North Country

A guest post from Paul Lenzi for my friend Anne-Marie and her devoted readers:

North Country

cool air spirits me
off to north cardinals
stinging my nostrils
with life to be lived
as it was
once before
under magnetized arcs
compass needle describes
in my unsteady hand

there where purples are blue
and the elk
kneel to drink
feeling safe
in my unscented shadow
where sweat will
evaporate quickly
and hemlocks
envelop the breeze
with green fanning fingers

there where thinking
irradiates heaven
with colorful avalanche
falling on clouds
and to speak in a hush
starts the eagle
from high in his aerie
to glide on the rise
of the soughing recital

there where ice gives illusion
of mountains
too tall for the trees
where I shift to brisk stride
with invigorant purpose
to bury my pain
in some valley unmarked
at least for a day

– Paul F. Lenzi


Abstract Love

A guest post for my friend Anne-Marie – originally posted on my blog in 2013



Abstract Love

the humid heart
weeps with a sheen
only seen on the
inside where seasons
of love hide among
aching blossoms
on rungs of sweet
branches fleet birds
settle gently in snow
or in flow of dry
breezes that smile
and cry in one
single soft whimper
aloft in the same
space that beats
with the thrill of
trilled tympanum

– Paul F Lenzi




Guest post from Paul, for Anne-Marie’s friends and followers




tearing into the fear
ripping doors from their hinges
of madness
to shine my hot eyes
on cold creatures within

I am rescuer come
to save sanity’s author
bring him back to his talents
normalcy once again
breathing self-confident ether

standing with attitude
planted on mind-stones
cemented with bone-ash and opium
I ring down thunder
and call out these monsters

despair mongers
cower in two-cornered rooms
pissant puny flat figments
whose bitter-taste whispers
will suffocate brains

they dissolve at my touch
into puffs of red smoke
as I wrote it should be
with my critical pencil
my duty fulfilled


– Paul F. Lenzi

Birdcage in the Forbidden City

(Guest post by Paul F. Lenzi from



deep within a Ming palace

sprawling six hundred years

upon secret imperial grounds

behind blood-red façade

beneath yellow glazed tiles

and mythic menagerie eaves

amid rampant dragons

stalking capital pinnacles

of mighty wood columns

hangs a vast multi-tiered

human-family-sized cage

slender members of bonework

traced with intricate filigree

delicate latticework

woven splinters and splines

of ivories and jades

once home to bright plumage

exotic and sacred and captive

rare birds unaware

they were lodging in paradise



Listening Eastward

(Guest post for Anne-Marie)

will you read to me
from Upanishads
of the brahman and atman
the soundless peace
resounding in aum

bring me god
back inside my self
where knowing us both
becomes possible

read me cosmologies of spirit
the universe senses of all
read me psychologies of we selves
the immortal senses of me
read me theologies of deity
the powerful senses of one

will you read to me
from Upanishads
of vedanta and gita
the noisy destruction
of ignorant thought

bring me god
back inside my self
revealing that all
exists in my hand

– Paul F. Lenzi

L’Opéra de Paris

(Guest Post for Anne-Marie)

my verdigris balcony
overlooked Palais Garnier
where classical royalty
sheltered in splendor
their musical jewelry
acoustical diamonds
of unsurpassed sound
graced appreciative ears

Beaux-Arts opulence
filled gilt attentive lorgnettes
framing battleworn eyes
of philosophers huddled
beneath golden flames
of a murderous
seven-ton tiered
chandelier luminating
the plush auditorium

all this grandeur was built
high above discrete
watery dungeons
where Gaston Leroux’s
tragic phantom discovered
psychosis in chains
casting dark architectural
infamy over the fiction
of popular culture

the opera house shared
its first breaths with
La Troisième République
regretting once more
an imperial monarchy
stumbling along its
return to democracy
trying the world’s
great composers on
modernized peasants

– Paul F. Lenzi

Modern Lit

cry the wounds of an age
pushed on pages by pens
that forget when the gold
ring of language drew
gleaming king’s english from
inkpots where schoolboys
found grammars of words
turned and tugged into
metaphors bristling with
quotable clarity singing
with syntax that Donne
might have taken his pause
for brief moment to taste
with that eloquent tongue

– Paul F. Lenzi


(A Guest Post From “Poesy plus Polemics”)

avalanching ethers

burst among solar flares

explosive with locust bytes

swarming in broadband storms

chomping through dark matter orbits

dimming the starlight

with sensory overload

to then disappear

massive cloud after cloud

into gestating bellies of

Cancer and Capricorn

reborn and transmogrified

carapaced, cloven-clawed

mandibled, sea-goats

voracious for unwrinkled brains

with pubescent attraction

to distraction of inane textese

reductive emoticonned moments

flashing frivolous acronyms

from voice-command gadgets

and chatspeaking thumbs

unable to utter

or finger-swipe

anything cosmic

to rescue the intellect

from cultural dross piled like grave-dirt

interring a species

that might have discovered

the soul of the universe

– Paul F. Lenzi

Cursus Honorum

Another new/old contribution to dear Anne-Marie’s blogging sabbatical.

Cursus Honorum

bellyful of accidental harvest

brass medallions swing from your neck

as you stoop to enter your reputation

then drop to a spider crawl

scratching oaths in the dirt with a pointless blade

down the middle-pathed

privileges bent through a maze

where integrity stood like a mainmast

tall proud in its shrouds

your fine untouched prize at the center

until it dissolved in the capital rains

never missed by a soul

– Paul F. Lenzi

We Cry For Our Own

Here is another contribution to Anne-Marie’s blog, as she writes the novel that’s been waiting to emerge from her literary womb. I chose this poem in the spirit of the day which, here in America, is now Veterans Day – originally known as Remembrance Day. And it corresponds to my own generation. This was originally posted on my blog at

Vietnam War Memorial Wall Washington, DC
Vietnam War Memorial Wall
Washington, DC
Vietnam War Memorial Wall Washington, DC
Vietnam War Memorial Wall
Washington, DC

We Cry For Our Own

the first time
I sat on sloped grass in the dusk
near the apex and cried
full out spasms
spontaneous reflex
irrupting the middle of me
ripping long dormant grief
from my unwounded organs
depleting flat wailing
rang harsh in my voids

I’ve always been moved
by similar sites
but this delta of gabbro
calls only to mine
they were each and all mine
my own muddled half-mad generation
these cold chiseled names
who were killed in my place
stood where I could have been
stepped where I could have run
when the bullets or shrapnel
cut their lives down

these cold chiseled names
were killed in my place
leaving life and the journey to me
and in traveling it
at the apex
I cried

– Paul F. Lenzi
Poesy Plus Polemics