Reflections in Jagged Chrome

Running my thumb along the edge, the points sharp by touch;
my thoughts turn inward, wisps of memory for the soul to dredge;
the splintering of reality at dusk.


Stark mountains there, torn metal thrusting into the sky;
forever tracing the shadows edge;
awry, an epoch dwelling on the terminator between light and dark.


Jagged peaks still sharp enough to cut;
blood trickling down to streams and rivers,
pooling in valleys in times of flood.


Reflections there, from the past,
liquid in metal refracted in light,
glare from a thousand suns beating down;
smear of a billion stars in the ink of night;
haunting beauty of a smile, now lost forever in time;
bone white shard of a sickle moon shredding clouds in flight;
the softness in her eyes, gazing back into mine.



(Bryan Garaventa, 2016)


The Wanderer

He was only a nomad, as many attest,
so not to worry whence fell the blow
that broke his quest and struck him low.

Nothing was found in the aftermath,
though many searched the misty paths
hoping to uncover the slightest hint
that one existed with such a craft.

This farce began when long ago
a yearly fair was thence decreed
by the ruler of that wooded realm,
ensconced within his armored keep.

The people though, ever oblivious
to the rigidity of their plight,
beheld this event with the complaisant fervor
that appeasements oft incite.

Beneath the shadowy arches of leafy boughs
hung paper lanterns, haphazardly strewn,
twisting in the winds from leaden clouds;
casting light in dazzling hues.

Groups paraded to and fro,
shallow dandies oft to crow
and strut betwixt the silhouettes
of dancers with their limbs aglow.

Trade was brisk throughout the night,
lovers paid lovers led in tow,
masquerades to cover up
the darkness in their soul.

Swirling sparks were cast in flight,
tempting angels spun and rolled,
a greasy magician yet to swindle
a piece or two of gold.

Amidst the sounds of desperate laughter,
pipes and drums and flutes were merged
into an ever roaring tidal surge
of merriment unmastered.

Within a clearing, tucked away,
a bonfire snapped, cracked, and swayed,
bathing all in lurid light
as the drunkards drank their pay away.

No one noticed his arrival,
a bent old man, gnarled with time,
quietly intent on the glowing embers;
torments reflected within his mind.

As a pebble causes ripples in a pond to spread,
time first stretched, then slowed, then stopped,
as everyone became enthralled
by the pall of utter dread.

The old man stood, stooped with age,
demonically lit by the burning coals,
observing his captive host as sage
condemner of their souls.

“See for thyself what thou hath wrought,” whispered he,
and all that were bound throughout the land, heard his words,
trembling at the fear now stirring
within their hearts, like restless birds.

The bonfire danced merrily,
straining at its bonds in glee,
popping and crackling joyfully
as its captors could not flee.

All those present within the wood
were frozen thus, a terrible jest;
their deceits; designs; desires laid bare
to all; naked to the rest.

Frigid winds began to blow,
mournfully howling betwixt the trees;
storm clouds scudded across the sky;
rumbling thunder shook the leaves.

Watching carefully, the old man waited,
wondering if he would be displaced
before the enlightenment he began
could willfully be embraced.

While a distant rumble began to grow,
a cloud of dust was seen to drift
ever nearer through the wood,
as horseman pounded across the rift.

Smiling sadly, the old man turned
to face the one as yet beguiled,
unable to fathom how one forsook
so many souls, however vile.

Long ago, before this fated confrontation,
the king suspected that a spirit dwelt
deep within his wooded realm,
never seen, though often felt.

So the king, shrewd and cunning,
devised a plan that would in time
unite the hatred of his people
by implying foul design.

He thus contrived a yearly fair;
whereby his subjects must attend
to sing and dance and set the snare
for the entrapment near the fen.

Nevertheless, year after year,
no sign of the being haunting the man
was ever found, inciting fear
and anger throughout the land.

Now though, finally,
he would have the one who plagued his nights,
chipping away at his sanity
with imaginary frights.

The king and his soldiers surrounded the spirit,
weapons to hand as they started to ride
in for the kill, poised to spear it
through the heart inside.

Before the king could slay his foe,
the old man looked to the sky in wroth,
to storming clouds through flakes of snow;
raising his blazing staff aloft.

“See for thyself what thou hath wrought!”,
the old man screamed in the rising wind,
as a bolt of lightning was thence unleashed,
blinding all as it struck him.

When sight returned to the petrified throng,
none could recall who had come
to free them from the siren song
that disillusion won.

So the king returned to his armored keep,
unsatisfied, yet again,
forever obsessing on what he had and lost;
failing to comprehend.

His people resumed their torpid lives,
unable to fathom how close they had been
to the freeing of their minds,
though all felt the ache of loss within.

He was only a nomad, as many attest,
so not to worry whence fell the blow
that broke his quest and struck him low.

(Bryan Garaventa, 2013)

The Hourglass

I gazed with rapt attention at
the object borne to me alas
by fortuity or fate.

Boundless bourns, wherein constraints
of time did not pertain,
becalmed all force of will within
enchantments cast unknown therein
by lands in sandy waves.

The souls of all who passed before
the turning of this place of yore
from fertileness to waste,
whispered ever nigh across,
and through the weathered hulks of lost
kingdoms in their wake.

One last fortress remained therein
to guard this realm, beset within
by the strifes of ancient folk.
One last bastion yet unchecked
by the turning tides of fate to rest
in lonesome solitude.

The storms that swept across these lands
in days of old, where bells foretold
of prophecies to come and pass,
filled the depths of leafless gutters
and empty streets with arid sands.

Within the age portending such,
where heedless hearts began to clutch
the tempests yet unwoven,
dwelt miracles in gilded halls.
Dreams in waking, never failing
to leave their charges thus enthralled.

These raptures however, in the turning,
could not stand the ever swirling
mists of time, and fearing such,
fled to armored keeps instead;
to be forgotten, one by one,
till all had been undone.

Only the whispering sands can now be heard,
whenever stirred by the restless wind’s caress;
as only the rumble of ancient works
can still be felt, disconcerting from nighted halls,
where great machines run on and on
far beneath the earth.

Could I divine the ages hence,
and beholding fate, determine whence
that time may come again,
I would comply for peace of mind,
though galaxies may rise and fall
and twilight may descend.

(Bryan Garaventa, 2003)

From an Ember Wrought

So the ghosts of our past hold the keys to our heart,
and pay their respects with pain…
An injustice of memory perhaps,
yet what else is there to blame?

Though universally felt, the embers of love
(including the ensuing torments thereof),
may not be entirely delved;
spanning time with arches of fire, it cannot be quelled.

With just one spark; one instance of recognition
to fan desire, the soul is stripped to an aching heart.

As an ember exists amidst the flames,
so too may love have love contained:
One for what was, and will never be-
And one for what is, made radiant
by the wisdom of time and sanctity.

Would be simpler perhaps, understanding fate..,
the hammering of experience on the anvil of our lives
as the forging of our spirit takes place.

“To what end?” I ask, as I shake my head.
For what purpose do we struggle to comprehend?

(Bryan Garaventa, 2001)

Dust Motes by Starlight

I saw it fall from the mist enthralled,
a remnant cast from a lover’s call
long ago, in a  place unknown.

It glimmered, and lightly shone
in the starlight cast from a night alone
in the untold leagues of  solitude.

It might have been a letter rudely
written to a lover shrewdly
awaiting far below.

It might have been  a feather slowly
floating ever down to show me
utter grace within its form.

It might have been a piece torn
from a  gown, to lie forlorn
within the dust yet nigh among.

It might have been a spirit shunned
from paradise, and falling stunned
to lay enduring fell unrest.

It might have been a dove bereft
of life, as in falling left
the courtship of its  mate.

It might have been a prayer too late
uttered from a soul forsaken
by the powers that be above.

Or perhaps, it  might have been true love.

But who am I to lapse
into such conjecturing
as this which I amass?

And yet, even so,
it was laden with intent;
deeply falling into the mist enthralled;
shining brighter as it went,
like a star from hell to heaven.

(Bryan Garaventa, 2002)