July 7, 2016

Three poems by Ryn Holmes: "All-American," "Gray Socks," and "Isolata"

Ryn Holmes is an award-winning poet and photographer, originally from California and now residing along the Gulf Coast of Florida. She is a published writer with works appearing in the Emerald Coast Review, Syzygy Poetry Journal, Four and Twenty zine, and Longleaf Pine magazine.


Recalling September 11, 2001

Tough-minded with a soft heart is the American way.

Hearts breaking, NYC’s finest ran
to their brothers and sisters, now gone into history.
Firefighter and rescuer’s steel-toed boots burned,
buried beneath twisted steel, helmets melted away
and DNA married to cement in a September graveyard –
the best of them sacrificed with futures lost,
lives squandered by angry men from dust-blown mosques.
Standing firm against chaos, they greeted death bravely,
momentarily floating within and without their bodies,
consciousnesses elevated and honed
to such clarity as they had never before known.

They risked everything for us, proud inheritors of their legacy:
…the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Gray Socks

A single ray sneaks through the curtain
on the thunder-dark morning,
waking up an urban fish out of water.
Rolling out of bed onto the bare wood floor,
he scratches, adjusts himself
then works out a few night-kinks
as gray-stocking’d feet shuffle toward
the kitchen’s aromatic first-light brew
drifting ‘round his nodding, foggy noggin.
Sliding over to the front window,
he gains reverie,
stares out at commuter traffic –

and is back in faded baggies,
under the sun, offshore winds perfect.
Straddling the waxed board,
he bobs gently,
lined up with the others watching,
waiting for a perfect curl.
As the intensity of waves increases,
he puts the water on notice, stands
hanging ten, then steps the deck
to carve a place on the face of a big one,
flying off the lip and into the sky –
a clean aerial.
Ears wind-whistled,
he drops into the pocket, weaves,
shooting the pipeline
to barrel through the green room
in a tube-ride faster than ever before.
Finally, he pitches into the pit
and wipes out, stoked.
The ride, totally rad!

Outside, sirens and horns break open the dream.


I shovel all your shit in a bag,
kick it down the stairs,
then shake a rogue dog turd off my shoe
as I walk to the car –
any place else is better.

I won’t be kept back in your slice of life
or take on your ignorant notions.
I’m over possessive coupling
and faking orgasms to hurry things up –
there are other things to do.

I am unsticking me
and will not be held down,
not be tied up in petty concerns
or restrained by clutching hands
holding such lack of imagination.

I’m singular, stardust in my hair
and riding the white-line hegira,
windblown, blooming in the sexy air,
full of delight in luxe green water
embraced by a blanched half-moon curve.

~Ryn Holmes 

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