Archive | Poetry

The Explanation

It was with stony disbelief
they watched as I slowly lifted
the strands of hair at the back of my head.
And when they blinked,  I smoothed
the disarray and said, did you see them?

I, of course, had grown another
set of eyes on the back of my head.
But only after the children came, of course.
The other one, in front, I pointed out,
set between the other two like yours,
I've always had and thought the world did too.
It helped me to reach places like your heart.

You always had a key to my head, one said
and I was shocked.   I did not know that I did.
I did not mean to invade your privacy.
And another, breathless, shaken, rushed
into the house one foggy night
and said, you won't believe this!   (But I did.)
There they were on bicycles all five abreast,
dressed in white.   They stayed in front of me
till I turned the car at the corner, home.
And then they vanished you wailed.
And I said, I know, I know, they are your friends.

And another said, we are the listeners.
The world does not listen but we hear.
The raindrops speak to the windowpanes
and apologize for clouding their vision.
And the windows say my eyes needed washing anyway.  
And I say, you know, you know.

We hear the anguish of the world in motion,
in the raucous laughter in words unsaid, said.
They see the world in shades of white and black,
denying spectrums of themselves in brilliant hue.
These souls who question us
are sight and sound and color blind,

living in a world of no dimension.
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In Consort

I seek solitude
in that part of mind in consort
with the ancient gods.

We whisper great truths
and often chuckle at the simplicity
of man’s complex thoughts
and of the complexity
of the simple word.

It all must do
with the feelings of the times.
For in ours, when our time was,
we laughed and imbibed
and made babies like ourselves.

Yes, we know
this has not changed,
but the difference always is
the character of the peoples.
It seems that once we were
and knew for all time
we would always Be.

But now man works and plays
and does not know
there will be other worlds and times
and as many chances as he needs
to make amends to get it right.

Without the toys.
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Rest well, Sailor

So in this night
when you lie still
and listen for the rain,
listen for the wind,
listen for the stars
moving about the sky,
listen also for your heartbeat.
It is steady and it is sure.

It beats for all your commitments,
both loving and lovable.
You are an important adjunct to this world
and you cannot estimate your good.

Rest well, sailor, rest well.
The seas have been rocky
but now we come to the inlets
that will take us to port.
There will be no tug
to bring in the ship.

She will make it on her own power.
So, rest well,  sailor,  rest well.
2

The Healer

The storm clouds gather
and fear mounts,
harnessing power
which once were emotions
struggling for expression.

Like the great god Zeus,
brandishing his hot irons,
lightening arcs
across the night sky.

Thunder, like rolling kegs of dynamite,
flatten systems of tarnished beliefs,
leaving in its wake,
profound silence.

Forgotten are the thoughts
heavy with the weight of worry,
heavy with the futility
of life lived with no hope.

In her great capacity to heal,
Nature combines with man's emotions
to leave in her wake
renewed purpose,

if only to get things back to abnormal.
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How Hot The Night

The still air
stifles
even the act
of breathing.

The hot air
forged in the steel furnace
of daylight
is nowhere a relief.

My eyes droop
with heat heavy
fatigue
and I take refuge

between bed sheets
locked
beneath the pristine
spread all day.

My naked legs
scissor kick
in their coolness,
like swimming

in a dish of vanilla ice cream.
2

CROESUS, MY COUNTRY

Croesus stumbled
and laid back a war torn skin
for public autopsy.

With bruises bested by emotional welts
too deep to be visible,  he wept.
In the eye of the cyclone,
the earth's erratic heartbeat
was his heart;
the blood drenching the soil
was his blood
and the screams of the mothers
came from his throat.

From Midas he inherited his golden touch,
spewing riches tinged with decadence;
stroking the mind of man
and lulling into complacency
the aging neophyte.

Promising to pave the illusory streets
with golden bricks,
the purchase price was extracted
ounce by sweaty ounce
from the despairing brows
of the ages' overburdened.

             * * * * *

We will again bathe our Croesus
in the River Pactolus.
We will anoint his open wounded heart
with the balm of Gilead.
He will stand again
with his ancient head in the clouds
and his heart in the eye of the cyclone.
And no longer will he permit
the mothers' screams

to tear the earth apart.
0

Time In The Heart

I was an oppressed people.
I wandered long
and became very tired of wandering.

I hugged the banks
of the green river and
shredded lives of high calibre.

Crying hard and loud
I voiced irritation
that rubbed edges raw.

And soon I walked
into the promised land.
Even before, even before I died.

It was green and fertile
and without enmity.
Without rancor I tended gardens.

And in the wide calm of doing
I knew of Being.
Ah, it was so.   It was so.

Tending the cabbages
I found the young fruit sweet.
Tending the orchards,  I found the hearts tender.

It was in the doing that I found beauty.
And I know it has never been done this way.
And I have done it before.

Each time fresh, each time new,
but the promise and the land even
more beautiful than I had remembered.

But even now, new eyes approach mine
and I whisper. . . . search for it,
search for it.

It is real and when you find it,
you will know it never was a place

but a time in the heart.
6

Toward A Destiny

No_writing

wild geese move
within the moments of their destiny
framing patterns struck
upon a naked sky.

clocked by indiscreet motions
they move
in gentler waves
instinctively.

confirmed in their geesehood
they soar with speed
amid the chastening winds
and luring skies.

untethered, unfettered.
dressed in their celestial garb,
melding motive and design
toward a destiny disclosed.

in a moment
they can do
what in a lifetime
I cannot.
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The Poet’s Memories

Torn from an event
with memories still alive
and placed in an incubator to breathe
are poets expected to live.

Leaving a world incomplete,
they wander in vegetation totally unfamiliar
and yet expected to survive.
And give rise to credence
in a world with no root,
where trees are shades of others more vivid,
whose flowers whisper their names
in a forgotten language,
whose people are ghosts of livelier images,
all crowding the nimbus.

Where horizons are vast
and what eyes behold are stark lines
dividing two dimensional realities
pretending a depth that fools not a one.
Where snow sheds its stars
on a crystal night and the night becomes
a holy night eliciting unexpected
extravagances bestowing grace.

All grasped in a moment's vision
to linger through worlds creating ulcers
by gnawing the viscera
with dreams not completed.

The poet's pen translates worlds
of mean existence from memories held
long in the heart's pocket.
Translates the colors of those other places
where winds caressed and sun bathed
a skin unlike their own.
In another place and time they walk
and because they do,

their memories give rise to Others' dreams.
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GENETIC MEMORIES

Lurking behind every door are ghosts
from a shadowy past,
eager to be translated
to a dubious present.

Impregnated in genes
are the memories of these ghosts,
split second DNA, with desire housing
the delicate substance quoting life.

Stupid am I to allow
others' memories,
lurking in my fresh Being
to suck life out of my present.
But power filled, even to think
that I could release their tenacious hold
from a life unfulfilled
and requiring recompense.

Helplessness rages simultaneously,
pleading a judicious balance
to satisfy life's imbalances,
yet knowing

I cannot do it.
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