For dVerse Poetics today, Claudia is asking us for poems with layers – like part of a symphony or intricate painting or the layers of an onion. I took as my cue, the ages old Simon and Garfunkel’s Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme -two different songs, two different thoughts woven together.
I couldn’t help but notice that sweet Southern boy
At the Saturday night VFW dance
With eyes the color of a cloudless May sky
(I was told long ago: Never look into the eyes of a dragon –
His gaze will capture you and you will be lost,
But I looked too long into his eyes,
Brown, liquid and disturbingly male.
His eyes lifted and trapped mine).
And light brown hair that curled.
He two stepped and waltzed with perfect rhythm and grace –
White cotton oxford shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows.
And jeans that hugged him –
(He looked like he had stepped out of a time machine –
black silk hakama, hair in a warrior’s knot –
in his obi the two swords – daisho.)
The girls and the women, oh yes, the women
Stood on the sidelines –
The girls with pleading in their eyes
And the women gazing with knowledge.
(To myself I murmured “Kokuryū” – Black Dragon)
He danced with girl after girl after woman after woman.
And then, he chose me, pulling me close so I could smell
The fresh air and sunshine in his shirt
And the Ivory soap with which he had bathed.
(And there was about him a wildness,
a smell of cold fresh water rushing over rocks.)
Up against him during that slow dance
Was magic and when the band pounded out the next song
– he didn’t let me go.
And outside, on the dark end of the porch he kissed me.
(And there was about him a heat, like the skin of a dragon
And a strength like the wings of a dragon lifting upward beyond the sun)
His lips full and soft and sweet
And when I took them between my teeth
I wanted to devour him – instead later, savored him,
His skin like sun warmed velvet under my hands
And again, that honeyed juicy mouth.
(And later, he kissed my fingers as he placed in them
A branch of perfect cherry blossoms – kanzen sakura – he whispered)
And I sighed because summer was short
And perfectly ripe peaches don’t last for long.
(I could only stand and watch as he flew back to his mountain.
And a loneliness about him, like a dragon curled
about himself in the depths of faraway cave –
“Kokuryū” – Black dragon.)