Tag Archives: metaphor

House of Cards

you stand back
to survey the damage–
you consider how long it took
to perfect those startling
and beautiful angles–
how long it took
to get them just right
so they could support
your next move.
You didn’t realize
the moments of triumph
would be so few and far between–
or that the between
was going to be so full
of uncertainty
and strong winds
there was no way
it could have held together.
So you pick up all those cards
and stuff them in your pocket.
You don’t have the energy
to rebuild what you know now
is only going to fall–
and right now
you don’t even have the heart
to cut — or shuffle the deck.






So rare
is the steak before me.
Not the rawness
but the frequency.
I can count the years
since I’ve had
a steak like this:
the flavor of reward,
the taste of a craving
finally satisfied.
But the price is so high
I can’t appreciate
the way the seasoning
has been perfected
over time.
I begin to wish
a pizza was before me–
chicken, spinach and tomato.
Those familiar flavors
into a circle of happiness
melted together
at 1000°–
the temperature of my heart
in love with a memory
it isn’t ready to swallow.





Comfort Animal

Mine is timid
around strangers
and is known to bite
if he feels cornered—
sometimes I believe
he feels threatened
by the cage he imagines
I must have hidden
in one of my many rooms.
He lives for long walks
in the woods
where he can stop
whenever he needs to pee,
or has a wish to investigate
the marvelous array
of wildflowers—
and his endurance
is more than
(or at least equal to) mine,
and I can take him
almost anywhere
without worry he’ll run off
and never return—
his loyalty is a mix
of curiosity and restraint—
but I think his devotion
has something to do
with the way I scratch his ears
and rub his belly
and let him sleep in my bed—
but I suspect
he’s always ready to bolt
if I lean in too close
or hug him
a little too tight.


“Master Bedroom” by Andrew Wyeth, 1965


will go wrong
after we fix
and affix
to each other
like the oars
in our hands
the waters
that carry us
cover us
wet our appetite
for more
nights spent
each other
inside out
until we are
so clean
we tried to hide
will be
to be accepted
if not
or loved.









Neat and tidy beds
are for beginners
who haven’t spent
enough time sitting
by the open window
with a pillow
crushed between
their chest and knees
breathing in
the lilac gone wild
or the sweet
magnolia ashei
to be inhaled.
Neat and tidy beds
are for those
who need control
over creativity—
who believe
that letting the soft
and delicate petals
of the columbine
with the wood mint
might lead to one
taking advantage
of the other.
Neat and tidy beds
have so much
pruned into them—
as though
it made no sense
to believe
that the milkweed
and the marigold
could compliment
each other
if they were allowed
the freedom
to touch and bloom
below the sheets
of sunlight
ruffled with
occasional rain.





“Flower Beds in Holland” Vincent van Gogh, 1883


It was a lovely sound—
all that autumn color
crunching beneath my steps.
At a broad glance,
the sky was mottled gray
but seemed bright white
when I looked up
through all those branches,
mostly bare and trembling
in the dark coat
of their silhouettes.
Two leaves caught my eye
and caused me to pivot
underneath them,
walk a few steps back
and admire them
for their proximity to the end
of the longest branch,
and for their unwillingness
to fall.
They were so close
they overlapped
and though they both had holes,
one was less infirm
than the other,
and it seemed to me
in that hallowed moment
that I was witnessing some
act of kindness so great
I wanted to give it life—
so I imagined them
with tiny minds
and large emotions,
feeling the comfort that comes
when loved ones
agree to stay close
when a change is about come—
when everything familiar
has fallen away
except the enduring serenity
of friendship and love.


DeMaris Gaunt


Found a bumble bee on my walk,
doubled over, dead, but freshly so—
with a velvet coat still bright
as a morning daffodil.
Its black enamel eyes
were frozen in some unknowable expression
which felt familiar and sad.
The weightless body was the size
of my fingertip, and as I held it in my palm
I thought of bringing it home,
placing it on the table for you to see—
but we’d just had dinner there
and you didn’t seem interested in my details,
which is why I took the walk
that led me to the silent bee—
and I admired his grounded wings, alone,
before returning his lifeless body
to the bed of bright green weeds.


DeMaris Gaunt