Monday, December 17, 2012

The Things No One Saw

Where I came from
small armies of children
played safely on sidewalks

we were bent
and straight as posts
and singularly white.

A tiny few
seasoned old Jews
pursued by older world ghosts

worried that fate
rushed our way

and trembled
for the young

Some of the mothers
alone with their kids
bent low under burdens

and some men
gripped by secrets and anguish
beat children and wives

and one, maybe,
beat the boy with no name
who collapsed on the street.

Where I came from
small armies of children
played on the streets

unheeding and most of us
And the nightmares we knew,

and the ones we saw coming
were nothing
like the ones

we face now.

Friday, December 14, 2012

High Notes

As poets go,
I am no Sultan of Swat.

I’m more
sort of
pickin’ splinters
from my butt.
Then, again,
there was only one
Georgia Peach.

I’ve said it before,
the vast majority of us
are journeymen,
but we have glory in our hearts

and we still stretch
and stretch again
to hit the high notes.
And, between the stretches,
we hum a few bars
here at the end of the bench.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Best Case Scenario

or the silver lining at the end of the world

Stephen King says this:
at the end of all rationalism
the mass grave.

biology, physics, he says,
the deathtrip.
At the end of it all

the bomb, the plague--
climate change
at the the end of it all.

The final genius
of our everloving, overstriding
He also holds this:

Technological collapse will reduce
the ambient noise that shrouds
our magic selves and
we will see

our dormant gifts awakened.
Manifest in all survivors
a certain wizardry more or less.
Hallelujah, anyway.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In Yet Another Moment

In this moment
I love you more
than ever I have

In this moment
I reach to you
to touch and

In this moment
I want to make
love with tender

In this moment
I celebrate
your  fierce

I want to watch
you love your babies
soothe your children
excite your friends

and awe
the workers
by your side
in this moment

please laugh for me
and eat with me
and rest here
in this love

that is more
by far
than ever

while the delicate
irony of this moment
be handled gently
in the words written
in yet another moment

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Only Writing Advice I Have to Give

Work to the limits
of resolve
to strike away
the tiny flaws,

focus on fatal flaws,
familiar, resonant,
god, for instance,
or magic or mudslides

or death or tender feelings
or the girl on the roof
surveying the street,
contemplative and quiet,

or how it feels
to touch a pencil
to paper, watching shadows

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Round Trip to There and Back

How many different ways
to do a thing
to do one thing
to take a walk

take a hike
follow the river
follow the nose
in front of your face

stride right

high road and low
straight, narrow
and into the wind
along the ridge

and back
down trail
true north

through the pines
around the hot zone
and toxic places

shouldering loads
swinging free
bent by cares
and shuffling slow

full of hope
full of vigor
near the end
on a new path

this far and no further
focused and driven and dreaming hard
lovelorn and anguished
how many different ways

to walk or live or love