my friend…


you sit
a coffee cup
the only
you feel
of unkind words
the aroma
of pain
mothballed emotions
on every fiber
of your day
and still
you refuse
to air out
love’s linen
lying across
your bed
a bed
long grown cold
on one side
the only
voice still heard
was the promise
that was not
till death
do us

muted by time…

the only voice
i have
will be
what’s left
upon these pages
and i wonder
every poet
who will read
that my love
are here
not in the grave
with the ashes
across the sea
look for me
not there
but here
this is
that will be

perspective of a portrait…

 A Classic Art ChallengeHere we are at the second round of another poetry challenge between my good friend  Jade and myself. This time, the writing will be prompted by five paintings, ranging from classical to modernist. We hope you will enjoy this as much as we do!

Today’s painting is: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt completed in 1907

Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer by Gustave Klimt

over the years
i have seen
so many faces
staring into my eyes
and have felt
so many envious hands
touching me
i have seen those i’ve loved
carried off to gas chambers
while i was taken prisoner
uncertain of my future
i wandered around
travelling even to america
i asked to go home
even writing it down
but no one would listen
as if my voice
could not be heard
from my grave
i stare out now
at a whole new world
i am now a slave
an object to be ogled
by every passing person
envied for my constant beauty
but no one can see
the sadness i have inside
nor do they care
i think some times
that the oldest profession
is not prostitution
but betrayal
recall what happened
in the garden of eden

when spirits touch…

A Duel Poem
 River Urke & Charles Martin

the call of a lone wolf
through the deepest corners
of the northern forest
a sound so primeval
from a forgotten soul
a wanderer of time
a time before men
walked the mossy path
alone, separated
and divided from all
now their relative calls
out their names
pleading for them
to return to the old ways
when men knew their brothers
and walked with their sisters
a time they lived side by side
no blades between or
tar soaked earth
only the warmth of love
for one another
a deep respect
for all who shared this place
and walked upon this path
a thousand miles far
the call of a lone wolf
resonates, passing through
earth, water, fire, and air
a girl lifts her ears
and speaks to the wind
brother I hear you
your voice is my voice
your sadness is mine
the lone wolf replies
young one, I carry
too heavy a burden
for your soft back
the girl smiles
and says to the old one
then let us do as before
and share the burden’s
of this world

Once again River Urke and I have entered into a duel poetry challenge and this is the resulting poem.  Duel Poetry a prearranged poetry writing challenge  between two people to evolve a new poem where each writer must respond to the other writer’s lines  (4 -5 ) until both parties agree that the poem is complete.

when you’re alone….

Challenge Photo from Jade

when the bells
no longer toll
and not
one voice
sings praises
shall you
still enter in
knowing no one
will see
or care
that you
have knelt
in prayer
and what  if
your god
does not come
when you call
what will you do
will you walk
your lost faith
or shall you
continue to pray
on your knees
for the
to toll

This poem represents my third response to  the second challenge series between Jade and I.  As you may recall, each poet provides the other with a series of photos, visual prompts,  from which the poet is to write a poem.  Jade has written her response which can be found here

to my friend’s life questions….

i could not see his face
nor hear the sound of his voice
but printed words
his words
were tears
tears one could hear
if listening with the heart
not for sounds
but for a soul’s approaching storm
where changing winds
swirl in patterns of disbelief
tossing sacred vows
against the rocks of  uncertainty
swirling the dust of doubt
into his mind
blinding his eyes to love
and to distant dreams
just beyond the horizon of hope
he could not see them
nor feel their presence
for the darkness of faith
was upon him
a darkness so thick
not even the voice of god
could be heard

why can’t i kick the seat…


i didn’t ask
to go on this trip
lashed to this car seat
that not even houdini
could get out of
and you’re telling me
don’t kick the seat
what the hell
that just slipped out
i heard dad say it the other day
and it seemed to fit my situation
you know
hell is that place where you can’t
do what you want to do
must do what you’re told
like me in this open air solitary confinement
with airplane sounds
all around
announcements i don’t understand
and when i stretch out
with two small toes
you say
don’t kick the seat
now what am i suppose
to do way up here
read the paper
or do a crossword puzzle
or two
well since i can barely talk
you know that ain’t gonna happen
now i’ve been told not to yell
or sing too loud
since the folks all around
are sleeping hard
with sound surely from a disney movie
and god knows my little voice
could break the spell of their beauty rest
i’ll grant you that
but given the brevity of my youth
and that i’m so damn cute
why can’t i kick the seat

the eyes of the blind…

if a blind man
told you what he saw
would you listen
or think him to be a fool
for what can he see
the sound of your voice in fear
fear that paralyzes your dreams
the pain hiding in you soul
that you must deny
for you’re expected to be strong
the hope you’ve stored away
that life really isn’t this way
the fragments of respect
left from selling your soul
to the highest bidder
just to caress your fantasy
mass-produced by wall street
if he ran his fingers along your lips
would he feel the twitch
of the fibers of your soul
beneath the red gloss
you use to hide
the ice blue colors of your hopes
would you dare to let him touch
your breast
run his fingers
along the lines of your lies
feeling the arrhythmic pounding
of your heart
as he exposes
what the eye
cannot see