Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Friday, November 2, 2012


by Stephen A. Rozwenc


that night
right after I died
like the pink and smooth scream
that gardens eternity
with a tiny rose petal

you stood on the other side of the river
that pours the absolution of mystery
and innocence
and called me to come back

I could not refuse


so that
the land mines would become begging bowls
filled with nectar
held aloft from their graves
by the cupped hands of the dead

so that
the one legged children would wrap
their detached limbs in smoldering cheesecloth
and offer them to the starved wolves
for food

so that
the cunning hole in the ozone layer
would become the mouthless ego
that swallows itself whole

so that


since I am
the pastel soft reincarnation
of an undiscovered impressionist painter
and your every life
has shielded the endangered
that we should meet frequently
in some prearranged chamber
perhaps inside a boarded up store front
just off that noisy retail street
in Paris Bangkok Atlantis
Hector’s effulgent Troy
or beneath some indefinable aura
where bamboo curtains gleam with astral hindsight

that we should speak the ruby-throated language
of hummingbirds
stamen and pistil brushes
slathering the insides of each other’s brains
with lush Tuscan landscapes
while we sample gourmet morsels and sip evocative wines
occasionally from the holy grails
of our clairvoyant genitals

that we should dress in stately Chinese silks
and legless beggar’s rags
to engage in dying wild chocolate
anima to animus transformation
you into me
me into you
our cherry blossom hearts bleating starlight
until we can stand it no longer
and scream for it to stop
but only
so we can begin again


the fog’s unbelievable nightgown lifts
to reveal
a missing deck of tarot cards
sketched from memory
by a star with no wound

incognito hills
fluff vegetation
with déjà-vue innuendo’s
nonchalant bodies flee

there are nothing but starfish in the sky
and miniature skeletons
hidden in a shoebox
your childhood
is finally safe
buried in that musty crawl space
beneath the rickety front porch
next to the stranger
whose ice cream breath
bulges scratchy sandpaper cheeks
and dark vacant holes
in a hairy brown coconut head
with absent eyes that will surely devour bliss


for those first delicious hours
after he died
his heart wore a black silk slip
with nothing beneath
but creamy white completeness

the farther away from his body
the eerie dream fluttered wingless and free
the more every thought and sensation
even a worst pain or sorrow
was felt only as pleasure

but then from nowhere
wafted that willowy coo
he had always trusted
way so long ago
in those stunning days
when they frolicked into sweet scented pines
ruby faced and swearing
untouchable memories

you have to come back
her gentle murmur stroked him
just as it did then
and he knew instantly
his tiny son and humbling works
ached for his return
no matter how much or how little
he had left to give

ever so touchingly summoned
he chose to return
gradually descending down inside
the luminous Diaspora
where so many half-things congregate
to reveal by absence
and fragmented presence
who they really are
and what good or evil they might pursue
into the corporeal clamoring


ambling sustenance
along a platinum blonde beach
my left big toe flips over
one of her pink seashells
half buried
in totem sand

recalcitrant lavender teased
to discover dulcet tones
I’d never otherwise know
I lift the transcendental accident
to my ear

instead of psychotropic oceans
or descant choirs
from chorale atolls
27,000 voices of different musicians
poets sculptors dancers and painters
who have lived
on earth before
throat a fathomless chant

some call them angels
dead beings
or spirit entities
I call them clusters of genius
who have removed themselves
from all pretension

they remind me
I have paused with them frequently
between earthly lives
and have been sent back
one more time
to channel exquisiteness
to the living

Credits and acknowledgements
Poems by first lines:

1. “so that”—first published in “Words_Myth”. 2009
2. “since I am”—first published in “Nefarious Ballerina”. 2011
3. “the fog’s unbelievable night gown lifts”—first published in “Adagio Verse Quarterly”. 2010

Stephen A. Rozwenc lives in Haydenville, MA and Mueang, Phichit, Thailand, dependingon the weather and his mood. He has published 4 collections of poems. In the last 3 yearsover 50 of his poems have been published individually in various poetry journals and ezines.He has been the past recipient of 2 Massachusetts Arts Lottery Grants for poetry.

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