Poetry

Dogwood

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Dogwood

for Sarah

We are but poor passing fates,
that I could not love you any more
than I do right now.
For  I know of nothing in this world
so sad—or so beautiful
as your branches heavy with rain.

Charles Coakley Simpson


California Dreamin’

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Cali was a cute little surfer girl from Santa Ana.
She was about this tall, had a sweet laugh, great smile,
deliriously long sun-bleached hair,
and a nice, tight little IM.

We liked to pretend we were in love.

She used to send me photos
of herself in the Victoria’s Secrets dressing room
at the mall with her iPhone
while she was sitting in Physics class.

“There’s more where that came from,”
she would wink.

She took me for a drive one night—
just her, her iPhone, and I.
We ended up out on the beach where
she lay me out beside her on a blanket, flipped me open,
and began texting with a warm, seductive voice
into my ear.

I thought I was roaming.

“Touch me—here,” she teased.
And forwarded me a photo of the inside of her thigh.

I was all thumbs.

I moved my hand slowly up the inside of her LCD.
She giggled as I started caressing her Instagram application.

Do you love me?” She purred.

“I thought we were pretending.” I replied.

Charles Coakley Simpson


1-900-Anxiety

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1-900-Anxiety

I get my therapy over the phone—
She pushes happy pills between cam shows.
“Take two of these
and call me in the morning…  Darlin’.”
I receive the anti-depressants
through the mail in a plain brown wrapper.
The sensation of silk
feels good against my naked skin,
but what I really needed—was a Valium.

Charles Coakley Simpson


Ghazal

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for Triin

Longing is the agony of the nearness of the distant. —  Martin Heidegger

The wind caresses me in the winter of the night with the nearness of the distant,
while memory wraps me, warmly, like a blanket of wool, with  the nearness of the distant.

Your eyes: grey stars , a pallor in the darkness that leads me through the absence,
a chiaroscuro, an unfolding of shadows, where I meet you in the nearness of the distant.

There, standing with the crows, your hair windswept with the color of the wheat,
I walk alongside you through the forest of the trees of moss in the nearness of the distant.

A great, golden spire rises up out of the fog, and a snow lays lazily on rooftops.
A sea embraces a sleepy fishing village as my windmills turn in the nearness of the distant.

The wind caresses me in the winter of the night, and yet I hear the singing of bees.
I am the sparrow caged by the snow laden limbs of its tree, but  I will meet you—always,
In the nearness of the distant.

Charles Coakley Simpson

 


Nesting

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Nesting

We carve a nest in the wheat behind your parent’s house and lay there at dusk waiting for the stars to fill the indigo void left by the setting sun speaking in half-whispers the tender sincerity of your words filling my head with the thought of what it would be like to kiss you pulling your hair gently behind your ear the Harvest moon shining softly on the nape of your neck your mother calling out for us in the darkness the cicadas singing their summer song from the shadows of the trees which line the river of my no return.

Charles Coakley Simpson


Snowflake

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Single, solitary angel of wing
sifting softly, slowly sadly thou bring
Mine heart tumbling, trembling tragically down
As thou makes thy journey
To the ground.

Fleeting, frozen feather of white
Doest thine heart shine with the sun and light
That a cloud of high did set thee free
Hast thou fallen from the sky into the heart
Of me.

Wisps of whimsical wintry wind
Thou rides ‘round mine head as doest thou spin
Powdery kisses perfectly placed
The lilting of thy lace ‘pon
My face.

Touch, tease, tickle my nose
Lay ‘pon my tongue thy bittersweet ambrosia
For alas my endearments warm I fear
Are to leave me to be holding what ‘tis only thy
Tear.

Charles Coakley Simpson


Poise

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Poise

And yet not even the rose
knows  of  its beauty.
But simply how to be—a flower.

Charles Coakley Simpson


Conversations with Clouds

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As I lie here in this tall, green grass, I court the company of cotton bears and cosmic bunnies. Therefore, petitioning heaven for peace of mind, that dare I die tomorrow it would feel good to live today, and so I share my thoughts with the sky—

Rolling white caps of stratus and quo
awash in rhapsody blue,
Tall and proud for to be a cloud
is to be a rogue ‘tis true.

Wanderers, drifters, coasters of cumulus,
of what places have you seen?
‘Tis not so much of where you are going,
but of where you have already been.

And though I have traveled many a mile,
there is knowledge that I require.
Would now you impart your wisdom true
for this I do so desire.

For I have seen the end of my days,
would it be too little too late?
That I court regret and am thus beset
to only tempt that fate.

As ‘tis not so much the things I’ve done
but the things I wanted to do,
And ‘tis not so much the loves I’ve won
but the love I wanted true.

Bridges I’ve burned are lessons learned
and wisdoms by which to live.
Yet the hardest coin ever I earned
was the knowledge of how to forgive.

The resolution I have come to conclusion
I have lived life as like a cloud,
And the only solution is the restitution
for what sins I have endowed.

This burden of guilt that I bear to grave
be my only heart once broken,
And that is the love for you that I spake
but yet have never spoken.

As my thoughts grasp the sky wondering why
I let go of a love that should be,
I know now a cloud has a soul as a soul ‘tis a cloud
and a cloud ‘tis a soul to be free.

And closing  my eyes—I listen for her heart.

Charles Coakley Simpson


Fate

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Fate

What is the fault in our stars
that could I have held you but once,
I would have held you forever
If ever I was destined—to hold you  at all

Charles Coakley Simpson


Seashell

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My little heart of pink and pearl
bourn from bed of coral,
Deepest in blue I remember you
a shellfish with a soul.

Tiny crustacean, cerulean elation,
found is your way to me.
‘Cross whitened sands into my hands
a siren sad of sea.

Shallows roared, washed ashore
abandoned and alone.
Yet ‘tis within your kiss that I remiss,
your mother calls you—
Home.

Charles Coakley Simpson


The Clown

 

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The Clown

And so they laughed at your expense—
Giggled when you tripped,
chuckled as you fell,
and applauded while you wept.

Still—there is nothing softer than your heart
except for your soul sad with tears.

And I shall find you when you are lost,
love you when you are lonely,
and lift your heart up in spirit so you know—

You will always have the key—

To mine.

Charles Coakley Simpson


Ambiguity

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Ambiguity

Are we not meant for mystery
that we wander the corridors of our hearts—
Searching for love

Charles Coakley Simpson


Intimacy

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Intimacy

Even in the dark I think of you—
That these shadows have made me long for your touch.
Might that I wrap myself in the soft, white blanket of your skin,
your whispers tumbling warmly into my ear.
And yet as I consider the tenderness within your voice
It is only the sound of my heart—trembling
To be next to you.

Charles Coakley Simpson


Vespers

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Vespers

Wake me with a kiss,
and stir my dreams with lips brush.
Might that I feel–
the soft, tender press–of loves flower.
Between the unturned  pages
of my heart

Charles Coakley Simpson


Three Days in Bed with a Stranger

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Three Days in Bed with a Stranger

The morning light is dark with rain.
There is an unfinished tattoo
on her left shoulder.
And I remember
you closing the door on us.
Your words hung in the air for days,
like this Louisianan heat.
As if saying that you still loved me
would set things right.
There is an unfinished tattoo
on her left shoulder.
In the dark. I am grateful.
That our scars don’teven matter

Charles Coakley Simpson


The Memory

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The Memory

I had thought to capture the moment,
However fragile. However fleeting.
And feel it move between the palms of my hands.
Soft and silent, like a moth.
With wings fluttering–yet frightened.
as it searches for light–
Within the darkness of my skin.

 

Charles Coakley Simpson


Feathers

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Feathers

When I hear    the sound
of sadness.     And the light     is broken
by the silence.    Of the trees.
I know    all the birds      have flown     Away.
Their wings like words     whispering
Your     name

Charles Coakley Simpson


After the Rain

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After the Rain

When once tears did fall–
that we were embraced by the joy of intimacy,
and yet the deluge which befalls us now
is not for the want we have of holding each other still,
but that we never held each other
Enough

Charles Coakley Simpson


Twilight

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Twilight

The bridge between
dusk and dawn
is merely the distance
transversed
from my lips to yours

Charles Coakley Simpson


Thistles

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Thistles

Might the thorn
be as fragrant as the flower,
that the paradox of love is in the irony of its pain.
Thus I am drawn into a garden of thistles
where even the rose is entangled within its vine
that I cannot deny my passion
for beauty

Charles Coakley Simpson


Comprehensive

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Comprehensive

It has been long–I think, since I held you.
And wrapped myself warmly
Within the soft, white blanket of your skin.

Charles Coakley Simpson


Cricket

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Cricket

Out of the distance, through my darkness,
I listened quietly for the solitude in your summer’s night song.
And yet I never knew where upon your heart did lie.
Had it only belonged to me, for in that fleeting moment I knew
That I was never truly
Alone

Charles Coakley Simpson


Lust

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Lust

To want you is never enough to know you–
What it is to touch you, to hold you,
to wake up in arms of which I do not wish to stir.
As I am neither the light in your eyes, nor the wind in your hair.
And yet you are ever the warmth in my arms at night,
even though I can only hold you–
In my heart

Charles Coakley Simpson


Plush

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Plush

Thus awakened
within arms womb–Embraced.
I am locked timelessly in amniotic warmth
Without condition–Immaculate
Therefore suspended–I am thus weightless
except for the delicate influence
Of a whisper

Charles Coakley Simpson