Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Perfect Canvas


Like an eternity of potential.
Like a sting stretched till meaningless.

Like thoughts too bland,


Like going somewhere,
But paused in the going.

Like a photograph left here
Without even knowing

What was in it or why.
Like a brown-yellow dye.

Like a firefly in daylight
Like a black bear at midnight.

Like what you like
But not how you like it.

Like being lost in an ice cave
Without your fleece blanket.

An empty art gallery
Is like the loss in your mind

When you see familiarly
A face; smiling, kind...

And the name's on the tip
Of the pad of your tongue...

Something won't let you say it.
The suspense feels hung.

An empty art gallery
With long, gray walls

Where silence arises
And swells and then falls

Into the carpets--
They're red but they're dull--

And you walk slow at midnight
And hesitantly mull

Over the things
From which during the day

You felt unworried
And felt far away.

And now all the worries
And irrational fears

Arrayed on blank walls
Are invisible tears.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Contained in a Breath

History so vast
It became an entity
Then faded so fast
From the realm of the real

That we walk right by it,
Right through it, inside it,
And inside of us
In our lungs and our will.

What ages this air has existed!
It has not been fresh
Since universes resisted
The shells of their eggs.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wood Post With Rusty Staples

It is a mockery of its former growth.
It was deeply rooted in the earth
And it sang to summer winds
And sang above two roadways' ends
In a voice like distant crowds.

Deeply rooted in red earth still
It is a mockery; it has no will
To live, to grow, to bend, or throw
Its leaves up like hands
Flipping green hair out of its face.

Its leaves are long forgotten now.
Its leaves are stained printer paper now.
It is a dead thing, a dried-up dead thing;
It can not feel. Only for me is it a mockery
When I hear the others around it sing

And it appears to believe it is planted here
Where two roads' endings meet.
I feel irony whispering in my ear.
Does it think it is still a tree
Like the others that tower above it?

Monday, June 21, 2010


Sometimes she tiptoes and dances
Lightly down the garden path at dawn.

And blows kisses to birds as she glances
Upward into the sweetly brightening sky

That unfolds like peach silk curtains
For the soft-hearted sun to waken by.

Sometimes she smiles imperceptibly
At the corners of her rose-colored lips

When white rose petals detach ceremonially
And in faith surrender to gravity's call.

Sometimes she hovers over ivory keys
Like a gypsy pensive before her crystal ball.

And the future is music, the kind that frees
The soul from the body like the leaves that fall.

Sometimes monsters wear masks.
A heart divided can only beat against itself.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Inspiratory System

It breathed a thought into my ear.
Inward a spire was built sharply,
Silver like glass and vertigo fear and
Smoke, cold smoke, twisting like liquid.

A whisper was all that was needed,
Barely a thread of the shadow of the spirit
Or soul of the wind, and I heeded.
I can't see the surface below, but I fear it.

It is chasing me, and I stand still.
Lying on empty, resting but not,
What is this lack of earth I feel?
Oblivion. It is my mind, it is thought.

Holding together the fragile fiber
Of pretend universes falling
Into the simulacrum of Tiber.
Half-made, half-extreme, fully my beloved children:

Dying in life because never living
They are.
Lost before found or born.

It is unknown. And more familiar to me
Than the skin that has enfolded me
In its warm embrace, not roomy
And not snug until after meals;

But no matter, this.
It is It, is all. The soul has undrawn pages
At the back of its atlas.
It is enough to feel the wind.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I am a cracked painting, brushed with grief.
Between my eyes there's a frown.
My retinas feel ready to crack open.
What have I done?
What have I seen?
There's nowhere left to lean
And no strength left to run.
At the edge of the crevasse, I tossed every rope in.
And with no direction left but down,
To fall would be relief.

Monday, June 14, 2010


The sun never sets.
The earth turns between it
And our eyes.

Perception never gets
The ability to glean it--
The story behind our lies.

If we have any regrets
It's that we've never seen it--
The world, too vast to size.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dust Bowl

When the river comes
There will be water.
The fields will grow green
Though the sun may grow hotter.

We'll have rich, brunette soil
When the river comes.
The cracks in the desert
Will disappear like phantoms.

These bare crags will become
Soft, rolling, grassy hills--
When the river comes
They'll be bright with daffodils.

My mother sings this song
To the relentless dust storms.
We'll cross over and be happy
When the river comes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Trot two miles silhouetted.
Golden day's-end-shine:
Burnishment above a black hill.
Slender knives of grass,
Black too,
Brushing past.

Eyes brown
Deep like nothing ever seen.
(Soil is brown and deep...
Maybe the incarnate spirit of soil,
Of earth and home.)
Hairs that belong to that sky.
Breath warm like friendship.

Trust radiates off
And mingles with the light.
Love is here, yes,
But it's a different kind of love.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Down through the tunnel, twisting and flaring,
Lightwaves and darkwaves and losing your bearings:

That is the path to the end of the spiral.
The adventure is thrilling; the obsession is viral.

Down through the space-time continuum's question.
Out of the universe, into the next one:

That is the path to the new realm of sorrow.
Loneliness, memories, distrust of tomorrow.

Bad Black and Good White in their long laughing war
Give you the feeling you've been here before.

Monsters won't kill you, or maybe they will
It all depends on your level of skill.

There's always someone, out there in space,
Who hates, for some reason, the whole human race.

Hate and love, black and white,
The fifth of all nature continues the fight.

Planets collide and nebulas glow,
civilizations fall and grow,

Time ticks away, in a line or a ball,
Time ends someday.... Cracks open and all...

And over the vast reach of Every Existing Thing,
A Keymistress watches and jangles her ring.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Follow a thread through the weave of a coat.
Over and under like waves and a boat.
Red waves are lapping the top of each cuff
Blue waves zig-zagging, the sea's getting rough
Along the hem edge where it drags in the dust.
White and gold sash holds it up off the crust
Of the earth, which lends its light browns, grays and greens
To the collar above which the coat wearer preens
For a father who paid in good silver and stock
To dress prudent son like a lovely peacock.
Each stitch as articulate as nature allows,
Each color as bright as his eyes 'neath his brows,
The patterns and stripes follow predestined memes:
Bear pattern to hold tight, Bird pattern for dreams
Star pattern for solace, Tree pattern for strength,
Heart pattern for health and a life of great length.
Black for fathomless promise as far
As the stretching, unseen, black beyond every star,
Crimson like fire, flames reaching to grasp
Like hope, something there, just outside their clasp.
Gray rain is falling down back and both sides,
Brown wheat is growing from roots the seam hides.
Depictions of sheep, and cows chewing their cud,
Not intended to soak up a scapegoat's warm blood.
Maybe vanity, love-blindness, foolish mistake.
The catalyst for a lifetime, the clothes weavers make.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blue Silk Songs

Silk is a voice
With blue undertones.
Music is a choice
For all the left-alones:

All the orphaned babies
The girls with no close friends
The dogs with chronic rabies
Men on roads with no ends.

A rose is a thorn
With alluring bait set;
The same disguise worn
By snakes out to get

The lost little children
And the souls who weep
Over bones that were killed when
The mountains were still steep.

Blue is a poem.
And Blue is a song
And a color to show 'em
Where they went wrong.