Listen, hold your breath –

Can you hear faint rustling
of pen sketched words who wander
across new paper, sneaking
in between the pages when soft breeze
flutters in soft silence,
peeking underneath the lines
of rich creme paper, and gazing in awe
at words that dance with elegant grace,
timid commas tiptoe, slow,
and spiral ’round the hasty dots
into dizzy tales of mystic dreams.
Sometimes, they wake and watch the stars,
and listen to their wistful songs
of time like ’twere the fervent sea;
starry waves that sing to moons,
of storms and love and laughter, free,
drawing in lone, wandering souls
who know and listen quietly.
Listen, hold your breath, stay still,
to shy bells, clear and tinkling,
when soft wind turns the secret page
and stars pour into poetry,
infinite loops trace whispered words
with life and magic, endlessly…

T. E. Pyrus

life on the stripes

like flowing tide and passing time,
footsteps echo to and fro
across the white striped asphalt road
as faceless shadows come and go.

underneath the mellowed sun,
words and silence melt and flow,
and ripple down the asphalt road
as faceless shadows come and go.

traffic lights blink bright and bare
and blend in smouldered sunset glow,
like ancient streaks on black and white
as faceless shadows come and go.

and twinkling smiles and precious tears
from unfamiliar friend and foe,
all listen, still, for those who wait
as faceless shadows come and go.

T. E. Pyrus

singing stone

What is the colour of the night
that seeps through the rounded red bricks,
like rain spills over the broken stone fountain
with little stone angels, who bring oceans in
day after day in the sun and the storm?

The carving on polished black stone
by the crumbling wall, a thousand years old,
glitters with forgotten words,
maybe songs, maybe prayers
that once rung in silence;

perhaps faraway tales, words of farewell
to curious souls, yet centuries away,
rest numb within the curves and slants
of the chiselled night sky, and stars,
perhaps, tremble to the bone
with each feather touch of seeking thirst
when cool fingertips brush over lost words.

Voices strain to ring again.

T. E. Pyrus

Prison-souls

They put up grills outside the corridor
that idles before our classrooms.
The quadrangle trapped within
breathes beneath the open skies,
burning in the mid-morning sun,
and hiding in our imaginary mysteries at night.
The new paint on the grills is soft
and green like bluish boredom,
we sunk in our tense fingernails
into patterns of ill humour,
’til uncivil slurs of loud empty threats
shooed us back into shadowy classrooms.
Every time we stepped outside,
the glossy grills drew our leftover pride,
silenced our laughter, till all we could do
to look away from the hypnotic grills
was to gaze vacantly at the red lines,
and the carelessly scribbled words in red
that demanded clearer handwriting,
and red fractions over hundred
that sunk and never rose again.
Sometimes, between the ear-splitting lunch bells,
we’d push our hands out through the gaps in the grills
that ventilated the claustrophobic corridor,
with close-clipped nails, perhaps some spilt ink,
or an apathetic cut from a pencil sharpener,
as the rain poured, stormy and seething
and cold upon our skin, as we counted
in threes, first drops for another word,
bit back to save our mouths
that bleed from all the undeserved apologies
that they were made to speak,
second drops for notes passed under the desk
and crushed words of passion
that choked our wavering voice,
every third for dreams they mocked with skill,
and said we must outgrow, so we grew,
expanding and stretching, deflating and straining,
stifling and pulling, and pulling, and pulling,
until something broke,
and all the sunshine drowned
in these broken prison-souls.

T. E. Pyrus

a breathful of ginger

With a scrap piece of tin for a roof
and a rickety wooden table
to rest glass jars of vibrant sugar candy,
salty-sweet cookies that melt in the mouth,
and unbranded crisps of rice and potato
for little people with cold coins
in their warm, playful pockets,
the store thrives when the sky
begins to lose it’s evening reds
’round the corner of the duty street.
The spiced aroma of masala chai
that brews in the dented pot beside the jars
blends with muddled gossip
from the day almost past,
with hearty folks and simple words
in foreign, fading clothes
that hang awkwardly off their work-hardened shoulders;
little girl in a once-bright orange frock
gazes fondly at its laced edges
as mother sips tea
with the other women in faded sari
on the broken sidewalk.
A man with a resting walking stick
and a smile as charming as
diyas that have deck the darkened windows
every diwali in all his eighty-one years
gazes at the dozing sky that fades and fades
’til stars come out to play again.
the wisps of steam from his little steel glass
that quietly steal a breathful of ginger for the breeze,
touch his silvery hair in greeting,
then curl slightly in farewell
before they fade into the skies…

T. E. Pyrus

Patchwork

Summer meadows stain her vibrant patchwork pants green
and racing winds sting her twinkling eyes
as she scampers down the valley side.

It sounds like that tiny patch of pale blue
upon the golden hay and sunshine, more sunshine,
and grandma humming lullabies in words she will forget.

The red of her back pocket sings of rain and shadow clouds,
the bright red of her umbrella and mother’s nimble fingers,
and dark purple stitches trace its sides like burning raindrops.

The soft patch of purple looks fresh
like lavender in the backyard and loud and merry voices
that fill up the garden at midsummer tea.

The tangerine yarn lines the black patches on the left
with sparks of flames and ghosts of halloween,
jack o’ lanterns and mother’s vexed grumbles
while she patched up the singed knee.

The orange cat, she’d clumsily stitched in the middle
of the crooked navy blue triangle.

Pink like her cheeks and walking with snowmen
on winter afternoons, grandma’s cookies
and little Cinnamon purring by the fireplace.

Brown like hot chocolate and marshmallow thread
to stitch it firmly to sweet coffee patches right by the ankle
like daddy’s bedtime tales and kissing the stars goodnight.

sixty years away, she’ll run her fingers over weary thread
of overwhelming shades of nostalgic love,
and little children in brighter patchwork pants will listen
to patchworked tales of her patchworked memory…

T. E. Pyrus

Daily Prompt: Scamper

Carousel

Coloured voices paint the world…

No one steals another glance
at the faery carousel
that crowns the gentle woods of time,
and spins to melodies of grace,
the melting spring and summer bloom
that flutter in the sun-kissed rain,
fiery golden autumn leaves
and snowflakes, pure, that hide their flame
in little baskets, full of dreams.

No one steals a second glance
but wistful dreamers, lovers true
who wonder at the carousel
as lifetimes come and drift away…

T. E. Pyrus

only rest,

I wrote this in response to a challenge: Write about what it’s like to live with a mental illness.

is that the music of time,
like the sound of rain
when tired drops that survived the storm
drip placidly from distant treetops,
through hollow darkness that shut-eyes and nighttime bring?
the absurdly enticing stars
fall out of the decorated sky
and shatter like twinkling ice,
like flakes of glass that yearn the stinging blood.
the soil beneath breathes and lives,
the wilting grass that roughly braids your hair
is damp, and slightly warm,
like the empty spaces in memory
where joy and laughter are faded dreams.
drip-drop, tick-tock, suns rise and moons set,
the air embraces the ground here,
don’t try to move your fingertips,
don’t raise your hopes,
don’t close your eyes,
don’t listen as the seconds fall, then melt away,
as if they steal your love and wonder and life,
feel your fingers claw into the soothing wind,
only rest and sink into the loving earth.

T. E. Pyrus

sisters divided…

She sits behind her paper cup
by the sidewalk in the sun
and wonders with wide wandering eyes
at young missus with the bluest shoes
and the way the silver buckle
of her glossy red purse
dances even in the shade
like dreams of home she almost dreamt.
Young missus peers into her purse
and pulls out a silver coin or two
to drop into the starving cup.
With barely half a sideways glance
with eyes that look but never see,
young missus smiled and skipped on by
with sweet illusions of empathy…

T. E. Pyrus

Daily Prompt: Illusion

brighter times

candlelight dances on the old silver pendulum clock.

lightning rips dark lilac clouds
like headlines rip the front page
of the dusty newspaper from brighter times.

the pendulum lights and shadows printed names
in bold and black, and a photograph of smiles,
eleven- twelve- thirteen times-

’til thunder cracks through counting wind
like the cold, brass lock and key
that locked away those brighter times.

T. E. Pyrus

Daily Prompt: Paper