine and yours.

Or even you and me.

These mingle in a kind of drizzle grey just now,

not rich enough to pass for color,

nor for things found in a decent light of decent day.


I stir now with desire as to a perfect stranger,

just that way the perfect stranger knows,

stretched beyond the bounds

of new and old beginnings,

those with neither name nor place,

and of each recollection

whispering the deaths of easy ends,

for I am poor at heeding these

and shall not try again.


I seem but a dream, inviolate,

and would deny the moment.

Each thought retreats,

spent waves slipping dark sands,

lost to looming tides

and the refuge of the deep.


Yet some true measure must abide

to spin such shadows out of sight.

Some shall flee, while others keep;

all else that’s left defies the old commands.

What this may be, I render to your hands.


Saturday, June 20, 2020


©  Steve King
All rights reserved

A notion,

the ways
I gently betrayed
some things and those moments,
the castaway times.

A strange flight from language
and every reply
that never made sense.

Awakened at last,
from old sweating dreams,
not quite memory,
but grown more real
with each new escape,
immersed in remains
of my clever refrains.

Still, daytimes I long
for night’s comforting chains.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


©2020 Steve King
All rights reserved

The Lark is spinning in his songless height,
the awesome mountain winds pass where they will. 
My dreams are well enough to hold each night,
though every word that might have served is stilled.

The high cascades will hasten in descent,
the killing torrent, and the eddy’s foam,
and finding their true level, will be spent,
to gather once again in ocean home.

The peal of music that did pitch my heart
returns to play in memory sometimes;
but even while faint melodies restart,
I cannot these days conjugate their rhymes.

Adept false prophets prosper everywhere,
and every grace I’d own is second guessed;
now, always, peace must conjure with despair,
and paradise contend with wilderness.

Yet every moment brings a promising,
a new intention set to satisfy.
The shades of all regret must take to wing,
so never more to gather and deny.

And while I wait to hear my Lark descend,
each thought anticipates his choired throat.
Though bound to earth, my hopes ever intend
my soul to soar once more and greet his notes.

A new poem for

Thursday, April 16, 2020

What Would I Do?

©2020 Steve King
All Rights Reserved

What would I do if favored wishes
Came like the rains to cover me?

What would I do?

Would I content to empty my soul
of blazened dreams, untested hopes?

Every desire within my grasp,
Real to my eyes, each waiting sense.

Spent to time and easy use,   
Mine no more.

What would I do?

A little something for Joy’s 55

Thursday, March 26, 2020


©2020 Steve King
All rights reserved

I have not found traces
Of anything eternal
By searching.

Nor held in my reflection
Any measure save my own.

Each gathered moment
Emptied of all others,
Touch of rumored spirits
Fickle as dying winds.

Found amid strange silence, 
Wondering at my place
In this peculiar dream.

Listening in emptiness
For what silence shall sing. 

Friday, February 28, 2020

And now is winter

by Steve King
© 2020 All rights reserved

And now is winter well begun,
every old hard dream.
Forgotten, that fair suite
that flew the distant airs of spring.

Morns, I chant the same old lies:
how each new increment of evening sun
promises of kindlier things to come;
how darkness is that salutary thing
where one might pause
and get forgetting done.

A new poem for Joy's 55

Saturday, February 15, 2020


©  Steve King
All rights reserved

Light gone,
curtain down
echoes ringing
in high shadows—
still he hears them,
live things he’d command to follow
through the exit door
briefly into blinding light.

And those faces—
pastiche of regard
that he used as his mirror
while he preened;
strained to see them, sly,
all downstage posing, to be sure,
not watching, not the way they looked at him,
not rapt and bold and senseless;
not like poor Narcissus, no,
caught up cold within his fatal gaze,
not at all, oh no.
They never knew he watched.
He must not lose himself in their plain sight,
could not lose himself,
they could not see him seeing.
He was more clever than that, he thought.
They were but the mirror,
reflecting, quick, the flash
of all his emptied art.

And where then might he turn?
There was not space enough to be
in the midst of the new emptiness.
Surely not the exit door, not yet;
not that undiscriminating light;
not that undirected clamor
brooking no silence, no graceful stop.

How might he own all that—
The indifferent stares
that would not recognize nor linger?
How might he hold those emptied eyes,
command such casual vision
to all his well-tuned verities.

Where, oh where to turn?
If only there were mirrors cast within,
if only he might satisfy himself
without resort to any art,
without regifting his whole world at large;
if only he could see the way they saw,
simple and with clarity.

Just for the moment,
moments like this,
when lights were faded
to their shadow homes on high;
with every echo and alarm
yet resonant, reprising absent charms.

Friday, January 31, 2020


by Steve King
© 2020 All rights reserved

I have a favored window.
It draws the light
in tones I wish to see.

It gathers birdsong
from the depths of dawn,
and spills my dreams
upon the evening lawn.

There may be other windows
I might use.

Even rooms without a view.

But here I’ll stay to celebrate,
and ever more to muse.

 A new poem for the 55

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Your speaking moves more than the air

by Steve King
© 2020 All rights reserved

Your speaking moves more than the air, it seems.
I am, with every murmur, shaken too,
transported always where your will requires,
my wishes, resonant at every turn,
attend the lingering strains of your desire.

Much stronger than the weight of loud command,
your musings will demand obedience.
You know that I am helpless to ignore,
and every instant, as I lie in wait,
my urgent station sighs aloud for more.

Suspended like a mote in dim moonlight,
my substance cedes to rapt imaginings,
and, shedding every motive of my own,
I fall upon the pleasures you might bring,
awash, enfolded, no bright charm deferred,
to search again the truth of all your words.

For Writers' Pantry #3 : Poets and Storytellers United 

Sunday, January 5, 2020


by Steve king
All rights reserved

I trace the word, it becomes real
I breathe it to the world
and it is me
as a wind
sounding to the vaults of the earth
to stir a light within my every sense

I say and it is so
embracing now the distant things
even to the sun
brings them now to me
and I will now possess one meaning more

Dark air excites
and the quelled leaves
and the grasses
Each stone on the mountain
pebbles in the valley
waters will not then be still

I cannot know and will not care
who else may feel or see or know
or who would scoff or smile sly

And do not shrink from declination
or designs of their desires

How may I shrink from a new truth
the truth’s effect
the truth’s intent
that keeps me for an object
the light of truth
the truth of light
that even lamps the catacomb
that shall inscribe the stars