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IF ALL MY WORDS WERE BEAUTIFUL

Elizabeth Simons

If all my days were told in angeled speech,
would I be safe from harm?
Would pumpkined coaches come for me
with guarantees of honesty
if all my words were beautiful?

Would princes, charming,
each deliver promises
to breach the broken-hearted legacies
my childhood kingdom left for me?

If all my words were beautiful,
would fairy godmothers appear
with wanded wishes,
freeing me from fear
that every one I loved would go away?

If all my words were neatly placed
bouqueted and gathered,
bound and laced
with covenants before the altar of my heart,
would I be free from treachery?

If every word my soul released created harmonies,
a potpourri of promises, a feast
of things unseen by earth-bound eyes,
would I be shielded
from the lies that wounded me?

I sing the stories of my heart,
a siren in a raging sea,
and hope my words
will play a part in liberating me
from all the dangers of a childhood’s world
that fell from grace,
and art,
before my soul could see.


ILLUSIONS

Evanescent feelings swell, and effervesce.
They rise and fall
while seeking out the pathways through my soul.

They find the mirrored images of manufactured feelings,
reflections from a hidden heart
grown cold beneath the lost and shadowed places of my inner life.

They feed upon the fancies of remembered things
that live beyond the light.

They glide and swirl within in everlasting want,
until at last they find the rock-hard places where the mirror breaks
and fantasies disintegrate.

And from the white-hot pain of death,
my heart emerges through the tears,

irrevocably searching for the light.


TIDAL WAVE

No slow gavotte,
no stately minuet of mind.
It’s tarantella tunes tonight.
St. vitus’ dance without a rest.
Devolving dervishes
devour my soul
while daylight’s swallowed by the dark

I wait for sleep to stem the tide
and bring the dawn to birth,
while seconds
are minutes
are hours
are accelerating to the end.

And nothing in the universe,
by wishing it
(or even loving them),
can stop tsunamis
when they wake.


© 2002 Elizabeth Simons

Elizabeth Simons is an editor by trade and a poet by heart. She chose to come to earth in Ampflwang, Austria, by way of the Hungarian folk soul, and her parents called her Erzsébet Veronika Komáromi. She grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri, within the bosom of a seven-person nuclear Hungarian family and the shadow of the Roman Catholic Church. The latter both nurtured her spirituality and caused her to question the rituals that awakened it. She has been passionate about language from the time she first learned to speak-first Hungarian, then English-and began writing as soon as she could hold a pen. She has written many poems, a few short stories, innumerable letters, and recently completed a manuscript on creative writing for young adults. Ms. Simons currently works as an editor for the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has three grown children-two daughters and a son-and one lively granddaughter. She lives with her husband, Richard, and a calico cat in Columbia, Missouri.