“Twilight and White Linen”

Twilight and White Linen

Here we are and time
when I found you —

latitudes of faces,
of eyelids and shoulders,
verdant archipelago
sculptured in sapphire
the orbital fruit dangles,
from its ripening —

Twilight and white linen
stoke the hunger —

I slice zucchini
into cylinders,
slender wedges,
peppers into strips
of scarlet,
toss the cuttings
into volcanic oils of olive,
aromatic sesame —

the meat is warm
for the tasting,
pearls of rice turn amber
from the fragrant
spices —

here we are
and time.

by D. G. Vachal © 2013

*** Image by Rob Espierre

“Vault of Memories”

Sunflowers by Stephen B. Watley

Sunflowers by Stephen B. Watley

Vault of Memories

Our vault of memories
opens and closes
with clanging sounds,
redefines our dreams,
rudely awakens us
in the midst of deepest
slumbers —

snaps the whip
as we make decisions
in love and business,
directs our hands to wield
or spare the rod
in the discipline
of our children —

it is a vault,
yet much the same as churchyards
where we light candles
and whisper softly
as the tallow accumulates
and we mold the putty
in our hands,
rewrite the  scripted scenes,
revisit glorious sunsets,
adorn the porches of summer
with scarlet geraniums —

we contrive perfection
from the past,
yet through this somnolent veil
reality’s briars arise,
the grown-up tears,
the laughter
of childhood —

of catching grasshoppers
and climbing fruit trees,
the dimes earned from chores,
the aplomb gained
from life’s little triumphs —

and for certain
this confidence grows
and is sustaining us:

for from this vault of memories
we draw our water
from the well,
regain our strength,
build our faith,
apply the brilliant brush strokes of the day,
and in the lavender shades of twilight
we chart out and envision
our tomorrows.

By D. G. Vachal © 2012-2013

“Serenade of Roots”

Serenade of Roots

I hear the gentle echoes of my roots:
long,  knotty fingers
gloved with glaucous moss
disturb the river waters,
awaken the melodies that played
when the warmth of breath was on their nostrils
and the robe of flesh adorned the bones —

symphony of mandolins,
bamboo oboes,
harpsichord and pianos —

I hear their voices         when I speak,
taste their tears                when I weep,
feel their bodies sway          when I dance  —

I sing their forgotten songs
in the land of the living.

by D. G. Vachal © 2013

*** Photography by Bob Spencer

New York Harbor, One September

New York Harbor, One September

… a September memory, 2001

September comes
with its whimsical wind,
and the bittern’s barbaric yawp
echoes across the creek,
a snowfall of seagulls perch
upon the jetty,
as we hoist our sails
at the mouth of the bay —

the sloop floats like paper
by a little boy’s breath,
past inlet coves and marinas:
we reach the Harbor,
the sun’s golden glint turns to rust,
the air is clothed
with subtle shrouds of grey
for weeping —

far off into the distance the skyline
is a ghastly dream,
of two towers,
and the salt air mingles with smoke
and burning steel,
ashened mortar,
the  putrescence
of flesh and flowers —

we turn around,
maneuver the wind,
the charts and tides,
to reach our own secluded harbor,
cradled by the arms of moonlight—
we throw down the anchor,
fall asleep under a cupola
of infinite constellations.

by D. G. Vachal. © 2012

*** photography by slgckg @Flickr Commons

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