Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Written in cahoots with a dear friend.... a little sap for your Holidays.  Published in Issue 3 of  U Magazine.


J.W. Bouwman
Corey Rowley

He stood on the pier, a boy inside a man suit, ten steps from the brink of being totally complete.

     The girl inside the boat popped her head out of the cabin, a burgeoning electrical charge having caught her attention. She put her nose to the air and listened. What she thought she'd find was a summer thunderstorm - her favorite kind of rain. What she actually found was him, standing on the dock, looking at her with a dazed expression on his face. She knew immediately he was the source of the mysterious pain that had always lived inside her heart.

To achieve maturity and the right color
A soul will need to travel at least
The distance of the eye to the heart, in slivers
Taking with it the day’s accomplishments
Sliding on broken dreams, stockpiling personal madness

     When he was born, his mother was the only one who saw the small sliver of his soul that broke off during birth. The sliver was beautiful and filled her heart with awe, mixed with a wee bit of fear that her child should be not be complete without it. As the splinter floated by her wide eyes, it found the tiniest currents of air to stay aloft. She reached for it, focusing so hard that the din of child birth faded, the joy and pain surrounding her, suddenly not as important as recapturing this small part of her boy's soul - but she could not catch it. Being one of the most aerodynamic things in the universe, the sliver floated higher and shone in every color, all limned with silver, in the bright fluorescent rays of the birthing room lights. There it floated for eight years, needing only the slightest of air movement to keep from settling to the floor. The boy was incomplete, something he felt keenly as the years passed into adulthood. His mother apologized to him on her death bed, “I tried to get it back for you,” she said as she passed, knowing that he knew of what she spoke. He said nothing.

When arriving in its prone position
The soul accepts everything new by kneeling
Like conversing with a child on propped elbows, smiling
Judging intuitively, leaking innocence like a viscous new oil
Grasping for what is perfectly solid, synergistic

     One day a baby girl was born, and her soul was as whole and as perfect as a soul could be.  Her beauty and fullness of self coalesced with the joy of her mother and formed a moment.  A moment in which time stood still just long enough, causing the sliver of soul to drop out of the air and land in the baby girl’s eye. The intrusion of the splinter made the baby girl cry for her entire first year. Her parents were frustrated and scared of the incessant wailing, but no doctor could diagnose the problem. One day an old woman on the subway noticed the baby girl's distress. She tried to tell the mother what the problem was and how to calm the little one's pain, because after all, it hurt to hold someone else's soul, when your own was already complete. The mother dismissed the old woman as senile and cursed the wailing of the child. One day the sliver finally passed from the baby girl’s eye, slipping into her bloodstream and finally her heart, remaining there with only the occasional twinge. The baby girl grew into a lovely young woman, still possessing her perfect soul, having gained wisdom and strength from all the years of being the keeper of the boy-man's sliver. From time to time, the sliver made her restless and overfull, giving her an unsettled ache somewhere in the region of her heart. The urge to share herself scraped at her, for she possessed no real knowledge of what there was to be shared, or even who it was she was meant to be sharing it with.

If you try and hold it in your hands
The soul will fill your thoughts with wonderful pencil sketches
Of a life you could have if you only took heed, gracefully
A roadmap of simplicity, sprouting the divine, easing worries
Hold it too long and slip, addiction, death, loosen your grip

     Long before the sad day of the boy’s mother passing, she had sat in the garden every afternoon with tea in solitude. She whispered her secret to the wind hoping to ease the guilt she felt for not catching and restoring the boy’s soul the day he was born. One spring day, a raven caught her secret and like a silver chain took it back to his nest below the boy’s window. Every time the boy opened the window, the raven would taunt him, cackling (as all nosy ravens will, given the chance) that the boy had no soul, that his mother had stolen it at birth. The boy had believed the bird, because he'd always felt that there was something missing from his life. As he grew, a deep melancholy hung around his head and he searched for his soul, never knowing quite where to look.

When the right one plucks at that part of your soul
Meant for sharing and welds it, mixed media sculpture
Bending it to fit theirs and coveting it mightily
Time stops….rendering life as we know it useless
Creating an aurora of beauty and bliss we don’t deserve

      All of this leads us to where we began: with the girl on the boat, with the boy clothed in a man's form, staring in silent stupefaction at one another. Breaking the stillness, the girl reached down and pulled him onto her boat, smiling so hard her face hurt. When their fingers touched, both of them jerked slightly, their fingers lacing together instinctively. Her heart felt as if it would explode. She looked at him, her eyes welling with tears. Everything that the girl was, was given to him in that one instant. He gasped for air as her beauty and perfect soul created a vacuum of sorts within his own, his mind humming at the perfect frequency for what seemed like eternity. As the unity of these two souls came into being, there grew a lightness so overwhelming, it made anyone within a mile radius of the boat reflect for a moment about all the things important to them. He looked down into her eyes and spoke for the first time, in a voice that felt like pure honey to her ears. 

What he said was, hello

What she heard was, I love you

What he meant was, I’m yours.

     Her soul trembled as the splinter in her heart slipped out through the tears in her eyes, to be kissed up by his lips from her cheek. They walked along the riverbank, hands and hearts and selves entwined. She felt peace as all her puzzle pieces fell into place, and he felt complete as his world finally slid into a place he knew was home.

The penultimate place for the soul
Is in her pocket tight, brought forth for playing
For the ultimate place could be high in the air
Gravity is no match for the aerodynamics
The question remains, does it empty again?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cautionary Tale

Her small fingers brushed paint in bold unconscious strokes
Painting her future without knowing of love undying
Picking flowers with a man who was dad, angel, love, accident
He held her firmly on his perfect broad shoulders

Roses open on gush of lust
White carnations, death and dust
Orchids seal unhappy tombs
Women weep in too small rooms

The instant he transformed into that man endearing
One could not catch the instant the light changed
Only that there, in her chest, flutters of what could be
Collided like atoms with what was, reaching for meaning

Poppies grew to meet our toes
Lilies grown to meet God's woes
Freesias stab through rich dark soil
Shining fancies wrapped in foil

Her gnarled fingers scratched experience in bold conscious strokes
Subtle warnings of life not wasted, but not lived
The sparkle in her eye now the light of ages captured
And doled out in precious flowers once picked for him

Flowers held to her quiet chest
Stems so strong to build a nest
Leaves divert the perfect rain
Winds that mask deaths dark refrain

Realization comes late for rendering proper decisions
So life greets the day with a lesson of what could have been
Eating that day with  honey and rice helps to cover
The bitter taste of regret born of living in the shadow of natures flow

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Baby

You look into my eyes, giggle brightly
Squirming to run your own game
Pulling the reluctant kitten by the fuzzy tail
Finding that dusty cracker underneath the couch
It’s my baby
You baby
One baby
Cry baby
You don’t know that my heart ticks ragged
Beats of hopeful, fantasy futures
Strokes of genius, sparks of brilliance
I have my dreams and you are swept up
It’s my baby
You baby
Two baby
Sigh baby
Muted bravery when you can’t understand
Tired and weak, older by necessity
Eyes telling me, of all people, it will be okay
Cries for sadness so deep, I can’t overcome
It’s my baby
You baby
Three baby
High baby
Let’s hold hands for just a moment
Let’s eat the rhythm of the land
Let’s crinkle our noses in miracle and disbelief
Let’s make this beautiful time, the kind that counts
You’re my baby
You baby
Four baby
More baby

© 2010 Crowley


Her voice sparkled like the bangles on the wrists of a wanton woman
Before I kissed her, I inhaled the cocktail of her breath, beer, mint and delicious
Staring at the cleavage in longing spurts, like looking at the sun
Look too long and I will burn my eyes, but the warmth beckons, softly
Will you
Legs lingered and stretched like the water line of a forty foot sloop
Before I touched them I swallowed hard and closed my eyes, nervous
How high is too high, sliding fingers in painful millimeters, a mile to glory
Slide too high and run the risk, calling the whole thing off, angrily
Can you
The little hollow at the base of your back, a seductive basin for dipping
Tongues and fingers with tactile longing, I would take my wine there, gorgeous
The bead of sweat from under your hair, slipping cautiously into the pool
I chase it and every other drop, draughting liquid lust, greedily
Fingers sketching outlines like petals of a velvet flower that reproduces violently
Exploring things that are filled with anticipation, fluid movement, carnivorous
Slowly coaxing the bears to the dump to feed without discretion or inhibition
Grasping firmly the warm bastions of my desire, strokes of genius, hungrily
Do me

© 2010 Crowley

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trouble In Blue

A little vicious, but it was for a prompt about and odd blue door  once upon a time.

Trouble in Blue

Angry trouble, double trouble, lover’s trouble, trouble in blue
Changing locks to filter unwanted guests, eating all the grapes
Cramming porcelain knick knacks into a too big purse
Making medical diagnoses from pill bottle bathroom reading
Crashing sock drawers and gasping at the size of sex toys and reading material 

See my fate all dressed in blue
A crawling sick, making due
Fishnet stockings, sniffing glue
Fetish tricks, come fuck me shoe

Man trouble, car trouble, women’s trouble, trouble in red
The morning crashes like an unwelcome disease
Thoughts of muzzling my spouse, strapping my boss, prick
Tempered only by my desire to avoid unsolicited prison sex
The whiskey bottle shaped like Christ in despair, is salvation wet

See my fate all dressed in red
Paycheck bouncing, kids need fed
Your voice grates inside my head
By morning love, you’ll be dead

Marriage trouble, heart trouble, tax trouble, trouble in blue
Looking forward to the end of an uninteresting driftwood existence
Hoping my tack is true and bold in the next life, creative
Waiting for the ever after to unfold, tattling like a spurned sibling
To the gods of reincarnation, wailing of my pitiless lack of imagination

See my fate all dressed in blue
Casket silk like morning dew
Death bed secrets tried and true
Shit bed head, lipstick askew

Trouble, troubled, troubling……you
See my fate all dressed in blue