Gerburg Garmann πŸ”ˆβ€‹

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Toward a Little Ornate Piece of Night

It isn’t time yet.
My white dog, black-spotted, under the spotted chair,
nips at the underfoot beauty of chameleons
and unicorns flaunting their capricious coats.
Somehow, she knows there is a mutinous shelf life
paired with an unyielding order to many things.

Devotional figurines hang on silk-clad walls.
Wishing for pink moons and paper moons,
they quietly hold on to what they know
and are prepared to make swift use of any and all
innate shut-off valves, should we be tempted
to doubt a certain point along our path.
Intimate speakeasies are not their thing.

As dusk falls, you make dubious decrees about dewy gods
with jewel trimmings. You harness the wind with great taste.
I rest on a Venetian pillow in a pile of lacquered linens.
They make for a shelter where iron-tipped lances
take no quarter. It’s never about the brag.

Somebody told me that flamingos and hummingbirds
prefer nimble trills, sometimes in iambic meters.
That, even when all seems lost, they refuse to write love letters
to pedestalled nymphs. It looks like, they, too, hold on
to what they know and resist dipping their beaks into cocktail culture.

No wonder: my white dog, black-spotted, under the spotted chair?
She, too, holds many truths. Among them, that it’s no joyride pushing
beverage carts across marble floors, that there’s no point in succumbing
to the allure of ill-fated pearls, or stirring up dust without due cause.
(Littered plastic grocery bags just don’t count.)

Not yet time. Settling down on stony steps, even those guarding
curated carvings, is not the answer; there are no homeless angels
here to lift us to a paradise where spiked heels call the shots.
Even cows cower once enlightened. Are we too crass, too shameless,
in bleating out these adjudicative facts?

Consider this a well-scaled statement: fingers clad in translucent gloves
have plucked over lives half-lived, ships have sailed for alien harbors,
and shadows can’t stop straining away from the world’s legacies.

What about us? Are we ready for the night’s uncharted waters?
Ready to chase rebirthing shells, despite knowing all about
the battered and the bullies?

To wind our toes into the grass under talking trees?
For subterranean stocks of vintage leather, emerald chess sets,
ribbon-tied naperies? For the spiral steps leading to time’s pantry?
I doubt we’re a match for their ghosts.

All I know is that once you’ve smoothed the hand-painted throw
with an ageless iron, cranked up the volume on an ageless song,
I’ll concede: it’s time now. My white dog, black-spotted,
under the spotted chair, lifts her head in a sigh and agrees.

Author Reading

About the Author

Gerburg Garmann is a former professor of Global Languages and Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of Indianapolis. Her scholarly publications appear in English, German, and French in international journals. Her artwork and poems have appeared in various magazines and anthologies around the world. She specializes in creating art for women.