Sunday, November 22, 2020

poem

Brooms

The leaves have all fallen
And the cachectic trees
Are swaying in the wind,
Scratching at the gray soiled sky
Swish swish swish
Like witches' brooms,
Impossible to get clean.


It’s hard to get out of bed when it’s cold.

Splash some water on your face,

Run barefoot across the frost

To fetch a package from the mailbox.

A shot of bourbon just before you shave.


November mornings don’t fuck around.

They wait for no stragglers.

Get your boots laced,

Choose a bold tie,

Pick a proper face.


But the deer find a way to disappear

Even in the stripped down

Skeletonized winter wood.

Use what you have;

This broken stick is a wand.


The sky will clear, the sun will come.

Just be patient, just wait.

The haze will burn away.

Soon the arthritic branches will be flush

Again in green leaves and white blossoms.


When the wind hisses and pierces

Be the one who laughed

While everyone else scoured and scrubbed

A perfectly clean glass.

And that may be enough.

If anyone asks

You'll say it's just witchcraft.


11/22/20



Tuesday, November 3, 2020

poem

Bisection

I watched a deer dart between 
Southbound and northbound traffic
On the weekday drive home.
The cars squealed their wheels,
Veered sharp right and churned
Up clouds of gray dust
From the graveled berm.
The deer went bounding white-tailed
Through the long brown grass
And never once looked back.

11/3/20

Saturday, October 31, 2020

poem

Falling

 It’s October and everything falls.
The trees fall in the forest with an unheard crash.
The epileptic tech in the hospital
Has a fit of the falling sickness

Like Smerdyakov, down on the floor,

Drooling, while his legs and arms thrash.

She’s the first one on the scene,

Kneeling, quiet and calm, she takes his hand.

We should all awake from such chaos

To her almond-eyed serene.


It’s October and everything falls;

Empires, proud men, midnight drunks.

Everyone wants to see the changing leaves

Before it’s too late.

The leaves don’t make a fuss,

They escape like silent thieves,

Like someone trying to slip from a party unnoticed.

You can’t turn your head for an instant,

The branches are bare before you know it.

Winter then comes and the snow falls

And the browned leaves on the ground freeze

In a crusted thatched matting.

The falling never stops.

We never stop falling.

When we venture off the wooded trail,

Crunching across the quilting of dead leaves,

Hidden branches and holes lurk unseen.

I’ll reach for you when you stumble

And you’ll reach for me.

It’s always been better to fall together.


10/31/20





Sunday, October 25, 2020

poem

Crescent

I want to go to bed vinegar
And wake up a fine red wine.
Dawn is coming soon and
Lingering Venus shimmers just below
A wryly grinning crescent moon.

I want to imagine all things end well.

The bad become the good,

Dad shows up in the end,

The girl says yes,

The dead degrade and rise again green.

I only eat blueberries one way:

Cold and crisp, a wet pop between my teeth,

Hint of sour, not quite ripeness.

I won't settle for anything less.




x

But the laughter of the universe

Gets swallowed by the void of night.

Inescapable black holes abound.

The infinite strength of gravity

Always trumps the rollicking 

Transience of infinite jest.

Alas poor Yorick,

Alas poor me,

Full moon comes but once a month.

The rest is a slow bleeding away

Of slivers of reflected curved light.

All that remains is this thin grin

That I happened to notice today.

It’s isn’t much.

It’s not going to bring the house down.

But it’s something.


The long-since muffled laughter

Is drowned out by the din of dawn crickets

Which is the sound you hear 

When the universe can't figure out

If it wants to be light or dark,

Robust or frail,

Day or night,

Whether to choose to believe

Or muddle on in perpetual doubt.


10/25/20

poem

Poem #16

Poems are like old pictures
We used to leaf through as kids.
A way to make forgotten details

Of a life come rushing back:

Mom and Dad so young,

That lumpy pumpkin costume.

Birthdays, anniversaries, of course.

But even the mundane trifles warrant capture.

The best pictures are the ones taken 

For no discernible reason at all,

A whimsical forgetfulness

Of the notion a future might exist.


I remember the way I felt, exactly,

When you smiled on the plane,

That purple dress you once wore,

The time I snapped one

Of you, deep in introspection,

When you thought no one was looking.

What’s captured isn't the image,

Only the fleeting way I felt then.

Like this poem is just words

Trying ever so hard, someday soon,

To remind me of your skin,

Of the sadness I felt

While sitting alone on the porch

That resplendent fall afternoon

Scrolling through pictures of us.


10/25/20


poem

 Airway


You must first establish an airway

When your throat swells up tight

And your eyes bulge, sclera-cracked.

It’s as basic as the ABCs.

You won’t stay alive

If the air can’t get through,

Your skin will turn a shadow blue.


Induction creates a stillness

That gives me a chance to work,

To slide a tube past the cords,

To open a space for you to breathe.

It’s a temporary life line

To buy us some time

Until you are ready to re-take the wheel.


Breathing is one thing.

But speaking is quite another.

The words arise from the inside

And I can’t control

How the exiting air vibrates

When the tube is out.

The words that form are for you to decide.


I'll listen to your chest

Via a stethoscope placed over your heart.

The rhythm is clear,

You aren’t going anywhere.

But that's not enough.

The sounds I’m waiting to hear

Have to pass through your lips


10/25/20




Sunday, October 18, 2020

poem

Constant

The speed of light is a constant

Like the length of Planck’s fragments.

Everything else is variable

Dependent on the presence of another,

As this glove suggests a hand

And moon demands a rising sun.

We live in this realm of vulnerability,

Always propped up by the other,

Triangles formed from sticks leaning together

That the winds might blow down.

Relational being is hauntingly fragile,

Artifacts of ever contingent possibility.

So we assume the worst,

We over-compensate,

Straining to form connections

When we’re already woven together.


We try so hard.

We can never be sure.


I refuse to be calculated

Nor reduced to an equation

For I am a function of my own actions.

Love on the other hand

Isn’t the ether that Einstein dispatched.

Love is the quantum that

Moves through the void 

Which is the emptiness

Pressed in the shape of your form

In the hollow of our mattress

That proves that here I belong.


This is our assured fate:

When you’re not here

I’ll be out in the rain

So you can't tell I’ve been crying.

When you’re home

I race the rising sun

To beat the morning rays.

I whisper your name before

The dawn chorus starts.

Pay attention now, listen:

My voice travels at the speed of sound

And when you open your eyes,

The first thing you see

Is me, reaching for you,

At the speed of light.


10/18/20



Sunday, October 11, 2020

poem

Vectors

A point is just where it is
Mapped out on the Cartesian plane
Of cross hatched axes,

Singularity amidst a web of coordinates.

A vector is a suggestion,

A direction with thrust

The difference between what is and what must.

Vectors act on points,

Forces in search of targets,

Otherwise they're just passing thoughts,

Musings that wane.

Lightning strikes a tree,

Cracks it in half 

In a bright flash of blue.

I figured I was here

For the long haul

Over three and up two

But I feel an electrical stirring

The pricklings of a gathering charge,

A surge I can no longer ignore.

Someone wants me over there,

Up six and over four.


10/10/20


Thursday, October 1, 2020

poem

Poem #15


This poem just wants attention

It’s a cry for help

A midlife crisis

An ill-advised Facebook post

It rhymes like a leased corvette

Alliterates like an olive skinned mistress.

This poem speaks 

To lost years

To missed connections

To unfinished works

To not working hard enough

To working too much.

This poem should

Have been crumpled up

And lit on fire

Or shoved in a bin

With all the memories

Of things I should have been.

Or heaved into the wind

For neighbors to find

Like messages in bottles bobbing ashore.

Instead it will die online

Read by only one,

Marking the point 

Of departure from young

To old from

Me to you

From this life

To our next.


10/1/20


poem

Instrumental


The world is just music;

Driving percussive beats,

Lolling melodies, plaintive strings,

Surging piano chords, waves of sound.

But we want to make it a song

And we’re scrambling to write the lyrics

To soothe our programmed minds.
We can't help it, 
Language is fundamental.

In the woods, the wolves laugh,

They howl at the moon,

Howl their wordless verses.

Just dance, they exhort.

Sing without words.

This song is an instrumental.


Let words fall away like dust

From the mirror

Showing a face

That proves it's the mirror

That's cracked, not you,

That reflections are incidental.


Let words fall apart

Like the slats of a raft

You’ve bundled watertight flat.

But you neither sink

Nor walk on water.

You thrash, gasp for air, you swim.

The raft was always supplemental.


Fall away like steps of a stairwell

Half way up, which is just

Another way of saying halfway down

Which means you’re stuck in the middle

Where you were all along.

You slide or you crawl,

You figure it out.

It's just a ramp.

Progress has always been incremental.


Close your eyes,

Stop twitching your lips.

You’ll find yourself moving.

The rhythm is the sound 

Without meaning

That all the world must heed.

Once you hear the music it's clear

The dance was never accidental.


9/27/20