4 Poems by Ryan De Leon
Empty save a mother waiting
A boy in the barber’s chair
The boy sits anxious
The barber digs his sheer into the side of the boy’s
Head circumference of a young mind squeezed
blood or sweat falls with the shorn hair
Squirming feet squeak metal chair
Blue, white, red swirl on the pole outside
The boy is close to tears when the haircut ends
Being handed a tootsie roll
He puts it in his trembling teeth and chews
Touch the ear suspended
Collar obscured protected only
By the wink of the dean
Clouded vision cleared through
The sweep of the scalp
Thick darkness cloaks the skull
Exploiting one’s own weakness tears
Mingle with sweat salt and soul tremor
To the floor at the suggestion of an overdue
Spin in the scissor man’s chair
The class bell rings and the young
It hasn’t hidden the canal
A shaggy mop past the shoulders
his lover’s hand clenches it back
The other hand behind his neck
One hand on her hip to hold her
Her blonde bob just enough
For a fist full
His back to the board of bed
She lowers herself
Picks up steam
Until simultaneous gasp
Chins jerk upward as
Both drag fists down
The shuddering bed stills
Framed pictures now on the floor
He fingers the thatch of his manhood’s home
Over a dram head in hand
The new country cut left jagged
The dreamscape’s roof
Shadowing by window and siren
The shortest existence since the long road
From halo to breast commenced
Sweeping the strands from sixteen brushed away
The self, leaving a clean shop floor to
Form from foot to crown the man to
The growth begins again
Si je reste dans
ma ville de naissance, si je suis
My term of
Intellect. The snow
Is falling at my
Rest on my
Take my tongue
To the sea.
Spears take gluttons
To grey baths.
Flesh gives hope
To the lonely.
Skull pour out
Over the rocks of
Off route 66.
heave through San Bernardino
Take the hand I offer
It is cold,
But it is clean,
It is ready to dig
In the hills.
The dawn will
stay for months
This California Kaiseki is
In the woods I watched the sun
it formed a cathedral and
Hatred burns my days, my nights,
That only wish to see the ocean
They do not like when hatred points
At the current
Strains my application
The season swings too quickly
Bright burning light
Earn my disturbance
Or I will not look
Down the window
Until it joins the steel.
Steer to the right
Takes me home.
And in the night,
Hoagland’s white whale stares back
He is unopened, unexplored
Behind him lies a rope of pages
Red, unread, of many colors.
Catching the gaze of a crusader,
a Dutch star, empty, is predestined to the left.
Across plateaus sits Derrida
And baskets of actors and booming composers form
The bedrock of the castes.
London, Paris, and JFK
Above the prophets of the lost generation,
The twentieth century intelligentsia is gathered.
Above it all, there is a howl from an old Franciscan
Images From an Election
A stumbling Orangutan enters his new
The gaze of countless Dogwood blossoms
Rest on the shoulders of the ape
As if he is the champion of petals
The Primary Man
An old man sits on a New English beach, crying
For his loved ones. A hand appears on
His shoulder. He is joined by a woman.
The last of her dynasty.
The tears of a young woman
Water the pedestal of
Lincoln’s statue in northwest Britain.
Put out the fire that burns
Across the bay.
These ballots cast for an amateur of office;
Bullets through brown and black hearts.
Scales of Justice
Two dishes suspended equally in air
Supported by a column that
Protrudes from the bottom of the
Atlantic. In one dish, a dying bird
The other, a broken diadem,
They tug each other
From across the aisle,
Above legions of leaders.
Two columns separated from
A shadow is cast by
The forty fourth man.
The darkness of this shadow
Is warmer and more illuminated than
The space that surrounds it,
From the oval door frame
To the bust of MLK
Ryan De Leon was born and raised in Southern California, before he moved to the north of England. He is presently back in California. He is the founder of Sons and Daughters.