Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grief and the Pond

I am close enough to see
a lonely frog in the light
of my white phone,
looking back,
waiting for me
to make a move.
Its unblinking eyes
are soft
despite the cold.
I can not even cry.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Or Can It?

Pigs can’t fly.
Though The Simpsons put that theory to test.
The sun can’t rise in the west.
Unless astronauts who seen it do lie.
The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.
But on this moving Earth, that is what I have seen.
The clock can’t strike thirteen.
But on my digital watch that's just irrelevant.
A mouse can’t eat an elephant.
Unless it's elephant-flavored cheese in a can.
A circle can’t have corners.
Well that's just bigotry—if it wants to, it certainly can!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

More Beautiful

Narcissus surfaced again,
this time his conscious rinsed
of the conceit of his own allure.
He reached for my hands, unconvinced
that I would help. I let him die,
and waited long enough, just to be sure.
In this world no other person
can exist more beautiful than I.

Friday, April 20, 2018

No Place

The gale sharpens its edge on the crags
As the night chill descends.
The unruly air carries exposed roots
And orphaned blades of grass,
Slamming them against cold rocks
And comatose boulders of sandstone.
It slices me twice under the eyes
As it speeds past me and back
against itself, like blind strength,
terrible freedom
with no place to go.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rhyming Dream Interpretation

I dreamed of a glass teacup, doc,
filled with tears of baby crocs.
But soon the tears turned into rocks;
I puked them all, which looked like chalk,
Then woke up to my alarm clock....
Tell me, what does it all mean doc?

Young man, the teacup is your eye.
Those tears are yours, do not deny
it! No croc tears, that is a lie.
Swallowing tears is hard, that's why
they turned to rocks. As for chalk, I
think we've run out of time. Goodbye.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Spring Carnival

Oh the feel of the vernal air!
April arrives like a carnival
Of living aromas and colors,
With parades of blossoms
Riding the sun-soaked breeze.
As we dive into the fertile green,
Their cool caress against our feet,
We hear daffodils laughing
Softly, like when breath tickles your ear.
Wish you were here.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Under the Spell of Rhymes

I came across the third word, spell,
in the local library's lost and found,
next to a smartphone heavy as a dumbbell.
The second word, the article of the,
was bestowed upon me by a grand poobah,
the young, recently crowned Maharajah.
My readers shall not wonder much longer
where I found the very first word, under:
I discovered under right above
the fourth word, the preposition of.
The last word, though I seeked many times,
it was only at the end that I found rhymes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cookie

The bedroom air is perfumed
with the aroma of coffee
and freshly made bread.
A tall glass of orange juice
sits next to a closed window
that overlooks a garden.
Past the garden of dancing tulips
and blue hyacinths in bloom,
invisible from the house,
lies an empty lot,
that long ago belonged to a church
and once to a lottery retailer.
Here a halting ant,
having lost the way home
in search of food for hours
in the storm the previous night,
comes across an old ad
for Ant-Killer bug spray.
But a series of gusts
lifts the two of them,
the ant and its magic carpet,
and finally places them
next to the house where
inside someone is now baking
trays of cinnamon sugar butter
and chocolate vanilla pinwheel cookies.
The ant is flooded with scents.
The door is suddenly opened.
A child runs out laughing,
eating a cookie, a small piece
of which falls right next to the ant.
That's the way the cookie crumbles.
That's the way the cookie crumbles.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

This River

This river of lava flows,
bleeding orange and molten gold—
oh the scent of hot stone
and anguish, the sound
of charring tendons and bones….
Meanwhile miles away the sheep
are returning from grazing in the field,
and the shepherd’s face reveals
a faint smile—that used to be
me before
this river of shame flowed
into me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

Pleased

The burial was a lollapalooza
I hit the slopes at midnight
Under the blinding light
of the gibbous moon
So cold was the arctic air
I shivered and wheezed
but then I saw a raccoon
with glowing eyes down there
it looked so lonely and yet so alive
that something in me felt pleased.

Monday, February 5, 2018

I Saw Rumi in my Dream

Asleep in his tomb in Turkey
I woke to Rumi in my dream.
He held a gold glazed pitcher
of rose water and mercy,
singing a soundless song.
Is life what it seems?
I asked him in Farsi.
Will you meet me there
in that field you said was beyond
our ideas of right and wrong?
But Rumi did not respond,
though I saw his eyes tear,
and suddenly here
I turned into the pitcher,
became the infinite container,
meant to serve the thirsty—
I, who parched myself, full of despair,
a desert myself, what could I spare?
But Rumi did not respond,
though I saw his eyes tear.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Sun's Face

To awaken to the sun's face each dawn
As though this last night was the very first
Time you had slept apart from your lover
To kiss the golden curls that flow and shine
And warm your elbows and knees under cover
That's what I wish you feel each morn deep down.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The dead. But grieve they not.

The dead. But grieve they not.
And tears would drown their rot.
But us that breathe must grieve.
And us that grieve should breathe.
Inside I’m dead, shall never weep.
And fearing dreams I never sleep.
In fluid pain, I'm not afloat.
The desert in me needs no boat.
Alone and stiff, my island dry.
My stars appear blurry and bright.
Tonight the stars I hear them cry.
I dipped my toes in tears from skies
that poured like rain in my own eyes,
into my soul so close to rot,
my body its burial plot.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year

As the old gust growled and spat in the sand
And packed the shore thick with pellets of ice,
It loathed life, loathed death—hell and paradise—
Hated the lights that emblazoned the land,
Pitied mortals and their joy and salaam,
When celebrating passing of the time.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Shy Flurries

Flurries settle on sleeping lawns—
Refugees in flight from heavens.
Hush!  Hear the halls of light echo
Shy footsteps gliding into life.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Brochure

You prepare the sherbet while I ponder the brochure.
You look so innocent, you look so pure,
As if you could heal me—like you could be the cure
To the infectious disease of my existence.
I am tired.  Tired.  Tired of it all.
You serve me the sherbet.  I blush.
And what if I should say no to this chance?
And what if I should say yes and then fall,
And even if you should come to me in a rush,
It would be late. And if not...oh, I feel so insecure...
And if not, how could you help me—and know for sure?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Not Knowing

You are reasonably beautiful.
That I intend as a warning.
I'm deceptive as water and sun.
Behind MEN AT WORK signs
I dig myself into a...hole
where dying desires still lurk
like yawning reasonless hopes.
It's safe to die not knowing.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In This Poem You Can Be....

In this poem you can be protected.
Despite what you have just said,
Such grand assertion demands
Proof equally extraordinary.
Unless you were to trust me.
But why should I though?
Nevertheless I can only reassure:
In this poem you can be secure,
In this poem you can let go.
Merely repeating it does not make it so,
Nor does denying it or indifference,
But only what is absolutely true,
And in reality what is the case.
In this poem you can be safe,
In this poem you can be you.
Even if so then what about
That word there with that sharp angle
That reaches out for a stirring thought
That still refuses to untangle;
What about the endless lonely spaces
Between the words with distant faces?
You can be safe—just a hope or suggestion.
I believe that no poem is safe if it speaks
To deep feelings as it must, and if it seeks
To connect to the felt universe beyond;
No poem is safe if it claims to have found
The answer to what never was a question
But a courageous vulnerable expression.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Poem Spread Across a Day

Wrote this line when I woke to find myself
soaked in sweat on a raging summer night.

This one composed with the greatest of care
crossing the ol' Pattullo on a bus
in Richmond where potholes are known to bite.

Told Don this line's my reminder to buy
a rhino on my way home...but instead
wrote this and then forgot to get the toy.

Penned this with Donald's vintage fountain pen
I cried when he then took it back by force.

This scribbled on a napkin I had found
in Park Theater where Paterson played.

Can not recount the story 'bout this one
been sworn to strict secrecy by the shore.

Wish there was a way to describe the taste
of sugar-dusted bleeding dark purples,
berries I wolfed down when I wrote these words.

This line I thought in line till heard my name
from that pharmacist's lips picking her nose.

Can't say much here without breaking the law
Can't say much here without following it
but this...I never could finish the thought.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Human Stain

Par for the course: Hollywood creeps,
threadbare couches, filming silence, cops
that strip...strippers that police: What happens
in Hollywood...
Are we flirting
with disaster?  Madonna:
truth or dare?
The human stain.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Silver Mascara

You apply coats of silver mascara
to the puffy folds about the setting sun.
In the screaming sky mannequins flew.
From the silent soil red flowers grew;
one in the shape of an umbrella,
another: a pointed gun.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Rich Cotton Quilt

On a rich cotton quilt we'd lain, us
like chess pieces: knee to knee,
shadow palms and white fists.  In such states
twitching, in knotted broken chains.  Check!
Our words and joints strategically placed—
not touching.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Friggatriskaidekaphobic

The friggatriskaidekaphobic moves
me to pity so much I laugh the laugh
of vestal vultures, homeless houses, grooved
graves, of the blazing blues, of fires, giraffes.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Punisher

I'm notorious
For punishing my mouth
Loving is easy
except myself
This thing here is my throat
disfigured by fury
Hear the agony in my voice
Despair everts my soul
Luckily too numb to moan
When I'm morose I think
I must be physically sick
That makes it easier perhaps
Very sorry if you're amongst
those who've felt what I mean.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Name

My restless feather-picking cockatoo,
Can you tell why denial veils my ire
(In turn cloaking my fears; and those my shame)
And shame's shrouding my rusting grief? But you,
Confined inside a mesh—of metal wire—
Just raise your crest, that sulphur-yellow flame,

Lift up your wings, then start to pace your cell,
And squawk in bursts, as though your bill’s on fire;
My pet, enough! I care for you the same….
Perhaps beneath my grief some geysers spell
Love’s name!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Waiting

Sometimes without even knowing
you choose not to do the dishes,
and there you are—I see you—
waiting.
Or you do them right away, do them spotlessly,
lovingly, the way only you know how to do,
but always waiting.
I know I’m not the one you would want
to notice such things, but I can’t help it.  I too have
dishes at home waiting.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Internet

Get banned, bite the dust.
End it all, delete your account.
Log out, sleep.
                                 In, to wake.
Live and die
                                 by the internet.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Donne Tell me Not

"Death, be not proud—" "Hey Donne," Death interrupts,
"I'm trying to sleep here!  Don't speak so loud!"

Thankful

I'm thankful for the words
Through whom I've learned to reach
I'm thankful for the birds
Who serenade the beach

I'm grateful for the rhymes
Who give my grief a form
I'm grateful for the chimes
Who salsa through the storm

Been in your debt my song
Who hold my bursting heart
Been in your debt so long
You feel like body part

Obliged to time and age
Who tame events in space
Obliged to pen and page
Who hide and show our race