Poetry in Motion

Random flashes.
Half thoughts.
Words that fly
hither and yon
and still somehow
arrange themselves
as if they
already knew
their place.


Treading Water
In a struggle
to stay head and heart
above the rippling surface
of your dusk blue eyes
they call and tempt
a sirens song
stay and give in
drown with me
in a current so strong
it has no known destination
other than
the beginning
and the end
and the in between
of everything.

dpm ->lmr  4/28/17


The space between
you and me
resonates both old and new
all that’s been
all that’s yet to come
in alternating tempos
of questions and answers
strung on a single
frequency full of
overtones and undertones
that radiate spherically
and fully fill
the space between
you and me.

dpm->lmr  04.09.17


little winged lanterns
strung across
the first
long nights
of summer
a Chinese festival
of yard stars
in motion.

dpm 07.18.97


Jubel with an A

A stone’s throw
from Stick Rock Farm,
but just shy
of Lick Creek,
lies Jubel Cotton,
tucked nicely
between a grocery
and a fried chicken place.
His marker
crooked and scarred
from his 83 years
scattered amongst
the long gone family
of other Cottons.
Father, mother, son,
daughter, infant.
Fenced on four sides
to keep others out,
or them in
all together.

The gates,
locked and rusty,
creaky, yet sturdy enough
for leaning,
the place you
nudged me backward
and hovered your lips
a hairs breadth
from mine
so close
I could taste
your hungry breath
and feel
the lush whispered sigh
that moved
from you to me
and me to you.

“Jubal,” you whispered,
talking straight to my parted lips.
“Jubal, with an A,
was known as the father
of all who play
the harp and flute.”
“It’s in the bible. Look it up.
Genesis somewhere.”

I nodded, barely.
Enough so you’d know I heard.
Captured in your perfect spell,
lost in thoughts of Jubel
– both of them –
and your closeness.

Did our Jubel,
the one stone quiet
behind us,
in all of his 19 years
share stolen kisses
and barely whispered
promises of things
to come
on this very spot
just as we were
working up to?
The knowing,
in the biblical sense,
still unknown,
but out there,
restless wings beating
in invitation.
How soon
was too soon to tell.
How could
travel so fiercely
to the ends of me
and get so stuck
in such a place as this?
As stuck as Jubel
is “At Rest”
beneath his stone,
his very name
cut to last forever.

dpm   5/12/16

Jubel Sylvania Cotton
August 2, 1914-December 20, 1933
Wake Forest NCSon of William Clarence and Sela Keith Cotton
Grandson of  J.J. and Malissa Ladd Cotton


Standing Wave Vibration
The trumpet of a whisper
turning itself inside out
and backwards
to reach its final
resting place
inside a waiting ear
with words you already know.

Just beyond your
lips lie languages
of love and lust,
your tongue
at the ready
to speak and perform
tricks of magic
and wonder.

dpm  10.15.14


Rustle of Silk
Easily released
as hand-painted silk
in a soft wind
rustles and echos
as it skims across
bare skin
leaving a caress of shivers
in its wake.

dpm 07.30.99


Striking an Arc
You burst
over … above … inside
a million fireworks
sparking one by one
and all at once
at the same time.
Bright neon flares
of scorching light
scatter tiny tendrils
across my begging skin
at every touch
or breath.

Lips sync,
tongues tease,
until magic breathed
in a gesture somewhere
between a kiss and
 a “Rainy Night in Georgia.”

Loving you flowed in quick
and endless streams of joy
and for a time
I was yours and you were mine
Forever and a day.

dpm   8.14.14


Tender Mayhem
What lovely havoc
you wreaked upon me
in all that coming and going …

darting in and out
of my imagination
with a determined fury …

leaving a swell of ripples
like skipping stones
in the wake of your kisses …

I invited your invasion
daring you to capture me
and storm the castle.

dpm 11.24.14


Cherries to Pick
there are

words to connect
sparks to light
breaths to take …

eyes to lock
lips to brush
tongues to tangle …

passions to ignite
limits to draw
lines to blur …

were we ever
to find ourselves
in the same space
at the same time …

there are
all these things
and infinity
to look forward to.

dpm ©11.16.14


Astro Nomical
Full of tempestuous anticipation
and heart-thumping fear
I walked deliberately and willingly
into your ring of fire,
that curious orbit,
in which you
are the main constellation.

Your poetic words sideswiped me
rocked me out of complacency
with delicious promise …
this naughty invitation
to exploration and discovery
to cross boundaries and test limits,
is delivered, sealed, ready to be opened
all for the taking …
all for the giving …
throwing caution to the fates
handing you the reins
to rip back the curtain
was my gift to you.

Now this black hole in my cosmos
gapes and yawns at me
as just some place out there
the stars fell through
sucked away by
carelessly flung words and reactions
misunderstood and spiraling to the corners
too scattered to be retrieved.

It all seems backwards
this instant intimacy
an illusion caught fire
that somehow bypasses
the gradual unfolding
and all its potential
to mature into the knowing
of you …
of me …
of us …
starting at midpoint,
naked and vulnerable
then doubling back
fully clothed
to catch up to reality.

dpm© 11.11.14


The What if Conundrum
Spun on a curious thread
of long imagined desire
I dangle and swing
between a “what if?” and a “so what”
where the grip of the not knowing
is an aphrodisiac stronger than the familiar.

Pulled inexplicably to the power you wield
moth to the flame …
Icarus to the sun …
nail to the magnet …
sword to the sheath …
imagining those nether places
you could take me
the hidden doors you might open
the mazed pathways that really just circle around
and come back to the me
I don’t know yet.

What if … the idea of you
is easier to embrace than the reality?

So what … the quiet voice inside murmurs
you can’t know until you know.

What if … I’m not cut out for this, I ask,
But what I really mean is
“What if I fall into you”
and all the trappings,
the ropes, the growling,
the nips, the whips,
the submission
turns out to not be who I am after all …
what then? How do I fall back out?
Knowing you can’t follow me
back to my world …
and I can’t stay in yours?

dpm © 11.12.14


A Love Supreme
In the kitchen
with Coltrane.
Thursday night swirled,
slow dancing
with whispering scents
of ginger and curry
suspended wild
and undulating
in the air
exotic and whimsical
musically unpredictable
a restless
kind of blue
moving into
a percussive
primal abandonment
that won’t stay put
and wasn’t meant to.

dpm © 10/30/14


She hopes
he will
be strongly gentle
as he makes his way
into and around her mind and body and heart

She hopes
she will
please him deeply
as she hands over
her will for their mutual pleasure

She hopes
they will
draw new lines
and color fiercely
together outside of them in living Technicolor

She hopes
he will
allow her to
orchestrate the soundtrack
to musically accompany her awakening.

dpm © 10.27.14


To a Murdered Poet in Search of a Metaphor

He sobs his dying ode,
as in life,
to anyone who would listen.
Pressed for time
his words flow aimlessly
down a bloody stream
rushing to nowhere
and yet,
somehow to everywhere.
Sighing in a last-gasp irony
that his final audience
has revoked his poetic license
before a higher court.

Rik Davis 1940-1983

dpm© 10.17.83


A phantom
thought of you
skittered past
just now
and in
its reckless passing
blew soft
and whispered air
my thighs

dpm 05.10.10


Top to Bottom
into your vortex
where arousal
spins into sugar
wobbles precariously
like a
spinning top
before falling
over with
a clatter

once again
the toy
you only
reach for
every now
and again.

dpm 09.13.10


as we lie
still and quiet
pinned beneath
the weight
of passion
come and gone.

Still life with aftergasm.

dpm 09.10.98

Still Life with Aftergasm, Redux

As we lie
still and quiet
pinned beneath
the weight of
come and gone.

As the night
passes by with
headlights from
a passing car
slices and slashes
across our moist
and breathing skin.

As the scented
taste of musk
distills within
the near
and perfect
seasoning of
salted tears and sweat.

As your senses
capture all the
aromatic essence
of this pure expectant
before it slips away
never to return.

dpm  10/19/14



I wear your hands

a hallmark

of every

in every

sacramental totems
in all the languages
ever spoken

words and touches
for every occasion

There is no place
top to bottom
you have not
marked your path …

a fiery tattoo
left to fade
on the outside
yet etched forever
on the inside
of my everywhere.

dpm © 12.7.14



I find myself
in frequent dreams

revisiting familiar houses
where doors open
to hidden rooms
I never knew
now revealing themselves
in the vague
half-life of sleep,
they invite me in
to explore.

At the end
of the hall
an old love
who won’t
quite ever go away
naps on a white
wrought iron bed
made with my
grandmother’s faded
patchwork quilt.

I move
across a sunlit stream
of swirling dust
and fold in
to spoon next to him
careful not to
disturb the
perfect in its silence.

His arm
pulls me even closer
head buried
in my tangled hair
as I follow him
into a day sleep
deeply content with
an imaginary tenderness
that doesn’t live
in the real world.

I lose myself
in frequent dreams.  

dpm  5.24.14


Did Gyre and Gimble …

Desire coils
tighter … taut …
in and around
a corkscrew
in perpetual
tension screams
and spins out
into tendrils
of gasping release …
you had me at
first glance.

~ with apologies to the Jabberwocky
dpm© 4.25.15


across the serif
of a well-turned phrase
verbal gestures
as knowing glance
across a crowded world
of strangers
tenuous …
fragile …
and oh-so mildly torrid
all at once …

dpm 07.04.96


Falling between the pages at the library

One glance, then two
across a table
and the space between
expands and contracts
zooming in and out
at random …
inches, then miles,
then back to inches …
flawlessly extraordinary.
No clever comebacks
to charm and amuse,
no righting myself
as I lose my balance
in your eyes,
and there were no other
voices but yours.
Yet with all the words
around us in
floor to ceiling volumes
and random collections
of poets great and small
none flew to my rescue,
the right ones knot
around my tongue
never to be spoken,
though somehow
I know you know
exactly what they are.
dpm © 1/6/14



Presume to know me
from my words
and you’ll be
some right
some wrong

Whether they
lie before you
woven like silk
and velvety-soft …
or tangled in chains
and briar-sharp

Sometimes elegant
sometimes tortured
always thoughtful
always curious

they are simple
meant to mirror
the mysteries
of traveling
and sometimes unraveling
the realm of
heart and body

Presume to know me …

Not your best move
in a game of wit
and skillful seduction
where the queen
is the more
powerful piece.

dpm © 12.28.14

With thanks to TheFerrett for the inspiration “I’m Not That Guy”

Is what
you carry away
with you
as redolent
as what you came with
or even
what you leave behind?

dpm 09.30.99


Body Language 101

Were you
ever so eloquent
as that
when your tongue
over my ankle?

dpm 07.30.99


All Fours Hiaku

Longing crawls around
on hands and knees looking for
a safe place to hide.

dpm  05.10.10


middle night.
never such a
lone time …
as when and where
desire scampers
in and out
of the empty playground
we become
middle night.

dpm 07.12.96


after the monsoon
of love-making
no regret
for all the hours
you burst
upon me
full of furious
need and desire
no breath
left to even
whisper goodbye.

dpm 09.30.99


Poetic knights
verses and vices
can’t slay
the dragons
of you.

dpm circa 1982


And will you
reach for me
at midnight
once the hour
crosses over
as you hover
in the spaces
made for
not quite here nor there ..
and will you
pull me closer still
to you
just to breathe
the scent of sleep?

dpm 07.24.96


Moved off center
as the impact
of your voice
comes to rest
upon my expectant ears
I am suddenly
and pulled
toward you
inexplicably drawn
as if you were
a hidden magnet
that I can not resist.

dpm ->4.2.12


Ode to a Fifteen Dollar Dog

as the dark
blows murky kisses
across a
rain swept curb
and the wind
howls like
a bitch in heat …

God’s great
flash bulb
captures every
shadow of your life
curled in your
corner full of trust
and rabbit dreams

dpm 01.86


Poem to Dixie

who comes
and belches
toilet water
clings in droplets
to the hairs
on her
chinny-chin-chin …
puppy breath
grown up.

dpm 12.84


Mag Poems / circa 1995
From the Boston Refrigerator

Mag Poem 1

your whisper
beneath my skin
as thick as
luscious summer

circa 1995

Mag Poem 2

to the music
of a thousand
moans & whispers

circa 1995

Mag Poem 3

Sun drunk
with the
repulsive wax

circa 1995

Mag Poem 4

thine own
luscious finger
and leave
no frantic
thought behind

circa 1995

Mag Poem 5

the cook
you love her
with a
tongue symphony

circa 1995


A heart beats out your name,
in metronomic rhythm
all without

a rhymeless reason.
a memory
of measured time
to keep.

Lost inside a tempo
I feel you all around me
all consuming,
all enrapt.

a virtual
of desire.

dpm  3/23/95


Did you think
I could really
put you away
from me
as if
by simply saying so
would make it true

casually to a
twilight attic
where other banished memories
swirl chaotically
amid the dust motes
never really settling

barely indistinguishable
in feeble beams
of everything I
can not
let myself forget

dpm -> circa ‘95


On crashing into you at the Atlanta 500

Two cars to the left
on top of the roof
of a half-painted automobile
sits your past
with his present
young and fresh
like a strawberry
hood ornament.
Out of the blue
and into the red —
a zone you’ve
both been in before.
You circle one another
going into turns
without caution
zooming the oval
when you suddenly
find yourself
spinning out.
Where are warning
lights when you
really need them?

dp 3.20.78


A glimpse of you
flashed by on its way
to somewhere else
much like
the hurry-away-from-m
you were always in.

dp 3.8.75


of the flowing
hair and hands …
a glance
of something
I’d never seen
in your stormy eyes

of the dancing
smile and fingers …
a song
of joy
I’d never heard
using only the perfect notesYou
of the ocean
high and low …
a tide
of sea
I’d never tasted
on anyone’s lips

of that time
yesterday and today …
a chance
of heart
I’d never taken
now hopelessly lost

dwp ->  jw 1974


you passed
through me today
a mere shiver
a thought on the run

the recesses …

I can no longer
remember your voice
or touch
or the press
of your lips …

yet this
fractured memory
is still full
all the breaths
you have exhaled
into me …

dwp > jw 1974


Was it
after laughing in the dark
as it turned to dawn
before sleep pulled us down
into the afternoon?

Was it
all as it was meant to be
lasting a lifetime of nights
or just a moment
of never-afters?

Was it
just me
or did you fall too?

dp 3.13.73


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