August 9, 2020

“Meteor Shower,” Poetry by Mark Hammerschick

“Meteor Shower,” Poetry by Mark Hammerschick
Meteor Shower
Canvas black 
the eternal oil spill galactic 
dark matter 
speckled waves of crystal 
diamond sky 
ruby, emerald, sapphire  
silent night bright  
terminal velocity 
eyes focus 
straining in the dark time 
as seconds, minutes, eons 
stretch galaxies 
into small hands 
that even rain cannot 
for in feeling 
we begin to fall 
headlong into night 
riding the meteors 
of our past  
knowing the showers 
of our future 
will smother 
those small hands 

not even the rain has such small hands 

Smokestacks of oak, hickory and birch 
lurch in the balance of sleet and snow 
on a confused Sunday in early May 
as my woods fill up with snow. 
It’s a snowy evening 
tucked away on this Highland Park cul de sac 
hugging Lake Michigan’s shore 
as the gales of this Spring day 
recall the final waves 
sweeping over the bow 
of the Edmund Fitzgerald 
on a cold November gale long ago. 
Having weathered many storms 
we walk… 
wandering down Sheridan Road 
as this knowing snow envelops us 
clinging to that other walk 
taken a lifetime ago. 
We were frozen 
stumbling and bumbling 
your hand on my thigh 
my leg on yours 
holding tight 
as we hurled down that hillside 
on a rustic red slide 
not knowing we would have this moment 
to savor for so many walks to come 
before full time work and grad school 
one, two, then three 
bundles of infinite intensity. 
Birthdays, graduations, proms  
and that first house we called home, 
rearing three daughters 
tornados of emotion… 
and then from the chaos came the calm 
as I cupped my calloused palm 
on a tiny granddaughter’s hand 
not even the rain has such small hands. 


Venomous clouds 
slit azure veins 
eyes sliced wide 
jelly spittle 
into a hollow socket 
wretchedly lacerated 

plasma pulses 
sifted like sledge 
fusing fractional abstraction 
a girl not on the list 
frozen to a dirt floor 
not going gentle 
as razor snow 
penetrates the lone whistle 
on this lurid train 
into the heart of darkness 
kill them all…  

comfortably numb 

I graze on mottled cattle 
lost in a labyrinth of longing 
for the velvet silence 
that envelops your pancreatic eyes 
piercing steel,  
cold, harsh, brutal 
like the memories of veal calves 
clipped to hooks in the cooler, 
yet gaze I must 
since I trust 
the musky stench of you 
is all that balances 
this carefully carved moment 
eye to eye 
knee to knee 
breath to breath 
how you suffocate me 

Autumn Impales Itself 
In a crimson distance 
leaves explode 
not like dreams deferred 
but like nightmares 
frozen in dream space 
the eternal silence 
whispering from caustic cancerous corners 
jagged shards of flesh linger 
blistered, bloated organ confetti. 
Errant confused winds gather in discord 
wavering in their vacuous intent 
like lords of flies, hovering, sweating, 
waiting for the kill, lost boys are the best boys. 
Toil, boil and troubles linger as the witches  
walk on by hearing it on the grapevine, 
their sinuous spells snarl septic minds 
blank with the boiled brains of field mice. 
Swirling, the swirl of a Tilt-A-Whirl 
deep in the memory of Roscoe Street: 
Catalpas grand in a sticky reality of leaves 
Sugar Maples bleeding crimson crowns 
And rivers of birch white with hope 
hope that winter weight will not win. 
Canvas of light, a lone sun resumes its warmth 
content in the cerulean blue 
spot it owns in the universe 
as it shines on like a crazy diamond. 


Meteor Shower

Mark Hammerschick‘s poem ‘solarity’ recently won third prize in the 2020 Highland Park Poetry Challenge. He has been writing fiction and poetry for over 30 years and has been published sporadically during that time. He holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a BS and MBA. He is a lifelong resident of the Chicago area and currently lives on the north shore, most of his professional career has been focused on digital strategy and online consulting as a digital architect and transformation strategist. 

This is his first feature in The Fictional Café.

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#autumn#mark hammerschick#meteor shower#poetry

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