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Poetry by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

He is Lonely Energy
Into the Fountain
City Song Sparrow, Unnoticed
Published December 6,  2016
Eleventh Transmission.
Eleventh Transmission: Poetry by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri
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He is Lonely Energy

for Wayne

Orphaned in a world
he did not want to understand
heart and head competed
without resolution.

Swept away thoughts
specks of nothingness upon
cracked veins of spidering asphalt
looked briefly into temporary
clouds like sand bar islands.

Beside his homeless shoes
a puddle’s handheld mirror
reflected a half-lit moon
ducking in and out of mist.

Stuck between strife and suffering
he did not want to be here anymore
invasion of surreal mixing its oil
into cold and separating waters
into the dense sinking cruelty
of what is real?

Into the Fountain that Hides Itself

A worn-out fountain
a liquid onion
splashed away
translucent layer by layer
starts at the core
shoots out of itself
every trigger
every eruptive thought
gushes upward
rapid change of state
sanity into chaos
a titled backward head
an angry cartoon drawing
colorless smoke
pours out of mouth
stream of angry, unholy words
seeded droplets tumble
a hammer-smashed mirror
millions of pieces
fallen self - shattered
splashes into green-scum
pond-filled darkness
where even carp cannot breath.


Face:  I don’t recognize you anymore.  Don’t like your gray hair, wrinkles,
and brown spots.

Mirror:  I am what happened to you while you were living.  
I watched you grow.

Face:  But getting old is ugly, not beautiful. Where’s Keats – Truth is “not”

Mirror: As you age, your mind grows wiser; your heart purer. This kind of
inner truth Keats was referring to is indeed beauty; and it is arriving; and it is
the most beautiful you.  The inner you has never been more beautiful and

Face:  I remember all those scenes I played: child, teenager, young woman,
wife, and mother.  Now they’re grown, I’m divorced, and well into middle
age. Alone.  It all happened so fast.

Mirror: Yes, so many changes - scenery, customs, lighting, even hair and
makeup.  Now it’s time, as quiet observer, to watch others act.  Write more
poetry, do other things less visible.

Face: Well now look at me.  I clean the theatre, work the ticket and
concession stands. Smile at all the other faces living in judgement of me.    

Mirror:  Time’s current moves swifter at the end, seasons blend into each
other.  A new group of actors and actresses take your place; however, you
will always be remembered as the poet of unheard voices, where tender
wings abide.  

Face: One day, I will fall through the trap door and will never be seen
anymore.  Actually in the last scene, I see myself sleeping, dreaming as
they lower a wooden door hung on horizontal hinges.  A permanent blackout.
My face left to rot.

Mirror:  That’s how every well played life ends.   That’s how the script is
written for everyone. I hold the memory of your face and now listen to your
artistic daughter –
Oh how she is an image of you!

City Song Sparrow, Unnoticed

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! (Keats)

It is February cold –
dusty shafts of light

filter through thoughts
hypnotized by living

each of us tends to our own private affairs
to the business of our own making, as

a sycamore leaf, detached and undetected
gently floats, sliding side to side

a long dirge-like descent to
a thin frosted layer of quiet.  

Blue cloudless sky.  
Magnolia’s naked menagerie

then this surprise – city song sparrow
momentarily alights, breastful song lifts
in the cold, unnoticed by everyone
and I think of Keats’s

inclined ear that early spring
and  how the freed spirituality

of that nightingale’s
released soul- singing- song

as premonition
to touch something deeply

within suffering’s shadow
a symphonic, longing to be heard

as comfort, to be able to bear
upon his own life song

upon his own dark decline
upon his own disease ridden body

for in less than two winter’s end
before the second coming of spring

his mortal life would cease
he and that nightingale

immortally joined -

pulse of beating pitch and
name “writ in Water”

ode lifting, gliding
toward patched, light.

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, a native Philadelphian, is the author of three full-
length poetry collections:
Images of Being (Stone Garden Publishing, 2011),
Lights Battered Edge (Anaphora Literary Press 2015), and Night Sweat
(Red Dashboard Press, 2016).  Awarded a grant in poetry from the AEV
Foundation in 2013; served as Poet in Residence at Ryerss Museum and
Library and as Poetry Editor of the
Fox Chase Review.

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