Archives for category: relationships

How to Find Me

Beyond my window,
a lonely turret-view;
the desperate moat below,
freedom’s elusive skies above.
I pass the hours naming clouds
as though they were my own
beloved flock.

Outside these weathered castle walls,
brambles of bitter thorns, still stained
with the blood of valiant suitors
too easily defeated by love’s
entanglements.

Or perhaps merely unprepared.

There are beasts in the shadows
just inside the tree line there,
do you see?

They are very protective of me.
While I appreciate the gesture,
I find it ultimately isolating.

Still, they do what must be done,
and with a vengeance that could only
be spawned from the worst kind
of trespasses. They will not see me
hurt again.

You will know them by the yellow
gleam of eye shine, their winged form,
and by their curious utterances
as they pace the forest’s edge,
on the look-out for rogues to chew up.

If the wind stills, you can just barely
hear them growling their creed.
Truth…Beauty…Honor…Trust…
Truth…Beauty…Honor…Trust…

Very few get past them,
and those who do, rare virtuous hearts,
usually succumb during the strenuous climb
to my window, where the air is thin
and wordless.

Do try, if you dare. It will not be easy,
but I welcome your intentions.
I will be brushing my very long hair
while I wait. Godspeed, my prince.

Claire Juno, © 2017

…inspired by the fairy tale “Rapunzel.”

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Flesh and Blood Moon

Anyone who hadn’t read
the news might have supposed
it was the end of the world;
that the sun had tried
to come up as usual,

but found to his dismay
that he couldn’t quite
swing it as he had done
since time immemorial,
and so we were left
with a dusky orb
and a darkened world.

But it was not a star
malfunction that night.
It was you, my beautiful
bloody bride,
and I woke up before dawn
and crept outside in my bathrobe
to be with you again,

and maybe even to marry you,
as I have felt we might be
a good match ever since
a waxing moon fell from the sky
like a boomerang of fate
and made a crescent-shaped
scar in my forehead, so that now
from a certain angle,

people tell me they see
that same sad, otherworldly face
that only you have mastered,
especially on those nights
when you show me everything.

I came to look for you,
and there you were,
suspended in the charred sky
like a single Christmas ornament,
as though God did not feel
the need tonight for tinsel stars,
the distraction of clouds.

It made me immensely sad
to gaze upon you, drowning in colors
borrowed from some unspeakable place.
Mars, perhaps.

In my selfish longing, I wanted
to do as they used to promise
in the movies, to lasso you with a rope
and tug you gently down to me,
take you back to bed with me,
and let the dark world go on spinning
without you.

I admit I may have been
slightly deluded to suppose
that you could discern my thoughts,
read my desires, or grant my wishes—

even though as a child
I presumed you could do all three,
and you know I have looked
to you in this way more times
than I can count.

Unlike all the others,
you have never let me down.

Claire Juno, © 2014

Melancholy’s Baby

I was a glimmering remnant,
a moon sliver she clung to
in the dark void.

I was all that remained
of her innocence and hope,
of her diaphanous love
seeping through the disrepair
of everything that mattered,
though in the end
it altered nothing—
a useless ether.

I was a bookmark,
a singular point
of goodness and perfection
along a fading timeline
well-worn and stained
with tears and wine.

Every investment in her
tenuous future
seemed to sit squarely
on my shoulders
as I marched—
some heroic ambassador
for her desperate country,
even as she secretly entertained
thoughts of self-exile.

Claire Juno, © 2012

 

…dedicated to my mother

Prehistory

I would like to suggest
a method of undoing this mess
that will rewind our errors
and erase every possible pain
we have caused each other.

First, I will give your watch back
and you, mine, to return the time
we took from each other,
moment by moment, for years.
It seems you took more from me
than I from you, judging by
the disparate sizes.

Nevertheless, we’ll call it even.

We can then backpedal
and somehow, from this
implacable position, move
forward in our evolution
as two distinctly separate
and wholly unrelated
species,

shifting from fossil
to relic to our vintage selves,
until at last we are amiable
babies playing on the floor,
and not arch enemies
possessing horrible secrets
about each other, drunk
with the dark power
this knowledge imparts.

We can pretend
that the sanguine birds
we once kept in a pedestal cage
were actually tiny dinosaurs
thirsting for blood and quietly
resenting their dish of seeds;
and the dragonfly that died
on the window ledge
was the world’s first biplane;
and we two, lone witnesses
to its epic crash.

Claire Juno, © 2017

Late Bloomer

You were late, though I hardly minded,
as distracting as it was to see you
press your way out of your green sheath
and uncoil those layers, deep pink,
even as an early autumn frost threatened
to nip at your slender tropical petals.

I realize your delayed appearance
has nothing to do with your desire
to bloom, nor your ability to captivate me,
along with the curious hummingbirds
and sparring cabbage moths.

No, I understand it took some time
to catch up after someone mowed you down
in his ignorance, leaving you stubby and broken,
reaching with shredded leaves to soak up
any sunlight you could claim, and
claw your way back toward the sky.

A broken beauty,
though nobody would know it,
to look at you.

Claire Juno, © 2014

Strategy

Do you throw morsels
over your shoulder
when the wild dogs
are at your heels,
hoping the distraction
of your incomprehensible
generosity will give you
time to retreat to your
barren world once again?

From this place,
I throw up my hands
not in despair, but surrender.
I negotiate my own freedom
by finding what is still human
in the inhumane.

Quiet the beast,
and danger returns
to its slumber.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
who pave the muddy trenches
with ten thousand rose petals;
who see the fragility
of the monster,
and skillfully placate him
so that the vulnerable
can slip away unnoticed.

Is not all true kindness
without condition?

Some would say
I am the fool.
But the true fool
bites the throat
of kindness
and by doing so,
cuts himself off
from the only thing
that might save him.

Claire Juno, © 2014

Muse

In dreams she appears,
telling him there is love,
still love, and to find it
for himself once again.

He shuts his mind,
out of eternal loyalty
to the one who claimed
his heart, and to whom
he surrenders it still,
even in her absence.

He will not allow any
alteration. This must be
a false message, a cruel
sprite urging him on
toward some mischief.

He tries to put it out
of his thoughts. This
is not she, he supposes,
and yet as plain as any
cherished snapshot,
she appears, the moon
in her ethereal eyes,
coming to him

night after night,
crossing the celestial
chasm between them,
ever-attendant, bringing
a message he refuses
to consider. Love,

brushing against
his cheek in a manner
he might mistake for
a night breeze—
she implores him to seek,
even as love seeks him,
not yet knowing
his name.

Though she is gone
many years now,
she loves him still,
and so she slips through
the cracks of his spartan
heart, long in need
of love’s repair, gently
inspiring love’s return.

Claire Juno, © 2016

The Mind’s Value

This disembodied love
gently retires to the
spirit-corners of his mind,
the way a grown child
lays her beloved doll to rest
for a seeming eternity
in its little bed,

now a container for love’s
history, a personal context
perfectly preserved,
glass-eyed and unaltered
by the years.

That it is there, waiting
for him, ever-expectant,
was a needed security at first,
then a familiar comfort.

This relic of his heart
remains undisturbed
beneath layers of dust
and seasons, like a truth
even tender children
eventually learn.

Claire Juno, © 2016

The Collector

He surrounds himself
with art, as his way
of bringing her back,
or at least finding ways
to be close to her again.

Free-form sculptures
become a silent homage
to the one who inspired him,
who breathed life into his
once-nascent understanding
of everything.

The halls of his home are full
and empty at the same time,
a solemn procession of tributes
to the very one who cannot
return to see them.

All are cold, smooth,
motionless— just like her pale lips
on the last day she was here.

Claire Juno, © 2016

 

My Life Reincarnate

The moon and the planets
shine just for me now, and the giant
silver poplar has overshadowed me
long enough. Cut it down,

so I will not remember where it
came from so long ago, when
we stole it from a riverbank,
put it in the trunk of my car and
brought it home, an emblem
of our passion.

These days are peculiar,
as though I had given birth
in some faraway place
and come home again at last,
but with no babe in arms,
just my purged self.

My eyes reacquaint themselves
with green grasses, the swan curve
of lily leaves, sprawling nettle,
aging tulip petals strewn about,
remnants of a gone season.

The energy I once poured
into nurturing something
now returns back to me,
like the gentle dead
returning themselves
to the earth.

Like the earth itself,
continually dying
and restored.

Claire Juno, © 2016