Dreams of Men

 

Crossing the old DMZ not far from the country club

I encounter the same despair on a rusty bicycle.

 

A humanoid covered in colored skins not his

crosses the avenue unaware of the speeding Humvee.

 

Behind, he leaves the scantily girl of the night puffing

on the cheap menthols, in waiting of her next date.

 

She misses nothing, her eye on the loiterer sipping

on what’s left of a jumbo container of rancid wine.

 

The rose on her chest is making way to a new wrinkle

and she coughs up a thick past of tar and sorrow.

 

In this tepid loneliness passers-by still smile a little

for they seek one more slice of hope in the corner store.

 

They did save a few pennies on those rare luxuries

to invest in a sure bet for a few lottery tickets.

 

There they live, cast away by the world outside

there they die without regret for this forsaken life.

 

Witness to their many failures a nameless friend

collapsed on the concrete vanishes beneath his filth.

 

Monument to an age in ruins he is but a corpse

inhaling a mixture of what humanity spews.

 

Tomorrow he will be stored away without a tear

to be remembered only by the stench of his disease.

 

The gambler, the drunk, the whore next door soon to follow

devoured by simple dreams never to be achieved.

 

Prisoners of imposed vices their only belongings,

never were they to shake those shackles of destiny. 

 


 

Frozen Features

 

They all recall days of gentle spirits

friends and kin alike not long ago

when she glided upon her carefree ways.

 

No hall remained empty upon her passage

when her deep aura left a print

onto the walls of brick, stone and diamond.

 

A harsh season rose above the horizon

too frigid for the feeble limbs

little girl in shock before the highest peaks.

 

Somewhere below the gray she knew happiness

now buried beneath the weight of massive memories

she suffers in every crushed fiber.

 

In silence she pleas for a better moment

praying for the message traced within the flesh

to be known of those who cry nearby.

 

Far too solemn for the years she is as ice

frozen as once was stone of this earth

paralyzed below the mere fears of being.

 

She once danced with infinite freedom

making sounds of laughter to echo forevermore

inside the shell she screams to find herself again.

 

Solid in a present she never sought

the moment will come for her to arise at last

kind soul you are missed in this darkening realm.

 


 

His Kingdom for a Touch

 

At the furthermost corner of the curb

contemplating a new tear in the soiled denim

no thought crosses that aging soul.

 

Without raising an eye he sees the world

under the reddish shade of a fiery set

if only the dying warmth could give him life.

 

A little boy once sat where he now dies

in colorful giggles he played with a girl

a dream fading with his aching bones.

 

He touches his wrists where she held him

a vague memory of anticipated moments

when they simply embraced in secret.

 

Soon the frigid air of the night will embrace

this abandoned mass of wasted fancies

to crush the fragile remains of her image.

 

Alone the rotting statue will endure

his kingdom dilapidated to the last hope

for a kind touch in the self-imposed exile.

 

 

 

The Life in His Hands

 

On the table resting by the faded shine of a dinner

plate, muscles wrapped around the tired bones,

he says nothing.

 

Wrinkles bleed, trying to find solace in the soothing

calm, crevasses seem born of giant abysses,

a soft moaning sound.

 

To the rescue five relatives arrive, responding quickly

attentive, brothers hug their pained kin

in a dry rub.

 

Married for this lifetime, two sisters say so much,

consoling, their story is complete,

in this tender embrace.

 

A soul, a heart, a thought, in silence, wait by

patiently, everything he does, everything he knows

at his finger tips.

 

The passions of an existence whole radiate from his eyes

green, selfless, contemplating the morrow’s tasks

a grin painful. 

 

Not a choice, a destiny traced in generations many,

a dynasty, he may ponder a moment fair, or not,

and rest, just a little. 

 

 

 

The Way It Works

 

Contemplating the consciousness of the ghostly peak,

as the carnivorous angel soars I must also wonder

what his aim is as he reaches the glassy expanse.

 

Remembering the flight of the albatross,

the relentless dive of the black giant on the cherry tree

I asked why so they flew these friendly skies.

 

From rock to petal to acorn, and to the great canine,

through those sharp eyes, how far do they reach

into the mysteries of men’s imagination. 

 

Sharing from within and beyond into past and present,

there is a debt to be paid for all other participants,

in a symphony we casually call the universe. 

 

 

© Fabrice B. Poussin 

  

Bio:  Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review and the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.