Predator

Worry is
unbecoming –

but it is always
coming,

relentlessly

like the wolves
doggedly
following
the old
frail elk

knowing
it will eventually
slow

a faltering step
and it is
upon us

creasing the skin
around our eyes
twisting our spines
stealing the color
from our hair and
leaving us there

reduced

stooped

withered.

worry is
unbecoming –

but it is always
coming

Sojourn

The morning
arrived quietly,
a subtle,
pregnant
pause,
the comforting
hum of a
neighbor’s
air conditioner
and the steady
clack
clack
clack
of a distant
westbound train
the only sounds,
as if the
breathless
week having
rumbled through
half its life
set aside its
ponderous bustling
for a moment
to reflect.
The gentleness
of the
interlude
moved me
to tears,
and I held
wednesday’s hand
in silence,
wondering
what would become
of us

12:47 am

I drank too much wine tonight and Bukowski would find some poetry in that but I haven’t – not yet. Odds are, I never will. And I would never want to be Bukowsksi, a cigar smoking sheath of pain, not to mention – dead. Tomorrow awaits . . . we shall see

No One Knows

Poetry is
simplicity,
the spattering
sound of a cow
pissing on a
flat
rock
beneath the
lilting melodies
of songbirds
and buzzing bees
in an idyllic
pasture of green
and yet,
complex beyond
comprehension,
devoid of a standard,
absent a criterion
that decides,
“this is good,”
so we float it
out on a cloud,
let it drift,
and see who
looks up and
exclaims,
“I see it!”

Summer Messenger

The air is tacky
against my skin
like fingers
against new paint
not
quite
dry,
an unsettling soup
to fill the
purple belly
of clouds
scraping low
over the western
mountains, destined
for digestion
then an expulsion
of shouts and claps
of thunder

Dilemma

I have a
chimera chained
in the basement.
It refuses to eat
until every living
soul on earth
is free.
I once dreamed
of being an
archaeologist
in Egypt
until I discovered
my disdain for
the heat.
Some things
defy completion,
even on sunny
Wednesdays.

Boo!

My older brother would spring
from the dark living room
where we weren’t allowed to sit,
his hands up in the
corny claw shape
we humans make
and unleash a loud growl
to scare me. It always worked,
even when I thought I knew
it was coming, and I would
rain windmill punches down
on his running retreat.
I’m no longer afraid of the dark,
and death has kept
my brother hidden
for well over
10,000 nights now.
I wonder where,
and if he is planning
to spring out and
scare me again
some day.

Tenterhooked

It is the curse of
artists and poets
to be driven
beyond reason
by some
unseen force, to be
helplessly coerced
into attempting to contain
the very essence of
nature and the gods themselves
in tightly laced straitjackets
of lines and rhymes, to stop time
and twist the formless into
crude word forms.
Words!
To think that
my poor language
could contain
the majesty
of what my eyes see,
that they could convey
the power of my dreams,
that the absurdity of
“green”
could grasp the
heart of Spring!
It is madness
but I must try.
The relentless
fire inside
me rises
and must be
freed
lest it
consume me.
No, there is
no hope
for poets –
we are not
our own

Flight of Fancy

There was a swing at the park. Long, heavy chains, worn plank seat, a rutted gouge in the earth from a thousand dreams hastily halted by the call to dinner, and wrapped in October I would swing, fearless, the chain rattling and yielding as I willed myself higher and higher and I would have flown away if I could. The youthful sky begged me to come, to join the birds, I know it did. I saw its outstretched arms, the sun smiling encouragement at the apex of every heavenward thrust. But my wings never grew. That swing was as close as I’ve ever been.

Taste of Irony

Never a dull moment, or so some
easily excitable soul opined,
but no shortage of dull people
leading dull lives, dull eyed
under the dull gray skies
of their dullified, tired minds –
casting the veracity of
the first assertion
into doubt.
I’ll watch TV tonight
(like I always do),
and drink some wine
and perhaps the answer
to this mystery will
be revealed to me.