From the Sidelines

Do you know how it feels
to stand alone in a forest
in the caesura
of a gathering storm?

With a graceful pirouette
the north wind about-faces
and just as quickly
a sou’ wester replaces
the breathy, dry kisses
of long afternoons in the sun.
Drawing breath from your lungs
and heat from your soles,
lowercase twisters
scatter leaves with abandon.
There’s a pause,

it is electric,
then thunder above.
A first splash, the herald,
caresses your skin
and whispers of days
when you sucked the air in
and laughed until laughter ran dry;
when you danced and you sang
and timeless, you lay
entwined ‘neath an indigo sky.

In that place, alone,
your lenses will fail
and your notebook fall
by the by.
Your shutter can’t capture
the depths of magenta;
your pen,
the dreaming Magpie.

It’s a moment,
just a moment,
before the storm breaks
and the old song
resumes its same rhyme.

Do you feel it?
Can you grab it?
A resolution, of sorts:
to wring from
each minute
a lifetime.

by Ryan Stone

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Bedroom at Daybreak

A breeze saunters in,
brisk enough
to rouse spectres
from corners –
words flung like fists

fists flung like answers.
Passion smolders
then surrenders
to ash.

Outside a rosella
flays petals from a rose
until an empty husk remains

and I beg the fickle breeze
to carry me away.

Ryan Stone

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Pirate Queen of the Crimson Coast

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“Surrender?” he begged.

Aisha gazed down her rapier at Admiral Benpassa. When last they’d met, he was raping her mother, the Queen. Aisha escaped the horror that followed; fleeing her father’s fallen kingdom to be reborn as a pirate.

A sharp blade and sharper mind had kept her safe when her blossoming femininity betrayed her. Her beauty and fearless nature were unrivaled; pirates flocked to her banner.
She raided the usurper’s fleet mercilessly, taking joy in each victory. Today was particularly fine.

Aisha drove her rapier through Benpassa’s skull, then swung from the burning flagship; steely eyes smoldering.

Surrender?

Never.

Ryan Stone