Keith E. Sparks

Keith E. Sparks Jr. has been writing from a young age. He has had his work published in various literary journals and magazines and has been nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize. More recently he has published two collections of poetry titled “Facets” and “The Doggerel Dog.” Keith is the creator of Open Skies Quarterly, a digital and print publication dedicated to poetic voices, and operates its Facebook presence, Open Skies Poetry group, as an outlet for poets worldwide. Keith resides in West Virginia with his wife and three children whom are the epicenter of his existence.

Hieroglyphs

Misshapen figures depict the scene
of Mystery etched upon the wall
In vibrant hues of crayon and sharpie.
Carefully crafted by miniature Picasso's
with crooked smiles and “wasn't me's.”

While the colored hands of innocence
proclaim the guilt of a mischievous three
in reds, blues, greens, and golds--
And the backward letters of signatures
below a family portrait newly scrawled.

What use is Love Poem Revealed

Blunting the edge of perception
traded for insecurities?
                  The scythe of emptiness
has failed to kill the loneliness.

It was bound to come, as destiny
not as rushing water nor of wind,
but silent, being that which is despised.

The western sun has fallen,
                the world has slowly changed,

and melodrama, rotted halfway up the thigh
has acquired him with regular progression.

              Yet, he would not search 
or travel Cupid's blessing
              through painted forests.

Until the blush and Irish laugh;
sunlight dancing behind brown eyes

—the return of acquiescence 
to a life of pleasant surrender.

What wonders he could pen!

But would it seem a Line
blunting the edge of perception
and fail to kill the loneliness
leaving trembling hands with nothing
save the emptiness
and a shamrock-breasted bear
                                 chanting prayers for the damned.


Previously Published in “Facets” by Keith E. Sparks Jr

Shrouded Eyes Do Not Prove

I, like you, underestimate the depth 
for one to properly submerge emotion.

For shrouded eyes do not prove 
               emotional death colored blue, 
                                       as obsidian eyes do.

Only hint at the inevitable fall
underscored by the game last played,
                           last lost, 
and the last-place pennant dangles 
as a pleasant reminder 
                           (though heroes easily forget!) 
of bygone love only so erased 
as one claims it to be.

Leaves are often crumbled, 
trampled upon, divested of life, 
for such is a lover’s wont.

To draw closed the shutters 
and shut out the memory
of a candle still alight, admonishing, 
like a preacher rigidly avoided, 
yet sought by moths just the same.

Forgetfulness desired,  
            we rally weary defenses  
                                                  and fade,

building castles by the sea.


True, some envision themselves champions, 
imagining victory attained, 
as Lust overpowers Love’s essence, 
and graffiti disguises its mask.

Run and play little one; 
              run and play
the colors may find you. 
              I may yet join in, 
though I pray to never win or lose again. 
 
Under the ice I will sit, to ponder.

Memory after memory may yet reveal 
the depth easily accomplished 
for the man I submerge.

                            As obsidian eyes do.

Previously Published in “Facets” by Keith E. Sparks Jr

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