Friday, February 14, 2014

Eric Robert Nolan- A Poem

Together, Spying Cardinals in the Snow

Together, spying cardinals in the snow,
you ask me
if it's crimson sorcery,
the manner in which
their alate frames
make furtive flames
momentary roses, racing
fleeting 'V's, speeding
at morning light,
manic scarlet letters?

And I here I was
ever the ready pedant,
already snatching at Latin,
finding families from memory,
reaching for genuses, species.

"Cardinalis Cardinalis,"
I dryly recite
In tones as cold as the snow,
Amanda, Dear, you know
how nomenclature comforts me,
how I like to confine
images to categories,
visions into ordered words,
feelings to their well-deserved
lexical cells. Fearing them,
I make locks from similes,
manacles from metaphors,
prisons out of assonance.
Ever-present measured meter
Is a vigilant warden.

Emotions, so sentenced,
are convicts at the stocks.
Publication makes
a neurotic victory -- 
"See here," I tell all,
the writer as proud jailor,
"What I've confined to page."
I pen deadbolts.
Chapters incarcerate.
Life is a locked book.

Nocturnally, they creep,
lithe, limber felons -- 
catlike colors through the bars
thinning red escapees to commit
Misdemeanor spectrums in my dreams.

"You have a word for everything,"
the flash of your half-smile -- 
that angular dip in your red lips
is like a scarlet cardinal
leaning in its flight.

"So, tell me," you repeat,
your half-joking query,
"Is it a kind of sorcery?
"Has magic made
"cardinals be our company?
"Are their quickened roses
"made by magic from enchanted trees?"

Magic --
an older language than Latin
instructs your erudite eye,
rich in the texts
of childhood's apocrypha:
all those lost books and invisible pages,
the tomes from which we evoked
sorcery as happy boys and girls.
As authoritative 
as any Church Cardinal,
we fashioned faerie,
invented their enchantments,
and then made heroes for their aid,
at the age of eight.
You've never forgotten.
I have.

You painted for me once
on a trip Out East,
drawing, as you're wont to do,
from magic.  Your blue hues
made a nascent moon.
Yellows yielded stars.
Errant reds raced
down your shirt in their escape
making a hasty cursive --
angled scarlet letters --
the 'V's" of diving birds, perhaps
or maybe "L's for Love.
When all of your
various roses elope, you only 
let them go.
You easily release the reds: 
they're only innocent dissidents.
You are an open book
and pages of flaming magenta.

We are
Together, spying cardinals in the snow.
My Love, you are my better, though.
Where dry science constrains
and skepticism cages,
You're adept with red 
spectrums.  All your spells
color the cold air
and liberate the day -- 
with skyward scarlets,
furtive quickened roses,
manic magentas,
crimson sorcery.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan, 2014 

Eric Robert Nolan graduated from Mary Washington College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  He spent several years as a news reporter and editorial writer for the Culpeper Star Exponent in Culpeper, Virginia. His investigative work has also appeared on the front pages of numerous newspapers and local magazines in Virginia, including The Free Lance – Star and The Daily Progress.
Eric entered the field of philanthropy in 1997, as a grants, public relations and speech writer for nonprofit healthcare organizations.  His feature writing included articles in Vim and Vigor Magazine, and Eric designed and taught curricula for grant writing training courses for healthcare professionals.
Eric’s debut novel is the postapocalyptic science fiction story, “The Dogs Don’t Bark In Brooklyn Any More.”  It was published by Dagda Publishing on November 19th, 2013, and is available at both in paperback and for Kindle.  This will be the first of a series of books entitled “The Wolf War Saga.”
Eric’s poetry and short stories have been featured by Dagda Publishing, Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction, Illumen, Dead Beats Literary Blog, Dead Snakes, The Bright Light Cafe, The International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive, and elsewhere.  His poems were also included in anthology format in Dagda Publishing’s “Threads” in September 2013.  Eric’s science fiction/horror short story, “At the End of the World, My Daughter Wept Metal,” was published in January 2014 in Dagda’s short story anthology, “All Hail the New Flesh.”