Monday, February 21, 2011

vertigo lightning

Mixed sorrow and fear,
never laughing o'er the night.
Circling above my wooden terrace
clouds trace moon away from sight,
I shudder, arms drawn near.

Skulk place-to-place, then hide
your face in billowing wonder.
Skyward searches find you missing,
ears they hear only your thunder,
when comes midnight and I should be inside.

Billowous clouds, like armies marching
through the battlefields above
fill the wind with biting teeth
and the startling brightness of
death that from heaven comes arching.

Wind shushes hope from mind,
wild twirling, branches fall.
Snatching leaves early from haven,
while the ghosts of brothers call,
and dual charges grow in kind.

Engross me in willow and oak-
do not suffer my body rain,
descending acid from distant reaches
of a barren lifeless plain
with frigid fires and cadaver smoke.

Storm will take me in my slumber
sooth my wounds with electric silk
for my comfort has been neglected
the very lifeblood of my ilk
spilled in some unwitting blunder.
Swallow fear and then my tongue
healing agony from flame
salvation lies in execution
lascivious licks of crackling pain,
from my body, affliction wrung.

Monday, February 14, 2011

fingers and toes (2011)

To explain a couple of things for those who may not know- my daughter Amara used to "miss" sneezes when she was a baby. She would start, very quietly ah-ah... then it would grow... aH...AH... and then, as if totally disappointed it would deflate into an Awwwwwww! Cracked me up every time.

Garron, the blond, blue-eyed boy-wonder is always ready for a competitive challenge, especially if it involves something physical. Eilena is my fairy princess, the girliest-girl I know (and thats okay!)

The fingers and toes mentioned here have gone elsewhere. But I still thank them for the three wonderful lifetime chances they brought.

* * *

Fingers and toes
its all well I suppose,
met me skimming a the tank top
to escape my death-throes.
On a hot summer sultry
wearing wheels on my feet
waiting writhing and faithless
to come in from the heat.

Poetry and prose,
caramel candies, a rose;
tried to woo you
from the outset
and ignore the echoes.
Was I suavely successful
reaching out to grasp words?
Or were you rolling your eyes
at every second or third?

Good-byes, hellos,
then its me that you chose
since our midnight moonlit strolling
knew that I would propose.
Apartment life so nervous
as each drank the other in;
who'd have thought a Presbyterian
and a Baptist'd live in sin?

Strangers and foes
leaving exes and ohs
struck out bravely
towards a reckoning
on this path that we chose.
On a chilly autumn crisp
in a mantle picture frame
immortal green together
as this unit we became.

Tables and clothes
eating chicken and crow
went domestic
but what's best it
wasn't forced for show.
Had our frostbit winter windburns
when the temperature was ill;
stayed in-float and never capsized
even when our boat was filled.

Ribbons and bows
little eyes and little nose,
a surprise wrapped in suspense-
could we survive with one of those?
Brought us springtime
flower sweetness
with her smiles upon the breeze
and a loving bunch of laughter
every time she missed a sneeze.

Yes's and no's
when a dragon imposed
on our castle at the hilltop
hoped that he was comatose.
Southward exodus from demons
with some help along the way
ever glancing over shoulders
to preserve what we have made.

Now, fingers and toes,
something new from you arose-
a blond, blue-eyed boy-wonder
second chapter to close.
We wrapped our home around him
in a velveteen vice-grip,
taking moonlit stroll aplenty
and enjoying every trip.

Boyish toys & trumpet blows
and a sister’s daily dose
of reminders she is older:
with our rabbits, in our home.
A loving competition
as we strive to hold the peace
through academics, dance & soccer,
we are ever-awed by each.

Wait, fingers and toes,
deep inside you new life grows
a fairy princess spreading magic
with the pixie dust she throws.
arrived just in time to shield us
from malignant sheets of rain.
Guards our family from the hardship
of great economic strain

Now moved by what we chose
plains to mountains in transpose
take our family to new heights
hot-air balloons over arroyos-
westward watermelon mountains,
sparkling city in the night
who’d have thought the dried-out desert
would manifest our paradise?

Now, onward we flow
couple of unlikely heroes.
Bearing burdens
strong emboldened
'til we earn our due repose.
Keep beside me, lean upon me
Nobody knows what futures bring
sit astride me and abide-
fingers and toes to which I’ll cling.

* * *

Thank you, thank you
for this lifetime chance,
for waiting by my door.
Thank you, thank you
for each season's change
and every season more.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

past presence

Do you even hear the wind
as it rushes o'er your valleys?
Stop to see the remnant hissing
of the leaves which mourn its pass?

Do you ever miss the rainstorms,
miss the nourishment they'd replenish?
Stop to ponder cool sensations
as your skin was gently kissed?

Prior shoulders robust and grand
now thin and wrinkled, parched by heat.
Flesh now dangles in delicate feature
from cold hands and blithe fingers.

Squalor of a barren prairie,
stripped to bare skin without water.
Worn to bone in delicate feature,
fragile; unforgiving still.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

hardwood heroine

Sometimes 1 + 1= 11, say the supply-siders. I'm usually a little more cynical looking along those lines but then I happened to recall a time where I mashed up a couple of pieces I had written & it worked pretty well. Add just a smidge of touching up here & there & I had myself a workable would-be poem!

* * *

On the outside
she was coated with green muck-slime
mixed with brown
a camouflaged soldier
gnarled roots stabbing ground
at her muddied bivouac
laughing at tact, lunging with zest
limbs sprawling wide
as if calling to heaven
her arbor request
to halt fungus and scales
from their molestation
as out her pores they spill
parasitic on her body, alive
imposing their will.
I split the hard wood and
color explodes
rings shout to life
sable amidst bright yellow rife with
secrets where exposure is fresh
she sweetens the air-
the sawdust flies as blade shreds flesh
and I can shape her into a rocking horse
or park bench or a desk at which
to quench my parchment
an exhibition of lust, a behest to her beauty
reduced to possession, her prizes relinquished,
spent, used, torpid and stale- no addition of rings
nor spreading new scent
now hollow in color
marred by spackle and stain
no mystery left within
arthritic, contorted in pain
She stood in the forest picturesque
now in her nakedness in my cabin
lays awkward, wronged and grotesque.

Monday, February 7, 2011

red lion, since 1773

Inspired by a business trip that was a true pleasure, back around 2006. Freezing cold weather & bad live music in Massachusetts made bearable by the venerable old hotel in which I was privileged to stay, The Red Lion Inn.

* * *

The place called to me-
not the glum-strum player- his pawnshop six-string
nor the grain alcohol served-

rather the rickety creek of the hardwood beams-
the scent of a spent firelog looming heavily
with lost dancers of light.

Grain alcohol competes for muster
with salt grains
and my pensive hands-

With headlong motion-
I heard the call,
clarion o'er the players strings-

In nighttime on walls
cracked remnants leak ghosts-
pursuing their recompense-

Silent as a wisp-
stirring the ambiance-
archaic, heirloom-heartened.

Grain alcohol stirs chance-
the painting spied in hall-
a Bible I once knew-

Porchtop glistening-
now-noonday rain upon-
my pensiveness subsides.

For the place called me-
with unusual inflection-
history's ring.

Naked of troubles-
endearment of cloud-light-
I ponder antique scents

and days gone by.

Friday, February 4, 2011

it's mutual

Sit near and observe me
do my bit here and write
words on a microscreen
lacking the grace of paper
vaporous wisp smirking
from the hole in the 
corporate coffeecup lid
a velveteen taper of life
obese with pretension
I lack the courage to
linger in conversation
here by myself even while
you cross your legs
in dire anticipation-
but anticipating what? 
I have no recollection
of promises made
much less vows unspoken
mistake me not- your neck was craning
eyes darting wild and wet
lips complaining the
simple secret dimples in your cheeks 
straining to compose your thoughts
your self and emotions
your theme uncompleted
your silent protests
inelegant and pouts unfeted.
If there's anything I can do
anything left unfulfilled
a verse or chapter or comment
unmilled and mined
directed and refined I
stand readily corrected.
Instead here I still sit
my eyes engrossed by
minute electronics
and yours by my flickering fingers and
chronic yet fleeting
fantasies of more.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

warrior born

I enter as solicitor into the breech, I
shimmy through a spinney of oak and beech, I
smolder I stutter-step hillside-bound, I
worship at a cromlech with reverent sound, aye.

I revel in primeval heresies hailed, I
peel away pretense brandish what’s veiled, I
quest for veracity, from all whom would speak, I
seek rectitude for the shunned and the weak, aye.

I trip down footpaths long over-grown, I
convulse on the altar of rain-etched stone, I
gasp at the lightning in the night-bird sky, I
ken to the eidola of eons wild, aye.

I rove companionless as streams flow past, I
quaff their waters my drought to cast, I
taste aged mosses and sod underfoot, I
mingle with the mysteries of the twilight wood, aye.

I relinquish these boots, this crown, this shame, I
breathe malcontent extrication exclaimed, I
move to recompense my lady, my land, I
make an invocation to all women and men, aye.

I present to the heavens my chest, my face, I
plea for forgiveness of my race, I
burn from the fire and bruise from the stone, I
writhe hands and knees past a gauntlet thrown, aye.

I return to the hearth to the village I adore, I
rush along the promenade a warrior born, I
recite the story to the curious child, I
thrill and fulfill her or render him riled, aye.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Every politician, talk show host, minister, CEO, manager, salesperson or poet needs a sort of confidence about them. The best of them combine that with humility. The worst of them don't.

For the latter, this behavior often disguises the pain of feelings of inferiority. I dedicate this poem to that group and to myself. I've alienated too many people in my life by acting in arrogance. My apologies to those I have hurt.

One of the oldest poems for which I'll still claim credit.

* * *

I am power!
Don't roam near me
lest I crush you 'neath my feet!
I take the written word
warp it into my image
move the mountains of language
bowling over the frightened masses
that before drove me under
those very protrusions.

I am thunder!
Booming, roaring
into the nighttime air!
None stand who can rival
my monotonous rumble
my sonic scream of dialect
carving notches in your skull
etching completely the percussive force
of my chaos.

I am lightning!
Flashing, fiery
into the storm I go!
The overwhelming surges
commanding your synapses
are caused by me -
they are born of my electric soul
originate in my will-
you are helpless to conform.

I am giant!
Corpulent form
shoving others from my path
freeing my mitts to thieve all glory,
treetrunk legs to mount all summits.
I bludgeon all foes with
knees and elbows until...

i am all alone.