Fins and Feathers

shall we travel together?
not back, but ahead
yet, look back
regretting neither float nor flight
that led fin and feather
to this place
look back and consider
we collected nothing
but memory
for all things pass
except love
even the shells we collected on the beach
filling our mesh bags
cracked and crumbled
we shook and sprinkled the remnants
through the gaps
over the chicken feed
the hens laid prolifically
we ate all the eggs
collecting nothing
but memory
”How long does a kiss stick to a cheek?” he asked.
”Forever, silly,” I answered.
even the cheek will fade to dust
as will our fins and feathers
only love will linger
now, let’s swim and soar, crossing
rivers deep and canyons wide
sojourners
just passing
carrying memories in gossamer packages
spun by the living motions
of our fins and feathers
in float and flight
the love that lingers
bound forever to us, tight

~

Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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Journey (revision)

the world extends its frozen branches to you
adorned
with the decadence
of greedy, icy-jeweled, cruel hearts
your wandering self shivers

you hold out a lonely hand
to feel something
but the frigid limbs burn
branding exposed skin with red-marked scars
you’re numb with bitten touch

you open your hungry mouth
to taste
but the frozen berries stick
you strip them off your tongue
your words come out stained with blood

you brush against this plant, trying to flee
leaves crackle
in mocking laughter
but you, instead, remember love’s warm fires
you sigh homesick desires

you gaze in troubled wonder
to see anything
but the ice reflects the winter sun
blinding your eyes in dazzling sparkle
you squint and tears fall

you inhale, longing for life’s fragrance
and smell nothing
the flowers are all hiding in buds
leaving your nostrils dripping
you sneeze the cold of rejection

you turn and journey home
steps quicken
weary traveler, you know the way
come near, sparks awaken all your senses
at home’s hearth, rekindle your soul’s flame

~

You can read the original version of Journey here.

Words and Photography ©2017 & 2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

A Sensual Deposit

there’s a place the pollen falls
when the rest of life has scattered
whirled away
by strong, spring breezes
in miniature vortexes
seeking bull’s-eye releases
among distant flower beds

there’s a place the pollen falls
this sperm—stuck to the honey bee’s
strong legs—
is carried
to soft, blushing petals
open wide
and waiting

there’s a place the pollen falls
filling empty spaces
when winged lover
devours the nectar
and—by Nature’s lush design—
makes sensual deposit
that leaves gametes
inside

~

Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

This Tree

I’ve hiked this trail before
winding through a wooded wonderland
in awe
today,
air sweet with the detritus
dampened
by spring’s morning mists,
I breathe
lost in a tree-born revere
my soul plays in the canopy
my toe, earth bound,
snags the arching twist
of an exposed root
hiding under last fall’s rotting leaves
I stumble, startled
catch myself against a tree
its rough bark—a finger hold—
steadies me
I rest my back against this strong friend
yes, this one
whose rude root
tripped me
I trace the root back to this tree
Guilty!
Old Confidant!
this friend
responds with shaking laughter
as the wind rattles
bare limbs
just stretching from
winter’s rest
this tree chuckles
and
breathes me

~

Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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