Poetry by Ann Christine Tabaka

Dry Spell

Fissured mud,
dry, hard, gray.
So many interlacing
fingers reaching out
in every direction,
crumble to the touch.

Arid summer,
sucking the breath from life.
Languishing thirst.
Wilted flora bow their heads.
Fallen warriors lack resilience
to withstand the furnace blast.

Parched earth,
crying out for sustenance.
No clouds in sight.
Not a drop of compassion
to be found.

Cruel season of drought,
unexpected curse.
Farmers pass their hats
and lay low,
hands folded in prayer.

Rotted fruit.
Tiny shriveled globes of despair.
Shrunken heads
hang limp and forlorn
upon dying hosts.

Time stands still.
Torrid air strangles all
within its grasp.
I exhale the dragon
from my lungs.

Scorched clay drifts from my hand,
dispersed into the atmosphere. 
Well of hope, dry as dust.
Foreign to some years,
a vengeance in others.
All promise lost,
walking away
Then …
faces turn upward
in disbelief,
as forgiveness rains from the sky


Heatwave

Daylight shimmers on blacktop,
from relentless summer heat.

Sultry waves form mirages,
distorting distant objects.

Steam rises up from a far off marsh,
creating a nightmarish fog.

Oppressive days stretch
into endless weeks.

Shade sought as temperatures
reach towards one hundred,

Burned earth, withered vegetation,
torrid air baking all it touches.

A prayer goes up for rain,
with no relief in sight.

Strangled breaths struggle
in stifling humidity.

Sweltering restless nights,
while a ceiling fan whirls on high speed.

Summer’s punishment in full force,
in the grips of a July heatwave.


Tomorrow Never Comes

Hope hides under the bed,
a forgotten pair of shoes,
waiting for the next journey,
that never seems to come.

Low crouching, grasping reach,
searching for the prize. Brushing
off cobwebs of old memories
seeking rebirth, with no recollection
of a time that came before.

Death is a reality that cannot
be ignored.  Marching along
a wooden walkway, destiny
holds out a foreboding hand.

Hours passed in darkness, traveling
over unknown landscape. I hear
but cannot see. A thin veil of faith disguising
all my sins. Tomorrow comes too quickly
when tomorrow never comes.


In Between Time

Unholy night.
Darkness shrouds day.
Gone are canticles of light.

Dispeller of fears
stands tall among
despondent axioms.

Flames on tongues ignite
a faith devoid of substance.

Heralded desires
and whispering affirmations
trickle through a translucent veil.

Wayfarers among us
trod the distillate path. 

No recourse,
time dissolves.
Composite dreams drift aloft.

Daybreak beseeched,
shall not answer.
“Leave a message after the tone.”
CLICK … Hmmmmmmmmmm


Life Rendering

Pencil to paper,
an image forms.
Delicate curves,
sharp lines,
soft shading.

The eye knows what it sees,
the hand follows suit.
Through all ages
artists pour out their hearts
in crisp lines and muted tones.

Telling stories,
immortalizing faces,
capturing love and beauty.
Roundness of a shoulder,
gleam in an eye,
hair flowing in the breeze.

Rustling leaves on autumn trees,
bilious clouds above,
sensuous landscapes,
breathtaking rise of a mountainside. 

Still life and models,
all brought into being
by the stroke of charcoal,
graphite, or brush,
as the artist breathes life
into all he touches.

Music without sound.
Poetry without words.
Visual magic.
Life as art.
Art as life.

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