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Poetry by Maurice Oliver 

Maurice works as a tutor in Portland, Oregon.  Visit his blog: "Lip-Syncing A Vast Terrain".




© 2004/2005 Maurice Oliver



Melancholy-Meets-Exoticism (Piano Version)

-Dawn arrives peeling off night's lingerie.

-Or marble reliefs of a goddess sniffing lotus.

-She rings my doorbell pretending to borrow sugar.

-Neat rows of houses with the lawns all mowed.

-She is barefoot with a gardenia in her hair.

-At a picnic spot by some monumental ruin.

-I tell her I have a sister named sky.

-Or a wheat field rippling in yellow.

-But instead, I offer to wash her feet.

-With piano music playing in the background.

-I pour some liquid soap in my palm.

-Or through a dusty village on camel.

-With a face that belongs on stamps.

-As rivers meander then change their course.

-Or the wind belly dancing across the dunes.





When The Daring Among Us Flirt

...for instance, his switchblade glinting
in brassy urban light or a big X marked in
black lipstick on a public restroom's mirror
or maybe it could simply mean let him who
never sinned cast the first stone in broad
daylight before a crowd of onlookers who
laugh jeer boo point fingers at an example
of road rage rushing towards her desert
solitude an aging actress is arrested after
slapping a cop's face in the shadow of
skyscrapers & shattered bread crumbs for
the pigeons or maybe the tabloids could tell
her housekeeper who plays solitaire with one
toe tracing the floral pattern in the carpet.







It Turns Or Rotates

To think we almost took it home

She imagines his hands on the wheel. Then a
forest of tress appear composed of rocket
fuel. Sunlight drools on the pane. The story
of clouds passing is constantly revised.
Gosh, you suppose I could we could wade in...

The only time Spring needed an introduction
I could be your flashlight O feral saint

All day a piece of roofing slaps in the wind
Next daybreak precedes with equal wonder

Some things simply flourish at a distance
Not living anyone's life

I dare you.






Playing Roulette In Houndstooth

Satellites catch our thoughts   (we're there)

People wearing spectacles
are asked to step backwards

Wars are shortened to fit
into prime time nightly news.

With headlights on
highbeams history   accelerates
but then misses the turn.       so now,
                     see if
                     that works.

Years pass but the
road keeps on going.

"Can the dimensions of inner
purity be measured in a speck
of dust", she will later ask.

Even bears sometimes
speak of sacrifice
                    & behind us
                    pebbles all argue
                    at once

(for things to exist)
After all is said and done.
Silence remains the best bet.






All work is copyrighted property of Maurice Oliver.



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