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The Sleeping Gypsy   Henri Rosseau 1897


by P. Pennington Douros


Words lose their meaning, but expression persists,
like solemn, blanched bones, resigned;
demure inscriptions on arid sand,
denoting a robust design, and determined force,

now emptied,
yet uncannily willed 

 perfect in being still.
Or a labored man retreated in rest,
a crumpled sack on a mat,
muscles yielded and sentry dismissed,
to solace of sleep, or death.
An armistice.
Shanto muro kame' fama
daash may dahl, daash may dahl.
Flamka kata mor amana.
Sade', Sade', Om.
A Night

A night. A daunting, cinematic space,
afloat in space, like a silent, black iceberg.
A night of echoing solitude and peculiar suns,
suns like charmed stars that occasionally explode into a luminous birth,
a white night pun lighting horizons, corners and faces, then imploding back into minute spirit holes.
I look at these star suns and pray they will grow,
a benevolent light for my clandestine home,
and I pray for shadows, cool and concealing,
to hide those dazed, trembling eyes,
pins that pierce the light shadow disguise.
interrogating the vastness for origins. And with one step or two, mortally slow,
I join the imploding and exploding suns,
the soliloquy of visionary stars,
in a reprieve from the unremitting hollow
of being one being one.

Port of Entry

At port of entry,
I court the favors of seaside girls,
sleek flamingos tracking the sand, tossing coquettish slights;
fancied lovers stolen and spied,
as fingers surf the waves
and trace the contours of precious shells
that wash to land
in the foam of urgent tides.


Mortally unsleeved, boys run at Einsteinian speed,

Nullifying the earth’s centrifical spin,
Deliriously suspended where creation begins
To ascend to the stars and embrace the ambiguities of the gods. 


You are in the ebb and flow.
A tide recedes, another grows.
A design from beauty and grace---
that knowing illuminance, that I
that will remain, and be,
when the sea, and all, is dry,
and nothing their domain.


Lost in wondrous, magical cinema nights.
Love, sex, death, no fear in the translucent, celluloid light.
Only magnificent mutant heroes appear, and catatonics frame-dancing through a Mardi Gras year.
All the enchantments and horrors waiting to behold!
I flee the theater and escape to the roads.
Too timid to pass I maintain my lane. Negotiating fields of flickering signs. Bypassing doors of seductive designs.
The asphalt an endless battlefield mire,
I charge, skirting the bullets of friendly fire.
Eternities traveled to arrive nowhere. Days and nights layered in painted air. For what is there, but what there is here?
My family dispersed, I prefer the ghosts of hallowed verse.

Human Savages

To be, or not,
A beauty, a presence, a dominance,
A poetic island of human savages,
Technologically altered, drumming and hunting wild boar,
Proud and vicious, in lush undertones of blood and forged steel.
Protectors of coy tenants, their essences sucked by predatory nights,
Color, madness,
A threat to slash or maim,
A cultural icon,
Or anything, anything.



She seduces his longing to rejoin . . . splenderous, primordial forms.
Elegant, symmetrical.
Like her fierce leopard loins, sleek tight cords, black jungle eyes.
And deep within, luxuriating velvet folds seat an exquisite harp --- a tuning fork. Plucked, it resonates her being, as a thousand suns burn white.
The beautiful naked beast,
now partnered twice as beastly, raw, and sweet,
in a dissolution of time and architectural shapes,
melds and dies,
incandescent red in a molten sea -- a warm, blood fluidity.

The Redemptive Beauty

   She--the Redemptive Beauty, recast in the after-image of flesh past, or future; Marilyn and Madonna,Aphrodite, Mother, and whore with heart of gold. The elusive silhouette behind the veil. A serene reflection. Perfection. Breathing a song of mythic rhyme, hailing us forth with archaic signs, caught when glimpsed and lost when seen, like the thought that evolves a dream. She loves and dances and laughs when pleased and sleeps stark upon the sand. She persuades finality to perpetual waves, clawing at apathetic shores, by drowning in their depths, to float serene in the infinite core. She who is the one who can never be; a conscious forgetting of that forsaken so long, like a sunken Santa Marie, absolved in the absinthe of the sea. 

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