my mother’s love…

copyright cwmartin 2012

when a fever
runs high
am alone
in my bed
all my fears
swirling in my head
creating such
would swear
i feel your gentle hands
wiping my brow
speaking softly
that all
will be well
that i

Poem inspired by Soul Dipper (

an unopened box…

in this corner of my mind
i have hidden away a couple of things
more than a couple
but i will share one
with you
in this little cubbyhole
i have placed the dreams
that did not come true
this dusty old box
inlaid with gold gilded tomorrows
holds the dream of
caring for my mother
when she got old
i worked a lifetime
to fulfill this
ignoring times
i could have shared with her
so clear was my purpose
so when she died young
the box was placed upon this shelf
to be covered by the dust
of memories of what she gave to me
the patterns of droplets on the floor
are merely where my tears fell
you need not be concerned with those
but be concerned for this
good intentions for tomorrow
blind you to today’s beauty
offering only a white cane of promises
to cross an invisible street
called the future
which may vanish
in the touch
of a cane’s


the berber queen…


her eyes spoke to me
words soft and gentle
as if she was my mother
not an old lady
living on some arid hillside
cliff in tunisia
this has been her home
since she embraced her true love
and we
were but another set of staring eyes
peering through cameras
capturing disney-like images
for the folks back home
to be discussed over wine and hor d oeurves
noting of course
our ten minute climb to her home
as if it were worthy of a boy scout badge
but long before we entered her portal
she saw us coming
as she peeked out for the next
visit from some group of naive tourists
believing that they were the first to meet her
and capture her image on digital negatives
and so i wondered
why she would grace us with smiles
not the ones programmed to come on
when the visitation switch was thrown
but smiles from deep within her soul
as if greeting an old friend too long gone
her eyes quickly told me why
in this hillside village
little changed day-to-day
the mediterranean sun like her daughter’s visits
rose and set with such regularity
that even a saint would cry tears of boredom
but our futile quest for understanding her life
was a splotch of color on the drab walls of her existence
we were the observed
not the observer
so her eyes danced
and laughed
as she recalled her youth
and the contours of the years in her face
faded from my view
and all i could see
was her dancing on her wedding night
all i could hear
was the pounding of her heart’s passion
and then all i saw
was this beautiful berber woman
as a queen
holding court
in her palace


he lives day-to-day
each evening he adorns
the same worn leather stool
as if it were his lover
caressing the foam on the beer
as if gently kissing a woman’s lips
his dimly lit remembrances of today
fade quickly as she moves to the silver pole
the delilah his mom warned him about
but she’s just woman whose husband split
when the baby was born with a palsy
so now she’s doing what she has to do
cause hospitals will save the child’s life
but ain’t gonna feed it once it’s out the door
with no other jobs in this wind swept valley
of poverty and commercial decay
their nightly fantasies pay the bills
as he places his silver tipped boots
on the brass bar
as cold as her heart is to each of them
he breathes quickly just like ever other night
singing aloud along with redneck mother
as she removes the last fibers of their civility
he can’t imagine anything finer
and doubts she’s got a problem in the world
up there making him happy
like all women should
getting all his hard-earned cash
just for a little shake of this and that
and he wonders how such people
get to have such an easy life
how they come to be so free
not tied down to a 40 hour week
or uh eight-hour day
and why some folks seem
to care about issues
which he judges  to
      have no answers
      or any directions
over beer and whiskey
he solves those concerns
or of any importance
to anyone outside
the sphere of his smoke rings