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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Untitled III

Caught a feather in the sky,
Sent it floating on the lake.
"Blue, blue," the pigeons coo.
Decision isn't mine to make.

Light climbs down the ropes to earth,
Retains the miracle to shine.
See, beneath the mustard tree.
Solitude is a friend of mine.

Wash my hands in mountain streams
Wash the blood off lest I break.
"Blue, blue," they mourn anew.
Pray the Lord my soul to take.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Shade

A tree drew its own
Sketchy shape on the ground
Marking out leaves
Where the sun would have cleared
A blank page on the grass.

It colored it in
With purple and green
And blurred all the edges
Where the wind swishes past.

Then it proudly turned 'round
So the whole earth could see
And savor the sight
From every angle
From morning to night.

And it wept till the dawn
When its art disappeared;
Through the dark, moonless night
It shed star-like tears.

And the morning that broke
Broke against weary eyes
Like the tide folding in
On eroded, black rocks
With suffocating sighs.

The tree marveled to see
On the tear-bedewed ground
The painting renewed
And still swinging around.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eleven Minutes

There is a deeper silence inside the ears
Than anyone could achieve on purpose.
Find that place and you can sleep forever.
Find that purpose and you can wake up.

In this state we make the observation that
Paper turns black at the footfalls of fire,
But air traces the flames' edge with a blue
More deep and lovely than Autumn's best sky.

Walking on sticks is fine for some
But those with less balance and stress
Find joy in the slime, mud and grass
And can watch water fly if they laugh.

In the end, it's the light falling on all this
That makes sense and makes sense pointless.
Because laughter counts for something
And the clink of coins sounds more like illness.

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Built This Little House

Karl

We built this house and here we'll stay.
We have new hardships every day.
The children are ill with fever and ague.
Wolves took the sheep so we bought a dog.
The dog got rabies and tried to bite us.
Then the well ran dry. Just to spite us.
Our animals died without any water.
Indians came and captured our daughter.
You went blind from scarlet fever.
Friends are no help, they just say, "Leave 'er."
The crops are withered, brown and scrawny.
Before we even got here we ran out of money.
I'd turn to devil worship if I thought
It would bring me rain in this dreadful drought.
Now evil men with greed instead of conscience
Want to grab our land right out from under us.
I have to admit it would be easier to give in.
But this is more than a house, it's the home we live in.

Susan

We left our friends and family.
We came to the land of the brave and the free.
We've lost a lot and gained so much more.
Every night I kneel on the floor;
I pray to the God of the heavens and earth
To bless the abundance we've raised from our dearth.
I felt heaven so close. I didn't fear to die.
But life is God's gift, even without my eyes.
I can't see your tears, but I know when you weep.
Your heart's in my heart, it's your thoughts I keep.
We built this house together, and here's where we'll stay.
Take my hand, husband, we'll face another day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Survivor's Guilt

Meaningless streams of water
Writhe like living ropes
Made of glass (how very strange!)
Across the gray linoleum tiles.

The light fades in this room
To match the captured
Ancient light in photographs.
Time itself must be confused by this.

Two tears and some dominoes fell:
The aborted start
Of an imagined design...
A line that would never be finished.

Meaningless streams of water...
(Am I not human?)
Pulsing through vein and vessel...
And we all know humans die like flies.