free verse poems, 2003

© Laryalee Fraser

The Last Day of Summer

Yesterday, it was here; boldly infringing
on autumn's turf, dipping between
mounds of golden maples and spilling
satiny warmth across my bare arms.

There was no announcement,
no fanfare, just a slathering
of bright-hued light.

Today, a cold damp slab presses
my thoughts inward; short heaves of frost
portend the fury of approaching winter.

Had I known, I would have cradled
each moment before it rolled away;
I would have marked each degree
of earth's rotation with a wistful salute.

Now all I can do is mold a shell
to enclose the echo
of summer's retreat.

      ~ Eclipse ~

dawn flows like apricot silk
across her scarred mind

her fingers tap out a rhythm --
fresh, vibrant with promise

until a voice, wrinkled yet harsh,
falls through a crack in time

and a childhood shadow
rises on stern legs

blocking the sun


Year after year,
I peel away the skin of time,
swallow its juice, listen
to yesterday's whispers
between the planks
of memory.

Year after year,
I trudge along, groping
for answers,
only to see them vanish
through a door
that isn't there.

I spit seeds into the wind,
that even the questions
extend further
than I can reach.


light cracks
the dark, cold emptiness...
creation splatters

fiery globes whirl
along solitary orbits

for a split second
we are offered the chance
to breathe in
their reflected glory

before leaving our life-prints
in one thin layer
of eternity

The Essence of Now

Borne on the currents
of our five senses,
it sponges the outer layer
of our minds.

There are no crevices
where it can settle, no pores
it can seep through
to nurture our spirits
and sustain our bodies.

We tuck our past indiscretions
into the folds of midnight,
begin painting today
with a flourish

trying to conceal our fears
about the moment

when now

Day Tremors

Morning knocks briskly;
I hesitate, then grumble, "Come in."

He trips over the clutter
strewn around my small apartment
and mutters indistinguishable words.

Balefully eyeing my drowsy stance,
he slides onto a kitchen chair
and waits, drumming impatient fingers
on the table.

I fumble through the motions—
pour water/scoop coffee/flip switch.
As the familiar, invigorating aroma
seeps through the room,
apathy is replaced by anticipation.

Soon, we're sipping on fresh-brewed elixir,
allowing tingles of awareness
to infiltrate our existence.

And we become friends.


Huddled in a secluded corner,
she pulls cloud-threads around her,
trying to wrap her pain
in softness.

Outside, the garden waits --
flowers of the blue moon
drop their petals, one by one,
and the cracked soil cries out
for tending.

Voices climb through her window,
only to shatter
in unintelligible fragments
on the floor.

Spikes of duty occasionally
perforate her shell of numbness;
her body obeys, her thoughts
wander aimlessly behind.

From its varnished wall,
a clock ticks

but time drifts by, untouched.


behind the hill, twilight
slips into a pool of darkness
her soft fingertips
pulling the last notes
of blue
from day's wearied throat

slowly, a new voice rises
above the horizon

as shadows drip
across the threshold
we float
on an unsung breath...


Sometimes, when evening
settles down, creaking against
her bedroom walls

his whispers float up
from her pillow.

She feels them flutter against
her mind, dispersing
warm-tinctured memories
into the fissures
where loneliness hides.

Patiently, she waits to cross
night's thick-curtained threshold

for only in dreams
can she reply.

free verse page 2

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