Sunday, April 22, 2018

Weekend Poem


Driving highway west in the early morning
My tires thrum over the ridges of the road
(A rippling staccato rhythm
Like the pulsing overture to an ancient fertility rite).
Hazy moon low hung in the indigo gray west,
A pale thumbprint smudged against ash
While orange embers of the rising sun flash in the mirror,
Chasing after another fading night.
A new day always hunts for its dawn
While I'm caught between what used to be and what’s coming,
Enfolded within the dying and soon to be born,
Suspended in the limbo gray of morning.
Which is always the present
Which is the time for mourning

Pull over to the side and stop chasing,
Stop trying to sculpt form from ash.
I feel the gathering sun against my back
The darkness ahead is just my own shadow
Casting a sliver of shade onto the past.
Oh if night would only push back, resist,
Arch its back into the new day.
To be curled up into a singularity
That can never go forward, never go back,
Riveted to the road, time suspended,
A row of infants swaddled in blankets
Disembodied faces, wrinkled and sleeping and calm.
To stanchion one’s body against the searing sun
While reaching for the last strand of fleeing night
(To make it all stop):
It’s a strain no one can bear for long.
Something always breaks
While the rest of the world wakes

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Weekend Poem

I Frame the World

I shape the world with my hands.
I draw the borders of your portrait
With charcoal and chalk
Then wait for your face to materialize like sunrise.
I frame the edges of the earth with my fingertips.
My eyes are receptive, passive,
Limited to limned squares- which isn't much-
Cast upon the blank canvas of mind.
My hands are always probing the frontiers,
Reaching, sightless, feeling for something to clutch.
I gather all I can carry,
A pile of collected objects to be sorted and tagged.
My vision extends as far as the space between my hands.
I learned to ignore the lost loveliness outside these borders.
I was always building frames
For the slivers of world I wanted to save.
I thought the world had to be acquired.
Look at my pile of splintered frames,
Broken slats of wood where every image slowly fades.
Now I find time to sit in stillness on the porch
And forge the world with my hands alone.
Each lost moment gets a concentrated gaze.


Weekend Poem

Lady M

There’s not enough time to do any good.
There’s never enough time.
And don’t tell me to get my face out of my phone.
I’m fully aware of opportunity costs
And wasted hours falling down You Tube rabbit holes,
The middle distance stares,
Lost reveries in grocery store lines;
I know all about those, baby.
It’s not the lost time
It’s the terror of not being kind.

We all wander some nights like Lady Macbeth
Balling our fists, whispering rueful regrets
Into our drawn hoods of shame.
Not for some damn evil murder,
Nothing like that.
(I never aimed to be king)
Just some stupid shit,
Banal, selfish, but irretrievable time.
And now our hands are irrevocably unclean.
Despite the flesh scrubbed raw,
The filth remains;
(Under the nails, in the sluices of our palms).
We used to wear gloves,
Embarrassed by the stains,
Thinking we were the only ones who had forgotten how to love.
Now we don’t care.
We grew up big, got busy, saved face,
Called ourselves names, filled time with space.
My hands and wrists have long been bare.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Weekend Poem

First, Silence

I want you to know me by my silences
Instead of the swaggering speeches,
The arguments honed like spears,
Vows and decrees shouted from rooftops
For all the heedless world to hear.
The incessant endless onslaught
Of boy clamoring to be man.

I want you to know me now by silence;
The implacable presence of being
That half steps ahead of every moment.
I want you to sense it before I'm close enough
To cast shadows across your face.
Then I can stop running from the old deep fear.
Listen now as I whisper to the darkness.
Listen for the hushed words never before spoken,
The words the rest of the world can't hear.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Weekend Poem


Christ, he was nice guy,
Washing all those dusty feet,
Tending to the sores of the sick.
Christ, he liked the poor, the money lenders, the whores.
He hung out late night with outcasts and boors.

But they put him in a story book and made him
A hero with magic powers:
(Re-animator, water walker)
(Crown of thorns)
(Cartoon devils with horns)
(Priests and apses)
Christ almighty it was a terrible mistake.

It was never enough to just be kind and nice.
We always need our saints to be more.

We kneel and pray before bed,
Sprinkle (holy) water on babies heads.
But over there in the corner is a bucket.
It gathers dust, you forgot all about it.
Run some (tap) water.
Here’s some soap and rags.
Wait until the house dies down
And go silently from room to room.
Hurry, for Christ's sake, the sun rises soon;
They'll wake as if their feet have never touched the ground.