The Textures

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

When I recall the moments
I cherish most,
they were not just clear skies,
perfectly stilled forests
and mirrored lakes.

I treasure the textures:
the wisps and shadows
of clouds as they menace
then pass over the horizon;
the bend and release
of a breeze against
the ever green,
the sycamore,
a blade of grass;
the waves as they crash
onto a rocky shore,
the wake as it wobbles the bobber,
the memories that flood with ripples.

Fiji Musume (The Wisteria Maiden)

A Poem by Michael E. (Maik) Strosahl

In Kabuki,
the actor is the wind,
swirling his long hair
as a branch alive with blossoms
and he becomes her,
the wisteria
dancing the birth of spring,
the rise of her spirit
sweet upon the air.

In my garden,
the wind is the actor,
pulling at her flowers
and it is the maiden’s flight,
the wisteria
out across the goat pasture,
the scent gathering divine
in the evening’s warmth—
the crowd is enthralled.

Descending Alpe d’Huez

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

The air up here stokes the flame,
starving lungs burn hungry,
blood pounding fierce through the heart,
down to legs running in place,
cranking through the machine
and back again,
crying for still more.

The road—
carved into the mountain.
The flock—
a rainbow racing to steal away my yellow.

Though I cannot see it yet,
the crowds grow larger
as we zoom around the curve,
signaling the approach of today’s goal,
and if I push just a little bit harder,
I will break from this pack,
I will raise my fists triumphant
to the roar rising from the people
over the whirring of wheels in spin,
rubber straining its grip
as we race across asphalt and cement
to the finish.

The Last Toast

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

I drink to the house already destroyed
To my whole life, too awful to tell
To the loneliness we together enjoyed
I drink to you as well
To the eyes the deadly cold imbued
The lips that betrayed me with lies
To the world for being so cruel and rude
And God, who didn’t save us or try.
— Iris DeMent lyrics based on a
translated poem by
Anna Akhmatova

This bottle near empty,
my tongue nearly numb,
these lungs with their rattle,
these coughs thieve away
any breath I have left.

Dear lord,
please forgive
the spite in my soul,
that sent post of remorse
to her box from the one
I am soon to enter,

And may it’s dagger take swift
the life that wasted mine,
the wheeze of this virus to paper—
one last swallow of rye,
one last puff of air
‘fore my body goes cold.

The Textures

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

When I recall the moments
I cherish most,
they were not just clear skies,
perfectly stilled forests
and mirrored lakes.

I treasure the textures:
the wisps and shadows
of clouds as they menace
then pass over the horizon;
the bend and release
of a breeze against
the ever green,
the sycamore,
a blade of grass;
the waves as they crash
onto a rocky shore,
the wake as it wobbles the bobber,
the memories that flood with ripples.