width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Spring / Summer 2009


 

Christopher Baldwin

 

Death of a Smiley Clown

The way he had the day dancing
to his polka song
The way he smiled and set our hearts alight
would not be forgotten
 
You can see by the line that runs from his grave
of mothers and fathers and their children
that the world wasnít ready to lose him
To lay him in the confetti
and like a seed plant him into the ground
where one day a candy cane tree may blossom
 
I would tear through the cloak of death
to find him
The purple cloud of night
to bring him back
 
So he could giggle and skip and dedicate his life to entertain
as he once did
Funny red nose of infinite comical power
to spark its cherry lightning again
 
We wear this corpse paint for you my late friend
Winterís white and bat wing black around the eyes
And bleed and toast our wine to you
Pouring the fresh bottle of grape
over your pastel headstone
 
The plastic bugles and noisemakers sound
People disperse and wander a little more fuzzy
about the way back home than before
They will see a mime on a street corner
step out of his invisible box and brush off his shoulders
and to themselves whisper a laugh


© 2009 Christopher Baldwin

 

The Flood of Rainbow Land

When rainbow land leaked through the drinking fountains
arcing their beautiful multicolored waters
I think we all gave out a cry
 
The ones who had happened to be drinking from the fountains at that time
fell instantly under its spell
They are children again
Happiness that they thought they could never dance with again
is now a specter that takes them around
waltzing to heavenís song 
 
You should have seen the flood
Rainbow water drowned our ankles 
And barefoot we led in its syrupy texture
between our toes to squeeze, to embrace it
It was healing
It was relief
It was the little boy that plays with a red rubber ball
It was the little girl that plays with a raggedy doll
that suddenly came to life
in our hearts
 
The drinking fountains now twenty foot geysers
and us the rainforest trees
for their tropical rains to lean upon
Water falling like a lover would
tired to the embracing arms
of a lover enwrapped in bed below
A piano was sprinkling its voice from somewhere in the splashing
and we giggled
like toddlers in a lawn sprinklerís wild hair
 
And even when the waters subsided
and the ocean of rainbow land
retreated back into the pipes to return
to its canyons below
In the tide pools that were left and slowly to vapor
we laid, lovers us all, cuddling close
Watching as the evaporation
filled in the stars with watercolor


© 2009 Christopher Baldwin

 

The Fireworks at the Ferris Wheel

Moths and butterflies
that turned into fireflies
scattered when the explosions began
And like animals released from their pastel cages
swarmed the premises
Landing in peopleís drinks, in their pigtails
in their plates and pockets
under the collars of their shirts
in the cracks of their butts
Fireflies shedding their cleansing neon green poison, plenty to spread
One landed in the eye of a man leaning by himself against a guardrail
that he mistaken for dirt
Suddenly it granted him the courage to sit by her side
and ask of her name


© 2009 Christopher Baldwin

 

She Was Saturn

She was from Saturn
Iím sure of it
The way the colors on her skin
swayed from yellow to brown to yellow again
like a Saturnine hurricane
The way her body like a helium cloud
whisked and whisked away
from under her feet gliding
Proved her not of this world
 
Bits of a moon in a ring
spinning around her bathwater head
of pearl and of beige
close enough to a halo for me
 
Her beauty was not to be denied
Though her presence easy to miss
She would brush by your back as she glided behind you
And then suddenly disperse at will
into something like nicotineís smoke
Yellow and yellowier still until into the color of air
Vanish
 
She was to be my wife
We confessed our love on top of the carnival slide
in our potato sacks readying the wavy journey down
Promises of honeymooning 
in the galaxies beyond
 
And now she is wind, she is subconscious, she is gone
Smooches left on my lips: cigarette stains numbing and browning
 
Every time I see passing through the sky
A cloud the color of autumn oak
with a ring of hydrogen fire around it
I think of it as her
and wave excitingly, foolishly, at nothing


© 2009 Christopher Baldwin

 

A Vampire

A xylophone key left by the carousel
lent out a bit of its magic
When she saw it lying there
she fell into his arms
When it shined bright lemon yellow
she kissed him
When it gave out a little melody
she was in love
 
And it never did that for me
No matter how long I waited
It sat there a scrap, a slab, a shard of glass
That wouldnít dare face me
 
Everything started to go sad
The star above my head went blue
and rained
 
They all had lemons in their eyes
The hearts of their lovers in mind
And didnít even bother to extend their hand
over my head to keep the star from pouring down
its cursed weather
 

© 2009 Christopher Baldwin



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