Storm of Flowers

All day long on

a long day’s journey

south to Cartagena,

through lonely hills

and empty roads

and sheets of April rain,

I thought about your hands,

the ones you fear

look just like a man’s.

And wondered if you knew

that in my eyes your

hands are wings, your

hands are lips.

and sometimes flames

and sometimes roots

with ten white stalks that

burrow through the sleeping

earth in search of light.

All night long a

black wind slammed

against the house in

which I slept and threads

of rain the color of slate

hissed against the window

near my bed.

In the morning

in clear blue light

I rose from dreams

of thorns and snow,

to see pink jasmine bloom

outside the window,

to hear the songs of birds

in the throats of hyacinths,

and feel the petals tumble

from my own mouth

like prayers,

into your hands.

© 2012 J.M. Keating


As the heat of August evenings

seeped into your home above the trees

in this Mediterranean port,

your windows opened like sails to

catch a breeze, any slip of wind.

From the street below the sad

sound of an accordion floated up

like a prayer, but you, in your

skirt of fire couldn’t hear it.

Anyway, it was just another

prayer, like all of ours and all of

yours. None of them were answered.


It’s Winter now and cold here

in this mountain village on

the other side of the world.

I wanted to be with you when you

left us, to be in the crowd on the

platform waving and crying as

your train pulled away with the sound

of our tears growing fainter every

second until you could barely see

us anymore as you passed into the

white silence with only the comfort

of knowing how much all of us loved you.

© J.M.Keating 2012

Raven’s Spring

Raven rides the windy winter sky searching for a place to rest.

Below him underneath a cape of snow the forest sleeps in silence.

He sees a single leafless oak in the middle of a meadow at the

edge of the wood and thinks he hears the sound of a piano.

In a veil of whirling snow, he drops out of the clouds to settle on

a branch and watches with intense curiosity a man and woman dancing around the tree to the sound of music they think only they can hear.

The sound is tinny and archaic, like a waltz played in a music hall

in Paris by Ravel or Debussy in the weeks before the hollow drumbeats

of the First Great War.


the ribbon of the river becomes a ribbon of butterflies


the crust of ice on the lake buckles and cracks and

islands of ice the size of freight cars break apart from

the mother continent of winter and begin to flow south towards the sun.

being rapped out with tiny mallets on ice sickles

Her eyes are closed as her partner lifts her off the ground as if she weighed no more than an armful of leaves, but she smiles when he bends over her sleeping form to unbutton her blouse with his lips

Raven wonders at the strangeness of humans as he watches

Raven rides the wide windy sky searching for a place to rest.