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Friday, May 6, 2022
Saturday, January 22, 2022
When you, when I …
When you catch me writing,
when you catch the wind,
a warm breath is blowing, &
birds flock over the land.
Though the political is absurd
and men often pitch dirt,
a raindrop of the good
portends a brotherhood.
Take this feather, my friend,
it’s preserved from childhood.
Recall fondly the days and nights
in this undertaking we call life.
When you, when I are far awake,
an opulent music we shall make.
And we will laugh and dance, as
Providence bestows another chance.
Thursday, January 13, 2022
Trampling on shining sumac
Sitting at the edge of the meadow
The trees hummed a soft melody at the end of fall
Winter responded by grabbing the baton
I didn’t know I was ready
The last of the shrubs forming a colony with shiny leaves Resembling the birds flying
I will always protect your gentle footsteps
A cluster of red berries fell on my head
This is the easiest transition
Fall leaves turn scarlet red
Allow things to come
Accept the universe’s treasure
As nature rotates
The gift of seasons.
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
I HAVE BUT ONE TRUE HOME
Here is the house in which I lived.
There is the quiet spot
where I could inhabit the darkness,
a womb where I was moved into
after my mother’s could no longer hold me.
Other people live there now.
A woman waters the garden.
Kids play in the yard.
A small dog barks at me,
like I’m some burglar casing the joint.
I’m really casing the past,
a different dog, different woman,
and one of those kids,
the smallest one, is me.
The eyes have done their job.
Now memory takes over.
THE TRUCKS AT NIGHT
I'm going home to sleep
but who knows where they're headed.
Sleep could be
and maybe there's no sleep,
just uppers and the monotony
of route 95.
Maybe there's a truck stop or two
along the way
where they can park these roaring behemoths
and pass the dead of night
with fellow creatures,
taste the coffee,
see the trips they've made,
have still to make,
in the red of other trucker's eyes.
I think I've got it bad
until I read of miners stuck in hell-holes,
chemical workers breathing cancer
on the job,
or see these weary road knights
rattling down the highway,
full tank of diesel,
head almost on empty.
WHY TRY TO CHANGE ME
I share an apartment with a gelded dog.
I was in a long-term relationship.
It broke up a year ago.
Her mother was a harridan of the old school.
I did the best I could for her.
Not enough of course.
And I do see her now and then
at the local hangouts,
We refer to ourselves as friends.
(We’re not really but there is
no personal noun to go with indifferent.)
My dog looks on me
as everything there is
and more besides.
And I was the one who had him fixed.
I was once shacked up with
a series of misunderstandings.
Now I live with an irony.
Once I was on my own.
With no nouns to speak of.
Say, it was vivid! -- akin to something --
Someone alive and kicking.
I know I should have caught that 4:11 am
Dream lingering at the empty platform,
When I sat bolt upright, I saw myself
As if myself saw me in the high-
Density reflective mirror of that world.
A crisis whether to arise,
Dress, eat, and climb aboard the blank page;
Whether to drop back down the rabbit's hole to sleep.
Had it, fed it, bled it, died!
Alas, that frisky puppy of a dream-dog
Up and abandoned me. Carried on a carriage,
Taken on the brain-train,
Chuffing on down those serpentine tracks
Until the rails went skew,
Now's blowing smoke in distant fields
Where poetic frogs used to croak.
Through channels reamed by rumination,
The barge hangs by some mooring post,
Along by now a narrow ditch, a psychic lair
Where something more than frog was spawned,
Where it's at home,
Like simple souls a while ago,
Who chattered, smoked, and sipped green tea
Over yellow formica breakfast tables,
Morning sun in streams of gold,
Through the hazy kitchen windows.
The cosmic picture or the uncosmetic chaos
Is pressed by the spirit of Life
Upon the walls of its own awareness.
Rainbow arcs, moon above the pyramids,
Cliff faces, glassy mountain ribs.
The listener might see a spectral fragment,
The large red,
A lamp glowing upon a triangular plane,
A rough stone, tragic ledges,
A dead drop into blue chasms.
Nature’s mass can be reordered:
Coherent line, measure, form, and word.
The singer’s synesthetic eye,
A wild iris, savage thought.
A maelstrom of meanings:
Pristine is white,
Black is pure, men are wheat,
Women violets with a deep, deep core.
Raven, a nightjar,
And a sign of spring—cuckoo!
All concocted transformations,
Laden galleons sailing across classifications
To an unknown shore,
The blades from bristling pines
Palming the foaming eddies,
Skimming across orders
To an ineffable shore,
Down to earth experience,
Amber and frankincense.
Out they fly from the cave of dreams,
Carlsbad-like gusts of plumage,
Beauties once worn by cargo cultists
Now extinct in paradise
In faraway Sarawak.
Focusing on all divine planes,
Drawing evening in,
Sunday, January 9, 2022
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Winter Ritual: Breaking Bread
Cold concrete darkness
Pine tree groaning overhead.
Something swinging in the wind.
Wild whipping of the tips
Of the limbs, but not the limbs
Themselves, frozen and creaking.
One came down—CRACK!
Landed on the cradled loaf
She was carrying before her
On the front stone porch beneath.
Crashed on its covered crust
In the icy brittle chill of evening.
Sourdough it was
Fresh baked, warm and ready
For finger to break from its cozy nest.
But as I have said,
It was the limb, the limb it was
That broke the bread
Beneath the rocking boughs.
Oh, the Baker? She was shaken,
Shocked, as though disarmed,
Battered and patted with fronds of pine,
Frosted, but otherwise unmarked.
November Lawn Crew
They cut the lawn today.
They were cutting the frost today.
They were nipping at Jack Frost
Not vice versa.
Nipping: “nipping” is right—
Not the scythe-arch swipe,
A good John Barleycorn snap,
The harvest hack at back of the knees,
Just after the best of Indian summer.
Theirs today was but a tender shave
To take away some green,
To preserve some green,
To force up some green,
To make for themselves some green,
By nipping, nipping, nipping at the blades
Stuck up above the velvet moss,
As they cut through the frost,
Cutting the lawn early today.