Day 5 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013


on being wholly smitten

there is a quiet golden
in this evening as it settles
unequaled in its beauty
by even that of precious metals

it embraces vesper’s hour
with a subtle gentle heat
lays down upon the land
like the roll of amber wheat

it dances in the air
strokes your hair aglow in smolders
folds its warmth upon your face
fondles fiery ’round your shoulders

it ignites a special magic
as though dreams are coming true
paints the world in sensual splendor
almost beautiful as you

like a goddess of the sun
in this moment you catch fire
my heart a helpless tinder
now sparked by love’s desire

caught by beauty’s reaching flame
I’m filled with passion’s yearning
my soul is set ablaze
please don’t leave me burning

before I am consumed
quench me with your precious kiss
for if I am to be consumed
I pray it be in bliss

• • •

rob kistner © 2013


Day 4 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013
part of my Smalling Down™ series


on seeing a lover return

upon seeing the car
coming up the drive
the lover ran to greet
the beloved

you have returned
my beloved
you had gone
so far away
and for so long

said the beloved
I never left you
my lover

but you did
I saw you drive away
and here
I see you return

but don’t you know
said the beloved
my love is bigger
than this vehicle
than the distance
of any journey
and it knows
no time

I am always
right here
with you

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

Small Decisions

Day 3 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013
part of my Smalling Down™ series

Small Decisions

on making a menu for the grill out

my son is up from frisco tomorrow
he just accepted a new position
in the upward spiral of his career
salaries in the bay area boggle my mind

I’ve spent my life entrepreneuraly
a self-made man

mostly what I’ve made in 66 years
is mistakes
and lots of them
but one of my rare exceptions
will be here tomorrow ’round 6:00 pm

how fast life goes by
how seeming small decisions
can have such far-reaching consequence

small misguided decisions
chased through a labyrinth
of questionable correction
can bring a life to a sum total of ruin

to my good fortune
my ruin is only financial

you see
life has a way

even on a barren plane
a flower can bloom

one of my favorite flowers
is comin’ to be grill-man

I’m havin’ burgers
burgers and hickory-molasses beans
with potato salad
and apple turnovers

no steak
can’t afford steak
can only afford the burgers

my life of adventure and conquest
of mystery and mayhem
has been rich with memory
has netted little barter-able treasure

one of my precious treasures
arrives tomorrow evening
he doesn’t know it yet
but he’s bringin’ the beer

my troves are empty
but my life is rich
with love
with pride

and soon
rich with a grandson
that’s another thing
my tomorrow-evening son’s gonna bring
he and his wonderful wife
but gotta wait until september

at amassing a fortune
I failed
but building a strong family
that features a master grill-man
that’s a wealth immeasurable

sitting here in my small red chair
I feel a fortunate man
I feel a wealthy man
I feel loved
and between love and money
I choose love

• • •

rob kistner © 2013


Day 2 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013
part of my Smalling Down™ series


the traffic ticket

went to court today
first speeding ticket in over 30 years
pristine driving record
no accidents
safe-driver insurance discount

the situation that caused this
this disturbance
in my time space continuum
that put this ripple
on my deep lake of careful
that caused this snag
in my perfect cloth
was a dangerous
unfortunate turn of events
which required I react safely
and wisely

I did that
I received a citation
and not for valor

sometimes truth isn’t truth
intention must be allowed
allowed to play a role
shouldn’t it

of course
that assumes justice
and that can be a damned ‘iffy’ thing

I know precisely what happened
but precisely
what is the truth
about speeding

entering the freeway
found myself driving
in a dangerous situation
trapped in the inside lane
a dead-end lane
by a huge wide-load semi
forcing me too near the berm

car in front
car behind
hemmed in
doing near 60
to keep pace
wide-load drifting
in and out of my lane

responsibility meant
driving my way out of trouble
meant accelerating
meant driving fast

saving one’s ass
isn’t speeding

judge opened my eyes
to the truth about truth

truth wears many faces

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

Calypso Hearts

Day 1 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013
part of my Smalling Down™ series

Calypso Hearts

on buying bananas at the market

were they sun-stained souls
with calypso hearts
that carried this bunch
through the magical sounds
of the tropical night
down to the shore
and onto the banana boats

all the while singing
moving rhythmically
thinking about the freedom of morning

thinking, “daylight come
and me wanna go home”

and me
my small shopping cart
black wooden cane
dangling from the handle
eyeing three semi-ripe ones

a little green
like my wife favors
and home they will go
up onto the fruit rack
above the counter
in the kitchen

and she will eat one
maybe just a half
the other half on cereal
maybe saved until later
another to work
for that 3:00 o’clock lull

wonder if those calypso-hearted souls
dealt with a 3:00 o’clock lull

wonder if they had the luxury of time
while loading that boat
to even consider a lull

wonder if they are
those calypso-hearted
sun-stained souls

but once they were
who toted those bunches

and they sang
and they worked
and they sweat
and they longed to go home

and they loved

so I thank them
and their calypso hearts
or gone

perhaps big soulless machines
tear through the banana trees now
ripping their yellow bunched plunder
without a thought of song
or the warmth of sun
or the sweetness of fruit
or the beauty of a tropical night

or what’s happening to the planet

Kathy will love these bananas
they are the perfect green
even more special
given we lose a little green

but that’s not for me
I just do what’s on the list

list says
get bananas
someone else
will have to save the planet

I do hope it’s on someone’s list

just wanna go home now

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

Vault of Dreams

Vault of Dreams

rise up
clad in colors of a joyful life
throw off the strife

just as the figured eight
rejects a narrow fate
tilt against convention

buck the winds of rebuff
ignore the false contention

stare down the face of ridicule
avoid the vapid scornful fool
disregard rebuke
spurn condemnation

shun the foolish blown off course
by the ruinous brutish force
of mindless conformation

the prevailing norm
is a toxic storm

be not inclined to fear nor falter
choose not to hear it
nor let it alter
the path of spirit
stay your ground

lean hard on raw conviction
wait the weight of mind’s confliction
it’s here your strength is found

be anchored bold
and firmly hold
to what the heart deems genuine
until patience spent
returns again
do not resent

be flexible
to withstand the blows
resisting those
who would see you swayed
and lowly bent

who would see
your spirit broken
a cruel tawdry token
they might savor

laugh instead
raise up high your head
don’t ever waver

be ever strong
be never rigid
never brittle
prone to break

do not forsake
your soulful song
eschew the wayward
noisy throng

hearken wisdom’s subtle whisper
be drawn the way of hope
and wonder
never consent to knuckle under
to the whim of fools

make rich your vault of dreams
your trove of true enlightenment

seek what inspires
what makes you


• • •

rob kistner © 2012

Oh To Fly

…collage entitled “Rising” — by: Rob Kistner 2003…

Oh To Fly

oh to glide
in buoyed flight
rocket skyward
loop great circles

lift high on mighty thermals
never be earthbound again

not tethered to stone and clay
no slave of gravity today

oh this day to be soaring
swooping diving
banking flying

to be drifting
on the jet streams
all alone

to feel the joy
of total freedom
aloft without trying

to live as one
possessed of feather
and hollow bone

• • •

rob kistner © 2012


“Flying Down” by David Salle
this poem loosely inspired by this visual prompt at Magpie Tales

The Dance

NOTICE: intended for mature readers only…

“Venus and The Sailor” by Salvador Dali, 1925

The Dance

he felt the weight of her thigh
pressing against his
and the flesh of her hip
urgent against his groin
and the warmth
as he responded involuntarily
feeling a heat spread through him
a quickening of his pulse
as he swelled and swooned
growing rigid and eager
and a deep need overtook him
as he reached ’round her
firmly encircling her waist
with his great arm
bending her forward
with the mass of his body
and with his other hand
freeing himself
to enter her fully
consumed by her wetness
in a dance of dizzying desire
his urges hot and husky
on her ear and cheek
as he churned in slow pleasure
building in evermore lustful lunges
ever increasing in pace and tension
as they danced and danced
spinning into a carnal fury
until a great release
swept over them
and they melted together
in a fevered bliss
matching breath for slowing breath
and he bringing his lips
softly to the sweet nape of her neck
as they drifted to earth
entwined in the joy
and the afterglow
of love’s lingered embrace

• • •

rob kistner © 2012

…I wrote this as one uninterrupted piece to reflect the passionate nature and consummate flow of those final peak moments when one is wholly swept up in the deep and urgent throes of making love…

this piece inspired by this visual prompt at Magpie Tales

Perfect Pair

“Breakfast” by: Fernand Leger, 1921

Perfect Pair

a perfect pair
quite mesmerizing
a luscious fantasy

so round and delicate
firm but soft
a pleasure just to see

warm and beckoning
such succulent centers
begging for a nibble

temptingly tender
so tantalizing
drool threatens to dribble

I lick my lips
my tongue imagines
each teasing gentle bite

resistance gone
they will be mine
these orbs of pure delight

I close my eyes
my heartbeat quickens
I’ve dreamed of these all night

my desire’s piqued
my hunger’s tweaked
for two poached eggs this breakfast

• • •

rob kistner © 2012

this piece inspired by this visual prompt at Magpie Tales


“Summer Night” by Albert Bloch, 1913


trim taut tan legs
carry firm eager bodies
perfumed and cologne’d
‘round and ‘cross the dance floor

young groping lust
shadowed near the band shell
aglow in halo’d incandescence
throbbing with the big beat
of eternal rock & roll

beneath a high starry sky
clear as the naïve dreams
as humid as the shared embraces
hot as the stolen kisses
forever as the promised love
of sizzling teenage midnight

ghosts of my youth
recalled from long ago

• • •

rob kistner © 2012

this piece inspired by this visual prompt at Magpie Tales

Fire Mark

…I wrote this as a take on the post-apocalyptic ‘last person on earth’ theme, the “omega man” concept — although it can be read and interpreted as an ‘end of relationship’ piece as well…

Fire Mark

I remember when it happened
remember well
the all-defining fire mark in time
that forever divided then from now

comfortably alone
walking up along the forested valley
that is our property line at the back
my eyes drifting up the azure waters
of the clear mountain stream
that rolled towards me crisp and pure

at the instant of the startling sound
the strange light
I cast my eyes to the very tops of the Douglas Firs
that stand proud at the river’s edge

sentries for centuries
protecting this northern boundary of our lands
steady and enduring
yet always supple in the winds that waft and quicken
whispering the breath of life
into this pristine realm

two years on now since that ominous moment
but I never can forget the bone chill
that penetrating feeling
I was alone
quite absolutely

too long now since I have shared this vast beauty
with another’s eyes
with her eyes
with any eyes
or found my voice to exclaim its wonders

yet I still ramble the valley
wade the stream
given to an ever-rolling mumble
jabbering quietly to no one in particular
at the ragged edge of coherence
in the chance I might be rewarded with a response
her response
any response

but only comes the murmur of the constant stream
carried on the season’s breezes

I have held my mind in good humor
bound by the glory of this land I wander
tethered to the waning hope
that she is not gone
that they all can’t possibly be gone
a hope buoyed by the majesty of these forests
that climb their way skyward
with the patience and persistence of the ages

but they are gone
every … last … one

can I last the ages
have I that patience
how long can I hold center
when comes my fire mark
my sundown

how long until my fragile psyche unravels
scrambling in lonely panic
seeking human contact

tonight I will sit alone again
in my room
in the soft light of the fire
the only light and warmth possible
since that fateful point in time

month after month
in the smothering silence
in the maddening quiet
of this voiceless world
in which nowhere can be found
her eyes
any eyes

in which never again will I hear
a simple, “hello”

• • •

rob kistner © 2012


“Big Room” by Andrew Wyeth
this poem loosely inspired by this visual prompt at Magpie Tales


“Under Windsor Bridge” by Adolphe Valette, 1912


dead calm envelops me

moist morning fog
adrift on the water
wraps ‘round me
like a cool blanket

it muffles the sounds
of daybreak’s industry

alone with my thoughts
in peaceful privacy
safe anonymity

the regrets of last night
dim and fade

this brief sanctuary
a soothing balm
so welcome
at the start of this heavy day

• • •

rob kistner © 2012

this piece inspired by this visual prompt at Magpie Tales

No Respite

No Respite

relentless din of crawling prowling night
pours steaming through my window
midnight intrudes damp and searing

scalded air too hot and thick to breathe
a heat to suffocate
blades beat and drone overhead
promising relief
in vain

sweltered darkness lays heavy upon me

I toss in labored half-sleep
gasping for cool relief

I inhale deep to fill my lungs
seeking satisfying breath
only to bake them in cruel heat
no relief

salted droplets trace my spine
baste my neck
pool in the hollow of my fevered chest
bloom and seep
from beneath the smother
of matted soak atop my head
to weep their way ‘cross smoldering brow
into my eyes
and sting

in this nocturnal furnace
night clings and stifles
even dreams are scorched
simmering in August

• • •

rob kistner © 2012

linked at dVerse



Free verse is my heart’s elation,
stiff forms and rhyme make me depressed.
My muse balks at forced creation,
imagination dims, repressed.
I’m feeling empty, null, distressed,
when bam, a true epiphany!
To meet this task, I’ll do my best,
to write my angst as poetry.

• • •

rob kistner © 2012

linked at dVerse, written in response to their call for a poem in the Huitain form


This piece deals with the strange duality we all carry with us through life, the unique contradiction between the person we think we are, and the ‘many’ other persons others perceive us to be from their experience of us, as filtered through their differing individual perceptions. Fair or not, convenient or not — we are ‘judged’, and our lives are impacted to one degree or another, every day by how we measure up to each of these interpretations of the “I” we are thought to be. This includes the “I” we perceive ourselves to be. Which one is real, which one is valid — or is any one of them truly definitive? The phrase “I am” presents a fascinating philosophical quandary.

image by René Magritte


when another
tells you of yourself
you’re shown the dance they see
your outward choreography

but you hear not of the music
that rings true in your mind
that leads and drives the steps
for this music they know not

you are shown the reflection
not the light that shines inside
that illuminates your soul
to guide your steps and stride

are we the I we know
the self we see full measure
or are we the other
the one known to another

for if the valid one
be the one most known
then we are that other
the one to ourselves unknown

for surely when compared
the majority story shared
is of the manifest other
the one seen by another

and so we live our life
cloistered in this other
and live this life alone
even when by many known
for the you that’s shown
is the you that’s not your own

• • •

rob kistner © 2012