Archive for category Poems
Surrounded by indigo fields,
I turn off the yard light and sit
on this summer night listening
to the sounds between the sounds
of crickets wafting their chants
on the lazy breeze, unmoved
by the discontent of hounds
in the distance baying
at the plaintive whistles of trains,
the rustle of gravel under passing cars.
The clock nods and blinks
on evenings like this, then retires.
The industry of spring has passed:
and the branches of fruit trees—
that snagged rags of clouds
and made them blossom—
now sag with orbs of quiet fire.
Meanwhile, the paint cans of autumn rest
undisturbed in storage, and the wind
that will turn—sure as a hawk,
when winter bears down—
sleeps in the forest.
I’m excited to share that Decades Review has published my poem, “Waking Up Together,” in their second issue. You can read it there or here:
Waking Up Together
Barely awake, we float
across our bed like clouds
over undulating dunes
and valleys of lush loam.
Sleep-mist lifts over parched lips,
and our feet move like nomads
toward the warmth of each other.
Our most secret places
have buried their keys
inside the swirls of our fingerprints,
and we slip into each other’s hands
unopened letters carried by envoys
returning to their homeland.
My poem “The Wind Over Ground Zero, NYC” is appearing in Pot Luck Magazine‘s Winter 2010 issue. I very much enjoyed the other work in this issue, particularly “This Far Away From Home” by R.M. Gramstad, “Sarah Palin” by James Stewart, “Solitude” by Robert Fruend, and “Take a Bite” by Amanda Guyton. The magazine is print-only— here’s how to get your own copy.
The Wind Over Ground Zero, NYC
I am among the myriad that surge into work each day
on a train that wends through the canyon called Ground Zero,
a place where solemn anger remains.
The screech of steel wheels jerks alert
the bobbing heads slumbering through this daily ride.
They have not lost the import of this place,
but their lives go on, while gusts of construction dust
stir upward from trundling trucks moving earth and metal,
and from the anthills of workers who realize, day by day,
what took minutes to destroy will take decades to rebuild.
I ask a cop at the site’s edge if he sees much progress.
He doesn’t look at me; just watches the street, and mutters,
“I check in seldom, so I don’t get numb.”
He shrugs. “I hope it’s not all in vain;
I hope we don’t get hit again the day it opens…
although, there’s one good thing.” He faces me.
“I’ll never look at the news of other countries,
torn apart like this one, quite the same.”
The wind here never leaves.
It whips up the raw and fractured memories
of tumbling buildings and chaos.
It comes especially in September when sturdy blue skies
return to fill up the empty shafts of space
where those monumental structures and many lives
looked down at the earth, once more, before they blew away
leaving volumes of sorrow and this relentless swirling air
to churn up the powdery leaves and scraps of debris
and the legions of unprepared souls
who were cast like sand across a page of history
and who now long for the rest of their days.
Their silence persists amid these shocks of wind
that toss madly the tops of trees,
as if a force we have yet to reckon with
is shaking its head with rage
wrought from grave misgivings
over what we have become:
so unfinished, so overwhelmed
by our own puzzling maze of promise
and its companion, broken faith,
that we struggle and thrash to find our way
inflicting, as we flounder, torrents of blood and pain.
My poems “The Seam,” “The Terms of Sorrow,” and “Rural Auction” are now online with Blue Lotus Review’s Winter 2010 issue. You can read them there or here:
The late summer beaches are vacant,
but the water is still warm
beneath the chill that I am breathing.
Drifting on my back
about this Northern tree-lined lake,
my mouth is all that breaks
all that holds me above
the murky floor.
I glide under shaking limbs.
Ears muffled, my eyes read the wind
in the swelling feet of waves,
and the trees, in tacit unison,
seem to send
the impulse of flight to leaves,
just as fleets of tropical fish
in zoo tanks know when
to flash obliquely away
from the spectators
who stand and stare.
Along this seam,
I merge with the currents.
Blue lips to the sky,
I am floating
somewhere in autumn.
Snow clouds piled again
and loomed in the sky
like silos packing
all the dark weight
of a late wet harvest.
The last planes out at sundown
were silver sleds
with chrome-dipped wings
snapping through life strings
tethered to trees–
winter’s glint-shafts of thinning heat.
Shops closed early,
and those still bent for home
scurried with narrow gaits over icy trails
like high-rise workers on lattices of steel.
Then the sky paused and took
its last shallow breath,
exhaling a prelude of aimless snow.
And we knew this was it:
the final signal to seal ourselves in
and brace for the lashings
of night’s whipping winds
sweeping beneath street lights,
in that deceiving, moth-soft glow,
relentless rough-cut shavings
tearing through every space
moaning and drifting
in gables and yards
into corners and doorways,
all the depths of night’s folds,
as the edges crept in closer
from where they were before.
I’m pleased to share that Ascent Aspirations has published my poem “These Confounded Desires” in its September 2010 issue. You can read it there or here:
These Confounded Desires
I felt at ease with my desires undeclared—
I didn’t want their objects all the same.
But they kept lining up like autos
in used car lots,
lies on their meters
and paint layered over
their hungry scabs of rust.
With so little difference between them,
it took years to see them all.
My poems “The Random Wind” and “My Two Hearts” are now online as part of Issue 13 (July 2010) of Writers’ Bloc. You can read them there or here:
The Random Wind
It would happily topple ancient trees
as spread the seeds of saplings.
Clouds shred like white caps at sea, or sit
like lilies in lagoons on languid days.
Our common medium of sound and breath
may one moment bring us nothing
but the lonely scrapes of leaves,
or following us around the bend,
it may please us indiscreetly:
gently lifting the hair off
or the skirt it goes beneath.
My Two Hearts
This alpha-omega inside my chest
wants its steady rhythm
and nothing more:
It would march me like a drumbeat
from pillow to pillow
with familiar protocols and bowties
precisely in the middle.
It wishes me a mellow, two-step dance,
a healthy liver, and a level floor.
But I will not be shaped
by this monotonous hammer.
My true heart has never
been up my sleeve.
I’ll go where my passions take me,
till this cold clock between my lungs
turns on me in rage
and throws me to the ground I stand upon
to make me pay.