Attending the Dawn



When did you first listen to the tale of Kephera?

In your grandam’s lap or at the feet of the goddess?

No life exists without the Scarab god Kephera.

Each day he rises from the dung heap of horizon

to ease the solar globe from the clutches of night.


My ancestors and I attend the daily ritual

for no dung heap exists in the galactic center

without the skill of earthworms.

We  are dawn’s assistants

to He Who Raises the Sun,

the Keeper of Cycles of Light and Dark.

It is I who attend the daily alignment of stars.


When you remember Kephera,

Remember me as one of service

to the greater good.

C.J. Prince


A Kenning of Bones



 moon, bay, tree silhouette

She ken his foot-rhythm

but did not turn.

The opal of the night

would reveal him soon enough.

Before stars succumb to Kephera’s gift,

they will stand unwoven,

sink to silent moss.

Throats cannot contain ecstasy.

C.J. Prince


No Aubade for Noctural Devotees

Florencia Carla

No Aubade for Noctural Devotees

My morning is your afternoon.

I waken as you yearn for siesta.

The daybreak birds are silent now.

I see the midnight hour come and go.

My window opens that I may

breathe the night to noon

and fill my dreams with fir and cedar.

Dawn may please early risers.

I know it not.  ‘Tis peace of darkness

that reveals a full moon halo,

meteors, northern lights

and the unexpected call of owl.

Daylight speaks of last wills and testaments,

death and war, the time of cacophony

and frantic rush to increase the bottom

line and meet the next deadline.

The poet rocks and gazes out the window

to see life anew.  The Japanese maple

leafs out to exotic  chartreuse flare.

Nyctophiles gather with bone china

tea cups, just as you meet for cocktails

and think us non-conformists,

eccentric and bohemian.

I know the sky by looking up, not

from books.  Revel  as you will

with rhapsodies of dawn.

The sun will pass me by and I shall

wait in cedar darkness to see

what libation the Big Dipper

pours tonight.

~C.J. Prince


Where Will We Go, You and I?

Today’s Prompt:   Love poems are a staple of the poetry scene. It’s pretty hard to be a poet and not write a few – or a dozen – or maybe six books’ worth. But because so many love poems have been written, there are lots of clichés. Fill your poems with robins and hearts and flowers, and you’ll sound more like a greeting card than a bard. So today, I challenge you to write a “loveless” love poem. Don’t use the word love! And avoid the flowers and rainbows. And if you’re not in the mood for love? Well, the flip-side of the love poem – the break-up poem – is another staple of the poet’s repertoire. If that’s more your speed at present, try writing one of those, but again, avoid thunder, rain, and lines beginning with a plaintive “why”? Try to write a poem that expresses the feeling of love or lovelorn-ness without the traditional trappings you associate with the subject matter.

Window Dressing circa 1982

Berg & Prince, circa 1982

Where Will We Go, You and I?

It was those lazy days when condoms didn’t matter.

I didn’t want to sleep with you anyway.

I wanted something beyond the blue eyes in white face

and the flexibility of your body.  My art and yours would

blend.  No hot dates.  Just theatre.  You were skeptical.

No other would do. No other understood that the silent

part of mime could scream, not just ridicule and laugh.

I tossed my belly dancing costume aside, showed up

on your doorstep for a workout.  You’d get rid

of me you thought after three hours and a jog

around Cheesman Park.  I was as fit as you,

and well trained.  You didn’t want to admit.

Nor would I.  We never talked of tomorrow.

On the following day, one of us would call.

Day by day others saw what we did not.

I left my jewelry at your house, not

as territorial claim but convenience, a pile

of necklaces, bracelets and earrings

in your little apartment with nothing

out of place.

You say it happened the night we

went to Ringling Brothers.  I don’t know

when it happened.  We hit the circuit,

comedy clubs and elementary schools,

gave us a billboard name.

It probably surprised your folks,

and certainly the rabbi

when we chose February 14th,

not April Fool’s, to make

the commitment I said I’d never

make again.  For better—we had

wonderful betters, headlines,

travel and TV.  We’re having our worsts now

with the cancer invasion

of your perfect body.

Still we know, one day at a time,

we are in this together.

~C.J. Prince


When Grief Walks Tall 12 April 2014

Today’s  NaPoWriMo (optional) prompt is a “replacement” poem. Pick a common noun for a physical thing, for example, “desk” or “hat” or “bear,” and then pick one for something intangible, like “love” or “memories” or “aspiration.” Then Google your tangible noun, and find some sentences using it. Now, replace that tangible noun in those sentences with your intangible noun, and use those sentences to create (or inspire) a poem. Here’s a little example that replaces the word “lemon,” in sentences from a Wikipedia article on lemons, with the word “sorrow.”





When Grief Walks Tall

Grief towers skyward with spicy-resinous scented wood,

dimorphic shoots form a framework of  branches,

and short shoots, which carry most of the leaves.

Grief is evergreen and needle-like,

in dense spiral clusters,

bright grass-green or dark green,

glaucous pale blue-green,

maturing to grey-brown.

Grief pollinates in autumn,

waits a year,

disintegrating at maturity

to release the winged seeds.


   C.J. Prince


Moonstone on Labrdorite 8 April 2014

NaPoWriMo PROMPT:   (optional, as always!) prompt. Today, let’s rewrite a famous poem, giving it our own spin. While any famous poem will do, if you haven’t already got one in mind, why not try your own version of Cesar Vallejo’s Black Stone Lying on a White Stone? If you’re not exactly sure how such a poem could be “re-written,” check out this recent poem by Stephen Burt, which riffs on Vallejo’s.



Moonstone on Labradorite

   After Cesar Vallejo’s “Black Stone Lying on A White Stone”


   I will die in a down comforted bed, of course on a rainy day,

On a day I’ve remembered since birth, a day on earth

Where robins bounce in rusty orange vests

And the cat will purr me asleep on that day,

Tuesday or Saturday, by then it won’t matter.


I will hold amber in one hand, azeztulite in the other,

And I will remember my replaced joints and reconstructed

Parts that will only last so long and even today I notice

The resistance to movement as I walk the road, not

Alone for the dogs pause here and there, all

The company I need.


C.J. Prince is dead.  Will anyone still be alive

Who would notice or care;  she keeps making friends

But the less she moves, the more distant they become.

Who will scatter her ashes to the four directions

And honor the goddess?


There need be no witness for the days of the week,

The tumbling of months and years and decades twine

Within the bones of my body, the place of memory

Swirling now beyond the earth into the solitude

Of the milky way where I walked before

On a rainy day.


C.J. Prince