Tousled Lady

Tousled Lady

in the parking lot
lugging milk and corn flakes
and bread in brown
paper bags,
you catch
my stolen glance
at your little
you grimace,
forgive me
for intruding
into your private
world —
I walk away

into the store,
Friday towards dusk,
my hair flows neatly down
my shoulders,
my blouse
crisp and creaseless,
my list is short,
the evening hours long

for the laughter of my little ones,
the crinkle of brown
paper bags, the crackling
of corn flakes in milk,
the warmth of bread baked
in my own peculiar
of long ago.

by D. G. Vachal © 2012

“Cry, My Beloved Islands”


Cry, My Beloved Islands

After the fierceness of the anger
of the winds,
the habitations of my people
are mere matchsticks standing
in the sand,
multitudes walk no more:
fathers, mothers and children,
lifeless in the war-torn pavements
as torrential rainwaters
pelt their gelid flesh —

Cry, my beloved islands,
let your tears join the salty waters
that pilfered and ravaged
the pearls of life,
appease the ocean,
implore the seas
for calm,
for time to allow
the living to arise
and face another day.

D. G. Vachal © 2013

… I have been preoccupied with the devastation of one of the most severe hurricanes ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that hit so close to home. Thankfully, my family was spared, but countless in my hometown and neighboring islands are suffering immeasurable losses and pain. In a few hours, I will fly halfway around the world to be with them.

Mango trees all uprooted...

Mango trees all uprooted…


*** photography courtesy of Sarah Lynn  

“A Lion In Autumn”

A Lion In Autumn

Autumn and the reddening leaves
bask in the glow of an Indian summer sun,
I run through the wind in cambric
playtime clothes,
laughter explodes upon my face,
there is a warmth,
an amber warmth that lingers
in this momentary breath
of treasured hours —

I trace the furrows upon his face,
watch infinite shades
of a tangerine sunset
as I listen to stories of the times
when the olive groves were heavy
with fruit,
the songs of lemon blossoms
plenteous as raindrops
upon the dark green leaves —

Now the lion that prowled
through emerald forests
walks in slow, ordered steps,
protruding bones define the sagging,
golden fur,
he holds my arm,
I walk with him,
he and I
no longer swept
in the quick-footed dance
of my elusive childhood —

Time stands still,
palpable as the immutable truth
that luminescent stars sparkle
eternal in the heavens,
and the warmth that lingers
on this jasmine-white day
burns like a candle,
an obstinate flame that glows
eternal in my heart,
no matter the winter,
no matter the cold.

by D. G. Vachal © 2013

*** Image: Autumn by Denizler 

A Childhood Memory of My Father


for my father — a childhood memory….

Late morning silhouette:
unwelcome shadows,
purple grey subtlety
suffocate the sun
I am befuddled by the silence,
absence of laughter,
ordinary talk,
the smile on my mother’s face —

Sunday respite away from home,
a town where my father was born, we would
spend hours at Aunt Andrea’s house
until the sunset bid farewell
and the gas lamps gave light along with fireflies
and the crickets chirped on.

I was a little child less than school age
in pigtails and petticoats
wondering where my father went that day
for I longed for his strong presence
amidst this baffling purple silhouette —

I crossed the pebbled country road,
climbed up a stunted hill
to Grandma’s house and I found
my father weeping,
hunched under a native fruit tree,
mournful violin strings uncontrollable,
relentless rivulets of tears cascade
for a brother to be buried,
at height of youth,
at a town feast the week before
a chef’s senseless blunder —

Wide brown eyes watched in wonder,
my little child’s heart cried at his distress and he
looked back and beheld his daughter,
his countenance contorted in grief softening,
and slowly the mournful music lulled
as he staggered to where I stood
and my father held my hand
and he and I chased the purple shadows out of the morning
as we walked down the hill
along with life and the sunlight.

© 2012 by D. G. Vachal, revised 2021

* photography by Аркадий Деев

Music of Childhood

… for my mother

Music of  Childhood

Play for me the melodies
of childhood
as the apricot glow turns
to voiles of lavender
and crickets chirp
in the coolness
of twilight —

come sit with me
on this piano bench.

Play not for the crowd
but for me alone,
in A-flat major —

let me watch your fingers
the ivory keys,
let my heart explode
with pounding octaves,
climb crescendos,
dance with staccatos —

Tell me how long time ago
before bedtime stories
and childhood dreams,
you dipped my spirit
in the romance of Liebestraum,
the sweetness of nocturnes,
of etudes and preludes —

Now, as your fingers tend
the autumn flowers,
come sit with me,
play the melodies,
the music
of my soul
once again.

© 2012  by D. G. Vachal

*** Photograph: Heart and Music by Dragan Todorovic