I want to be like
a sunflower: to be young and to follow
the sun’s glow, to be old and
tall even as death knocks on
its door, to keep its
head up even as
it witnesses the loss of
the other life, keep
climbing high as if
attempting to reach the sun’s
My father is the fly that circles around dead and already digested things,
drinking his diet of decay, dreaming of nothing grander than this fly-by dive,
thriving on destruction. Eventually, he developed into what he consumes:
a diminished fraction of what he once was, a dim decaying shell of a bug
buzzing circles around his deformed body’s demolition.
I am a product of reproduction. I am a fly because my father was
but I have a fondness for the sweeter things. I find fulfillment on ripened fruit.
The pulpy pit of a peach pulls me away from the puzzling predicament of
my fly-status birthright. I may be from the Diptera order but I will paint
these wings – hope for a butterfly’s beauty or a dragonfly’s grace.
Bio: Charles K. Carter is a queer poet and educator from Iowa. He shares his home with his artist husband and his spoiled pets. He enjoys film, yoga, and live music. Melissa Etheridge is his ultimate obsession. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. His poems have appeared in several literary journals. He is the author of Chasing Sunshine (Lazy Adventurer Publishing), Splinters (Kelsay Books), and Safety-Pinned Hearts (Alien Buddha Press).
From Depression Into Light
On the day, her black dog died,
she emerged from limbo
and finally her partner
dispersed his old lies.
Caught by her resurrection,
the light within her knowing eyes,
he came clean. Too long,
according to his own needs.
Humbled by her courage,
he lay marrow-rich bones
before her blistered feet.
liquid bubble wrap
too soft for popping
aqueous viscous soup
squishes around each nucleus
to nourish fresh divers ideas
inside my cranium floats
eggs in waiting pure potential
more dreams and aspirations
than will ever swell to live a life
destinies foreshortened and forlorn
yet in the seething swirling swamp
swim thoughts strong-minded fit
destined to develop and survive
they mature sprout heads and legs
ready to fledge and spread gauche gifts
zany bright through not completely wise
Your sun sinks,
Liquid iron cools hardens
today's furnace greys out.
Tonight, dusk's knives file my brain,
grim ghosts come out to play.
Will they walk or race like you
away? Leaving poisoned plasma
deep in inflamed membranes -
marked thin tissue
scarred, last obsolete remains
of my sunburnt mind?
Still, silvered limbs caught open,
press up, tease sky-floss clouds.
Thirsty for moisture,
held buried deep
beneath thick-barked skin.
Coppiced trunk-legs part
unashamed, reveal a perfect V -
a brave inverted apex,
viridian vulva, vaunted
yet veiled -
covered in green lichen
dark, damp moss. Strands
encircle my outstretched fingers
remind me of my age and arid loss
Ceramic up-lights, wall mounted,
cup thin, lucent air in Mother's empty room.
Vacant, threadbare chairs,
piled high with unread books, nestle up
agin long tapestry curtains. Folds
backlit by swallowed sunshine.
I, her hated daughter,
try to push her darkness back
with overwhelmed and guilty heart.
French windows - bolted, brass locks
cold to finger, give onto weed-thronged gardens.
I snatch both handles, flout creaks
to fling them open-wide. Frantic,
I find mops, cloth and bucket
run water from seized taps,
sluice dust and slime away,
clean deep through seams of tension
into crisp, clear orphaned days.
Wolfpack Contributor: Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon4 Poems from Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon