Monday 26 November 2012

Solicited Poems by John C. Mannone

Dawning of the Dark

Day shuts the door and darkens
with purple sky. After the bolt
of sun flashes orange, it unlatches
the night below horizon. And dark,
no longer sullied by light, is unhinged.

Inverted Flight

Dust from trees
will swirl up
but only ash
incinerates us.
Soon sin will, too,
where the fire glows.
Deep into the pit
we have fallen
to assuage the guilt
that cannot be washed
with tears of wet remorse,
nor elegies — the purple
plaintive chant.
Our song, now
lifts into wind
stealing our breath
as the chokeberry
cupping soft fruit
with prick of briars —
its beaks we didn’t feel,
our movement, innocent.
A flick of eyes, swift,
from the lush tree,
but from the thistle,
a begging to pluck the berries
as meadowlarks
flying into starlight,
as an uncaged moon,
as the sun.
We once were free
as swallow birds,
now, into the abyss
pulling us down —
on our wings,
the weight of sin.


I want to forget.
When I press my eyes closed
to shut out the light, I see
a diamond mine as if the coal
blackness is squeezed until
sparkles grow from the dark.
They turn raven black to purple,
then fly into thick webs of indigo.
In patterns, dots stream
from inside me,
red, green, transforming to rings
as if pebbles rippling a pool of dark.
I rub my eyes
through thin fleshy lids. And rings
couple to form trains of yellow
that traffic on invisible rails. Hauling.
They carry me atom-by-atom
in carloads: my carbon, my soul.
I open my eyes
and it’s raining outside. The coal tar
shines in lamplight, the moon
swallowed by clouds.
I don’t see
the hard coal anymore. Disappeared
as dust washed down the black street.
I blink and it is gone.
But I want to remember.


John C. Mannone, nominated three times for the Pushcart, has work in The Baltimore Review, Conclave, Prairie Wolf Press Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Pedestal, Rose Red Review, The Hellroaring Review, Curio Poetry, Vermillion Literary Project, Medulla Review, Glass, Lucid Rhythms, Pirene’s Fountain and others. He’s the poetry editor for Silver Blade, an adjunct professor of physics, and a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. Visit The Art of Poetry at

[Posted on 26 November 2012]

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