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in the city by James Morehead

July 30, 2011

in the city

i woke up in the city
its streets glistening from midnight rain
its sirens sleeping after moonlit races
and a street sweeper churning past padlocked bikes
around a lone reveler stumbling from a night club past two

i woke up in the city
to piercing alarms of bedside neighbors
and pacing heels clicking to and fro
on kitchen tiles and hardwood floors
above my soot stained window view

i woke up in the city
confused at first by neon light
with the early sun rising past the flickering glow
and silver tower's shadow on town homes row by row
awash in white noise a streetcar passing through

i woke up in the city
among unknown millions give or take
in numbered streets and forgotten alleys
where wonders splendor worries magnificent
blend in greys discarded among the unknown

into the mountain by James Morehead

July 16, 2011

into the mountain

i walk into the mountain tempted by cool shadowy echoes
and whispers from water rippling through ancient stone
i walk eyes open senses tingling as sounds of the world vanish
i feel my way along uneven slopes
where unseen crevices wait to take me into permanent darkness
my hands slide along the smooth fractured shale leaving an invisible wake
the stone walls open and close surrounding me holding me
the floor gives way and weightless my feet legs torso float into barren black space
days weeks years meld time forgotten seconds uncounted and infinite
all light lost in the water burrowed tunnels
all time consumed by the ageless crush of buried stone

pendulum by James Morehead

July 10, 2011


the pendulum swing marks the close of each hour
   to wavering flickers from warm candlelight
where passed between echoes water drops from the tower
   while children laugh foolishly forgetful downstairs
outside in a courtyard the fountain's bright chatter
   leaves ripples and trembles in cool midnight breeze
all leads to silence down halls grey and barren
   where footsteps stacatto on worn sandstone floors
and time passes steady to pendulum's swing

five towers by James Morehead

July 5, 2011

five towers

by James Morehead

a dizzying twirl to stefansdom's peak
steps block on block hug a solitary column
far below nestled in the catacombs keep
eleven thousand souls sleep in silence
in crypts burrowed deep from dirt and rubble
bones and skulls in even rows stacked
shadows of saints sinners plague victims unknown

south from stefandom's patterned tiles
past venezian canals and its leaning gondoliers
over ridges hillsides vineyards mediterranean shores
leans pisa's torre pendente
stone steps circle a slanted hollow core
worn uneven by i turisti swaying to and fro
and far below lovers support the tower in framed relief

free from pisa's peak over chianti vigne and san gimignano gates
fly sienese flags - seventeen contrade unfurled for il palio's race
in centuries unchanged these medieval dreams
under piazza del campo's slender tower
where narrow crouching darkness leads to clear bells' call
and duomo's colored stone silhouetted prayer

chianti grapes and tuscan hills lead to apuane ridges majestic horizon
stadtturm - innsbruck's city tower - encased in dolomite ice and stone
stark severe graceful majestic ancient peaks
look down and gaze at stadtturm's steps of modern steel and ancient oak
a plaform open air where bells now silent once tolled
and pastel apartments lined up side by side in cool dusk's breeze
call their children home

salzach's waters swelled by winter's melting drifts
hohensalzburg's keep overlooks
cobblestone streets give way to funicular rails
rising to a solitary peak
where gazing out brings shivers in the hot june sun
turrets of white stone topaz domes and slender points of gild
from towers steps to open air eyes closed a trumpet sounds
a single note propelled high above the five towers and lost in echos

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

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