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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Eggs and the Cardinal

A cardinal
Clad in bright
Scarlet feathers
Perched on a rail
This morning
Beyond my kitchen window.

His sharp singular chirp
Followed by another
Another
Then a successive chain
Of others
Drilled my brain
As an awakener
Forcing me to look beyond
My morning coffee
And the eggs frying in the skillet.

His Mohawk-trimmed head
Turned in quick jerks
Until a tiny black eye
Seemed to connect
With my own eyes.
We studied each other
For several moments.
Maybe he thought my actions
Strange
When understood against
The context of
Cardinal mannerisms.

It is not necessary
To understand
That which is simply meant
As marvelous.

The cardinal hopped a bit
Along the fence rail
A light wind playing
Along the layers
Of his crimson feathers.

He seemed to nod
As though to wish me well
(Though I know that is just my opinion)
Then he took flight
Seeking anything
More interesting.

Perhaps he was disturbed
By my choice
Of eggs
For breakfast.
Or maybe he was showing off
His ability to fly.
Or he may have been embarrassed
Strutting
For an old guy
In boxer shorts and a tee shirt.

His gallant red slash
Against a blue denim sky
Was breakfast for my soul.

Nevertheless
I ate the eggs.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Without a Bookmark

She was like a book.
A freshly printed edition
Of fine literature.
An amazing story
That stirred
And riveted my attention.

Every turn of the page
Was a gain
And a loss
Of equal proportion.

She was a story
That brought great pleasure
And deep sorrow
In the realization
She was slipping from me
With the turn of every page.

Her scent was papery pure
Her body as white as the open pages
Seemingly aglow in the window's
Bright light.

The ink of her story was indelible
And black as midnight against the page
A story of amazement and passion
A story of bittersweet romance
And tender expression.

Her very touch was a new chapter
An escalation of promise
But also a drifting away of her presence.

Her story was bound in the finest cover
Her title scribed in flecks of gold.

All her edition lacked
Was a bookmark
To remind me
Where I was in the unraveling.

Years later
Her book rests
In the library of my heart.
I rarely retrieve it
Because the tale
Is too painful.

Her's is
After all
A narrative
And without a bookmark
I loose myself in the account.

But the truth is…
I simply love the weight of it
When it rests
Open in my hands.

The Tick of the Clock

I do not want this
But the draw is irresistible.
I feel the blood in my veins slow
As if to pool.
The breath in my lungs
Still
To the faintest
Respiration.

All the world seems to pause.

A handbreadth above
The western horizon
The blazing orb
Is swallowed by a hungry mouth
Of dense clouds
And has no more glare
Than the sides of a blast furnace
In the din of manufacture.
It is a dirty light
In a dirty sky.

I want to think
Of pleasant things.
I want to study the warmth
On my back
And the lush spring grass at my feet.
I want to drink deeply of the energy
I know must be here.

I want to live.

But as the sun comes to ground
Good is in the shadow of bad.

I know it is not true.
I believe the structure
Of the universe is in sure command
And tomorrow the sun will rise
And breathe life into the whole world
And this amazing light
Will resuscitate me.

I live in the tick of the clock
So tomorrow is a leap of faith.
I will eagerly await
The blush of dawn
In tomorrow’s sky
But the night will be oppressive
And long.

Come
Morning.
Come
Quickly.

I believe.
Help Thou mine unbelief.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tell Me

Tell me.
I am listening.
I have been waiting for you.

Tell me.

I need to understand.
What is it you’ve been feeling?
I need to know.

Tell me.
Where did you go?
Will you ever return?

Tell me.

I ache for perception of you.
I yearn to understand your life
Your hidden ways
The path you have chosen
What you see when you awake every morning.

Tell me.

Do flowers grow outside your window?
Do you rest beneath the shade of a favorite tree?
Is there a coffee shop that’s earned your patronage?
Do your arms shelter a puppy?
Are there songs you must sing?

Tell me.

I starve for knowledge of you.

Please tell me
Do you ever think of me?

Tell me.

Shake!

There are moments
I shake my body
In a vain effort
To dislodge the
Pain
That grips me
Constantly.

I know it is of
No use.
But this mighty urge
To toss this monster
Is anything but logical.
It is primal.
It is a reaction
In the same way a dog shakes
To shed water.

Except
For the dog
The effort
Is successful.

For me there is only
Laughter
Emanating from the pain
Itself.

You see
I have assigned my pain
A personality.

It is an ugly
Red-eyed
Massive creature
That has its teeth in my body
And shakes me
The way I would
Shake it.

Here’s to my fellow sufferers…
Shake!
Do it in the knowledge it is
Of no use.

Shake anyway.

Do it as protest
Do it as defiance
Do it as you would raise your fist
In rebellion against the pain.
Do it as a way to
Register your self determination.
Do it as insolence toward your tormentor.

Even action taken in hopelessness
Is better than
Useless surrender.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shadow Lands

Thunder rolled across
The barren fields
Last night
Speaking but once
Then was silent.

But it was enough
To stir me
Enough to open my eyes
To the shadow lands
Playing upon the wall
And ceiling.

Strange
How thunder stirs the soul
Strange
How the mind travels time
Strange
Its deep reverberations
Strange
Its peculiar dance
In the shadow lands.

I listened for a second peal
But none followed
Except the thunder
Of memory.

Remembrance burst
Like the echo of storms
Upon stone canyons.

Sleep is impossible
When the shadow lands stir.
I buried my face in my pillow
And followed the traces
Of memory
Both kind and cruel.

The shadow lands are for
Visiting only.
No wise man would ever
Own property there.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fair Warning

I feel it
This deep
Dangerous current
Flowing from my belly
Transiting my veins
Boiling my blood.

I keep
This knowledge
As silent as midnight
Rarely acknowledging
Its truth.

But it’s there.

Rage as certain
As frost in November
As sharp as a tinker’s blade
As hot as the fire of the forge
As extreme as venom
In the mouth of the cobra.

It remains sheathed
Behind my smile
And holstered
In my good nature.

There is no danger
To family and friend
Nor to the innocent
Sharing the pathway
Of blended shadow.

But touch the one I love
Disturb the soil I’ve carefully tilled
Throw my world into disarray
By wanton aggression
And I promise you
No bandage will staunch
The flow of misery
That will issue from
What remains.

Evermore

Looking into her
Unknowing eyes
Returned me to those
Of a distant time.

The one
Into whose eyes
I looked
Were not the ones
Looking back.

An ancient memory
Bubbled to the surface
Like a spell
From a cauldron
And I was taken
To one
Whose eyes
I cannot forget.

I’m sure it was unnerving
To my visitor
And I am sorry for that moment
Of awkwardness.

It was most disconcerting.

I could smell
The dampness of the grass
Upon which our blanket spread
Hear the caw of a crow overhead
Feel the tussle of the breeze
And the unnerving tease
Of that long-lost summer day.

Even the scudding clouds
Sailing the horizon
Were as the passing of a fleet
Full assail
Then as now.

I wagged my head
In vain effort to dispel
That vintage memory
Hoping to reengage
My innocent and unknowing visitor.

But, oh!
Her eyes were
The vehicle of transport
Removing me
To that distant day
When her flaring eyes
Burned the retina of memory
And seared her image
Into my view
Evermore.

Scattering

The universe neither knows me
Nor seeks to know me.
She does not regard what I think
What I’ve done
Nor does she intend to do so.

The universe is ambivalent
Concerning me.

Though I have made considerable effort
To draw her attention
She enthusiastically ignores me.
It is not that I am dead
To the universe
It is that I have never existed
Nor ever will exist.

I have sent signals
Messages
Launched flares
Kindled fires
Proffered deals
Wooed her
Pled with her
Bowed my knee to her
And behaved salaciously
Concerning her.
Still the universe ignores me.

I’ve developed my last strategy.
Beginning now
I will act as though the universe
Does not exist.
I will return ten-fold
The humility she has exacted
Upon me.

I have shamelessly pursued the universe.
Now she must chase me.
It will be
A kind of collapsing back
Upon myself
That may get her attention.

Perhaps that is what the big bang was…
A massive ploy
To attract by scattering.

Now I will scatter
To see what may be gathered.

I Will be Free

My spirit claws my flesh
To be free.

My flesh presses my spirit
For containment.

Neither is successful.

The contest will be decided
At a future time
When the rains swell the streams
When fires burn the sky
When winds lash the mountains
When the seas yield their dead
And the land and the sky storm
In a convulsion of smoke.

Then will I be free.