The Sand a Boundary for the Sea — a poem

“I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.”

— Jeremiah 5:22 (NIV)

 

this is not the angel of death we face
who holds sway is but a spectre of fear
we who prefer to huddle in flock or herd
have been culled out, separated and this
oh this is our emotional ruin

too long we have trusted in our safety
so that now we fall easily into blind terrors
our minds are unused to life saving tracks
so we run, we gather, we hoard — our peril
rests, resides in that to which we now turn
not the Mystery, the Other; one who sees all

abase yourselves in your self-held knowledge
run askance before the cryer’s clarion call
fear, fear! panic and despair, children and fools!
Who then is hope for?

 

 

Losing Our Patina — a poem

This path is so lovingly tended,

            level,
                        easy
                                    slopes –

not much effort
required on our beautiful stroll.

            A paved
                        surface smooth 
                                    beneath our feet.

            A shaded
                        canopy, green
                                    cooling
                                                ease.


I stalk through the aisles angry;
people do not think — “Distance!”
Stripped shelves, fear-bound
humanity hoarding; rude herd
creatures, ruminating in front
of the dairy case — I cough
my “excuse me.” Stampede.
I am the grey wolf seeking
a weakened elk in the herd.
Laughing, I leave the grocery
little better than I came; empty.


The boardwalk needs repair.

            We are consigned
                        to cross
                                    marshy
                                                ground unaided.

            Paths overgrown,
                        rutted,
                                    blind.


Now is not the time to walk,
but to head home —

 

 

Peace Time — a poem

© 2019 Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris

“…on the barb of time.”

— Ezra Pound, Canto V

below middle C a steady rhythm steadies
turns
tunes my ache
to saline drip
not pushed
half time quarter time barbed time
week
week
week     wreaked

now undone
one steady beat
birds flick from white key to black again peace

again
the piece plays along synopses
down along the chords tuned
sharp too sharply it plays
hammers dampened
keyed back to perfect
pitch rain drops
on the grand
beads on black lacquer caught
in spotlight reality
the hush rushes over the faceless crowd
and I am left
to drown under the unwritten notes.

— listening to Bill Evans, Peace Piece

High-Strung and Flimsy — a poem

Public Domain

“I liked the A side [of Abbey Road]…. I never liked that sort of pop opera on the other side. I think it’s junk. It was just bits of song thrown together. And I can’t remember what some of it is.”

— John Lennon, speaking to Rolling Stone

The web hangs suspended,
a disc — 33⅓ — will bounce
with prey as though dropping
down a spindle onto the table.

Seeming flimsy, it holds
together — like side 2
of Abbey Road.  Eight
incomplete pieces strung
with filament that bind.

It draws you in… flies
to feast on.  Inner circle,
her majesty awaits;

“…but she doesn’t have a lot to say.” 

 

The Mirror Reflects on Its Place — a poem

image by author

Like every storm cloud before
you, I am with clear silver backed;
though my tongue, free of glint, glistens
not with honey.  I eye the silver sprouts
among the brunette, thinning pate.

Wisely you spend less in converse
with me.  I am without guile, speaking
plainly.  What you see in me is truth.

What you carry away in your view,
however, is a matter of your moment.

When you return at the end of labor,
your glance my way may, may not edify.

What you see in me will accurately tell
the damages of the day — but not relate
a possible arc of improvement.  Morning
is always bleak for those who slumber
but fitfully.  Return to home seldom brings
immediate return to health and glow.

You would do well to avoid me more often.