Saturday, April 19, 2014

How the unborn exist


How the unborn exist
as surely as your own now gone,

sparkling in dreams
and firelight,

drifting free
as butterflies,

calling you
from doorways,

inhabiting
willows,

minding
tales untold,

as real in myth
as any you’ve known,

how, on mornings like this,
they return, and the veil is gone.



Friday, April 18, 2014

Afternoon, a dark cloud


Afternoon, a dark cloud over a little town,
the shops closed, the sidewalk clock
and penny scale looking down,

are what a boy knows
that never shows
till now,

when
all around
light screams

blood streams,
and sirens sound,

where, now, is my mother?



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Here lies


The rhythm
of affairs,

or crickets
in dry grass?

: :

the motion
of years,

or wheels
as they pass?

: : :

trust
in old fears,

or in love
at last?

: : : :



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

To the wind


A poem of three taut lines,
defined by his mother’s wash
and her clean white sails



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crazy old widow


The crazy old widow
keeps a vineyard
of gnarled
old men

arms
with bark
shaggy and grim

and grapes for eyes
the dust is in

across the road
where barn boards ken
spiders’ beards
and lizards’
breath

and state their case
as best they can
in the least
of wind

one match
would do her in

one mad dash
with a frying pan

and the widow’s grin
would flare up
again

and scorch us
all to hell



Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunrise


The birds are quiet
this morning.

I am quiet too.

What is it we know,
and are not quite ready to tell?

Will we keep the secret,
even from ourselves?

Or will we sing,
and singing,

go?



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Road 64


School bus tells the graveyard,
I see the country roads.

Graveyard shows the windows
newly opened ground.

Farm folk shade their eyes,
lay their burden down.

The bus gears moan,
round and round and round.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Where water needs the flowers


He had a perfect way of saying
the desert had been crossed:

Where water needs the flowers,
we’re no longer lost.

And there we laid him;
and here grows the moss.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Morning sounds


Creak in the ceiling
sound at the door
bird on the rooftop
crying for more

light

rain

flight

pain

creak in the ceiling
sound at the door
man on the rooftop
crying for more

flight

rain

light

pain




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fog-scent, wash-day, fingertips


Peaceful the boy, his trowel full of worms.
Little graves, moist rotten leaves, glorious dirt.
Ghost arrives: fog-scent, wash-day, fingertips, girl.
Sees the boy the light play the fuzz on her neck.
She takes her place without having to ask.
Wants to know, what are their names?
Why are they wiggling like that?
He tries to explain but can’t.
Holds out his hands.
Dirt on her dress.
Finds herself blessed.
Smiles, cries, then smiles again.
Forever confessed, on the easiest terms.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

All these years


All these years, and the old bank building
still blushes in the morning light,
her stern face warming
a color at a time.

And there’s a story about her,
with a rose, and a hat, and a ribbon,
and a meadow.

It seems in her youth she was wooed
by the saloon across the street,
where Granddad drank and talked
and smoked.

But her old man was practical:
the saloon was bought off somehow,
its dry boards painted, and given
a shiny new door knob.

The bank sighed through her ceiling fans;
grew distant and cold; hated her pa
in his hat and suspenders, and especially
his money.

When I was a boy, I hated him too.

I was in love with her strange perfume.

So what did I do?

I hid a penny in her wall.

And it was this light that made me think of it now.



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Cross my heart


Sack of day-old doughnuts, fifty cents.

Barnyard gnawing vineyard brush.

Boys smoke whatever’s at hand.

Found butts. Dead leaves. Horse shit.

Cross that desert, cross my heart.

And that’s the end of it.

Except your ghost, and this loneliness.




Saturday, April 5, 2014

Drought


Over the farm equipment show,
and the lot where old oaks once had been,
clouds, but no rain : clouds, that in their color
pass as dust : dust, and a mournful breakfast scent
from the edge of town : town, where the first
early haircut is done, the slap of lotion
on : on, in a truck that smells like
last year’s straw : straw,
or a barn floor bed
with your girl
gone.



Friday, April 4, 2014

In this wise


The beauty of believing

(you are alive)

in miracles

is wise

even

in

your

(imagined)

mysterious absence




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A tiny essay


There is a profound difference between looking for what is right, or good, and looking for what is wrong, or bad. The evidence is in us and around us. In their satisfaction, both habits are strengthened. Where the mind has been, the mind returns. The corresponding results can be positive and liberating, or negative and devastating. Understood in terms of one’s health and day-to-day relationships, the roots of injustice, poverty, and war are easy to discern. Looking for what is right, or good, is not unsophisticated or naïve. Rather, it is a way of knowing what is wrong, or bad, without the tiring, consuming, repetitious need to prove it to oneself and to others. Looking for what is right, or good, is not, therefore, being right, or being good. Neither is looking for what is wrong, or bad, being wrong, or being bad. And yet, both are ways of being, and of living, whether we are conscious of them or not.

And what of degrees? All we really know, and must surely sense in our better moments and selves, is that in love there are no degrees; and that by degrees, we come to recognize and feel love’s presence in all things, including ourselves; and that the presence we perceive needs no better explanation than love itself.