The Goldilocks Dichotomy

she shivered in the shallow waters
tasted the tepid drink
too cool to soothe
too warm to quench
Goldilocks
was trapped in the kitchen sink
when her yellow ringlets
caught
in the u-bend of the old pipes

she was trying to dye her hair
Raven Black
because
she thought Snow White had all the best luck
but, in reality, the seven dwarfs didn’t give a fuck
as their porcelain-skinned, fairy-tale thrall
labored under fruity delusions
of a someday-coming prince

Goldilocks
could have cut her hair,
but she would not part with a single inch
though she lived on a first floor flat
she had Rapunzel on the brain
her lengthy locks clogged the drain
trapping the girl
by her sunny mane

she waited for the prince who never came
the water pooled over her dainty feet
she shivered in the shallow waters
believing herself
incomplete
the poor girl never grasped
the
dichotomy
between
fairy tale
and
reality

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse

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Cracked

cracked shell

                clam dies

cracked chrysalis

                insect flies

cracked skull

                head bleeds

cracked bell

                liberty

cracked hull

                ship sinks

cracked egg

                sulfur stinks

cracked bat

                fly ball

cracked shale

                earth weeps

cracked earth

                land quakes

cracked book

                ideas make

cracked sac

                baby born

cracked bud

                flowers bloom

cracked window

                enter breeze

cracked wall

                humans freed

cracked smile

                contagious joy

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

2018 – My Hope

2017
birthed
a colicky infant
who, although spoiled and overfed,
produced a continuous line
of
mostly incoherent
squawks
from his high nest

by spring
he had grown into the playground bully
amassing toys,
hoarding even,
to make his sandbox castle great
AGAIN

by summer,
or buy,
his overgrown form
preached from a pulpit like a profit-god
A MASS
that sounded
oddly
like his former spoiled, soiled
colicky
chirps

by autumn…
I don’t know what he said.
I bought earplugs
to relieve my throbbing
MAGAraine
suffering
head

2018
I HOPE
has birthed infants everywhere
who will cry from the collective pools
of
starvation
poverty
and
neglect
AND
that the children of spring
will remove the genetically-modified cotton
stuffed in our privileged ears,

so that we who have will

listen

&

share

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

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The Barbarian’s Fiddle

I sat in a room
with a noisy crowd
who hated all things “Asian”
haunted, they were
by world war ghosts
and
communist libations
they speared the Barbarian-Yellow Goldfish
in their community pond
and
siphoned the living waters
leaving sandy bottoms –
the dried grains of bigotry
kicked and whipped
into a blinding storm

Their Dust Bowl creation
ever threatens to choke the next generations

I made two strings sing
in
melancholic
tragic
vibrato
that mimicked the human voice
Persecuted

The room fell momentarily silent

I played on

Suffering
is
an
endless
tune

until, interrupted by an old man
coughing up affected phlegm
that he spat into the Dust Bowl
slightly settled through his falling tears

I paused

He inquired as to what beautiful instrument
had seduced his soul to
blissful
despair
An erhu, I sighed
It is Asian –
otherwise called the “Barbarian’s Fiddle”
Its two, long strings carry the vibrations
of generations of tears splashed down onto the collective pool
by those you persecute by referring to them as
“slanted-eyed Chinks”

He snorted and laughed
He kicked some dirt in my face

I played on

Suffering

an endless tune carried in the vibrato of two Asian strings

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

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“The Fairy-Tale Delusion”

the prince lost his leather boot
the beanstalk rotted
Papa Bear ate Goldilocks for dinner
and
Rapunzel rappelled down the side of the tower

Snow White never tasted the poisoned apple
she was too busy
cooking
mending
and
cleaning
for seven needy dwarfs
to stop for a snack

in her spare time
she penned a best-selling novel
“The Fairy-Tale Delusion”

GOOD THING

it was rumored that
Prince Charming swam off with a mermaid
on his Caribbean vacation
and
drowned

what line did Snow White write to end her children’s classic?

“She fought.
She survived.
She shared.
She thrived.”

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

The Wind’s Mock

naked
stripped bare by a gust of mocking wind
tree branches tremble
in complaint

Nature
responds
to creak-cracking pleas
fills her storehouse clouds
with
empathetic
frigid
tears

She
beckons the wind
with
thick
smoke
signals

wind
sighs
puffs
whispers
dies
then, observing
those pathetic, quaking, naked limbs shaking
blows
a sympathetic gale

snow
falls
covers limbs with frosty blankets
and
blankets roots under thick cover

until

wind,
tired of stillness,
decides to stir Nature’s pot
with
a
hot
air
whirling
melting
mock

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

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The Hour Passed

the hour passed
the flowers –
some we dried
hung upside down
life evaporated
taking
scent
and
hue
leaving crinkled paper petals
fragile shell reminders
of the bloom the hour spent
some we pressed
trapped between the pages
smothered
removed
stiff
and
dry
coated in artificial fragrance
sprayed from a non-aerosol can
added to the bowl of potpourri

but

whether
dried
or
pressed
the flowers
remind us
of the
hour
before
it
passed

~

for my friend, Terry, whose light lives on in the words he left behind on his blog:   https://spearfruit.com/

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

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Human Dreamer

I
am
human…
born of earth
and water
into air
to breathe
and form thoughts that reach
to clouds
floating
free of walls

collecting
into raindrop tears
that fall
into
closely gathered pools

pains
mingled

where
collected fluid
overflows
and
penetrates the soil
pleading with the ground
to swallow whole
the barrier
that restrains
paths
imagined
by
my
human
Dreamer

~

#DefendDACA

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

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Where Breath Failed

where breath failed
and tongues were tied
in ropes of persecution
dark words
caught on the lips
moistened by endless tears
rolled off the chin
filling ink-well pools

empty pens
in dehydrated hands
dipped to quench the thirst
of parched minds’ papers
leaving fluid trails
that dried
tattooed
on the skin
of humanity’s
beaten
drums

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

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An Evening Storm

forecast stated storm warning
I opened the windows wide
felt the air’s restless churning

Hot & Humid
vs
Cold Reprieve

they argued
forcing wind through my screen
where insects clung by the dozens,
helpless

I crawled in bed
windows open
and listened

Nature interrupted
her children’s dispute
with
driving tears
angry spanks of lightening
and
a booming voice of thunder

her reprimand was frightening

Hot & Humid
lost some steam

Cold Reprieve
warmed

they shook hands and agreed to sleep on it
through the night

I woke up
to sunshine streaming
through
windows opened wide

met the calm breeze
and flying insects
as Mother’s weathered children
danced together
in her morning arms

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.