A Touch of Coleridge in Chicago

rime coleridge

The Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

On this chilly June day, fog hung over the city like a blanket suspended from the skyscrapers. Ominous was the first word that came to mind, but as I approached the harbor and noticed the tips of all the sailboats’ masts being swallowed up by the sky, scenes from my favorite Coleridge piece flashed across my mind. If you haven’t read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, you should. It’s the longest of all his works, but it is a powerfully written poem with beautiful use of imagery and personification, as well as moral admonition steered by the sea, some dark spirits, and an albatross.

If you decide to read it, let me know what you think in the comments section below!

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White


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Vibrant buildings assume a pastel hue
As when mixing paints; adding white to blue.

Silvery frosted crystals fall softly,
Forming a sheer veil over the city.

In summertime, a sapphire oasis;
Now bleak as God’s delicate hand traces

The urban edge of Poseidon’s estate;
Its alabaster sheen so desolate.

The beauty of the harbor lies barren–
No songs of the warbler, loon or heron.

A frigid white blanket across this bed
Encapsulates beauty asleep, not dead.

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Almost There, Headed Nowhere

Almost There, Headed Nowhere

I close my eyes and feel the bitter draught sneaking in through the window.
If you listen hard enough, you can hear each snowflake fall.
A pitter patter of dust that settles me into brief hibernation.

The sun breaks through the cold, misty sky,
with its glimmer and its shine it teases my mind.
It makes me wish I were somewhere else…

Like under a palm tree.

The heat on my face
Causes my heart to race
faster and faster with the anticipation of Summer.

Each of my senses kicks into an inner feeling of nostalgia.
They feel the excitement,
hear the splashing of water and my favorite songs playing,
smell the chlorine, and the morning dew, and the fireflies at dusk,
taste the watermelon Bacardi on the lips of my latest crush.

I see the neon pink and orange skies of the sunset over the valley,
and the millions of stars floating around the vast night sky.
Only four more months, and it will arrive.
I’m losing patience with each day of Winter.

On that September day…

With love for my Godmother, confidant and friend, who lost her 13-year battle against breast cancer in 2009.
I think of you still every day, Aunt Betsy.

She watched them all as they watched her sleep
in the pool of yellow light that protruded through the windows
cracked open just a bit to let the warm September breeze
skip along and tickle her skin.

Her thin strands of brown hair scattered across the pillow,
and the bones in her hands stood like a miniscule mountain range
on a mattress of feathers.

Her soft chin tucked gently under itself,
angled slightly toward her faded blue statue of the Virgin Mary.

The air in the room stood still for a moment,
slightly sullied by the smell of Ovaltine and saltine crackers.

A deck of Bicycle red playing cards strewn across her feet;
they whisper and chuckle from the match they had played earlier that week,
“My Jack of Clubs trumps your Ace of Diamonds!”

Outside, the sun breaks through the clouds
in streams of majestic gold,
the way it does when you swear angels are singing up above,
and playing their harps, smiling at newborn babies
and holding the hands of those who are fading.

A beaming grin swept across her face —

or did it?

As quickly as it came, it was no more.
The smile lines remained:
a whimsical gift to those left standing, waiting for her eyes to open,
when she would then explain with such enthusiasm as she always had
the visions she just witnessed.

But there was nothing she could say; those words never came.
Her radiance was left to do the talking.

It was magical, emotional, painful, peaceful.

A final rise and fall of her chest;
her lungs, heart and everything encased in it.
A steady turn of her head,
a simple nod,
a lasting smile.

It was her way of telling them,
“I’m fine, I’m happy. I am at peace.
You can let me go now.”

Link

The Dangerous Summer
“Never Feel Alone”

I drank the weekend to the ground, and you’re in my arms.
I kept my feelings to myself, and you weren’t wearing much at all.
It wasn’t like me to move closer to you.
A feelings just a feeling till you let it get the best of who you are;
then sleep gets harder, and I need more of you.
So lay down on the couch and let me show you why I need you more
than all the boys on your street.
Am I wrong, or is this really what you want to happen?
When all I want to do is have this, I’m not strong enough to breathe.
So here’s the thing with my head, I’m unstable.
I’m feeling honesty come out, when really I’m just gone.
So now’s the part where I move closer to you.
Do you feel me when I touch you, do I really lack the skills to turn you off?
It’s what you do to me.
‘Cause I’m caught in every single word and I know that you are something else,
Yeah, I reached that point. So now I’m left to do my very best to let you know
that you’re in my head when I drive out to the coast.
I’ll bring a piece of you with me so you know that I’ll be coming home.
Am I wrong, or is this really what you want to happen?
When all I want to do is have this, I’m not strong enough to stand.
‘Cause I’ve been pushed around before.
I felt the burn from every inch of my heart,
but it’s worth it to never feel alone.

The Dangerous Summer \”Never Feel Alone\”

Transcendence

I want to lay in tall grass
To have the sun warm my face
Turning my eyelids red as I dream

Hold my hands
Lay head-to-head with me so our feet become polar opposites of each other

Let the birds’ songs be the melody we drift away to
Let the whistling of the wind in the trees transcend our minds into another world where time does not exist
Anger becomes passion
Complexity is irrelevant

A warm breeze comes from my toes and lifts my hair up off my shoulders
Inhale
Breathe it in
Don’t think about it. Just let it happen.

You roll over to your stomach and perch yourself up
Leaning over your elbows
I meet your gaze but you shyly look away

You bend the tall grass that separates us
and crawl the few inches between us
to lay a gentle kiss on my forehead
And I don’t think about it; I just let it happen.