The Sum of Us

Born into flame, the Phoenix laments
its heated rush towards metamorphosis.
Skin ruptures, sloughs off and flares briefly,
shedding ash and dreams. Freedom dies
with your smile and I find myself colder —
wishing to stand beside you. Always.
A betrayal of wings, as yet unfurled.

Overhead the cross hangs low, mercurial;
fickle as a lover’s embrace. The yearning heart,
released, takes flight. Framed in that introspective light
I see you hurtling forward — a stellar memory
of lost radiance and I wish to tell you:
it’s the novas that define us.

– Ryan Stone

Paper Cut

The worn, russet couch opens its maw
and swallows me whole. A cool embrace and scent
of old leather finds a chink in my mind’s armour.
A vision of you sneaks in. Tanned legs barely covered
by denim cut-offs wake buttermilk thoughts
of caramel ice and sunshine.

Cicada-song jolts sleep from the room. I wake
into twilight’s warm, mottled hues. Time moves
slowly, my skin breathes out. Freshly-cut lawn
flavours the breeze trickling through the fly screen
to nudge my mind. In the depths of the couch, my sleeping back
has unwittingly found your old sketchbook.

Lazy river Sundays seep from pages, as dry as the memories.
Moments and scenes captured in charcoal-scratched stasis–
your hand always as sure as your eye. A pressed-flower fallen
from our Red River Gum is caught between pages. I slam the book
shut and it slides away. You would have smiled to see
how deeply the paper cut.

In Fallow Fields

In my father’s field
my fledgling hopes are neatly hedged,
sown in the soil of silent forebears.

Beside a bourne, in chalk and flint,
I plant my dreams deep.

The rasping of his shovel has slowed
this season. Some furrows lie shallow,
others run deeper.

Through rustic panes I watch him bend,
straining against the pull of years
to pluck joy from the loam.

A moment’s pause to contemplate
a lone invader into precise ranks,
before his shovel resumes its dirge.

Discarding my pen, I fall in beside–
a forgotten page, unplowed.

Ryan Stone

First published on The Houseboat in August, 2015

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Rishi’s Star published at The Drabble

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I’m excited to see one of my drabbles – Rishi’s Star – published at the wonderful site The Drabble.

For anyone unfamiliar with the term, Wikipedia offers this definition – “A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.”

The Drabble also has an excellent guide to what they’re looking for – What Exactly Is Drabble.

I’ve been writing them for awhile now and find it a great way to tune in my brain at the start of a writing session…and every so often I’m left with something I like.

Worth a try when you’re next faced with that dreaded blank page 🙂

The Sculptor

On Sunset Strip the lights have dimmed
And silent now their siren’s call.
A fading starlet’s eyes are brimmed
With tears–one more forgotten thrall
Who keeps her locks of platinum trimmed,
Awaits her call to glory,
Lays bare her soul to cheat decay
And rewrite her life’s story.
He sculpts her in immortal clay,
In meadows cold and hoary;
Holds time’s determined march at bay
From fields of faded glory.

Ryan Stone

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