Artwork, Poems & Etc. by Mark Price       buy prints | art gallery | poetry is | thoughts on art | bio | talk to me

Secret Name

Spired Sky

Tall are the high church spires, braced against the sky
      beneath in earth’s bowels, a stinking labyrinth.
Here in our city we are caught between,
      tense and mad,
      for madness is the tension between
      what is seen as holy and what is not.

She floated by on the gaze of a young man,
      red scarf and flowing scented hair,
      he did ponder in his mind, ‘Should I ask?
            dare speak my heart?’

He did dare and struggled with choking words
      heroically or idiotically posing
      lofty thoughts in gutter speech.
      she stopped and she listened
            to his surprise and joy.

Then the wind shrieked and took her scarf aloft,
      to the spired sky it whipped and rent.
      the clouds did crash and rumbled
            laughter was heard on the wind.
From below the bowels bellowed cacophony and gas.

But they didn’t mind, didn’t heed
            or take notice of it all.
For the ardor in his eyes, she was all aquiver and full of sighs,
      opened arms entwined, they embraced and kissed,
      they found in passion incandescent release,
      the flames burned bright and burned high
      the lovers were being consumed by relentless flame
and many looked on in fright.

The devil saw their plight and came to the rescue,
      ready to deal, he counseled the young pair.
“Let go awhile, cool this thing down, so young,
      oh sweet foolish youth, live to love another day,
      so many days ahead to love.”

Aside he then said “And others waiting too
      this love is a thing better divided
between one ans two."

The young man said “He speaks well, I know,
      with sense too but his words leave me cold,
      like icy fingers round my throat. Devil take his own,
he would have the death of our love, I am sure.”

But the devil over heard, and answered,
      “no, my young friend, that’s not my style
I want nothing but my due, your friendship
      for all the good fortune you’ll accrue. I am
      no collector of souls, who trade a day of fun
      for a long age in sunless hell,
that is just slander and bad press. Now quick
      my boy, before long
      your bones will be charred and your flesh goo,
so act smart and take my words to heart.”

The woman said quietly for no one but her love to hear
      “by heaven, we burn for good,
      never will I let go or be less then true,
      for truth is all I have
and love for you. So put your faith in me and I in you.
Swear never to pass through heaven’s gate
      unless I am with you
      and I swear it too.”
            “I swear it,” he said and meant it true for heaven heard.

The skies opened, rain fell and the flames sizzled out.
      but the lovers, by now were just charcoal,
      a sad sight to some but their spirits aloft,
      rendered the skies in afterglow.

The devil not knowing what to do, ran around in circles
      looking for an umbrella, I suppose, or maybe for me
            or maybe for you.

If you aspire towards heaven and I hope that you do,
      and on your way to church you spot young woman
      with a red scarf and scented flowing hair,
      don’t think you have been waylaid by desire,
      but dare to love with strength and candor.
as in faith you love, you love One and through One, All.

end       back to the top

The Magus

O’ gifted Magus;
      thou art a strutting rooster and a turbulent cock
      this thing you’ve devised would see our demise,
      the structure you posit, with secret knowledge forged,
            will fall on our heads, I am afraid.

An old woman who has seen enough of life,
      now sits among the shimmering trees,
                  hears the birds sing
and to her heart ecstasy they bring,
      she knows more of the Language of Birds
      than the study of any Cabbala
            or Royal Art can bring.

Of Materia Prima it’s been said ‘tis the stuff of dreams,’
      to shape it through power and will is a mean thing
      considered against the knowing of it,
                  that this is a dream,
by walking a path of This and That we come to know
      That which dreams This.

end     back to the top


High on a hill a city was built,
      a clock tower at it’s center, overbearing all.
Ordered industry, busy and happy people working
      washing their filth down hill.
The valley is green with abundance though
      decomposition, dissolution. The smelly river
            snakes to ocean and death is life.
The wind blows around in circles, time is eternal
      as it rounds the clock’s face.
Church bells ring out, a marriage and a feast,
      then tolls for one who is gone, life is death.
Time is a line that begins where it ends
      and death a comma,

end     back to the top

No Sending Kiss

No sending kiss
no fortune returned,
            a moment lost
no stamping of horses
            just empty streets
the neighbors look out their windows,
      my windows are closed, drawn blank by day,
      swept clean by the wind. And I
      through lonely centers
from out of the day,
out of noise,
the swirl of traffic.
            I was called by chance
      to escape through the basement,
                  then the sub basement.
And again out
      to see fields of men and women
      growing ripe in the sun.

end     back to the top

Floating on a Blanket

A breeze fans through the wood clearing
      the morning mist,
catching glimpses of a river far below,
      up I was floating, high and around
in a cloud blanket,
      tucked in like a child for a nap.
The wind catches and rushes through me,
      I fly away puffy, blowing the wind out
            my nostrils.

The blue sky darkened, blowing unruly
                  around my head,
      “I’ll have that blanket,” says the rough wind.

“But I’ll fall and die, it’s a thousand feet or more below,”
      I cried.

“What is that to me,” he rudely said and pulled
      my blanket free.

In a suspended instant many thoughts
            came and went:
      ‘I’ll flap my arms as if they’re wings’
            but the ‘as if’ is a troubling thing
                  you see, arms are not wings.
      ‘I’ll lay to my side to slow my descent,
            or maybe head first
            to get it over quick,
      Is there no water near by, a lake or a pool.’

One thought rose above
            and stopped my mind’s fearful clamor:
            ‘My feet are, in fact on solid ground.’
Astounded I perceived the truth of this to be.

            You see,
      if your mind is held firmly aloft
lightly do your feet tread the path.

end       back to the top

Staring Away

Staring away the light of today
      starling child, sweet night child
I know you well,
      I know you not as one or as many.
You’re a moonbeam and soft twilight
      shattered, an emotion overthrown,
            a single thought scattered,
remnants of many are one not two
      you are one
      but not one of many.

I know you well,
      and not as you are.

You’re soft breasts
      and wet kisses,
      to young men,
you’re what is real in a
            dreamers dream,
you’re the last drawn breath of the dying
      and the radiance to fill a soul.

end       back to the top

Secret Name

Alone I stood upon a threshold looking to
      somewhere else,
there was a young girl, she stood beside me
      taking my hand she asked me to guess
      the secret name of her sister.
Out of kindness I asked if it wasn’t:
      Jill or Judy or Pam or Beth.
She stared quite seriously and said it was none of those,
      I had guessed wrong.
I bent close to hear, she spoke a name
      that was like no other,
      on hearing it I was thrilled.

I saw a woman who was neither old nor young
walking cautiously through a darkened room
      to light a lamp,
she turned towards me, smiled a smile
      that held the light of the lamp.

Of the other that still held my hand,
            I asked
if that was not her sister she smiled that it was.
Holding my gaze with innocence and candor,
      “Do you love me?” she asked,
      I smiled that I did.

Looking away and looking back again
      she was now a full blossomed woman
      full lips to kiss and bare arms to entwine me,
a vibrant flower to press.
      whose smile held the light of a lamp,
“do you love me still,” She asked

“Not love you that I cannot do
      though it be a train wreck.”

“Even when I’m vexed and vexing,
      my arms crossed, darkly scowling,
      frowning down on all of your sex.”
She stamped her foot impatient for my reply.

“I’ll tease and cajole, poking fun until
      your smile crinkles to oppose
      your scowling eyes
      like the breaking of a glass.
Never sorry will I be.”

The room darkened and she was sick in bed,
      her old hand in mine,
      thin bones and transparent skin
      quaking silently,
her smile came from far away, flickered and went out,
      darkness enveloped, in the stillness of a moment
      it was all done.

Alone I stood upon a threshold looking to
      somewhere else,
      now close by me she was all around,
neither old nor young, all ages and ageless too.
      “Thy self and Thy sister are the same
      the difference being in a name”
she smiled that it was so.

I’ll hold my silence
      and not set it down in a word
I’ll not speak her name,
      no pounding in my breast will it release.

end     back to the top

All Images, Poems & Stories are Copyrighted Comments, praise, criticism & threats remit to: Mark Price