Native Star by Stan Renfro
Two collections of poetry by Stan Renfro
All in Orbit by Stan Renfro

Departure




1


Orpheus pretended

His woman remained strong.

He could still protect her

With his lyric song.


She knew otherwise.

The underworld deep

Waited for the serpent

To perform the sleep


Where none may return

Except as poem or art.

Elysium, the memories

Before the attic dark.



2


We went in her studio.

I hummed a Beatle tune.

Nothing, nothing mattered,

Future a veiled rune.


Now by white volcanoes

I go on the train.

She enters Nirvana

Alone, alone.


Leave a trail past solitude.

Endure a bold despair.

The grief of your departure

I know I have to bear.


Too much we've done together

To ever be apart.

Foreclosing your aorta

Will abort my heart.



3


Like Babette, you must go

Earlier than we.

At least you get to say goodbye,

Prepare, and from us free.


You shredded the evidence,

Your exit in the dark.

The last you heard was a meow

And Sasha's loving bark.



4


Thank you, Liz,

By your demise

You strip me of

My mean disguise.


Prophet, with

A bike my pew,

While I squeeze tits

Out of view?


Your devotion

And my dearth

Make me purer, now,

For Earth.


Pinons gone, the

Cedars next?

We meekly ask

For holy text.


Let my penance

Be, for you,

Another kiss and words

More true


To purify, and say

What will

Break this smog-cast

Hellish spell.



5


Thank you for

The opportunity

To live a life

With thee.


We accepted

Baggage,

And I thought

I was free.


The freedom that

You understand

I should have

To thrive


Is the very leash

That now

You hold - the way

We live.



6


Sarcophagi

Of the Etruscans

Seen on travels East


Got us back to bed

After retirement

At least.


Episodic as we were,

Each night your hand

Would reach


And find my own.

We'd lie and hold

Comfort within touch.



7


You could end your days here

So that we could share

The loving sympathy of caring

For Liz Renfro here.


The cat could only curl,

Sasha bear your shoulder.

We shall love you anyway -

Life will get no older


Than your love that made us

A pair on a hill:

Camera, one; the artist, other,

Looking at life still.



8


The mild shock, before demise:

You can't be angry now.

Pollution is an abstract word

When Hades is in throne.


I chase the photo through the trees

And to your father bow.

He saw his wife off, holds her rosary,

And lives alone.



9


I saw the rosary quite often

In the bed by you.

A bunch of beads, I thought,

But now they have a holy feel.


We had our time together.

My rapture always knew:

Your body and mine -

The most sacred seal.



10


That we felt the sun, Liz,

As artists on the globe:

Thirty years of feeling

Beyond the vacant strobe.


The prime of our bodies

We shared to a kiss

The other night in secret you gave me -

It was bliss.



11


Pamela gave you the rosary

That I met in bed.

We made love as usual,

Over depths of dread.


You made meals, manicured

Your last paintings, while I

Ran and wrote in ignorance

That you were going to die.


Elysium is all we did,

My love, the argument

Even, and the joy, life

Fixed in firmament.



12


You felt my body prime,

Helped me live my dream,

Just a teacher, little more,

An emperor, the same:


Guilty, but exonerated

By the quest to be;

Meek before your moment,

Dungeoned as you free.



13


By next summer solstice

I will be gone too,

Not from Earth, but on it,

For a better view.


Visit once in Hades

But the second time

Descend for the reunion;

Leave the living, rhyme.



14


I will protect you now.

Only Death himself

May get by me. Just watch.

Help me, though.


Stand behind, and

guide my wayward ways,

That I may be equal

To your love, please.



15


Am I destined to be sad

For a longer time than you?

Shorten thirty years down to

A paw-held wave and fading view.


On the nether side of nothing

Once more we'll hold hands,

Ethereal, bones transmuted,

Crumbled into colored sands.



16


"Don''t look back," Orpheus was coached,

"You'll lose my spirit view,

The one supplanting all the rest,

The one from loving you."


We fought good and hard, had

Enough to cause distaste,

But in the end celestial thoughts

Commingled an embrace.


Underlying any pain, was your touch

And release,

The quiet way that our hands met

To mean a meal's grace.



17


I thought age was protection,

You eight years after me,

But nowhere is invulnerable

To what the forces free.


Correct, the pills - and carrot juice -

Could not contain the dreams

That have sent you to the brink

Of cold infernal screams.


Hold on, where you are, dear,

I know you love me true.

Pen as sword, I'll slay the first,

Then fail finding you.


Maybe all is past, love,

but it was all our choice.

We held hands throughoout the time

And shared a single voice.



18


The first time you're not home,

Biking in from town,

To note the royal pleasure

And sweaty frown.


(I'd slide her chocolate cranberries

And pomegranate juice.

Dreams undertowed, however,

A sense of stress.)


"How'd it go, guy?"

Is your loving question,

That is for me, now,

Your resurrection.



19


First I suck your left breast.

My fingers trace your back.

The leisure of our long approach

Smooths out the peace you lack.


Until the voice, painting was

Your intuition's nudge,

And wash and ironing the outcome

Of a housewife's drudge.


What to serve your husband,

We had the burgers when?

Now beads of a blue rosary

dispel a fateful end.



20


Carrot juice is lonely.

I made our glasses full,

Our health a single focus

Temptations would annul


With exotic chips and berries

chocolate-coated, or

An anodyne of Lipton teas

bought at our only store.


The air we breathed was interspersed

with pollen - spring a sneeze.

Would that were our only problem:

Satan in the breeze.



21


If you must go, it was a show

Forever we'll enjoy -

How a man and woman intersected

Girl and boy.


fired by conviction, Earth holy,

And awe -

We achieved our arts beside each other.

I would draw


You and Myrrh together,

Your current book in hand.

Then we'd sleep together

While a moon made starlight wan.


Meant to meet one morning -

An Albuquerque draw.

Now Sasha is nearly ten.

Don't go, burr in her paw.



22


Your silver self was evident

When you would carry on,

Chatter at Sasha, grab the cat,

Disrobe your gown.


Thy silver self, a fascile artist,

colored ancient trees.

You ironed for me in the end,

Condoned the squirrel.


"Come to dinner, guy," you'd say;

Birthday, give me honey.

You gave me softness, Liz.

I'm sad, not sorry.



23


Liz, let's hike together.

I'll slow down the pace.

The moon must have a brother

Somewhere in outer space.


Shakespeare didn't like his wife

And I know I've been mean,

But let's reserve a little while

Of this current scene.


While I lament the warming

The phoebe casts her spell,

Issuing another world's notes

Within this dell.


Save the coo of "Boatie,"

I'll bring a little wine.

After Sasha's treats

We'll review our life's design.



24


You may call me "Boatie";

"Mr. Renfro," too -

All the appellations

Your love ever knew.


I will stick with "Liz,"

The feeling of your breast,

A kiss on China Rock

The wealth of your behest:


In life solitary,

Hand in hand we go

To watch the Wingate forest,

A quarter century, grow.



25


Socrates was wisest.

The body over is,

Gone the guiding spirit

That animated Liz.


Scarf and wheelbarrow,

She went up the hill

And painted Coal Mesa,

Knew dog and cat so well


One endured her scissors,

The other shed fur free

Over all the furniture

As she shed love on me.



26


The cat's your chum forever;

Come give her days of bliss.

Besides, I'm tired of orange juice

When we could half a kiss.


I know the cat would rather feel

The strong familiar grace

Of you about the house again,

The bath your daily pace.



27


You could draw a chicken

Or cut it up for stew.

The patience between us

Equaled one of two.


The kiss you gave in secret

To me, despite your dreams,

Made our love Etruscan,

Future and past, sunbeams.



28


If I dared the devil

with my rides before,

Biking to Salt Lake, by

Shiprock, traipsing Cabezon,


These were lines on maps -

A shore to a shore,

Not the steep trail descending

Through the real floor


To the bode of giants, the shades

Of floating dead,

The firmament of voices Hades rules

You met in bed.


I can come and visit

But I cannot stay.

Reality still had me here,

A sexual delay.



29


Cryptic gravestones

Sum the lives

Of those who lived

Before.


Let these words

Praise your time,

And faith in you

Restore.


You deserve to live

No matter if

We are apart.


We can save your life

No matter if

I lose my heart.



30


You're almost here, Liz,

We did everything

So often together that

Just an expectation away


Is thirty years alash

with loving,

A coo of nicknamed

Play:


What we're doing today by sun,

Wash hanging out to dry,

Sasha starting a bark replay

Of neighborly proceedings and why.



31


Euridice drew Orpheus

Down to depths untold,

Cast upon the trail by

The years that made them old.


"Obligado," all he said

As he walked up the hill,

In his arms her body,

Forsaken, just a spell.



32


Just an independent project,

Both away from base -

I will man reality as

You from life recede.


I know you heard the voices

But that you love me true.

Even as you fade you focus

Me to live for you.


So keep swimming in Texas

And I will feed the cat.

Sasha doesn't know that you

Are never coming back.


We had at most a decade or two left

but we had fun.

On a planet's real orbit

You and I were one.



33


A month gone, but together,

This latest bout of both:

You there and I here, but

Always transmuted, our troth.


I'll do what you say, dear,

To a degree, and then,

We'll seal in our single soul

Our touch that's fresh again.


Whether before dinner, or

In the bed of love,

Our two bodies fused in meaning

Below and above.



34


You've shredded the evidence

And left behind

A sober cat, your last

Unsigned.


The doctor interviewed,

Now all

Watch you climb the cliff

To fall.


Liz, my wave is

Worry free,

You'll die or live

Still loving me.


We had it all,

A moment free,

Our arms around

Each other.



35


While golden rain tree's blooming,

And flowers swarm the park,

Let's make our last visit

Before the latent dark.


If our time is briefer

Than we thought to be,

Squeeze my hand the longer,

The rest is history.


Time is ill-conceived

(it leaves language alone):

We lounge in its parameters,

Smile, and are gone.



36


A linear arrangement:

Born to live and die.

Children carry on the pace.

Sequentially, we cry.


It's just that you were good at art,

You cared for me, and then

the voices asked you over,

Hinted strongly when.


Leaving first will spare you sorrow

I will bear alone.

Our linear arrangement,

As lament, will be a poem.



37


Euridice, a country chick,

A ferry-worried woman,

Arrived to see an Orpheus

Driving up the street.


She looked slim and beautiful -

He gave her some cheek.

They both had to think the thought

"We were meant to meet."


Bonded, what if fate prescribed

An ending that was sad?

Think of the lush kisses shared,

The old story borne.


Resonance was what they had.

They got to recreate

A text that followed all the rules

On pages that were worn.



38


At last it seems

The Liz of old!

Her call. She's shaken

Off the hold


Of death. I see her

to return,

Take up the common

Long sojourn


Of life, and live

With me.

No more of this

Poetry.