Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nameless neighbors

Nameless friend, unnamed neighbors
dwell in multidimensions, emerge uncut
from sharp slicing seasons their unnumbered houses

Is it the same squirrel that watched  when I moved here
Mother after mother or son after father  
all are cat size huge, run for apples in afternoons

Cross the driveway, squeeze through the white  fence
avoid my house and use the house next door
there’s a tree next to it and wires for human communication  
comprise their highway

When I broke the grass into garden, chopping turf
I tossed  grubs,  to the orange breasted rob who watched,
dampened the pavement and shared useful worms

and for years longer than I thought they lived
He returned, he with the white patch circling one eye
He would turn to me and smile

more kindly than the idiots across the street
or the howling alchy  and small town druggies
the sad parade of mad folks renting next door

Decades of spring and earth rich summers
deep appreciations shared loves without names

Dead Ensign

How much can he cry
This time he got to be the guy
perishing for the cause
moving the plot along
represented in sleek caskets
jettisoned like trash to fill empty space
A better lot than the green harlot
marked by her improbable hue
cast aside for her self assertion
unmasked on cue, no praise from the betrayed
Captain, none from the remaining crew
grateful for another episode, to be among the surviving few

Too Late for Ghosts

too late for ghosts
at 5:30 am the heat kicks on
birds start singing
with voices unheard since last year
it is dark
until i turn off the light
and listen


They are a happy couple, comfortable
in their knowledge of each other,
relaxed bodies, smiles, conversation
a gentle teasing of the detective
who still doen't guess his wife's motives
or his daughter's but knows their hearts
better than any other and worries over all
between cases, strives to be good
for which they tease him when he fails
Makes me cry for you, as any good fiction
resurrects you, even the ones you wouldn't like
but would watch with mommy and tell me
you sussed it out before the end, you saw it
coming even as you sat still for our rough
ministrations as we braided your balding ring
examined your thick nails, pinched, poked
and tickled you, you made her endless
cups of tea that got cold, you confeesed
that you weren't superman and i cast you in that role
anyway.            what returns is the love
when the stone rolls away
what flutters forth is the love
why they wept was not just for his tortures
but for the loss of his presence, the scent of his sweat
his striving and his kindness, his generosity, his huge heart,
the warmth of his strong, large hand  holding theirs
for the love they were left to carry
forth in the world, alone

You’ve become unsafe ground

You’ve become unsafe ground
I can arrive at the inn and have a great meal
but the walls start to shake
the ground begins to tremble
denying our shared past
recasting the steps taken to the door

You protest everything I remember of our befores

You make me recant 35 years of history
as you pretend to be 35
letting Hollywood’s tyranny rule
our other coastal lives
it matter less except  I loved you
for such a long time

Remember our flying along predawn streets
bejewled, glistening under amber street lights
after parties filled with the world’s best music
feasting on our youth in our great natal city

Pooling pennies for expresso in prescient cafes
feeding our singing stomaches instead of taking the train
poor eager hungry years of leap the moon joy
magic miles of concrete sojourned by winged feet

Daily inhaling words we read for food
sprouting new blooms ever fortnight
a new song, a new poem, a new love shared
growing after growing up, learning after school

I’ll keep silent, withdraw into this  translucent shell
of wings, humming giant steps
as I rake fallen leaves into piles and jump on them
feel their crunch and cradle as they pillow
my head to face the high blue forever above us
before they are gathered, bagged and crunched into compost
readying for this late-arriving spring

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Already the day has sprung from bright to grey

Already the day has sprung from bright to grey
going the wrong way and too fast
I want the quiet yellow spring light to last
not surrender by mid morning to dregs of winter slate.
8 am an uncertain voice leaves a message
too early for acknowledgment or reply
that was the hour for the last dream
the snuggle against dawnbreak's  parting chill
too soon to begin the struggle with loss
and tony expectations
the hour after the bird's first song
just before the children swarm toward containment
and cars of workers push their way
toward indifferent metal desks
today I heard the geese honk
once more

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Another death reminds of duty
unfillable holes to be dug
the blind tug of tear blurred memories
washing the dust and debris
polishing the problematic into icon
smoothing and skewing the sharp
remnants of protest whose
redemption songs now peddle goods
already the land submerged by catastrophe
long days and nights of misfortune
ignored the shrapnel of failed mythos
short out synapses  stop the flow
anticoagulant non ideas

machineries of madness corralling desire
and aspiration directed as ever at exploiters
and their courtiers, jesters and whores
viziers create illusions and palace guards
still police citadels of contradiction
Babylon's billionaires invest in dysfunction
corporate personification revs
the incessant roar of unsatisfiable delusions
the murmur of murdering merchants peddling
frankenfish, cows fed cows, and monster rice,
indigestible foods that spawn illness,
the bio hazard of endless fakery

but it flashes and it gleams
it's shining and it's comforting
it looks good, captures your eyes  o
while obese children waddle
to early graves below towers swathed in smog