Lindsay Rogers | 3 Poems

Explorations of Myself

I buried my grief in loose clods and dirt
with sprigs of nettles draped over top;
and lilies, shroud-white, adorn my heart.

I am the shore that breaks the wave,
the wave which met so many other
shores and turned homeward again.

I am my mother’s daughter to the
nth degree, as she would say,
because I burn too quickly.

I spend my days fishing words
out of frozen lakes using butterfly
nets strung with hope.

I am what others expect to see,
and alone, I become more
than the sum of what I show.

My Damocles

You stand, my Damocles, with your sword
held aloft by fractured promises,
rushing across the vale.

Your words once hung about my shoulders,
flowering with nectar and scents as sweet
as your whispered vows.

But roughshod your desires ran
and I found memory in your footsteps,
leading to places I could not follow.

A lesson: grief does not starve
itself out, but grief is hollow hunger
curled behind fluttering ribs.

Damocles, I hope you find yourself again
in the fibers of your Gordian knot.


He radiated quintessence in all that he did —
not quintessence as in the most perfect quality of something,
but as in the refined essence of a substance, in this
case his energy, his soul, the heart that made him

stop all the traffic on a four lane road to allow a turtle
to leisurely cross the road on her own sweet time, because it
wasn’t her fault that humans had built their empire
in and around the place of her dominion. And I do mean dominion,

not domain, because nature belongs to the creatures
who know how to appreciate it and keep both
flora and fauna in balance, and humans, though
I wish it weren’t true, do not count among

the ranks of such creatures. I never meant to quibble
over semantics, merely admire the he this whole
poem is about, but nitpicking becomes necessary
to ensure your point is not misinterpreted. I digress,

for quintessence is hard to discuss without getting
into the concrete versus abstract, the soul versus the body,
and so on. He would be displeased with me, were he
ever to see this rambling hole I’ve dug for myself.

Perhaps quintessence will have to wait for another day.
It has always waited for me.

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