Canine Clouds On the Romp

The rescinding caress of simpering sunbeams
Cascade upon the swath of wool draped upon my shoulders and,
Softly filter through the transparent frame,
Until a bandoleer army of clouds snaffles across the sky.
With Q-tip legs clopping forward, cotton ball heads and
White caliper bodies like chasuble poodles in a blue scimitar park,
They shrike in puddles of cinnabar sunlight.
An army of jouncing poodles on the romp,
A grand game of tag, a partially sunny day.
Swallows my sight with chicory shadows cast
From a multitude of padded feet skittering above the rhombus shirr.
Happiness but a shifting shadow, daunt of the chasing tails, curled, vain!
Rotation of axis and beating of heart always pointing beyond the sphere,
to the unseen.
Meanwhile, the blazon sentinel of trees thrushly beholds,
The dog days of summer unfold,
Until the sun shrives forth and scatters canine clouds to the wind,
Swiftly bringing the fragrance of cinnamon, cider, and nutmeg,
A sign that autumn is soon to begin.

Valerie Sapora Rains 2004

Saffron and Shadows

Concealed in a tent of Oriental silk and tapestry,
the women feast upon orange lamb
khoresh, couscous, and Persian soup–much sough after
morsels. Stuffed as full as grape leaves on the platter,
They sip daintily on rose water and laughter.

Broom skirts brush against the ground.
The jingle of tiny bells chimes up from adorning belts
that are swathed upon the girl’s waists as they lounge upon pillows and swap
gossip and tall tales. The sounds join the clatter of clay cups pressed
back and forth between lips and table top.

Candles of all shapes and forms surround the gathering place.
They sparkle and dance, swaying to the rhythm of the Moroccan music
arising from among the fragrant garden of honeysuckle and orchard trees.
The flames leap forward, casting tall shadows to loom across and dance
upon the flower petals in deep indigo pools of light,
while wavering in the breeze.

Lingering in the golden cast of filigree rose silk,
a dancer dips her hips in and out of the sapphire shadows.
One by one, the girls leave their meals and join the rhythm and melodic designs
of the song rising like incense to the moon behind the palm branches,
each swaying like the flames in a dance among the trumpet vines.

Valerie Sapora Rains 2004

Slipping Through the Fingers of Night

Reconciled with potentials of sly wit, a
Diminutive diet of intent, burgeoning undersea.

Our recurrent ability, a mysterious memory.
Still angling for the crippling kick.

Kung-fu-fighting quite pithily summed
With a tang of illusory nature.

The key for us–gravity is operational,
As little hops of waking awareness sometimes, know.

We’re suddenly weightless on the border of two worlds.

A spray of leaves clutched against
The other hemisphere of sham and suction.

In an electric breeze of wonder,
A phantom conclusion protrudes.

Gleaming out of the shadows,
Rehashing wisdom in two places at once.

On the other side–
Dreaming.

Bookshelves

I.
Only Bookshelves know that pressed flowers age best
Slammed between the pages of colossal anthologies.

That long forgotten tokens of memory are best found
Behind neat rows of novels,
In the hidden nook
Shadow-pressed between wood and paperback.

That vintage vinyls gain value as they are stacked to the sky
As a ladder to the palace of heavenly song.

II.
Bookshelves appear in Nancy Drew novels
As hidden doorways to secret passageways
In the heart of old, creaky mansions in the swamp.

In public they act like unassuming royal guards.
Silent sentinels of kingdom affairs,
Guarding the secrets of both the most sublime and mundane.

They are the sworn enemies of dust bunnies, and
Will exude their discontent when threatened by cobwebs,
Radiating an SOS to all pine-sol polish within radar.

Left alone in a room, they will hum
The tunes of age old hymns, and
Preach to a choir of sunbeams
Dancing in gossamer pews of dust-glossed light.

III.
Bookshelves first crept onto the conveyor belt of history as
Stacked clay tablets separated by rusty scimitars
From epic battles fought by Sumerian kings.

They graced the halls of King Solomon’s palace,
And were given the place of honor in Alexandria’s Great Library,
Polished to shine like Cleopatra’s teeth
Under the light of the full moon when the Nile floods.

They slid through the Dark Ages, tottering in the towers
Of feudal castles, their memory best kept alive
In the abbey’s of faithful monks, as they became
Bearers of illuminated manuscripts and sacred trust.

IV.
The secret teaching of bookshelves
Includes the weight of wisdom upon wood and glass,
and excludes the motion of flying moths towards the light.

This life is the cover page of a story that never ends,
Each tucked into a bookshelf too grand to rationalize.
A vast circular shelf in the sky, each book back to back,
Spinning to an angelic anthem waged in worship to the Master Author.
Bookshelf immortality, inexpressibly!

Valerie Sapora Rains 2004