A Tale of Water

I was afraid of it then
The water
I would jump in the
shallow end of the pool
standing straight up
as if on a pogo stick
My feet planting on the
bottom while my head
stayed above
until once it didn’t
My feet shooting from under me
trying to grab air with my hands
certain I would drown until my
mother pulled me up
The Navy later cured me
of my reticence
and now I fear it anew
Not for the lack of air
but for the memories there
waiting in the deep

Uninvited

These late evening geese
Their V cutting along the
imposing edge of night
sound like human voices
mingling in the distance
Boisterous
Bawdy
A party to which I
was not invited
but would have liked
to have been
Just to travel with them
To feel that belonging
for a few twilight miles
I hear them still
Fading away

Fire Born

I was born of fire
long after my birth
A raw gem
in need of polishing
and life obliged me
The coarse wheel tore
me the longest
Shaped me
painfully
and now
my remaining days
are fodder for the
fine grit
to render those
harshly etched
grooves
smooth

I Can See The Wind

Some shift has come
Some magic
not of my doing
Time rendered to a crawl
I’ve been up for hours
yet the clocks barely move
at all
Around the house I have gone
upstairs and down
checking each one
They all read the same
Strange day
Something
Someone
has arrived here
I can see the wind

Drinking With Shadows

Tumbleweed bounces
down the street where
poetry used to roam
while the Marshal sits
far back in the
corner of the saloon
drinking with shadows
refusing to go anywhere
Whatever killed the poems
is still out there
He’s seen enough death
so he stays
and drinks
and stares

Eternity Unveiled

The ether today bears the force
of a splintered crystal born
in the high Himalayas
Brittle
Portentous
A ubiquitous prism
splitting the frigid sun
into cold shafts of
rainbow upon the snow
unveiling eternity
in the pristine clarity
of guileless cold
A wizardry of old
I recognize

Dickensian

The day creeps over
the roadside ditches
filled with rotting corpses
of snow like the notes
of a dirge and the air is
pregnant with an
imperative to retreat
beneath the sheets
To escape from the
Dickensian misery of
this dirty pall passing
itself off as life
Even the sun refuses

Old Days

Watching an old western
on a channel that only old
folks watch it seems
every ad is for those with
one foot in the grave or
feet that hurt and cooking
devices that can be wiped
clean easily but wait,
there’s more!
All designed to get one back
to joyously pushing the grand
child in a wheelbarrow
or laughing and washing the dog
or using a cell phone that has
big buttons and a simple plan
so we can call all our old friends
and go for a walk at the park
cause we’re all a gnat’s ass
from being put in a home
No thanks, I’ll pass

Mizrab

My index finger hurts like hell
from playing sitar
A sadistic plectrum
called a mizrab
pinched tightly on it
A tortuous tool
George Harrison
likened to having a
weasel latched on your
finger
I’ve convinced myself
the sacrifice is noble
Suffering for my art
Deep grooved callouses
deforming my pointing digit
and I still stink at it
Sitar is a lifetime thing
and I’ve pissed half of
mine away
Whatever
I’m still gonna play