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sand castles in the snow by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

sand castles in the snow

we made sand castles in the snow
abetone crystals mixed with lido's sun burnt sand
dissolving into cool steam from mountain ice

we made sand castles in the snow
behind us lines of parasols the sand raked clean in even rows
north africans goods in tow shivering in the alpine breeze

we made sand castles in the snow
our knees salt-stained and glazed with sand
our fingers tingling through frozen sheets

we made sand castles in the snow
our dream awoke to ocean glass and stillness in mountain air
as far beyond horizon's edge tomorrow waits

5 abbey road by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

5 abbey road

let it be and maxwell's hammer
     (whistle passersby)
speeding taxis, honking lorries
     (buzzing mopeds fly)
fans dart out in twos and fours
     (stagger-stepped in space)
while friends frame up, click and run
     (the traffic held in place)
a simple zebra crossing drawn
     (on abbey road near 5)
a place where all you need is love
     (the fab four dreams alive)

limano by James Morehead

July 3, 2011


a wooden door abandoned for a horse barn built of stone
a courtyard colored with wild flowers sitting all alone

an aging calico creeps by pursuing phantom mice
the baker's wife throws open shutters to fill the air with spice

connected stone a wall of brick create the mountain roads
roads carved from apuane ridges for mule cart heavy loads

the roads lead up from serchio's bed - the best stones to be found
stones fallen from a higher place before resting on wet ground

beneath the church bells you may find cool water running clean
out from a spout of aging brass a liquid cool serene

tucked behind a soaring tower curved walls from granite born
a tunnel of arches sun and shadow a cool breeze in the 'morn

cool breeze hints of batter mixed from ground chestnuts flour
necci cooked on ferri baked for the lunchtime hour

the only sound for careful ears that search the mountain air
a distant peel a child's laughter from a traveling fair

sounds of vienna by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

sounds of vienna

clip clop clip clop clip clop
a horse's hoof start and stop
the driver's click to make them go
carriage wheels' gild just for show

ding-dring ding-dring ding-dring
vienna's cyclists are a speedy thing
step quick aside as they ring by
a whoosh of air, blink of an eye

rumble and hum rumble and hum
the trolley car wheels announce as they come
doors open quick - people in people out
then to the next platz before turning about

drubble-dee drubble, drubble-dee drubble
those damn cobblestones are a lot of trouble
the heel of her shoe may catch on a crack
causing a trip, fall down with a smack

clang dong clang dong clang dong
stephansdom bells are starting a song
parishioners called from far and from wide
the cool pews in shadows a nice place to hide

ring and peal ring and peal
the morning's come it's sunlight i feel
our vienna trip's over to venice we go
what sound does a gondola make, do you know?

tunnels by James Morehead

July 3, 2011


dark to light, light to dark
through alpine ranges, sheer cliffs stark

arches appear thirty meters per second
with strobe lit tunnels of echoes that beckon

in my rear view mirror evening sun fades
when around the next corner there's shadow and shade

summit and valley, tunnel and span
the asphalt trail impassive and planned

the infinite vista trapped behind glass
as i focus on lanes and the traffic we pass

i long for an unbeaten trail to explore
a random adventure through a once hidden door

until then i drive down parallel lines
imagining journeys between exit signs tunnels

european shortcuts by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

european shortcuts


somewhere spirits spy
grave markers toppled, worn
buried in clover


far end of the pub
talking solo to shadows
her pint forgotten


three forty three steps
hand carved stones spiral upward
vienna enchants

sisters by James Morehead

July 3, 2011


two sisters twirl to a mandolin round
their fresh golden daisies sewn into braids
and eyes that sparkle by autumn’s bright fire
flickering with laughter as embers take flight

two sisters with play swords carved out of pine
parry and thrust on scaligera’s wall-walk
peeking through splays before bursting forward
flying up newel stairs in a race to the turret

far below castle walls lake garda awakes
its smooth mirrored surface shaken out of place
a daisy flies free from emilia’s hair
her sister gives chase to the battlement’s edge
reaching for pedals stolen into the storm

grabbing their swords they race down below
through passages flickering in candlelight glow
over the drawbridge suspended in place
while flashes of anger burst out of the sky

two sisters run to the fog-shrouded shore
their swords and their shields and unraveling braids
melting like sand castles into high tide
leaving ripples of laughter from where they now hide

from the window by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

from the window

dearborn station's clock approaches 2:15

   from the window

perspective rows of snow-stained brick
red and brown and weathered yellow
stretch back through infinite fog and shadow

   from the window

rooftop smoke scatters like startled pigeons
through trees naked and silent
lining the tired boulevard

   from the window

victorian dolls face inward
with crafted expressions and painted eyes
warmed by lavender fringed petticoats

   from the window

listen carefully and
hear muted whispers of the city
distant sirens that race unseen sorrows

   from the window

the chair across from me lies still
and waiting

etchings by James Morehead

July 3, 2011


i start writing perched waist deep on a bahamian sand bar
tracing letters in azure blue surf
the letters momentary wisps on an endless swelling tide

letters words trace back to shore
rising tide chases sand traced stanzas
leaving behind smeared blurs

chasing the tide i take my words away from waves encroach
writing more quickly now more furious
challenging each crashing wave to catch my lettered trails

my poem continues from surf to sand clouds
chopped fine by turbo prop turns
tracing thoughts into cool vapor mist
left floating in mid air

my poem lies dormant now
chilled by mundane grey and skyline smog
i try to cut letters from the soot and smoke
only to see them crumble like ash

evelyn sees me grabs my hand cleaning away the dust and grime
"daddy daddy! follow me i know where you can write!"
she leads me away from the concrete and steel
away from the grey to a small city park
a sandbox nestled in trees that stretch through
the blanket of grey letting sunlight fall
"daddy try this!" as she hands me a freshly fallen branch
i write!
i write words etched in sand in circles surrounding us
until entrapped my daughter claps and twirls

this poem ends briskly at sunset
cold shivers from a pacific kiss
final words survive retreating waves and passing lovers' feet
only to be slowly eaten by a moonlit winter breeze

midnight wanderer by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

midnight wanderer

by James Morehead

the wanderer glides through midnight darkness 


from work working late
wandering silent in multi-spectral gadgets' glow
red white green pinpoints of light leading down the hall
one by one by one tentative feeling footfalls
testing for the top step pausing by the landing's turn
white noise patter from the fountain outside
floating in steady hypnotic patterns
a clutch lurch and wurr as the furnace awakens

camoflaged by fountain and furnace
feeling along in deepening darkness
hand follows the wall
footsteps path traced in memory
sleeping daughters sleep surrounded by dreams' ebb and flow
blow a midnight kiss
then back down the hall to pause in moon's crest
creeping out from behind shifting clouds
then gone

pupils black and wide to steal light in darkness
shadows whisper
dresser to the left nightstand to the right
slide into sheets under covers
nestle sideways breath held tight
sense her breathing rise and fall
eyes close shadows stolen blackness total