Wednesday, August 1, 2012


digital artwork: ralph murre

by Charles P. Ries

The Black River moved east to the Red Sea
as August crept in on soft hands,
all before a lost tribe of clowns
carrying cartoons and sacred images
high above their heads
             close to the blue sky
                        close to their desire.

Calliope music beckoned them enter the
cathedral that nestled under a grand mustard tree,
as Mary Magdalene flew high above the center ring
Saint Agnes recited the seven truths
Lucifer blew fire and ice
ending the world as predicted by Frost.

Alice, their queen, kept watch -
Alice who knew the secret of grinning cats and wise caterpillars
smoking dope high above the cathedral on tree limbs,
purring to perfection in sitting meditation
             dreaming of dancing mice
                        one minded mischief makers.

I remained silent and floated on to the Dead Sea,
where blood drops become rose buds in bleeding hearts.
Watching ash fall from the hand of an avatar
            snow flakes in August
dusting me white as talcum after baptism.

These wandering mysteries.
            These puzzlements of mind.
Meditations on the nature of rivers and seas,
breezes that dapple my mind in sunlight at midnight.

Will you float with me
On this river of grace?
Belly button pointing toward heaven,
umbilical eye staring into the mystery of love.

~ first published in Anthology