Results for category "2008"

21 Articles

Sea Waves

Out of balance, balance
   pulse... again
Balance, out of balance
   pulse... again
She alone can hear me
It’s my question…
Brazen, in the night
Sea waves
   push gentle to the sand and pull you, tender
   their strength over anguish…to me
To touch, to yearn
To touch
Menace in the night…
Kisses in the night
Sea waves to sand…this balance,
   balance... to touch
Only she can hear me

-December 25, 2008-

Faint is the flame

If he never breaks bread alone
If hate never tears at his heart
If he never cries out in the midnight hours
then he doesn’t know you—
   you indifferent, oblique, contemptible
      heavenly powers
She came straight from that dream to tell me
   she’d always been a liar
He who knows he burns
   burns in a very small fire
At the start of the year
   I laugh, eat, drink and smoke
I collapse on the living room floor
   like a corpse
“The marvelous things of this earth are divine”
   Why do we say that?
“I never say that”
My everyday objects—distilled
   and in disarray
Visceral compassion—listen,
   we want to be understood—
Really listen
Economy is grace—
   like the certainties of another age
The truly silent stay silent, uncertain,
   even when they have something to say
True love (the unreachable) steeped
   in our flesh
Faint is the flame
   that words express

-November 27, 2008-

What the colors say

As leaves dry and die
   their colors get more passionate
As we die too
   how great the depths of color
   fall upon our days
savage, more brilliant, lavish, grave
Anger needs a place to go
   Like love, don’t expect it to stay
It needs sound and swagger
   something grand to burn
strong, bitter, mercurial flames
Stripped from the trees like memory
   wild gradations of color
Love dims, love dies
   love leaves this life
Here are my turtle days
   My feet, hands, face exposed
But the rest of me seems safe
Without secrets
   nothing is possible—
   neither friendship, nor love
Placid on the surface
   below everything shatters
Though this life is so perfectly normal
   all the core vessels break

-November 9, 2008-

It has…

They say the Gypsies know my future
Maybe so—scars and demons own my past
I will yearn for you always
My lover, my double, my friend
During the war, a fierce forest leader—
After the war, he drives a cab
They lead them away, blindfolded, my brothers
They shoot them in the back
So few miracles her
So much agony
Why do my enemies always win?
Why do they win?
Words of healing that don’t heal
Optimistic visions that don’t gel
Everything I care about, taken
From the most trivial to the most profound
Wistful for what was…
My dear one, my double, my love
Agony sags, it pulls
It has no neutral face

-October 9, 2008-


Fighters aren’t always pretty
White hot anger
White hot heat
   shame, frustration, dread—
We fighters lose far more than we win
   on a battlefield of wishful thinking, enemies,
      humiliations, shadows, defeat
Each clock can only keep its own time
Even without the tests she knew
   the pain in her hip
   meant the cancer had spread
Despite all the brilliance, experience,
   knowledge, clout
we lose
Some spiritual course, never written down
It’s the nature of grief to think
   your pain deeper, longer, more sustained
Who teaches us how to be alone
Where is the caring presence
Who recognizes the bleak terrors
   the long, dark nights of despair that shadow
      this life
Where is our rescue
Defiance hot as love
She reaches across the terrains of hell
   to tell me her tale
      brain cancer, surgery, how she learned
         at last, once more to walk
She touched my cheek, gentle, this angel
   smiled, so happy to see everyone again

-September 14, 2008-


Love has no beginning
      knows no end
   it’s subterranean
Everywhere I go
      everywhere I’ve been—
   at best, I’m a guest
Gentle wind flows
   the grey rain mists
   the great green tree sways
gently in the rain
She loved me false—
   like the mosquito loves the arm of her host
the way tapeworms might love my stomach

-September 1, 2008-

He shouted

When a little over seven,
   he shouted into the intercom
   at the building where he lived
They could barely hear him
   through all the distortion
Something about a toothache and
   a friend who told him about a dentist and
   a purple essence that when applied to the mouth
   would cure him
These are secrets we keep even from ourselves
Jeanne used to say: “You know, I think I’ll keep
   my own counsel on that”
until Alzheimer’s chewed her brain
   with all of its secrets away
Our names are written in water
An old cousin while taking a pill
   for some kind of chronic heartburn explained:
“You’re born with it
you’ll die with it
but not of it”
I could never bring anyone into this world
   but always try to take care of those
   I care for
I think I’ll keep my own counsel…
Through all of that shouting
      through all that distortion
   please tell me again—
What kind of cure?

-August 9, 2008-

The Game

Early sunny air
   a narrow little park
   no one else is there
   and I’m just passing through
Pink and orange flowers, birdsongs, insects
   gradations of green in the bushes and trees,
   a gray muscular squirrel stops, stares
   concrete tables, a few scavenger pigeons
   wooden park chairs painted green
   tufts of light green grass, brown dirt, grayish stones
   a soft little wind, swaying leaves
Don’t be afraid—
   those playing cards scattered on the ground
      are just the remnants of the game
Time moves on
   but nothing ever passes
No one is touching me now
I am lost for the moment but then—
   I gave it everything I had

-July 27, 2008-

When I closed

When I closed my eyes
   to rest and dream,
a stark little narrative came to me:
      pale eager naiveté
      stale dry violets
      specks of dust
      a mercurial dull frenzy
      brutish movements, nameless souls
      hammer blow pity
      sickly, useless
      a muscled little sprite, vicious
      her wrinkled olive skin and
      dry butterscotch hair

      happy, horrific birdsongs
      humid morning air
So much of life’s pleasure
   followed, of course,
   by so much despair
When the master baker bakes his last
   how does he know and
   who does he ask?

-July 13, 2008-

We are…

We are encased in our own minds
   tightly wound,
spun snug in a cloying cocoon
Fiery waters, wet stagnant air
   summer thunder
There are no predecessors in love,
   no successors
He stares at the rushing cascades
   rain, violence, greenery
Whenever I break through
   I know how to fly with the moon
This searing flight comes freely
   like a wild link from heaven
In the coarsest of dreams, in all of that damage
   you kissed me

-June 29, 2008-