Poetry August 2018

 

Zoned
I roll up to the old house
Just dirty dust
Hearty weeds
My tires crackling
The bric a brac
I think I see
A bled-white candy
Wrapper
They don’t make
Them anymore
Or the local bricks
The date split in two
Don’t get out
Drive away
Don’t dirty
Your shoes

 

 

 

housing

death a door away
the always
magical forest
for the trees
mistakes of living
too long to
matter
questions about
diaper brands
the nosiness
of cozy neighbors
blending
tongues like fish
or fishwives
while I play with
the yo-yo forgotten
in the box I’m
cleaning out

 

 

Blind?
Didn’t they see
the holy water
evaporate
as if the devil
had dipped
his hand?

Didn’t they see
the heavenly host
take wing
and break
against
the colored
glass?

They saw.
They saw.

 

 

 

untitled 823

in that cup of tea the placid home river
orchards of waiting fruit bowing
even a sharp twig scraping her toe
but not making the slightest mark

 

untitled 823 #2

to slip away like the single star
that challenges our eyes
to slip away in rigorous silence
as the flesh unbinds the soul

 

 

he man

lounging amongst the giant hogweed

he thinks nothing no thoughts cuddle
with the wind in his thin ambitious hair

his days could be numbered or maybe
just pocked by richly appointed miseries

after all he can go and do anything he likes
he is who he is who he is

 

 

 

beached

tramping the beach

with his diagnosis

firmly buried

in a grimy basement

coffee can

he lets the surf

whack his feet

the wind

make his brows

furious 

he doesn’t notice

when his feet

drag

or when his knees

give out

or when his face

meets the sweet

sand he has loved

since he landed

 

 

eve in the orchard
i looked
really looked
my flesh sags
without majesty
lines pull
my child-round
face inward
i pucker
all over
like the apple
forgotten
on the orchard
floor

 

ruins

evil junk
the rusted
limbs
also murdered
the mute
pocket
watches
the stones
watching
helpless
the track
railing
to torture
the chipped
numbers
still heavy
on deadly
walls

 

handful of tanka and haiku

no snow
the ash
of fools
was
falling
sky so grey
a butterfly
instead of sun

 

smoggy foggy
what color
is the sky
over the crumble
he leads

 

closer to the fall
a green leaf taunts me
because i’m old
fuck the world
he laughs
wise monk
pulls closed
the cave

 

inheritance
remarkable bug
crawling unnoticed
lesser light
mother
plucks
imaginary
lint
to an old friend
using
photoshop
please put back
my wrinkles

 

no more words
about thunder
it’s only
lightning’s
poor relation

 

bent in the wind
i move along
the trees
know what
i mean

 

sheltering
in a doorway
why do i fear
the cleansing
downpour

 

where

her cracked hands
tremble

does she know
fear
anymore

i mean
anymore

than us

we don’t know

her lips spill
all but words

we’ll never know
until we’re there

where she is
is where

 

the listening
i hold a shell to my ear

as i did when i was a child
certain i heard distant waves

now i’m old and layered
like that marvelous shell

certain i hear echoes of the weeping sea

 

the girl with the notebook

she sat with friends
in a local sub shop

her nose almost pressed
against the thin blue lines

as she guided a pencil stub

the kids indulged
her ways
like real friends always do

while they analyzed texts

she wrote poems
about everything she knew

and she knew
a considerable amount

for someone so slim
in years

but not so
young for the world

 

 

Five Haiku/Senryu/Poems

intermittent rain
a little man
bleakly peeing

a broken umbrella
conspiracy theories
all over the web

family olympics
catching a cork
in my eye socket

morning glory
a brown bug
laps my coffee

a feather falls
cloudless
chance of rain

 

Why they call it a mourning dove

The house is so quiet
now. The voice
I hear is outside.
It’s a sheltered dove’s
throaty cadence
and it holds me in
this foreign place.
At this lonely window.
The gentleness
of that sound. I wish
my breath too had left
me forever and I had
never noticed this
dove’s incessant coo.

 

US
What does it matter if
the sea boils dry or
if mad sea birds
eat up the waste
of the nation? Our newly
protected species
has split. Us and them.
The shiny ones never
out of breath or bread.
All out, all in for their
great big tomorrows
full of heroic junk.
So comfortable their country is.
So uninhabitable for us.

 

 

the burning

books
opened or
closed in terror
eaten alive
by the flames
the classic
the new
the challenging
the sweetly
mundane
all aflame
and the ashes
how they drift
up and up and
into the stars
the stars
the stars
still
shining

 

Reconciliation 

what are the rules
of engagement

there are none

so i sit ugly
alone on the toilet

staring up at
the transom
window

it’s on the stairs
and anyone can see me

you sleep peacefully
the sleep of the just

 

Pricked

he spewed
and he paused
for effect
his words
like so many
sharp pebbles
sputtered out
they cut
unsmiling cheeks
but the faithful
gathered them up
and clutched them
reveling in the loss
of their blood

 

home late

waiting out the deluge

what could be
more important

than a frosty glass
melting with laughter

 

 

phases

follow the moon

or the crap
dribbling

out of purgatory

 

 

Seven (7) Tanka

 

grandmother told me
she polished his shoes
until she could see
her swollen face
in the shiny toes

 

 

daylight
osprey’s cry
cutting
the panes
of my window

 

 

today my touch
caught fire
flowers burst into flames
under my feet
the earth boiled
clouded now
my eyes
can still see
the tops
of mountains

 

knocked down
by the humidity
a haggard bee
stumbles into a bar
asking for a drink

 

last night
i leaned wearily
on tomorrow
this morning
my eyes didn’t open

 

the potted flowers
hate me now
the bitch with a can
watering the hell
out of the dying

 

 

 

Enfield
in careful measured
movements
designed to assuage
they moved the graves
before the man-made
flood
but our memories
lay on the town’s
surface
where a boy and
me measured
blades of grass
with our
little fingers
and tracks of tires
long ago junked
still could be seen
between the houses
where dad parked
his rattling car
where the milkman
left his truck
idling

Enfield, Massachusetts was the largest and most vibrant of four towns inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir.
Re: UMass- Amherst library

 

 

 

refuse on a beach somewhere

ubiquitous
straws
condoms
styrofoam cups
(wine stained)
a comb
a plastic fork
(tines broken)
a kid’s baseball cap
a kid’s sneaker
a woman’s blouse
a torn life jacket
an empty locket
(no chain)
a manila envelope
(empty)
a curled photo
(obliterated)
a birth certificate
(obliterated)

 

excess collage 1

heated down
to dust
the ground
dry and
glandless

sticky green
leaves rolled
up like corpses
spines broken
in the drop

pines their
ancient luster
scorched
can pluck
nothing
out of
the sullen
breezes

the clouds
sticky with lack

 

foreign

a forest
so many stand
unwanted
crackling
mad bark
itchy with
desperation
sick
of the wind
of bird song
leaning
on each other
trapped there
freedom
is nothing
but dead
wood

 

little nuremberg 

tonight’s bigly rally
will be televised!

you, pick up that sign!

smile and cheer
when he says anything

if you don’t know what to do

look here, look at me

cheer and wave the signs
when he comes out

as long as he stands there

he’s here! he’s ready!
CHEER! WAVE! CHEER! CHEER!

 

kill the messenger!

liar plays
his lyre
crowd wild
seething
breathing
fire balls
melting
cameras
searing
the note
hands
how it ends
freedom

 

three humidity-mad tanka 

anxiety attack
i try to count
every star
starting
again and again

clouds don’t scud
they drift
longingly
disappearing
when it’s time

being human
is not an excuse
will the flowers
forgive me
for forgetting them

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