Two Poems by Kenneth O'Keefe

A fire is spreading through her dying lungs.
It flames to fury in the interstitial
Tissue, where passages of air are vital.
Its smoking wake leaves irreversible scarring,
The chambers charred and hardened by its raging.
Her frightened eyes are vacant sallow bowls,
Fixed on the grim shadow no one controls.
Time is expiring through her fiery breathing.

Her lungs are melting to a viscid liquid,
Returning slowly to the primal sea.
She shuts her mind on visions growing morbid.
She cares nothing for what she's sure to be,
When ragings in her chest are snuffed in earth,
Spawning in her the mother-dust of birth.

The Kite-Flyer

The whippet-thin man's longing won't relent.
Dashing, he feels the lifting over him.
With paper rattling in the discontent,
It swirls up the shafts of breezy gusts to grim
Portents of clouds, scudding above the trees.
Then like a sail catching a draft the kite
Ascends above the brick homes, as it frees
The man, whose burdens grow wondrously light,
Watching the shrunken kite rising in air.
Relieved of weight, he soars in awe its lofty
Seeming to be removed from every care.
But sensing still the pull of gravity,
He suddenly relinquishes its string
To feel the full splendor of disappearing.

Kenneth O'Keefe