gentle agony

many the days I could’ve stopped,
many the ways I should’ve gone —
ever and onward, homeward drawn,
always the route I don’t adopt —

why, when I knew, did I not cease?
is there no balm in Gilead?
road, carry home this old nomad
back to his place of calm

and peace

tomorrow, never

time on earth won’t last forever:
how tomorrow turns to never —
but, we think that we’re too clever
to miss out, or let time go —

soon, the granary is empty:
oh, the things that i let tempt me —
wasn’t i just one-and-twenty?
where the grain went i don’t know —

shallow choices deepen sorrow,
promises know no tomorrow,
and we can’t buy, steal, or borrow
one more moment,

ever

so

Arkansas Ride

Why am I so lost, why have
I driven here?
What was it I thought
That I would find?

Where is there another who
Can understand?
How is it my curse
Is my own mind?

Every day the body breaks,
The heart grows numb;
Every night, I only long
For sleep,

Every month, another kind of
Parody
Of what life’s supposed to be,
With love to keep —

So I turn the lock, and
Open up the door,
So I throw my suitcase on
The bed,

So I know, it doesn’t matter
Where I go,
When everything inside of me

Is dead

Snapshot: First Impression

A moment tinged with wariness,
A sense that danger’s coming near;
A feeling that she can’t express,
A vague, but unrelenting, fear –

She sees a face she loves and knows:
Her sister smiling, drawing close,
So tries her unnamed dread to stay
And meet her sister’s fiancée

Snapshot: Her Evening

Her landlord’s kids have strewn the walk with toys;
She smiles as she steps around a trike.
She hears within a laughing, running noise,
The joy of children to the childlike:
And after some brief play, she’s off to hike
The longish stairs that lead her to her room.
She flips a switch to chase away the gloom

That never really leaves nor really stays
(Except when tears unbidden come at night)
But she is cheerful on the worst of days.
She pauses by the mirror at her sight
(The wind has blown today – her hair’s a fright)
But soon downstairs she goes to talk and eat,
Before she makes her evening’s long retreat.

Up in her room, she thinks of what she’ll write.
Ideas she has, like waves or grains of sand —
She’ll work on three or four of them tonight,
Then stop to listen to a favorite band
Remembering, at once, his darkened hand
And that he is no longer by her side:
The man who played the groom to her young bride.

The house is quiet, all the kids in bed;
The night is still and peaceful in the main:
And love has never died within her head,
Nor been defeated by the throbbing pain
Of heart so full, it cannot all retain —
But still, the graceful night enfolds its own,
And love surrounds her, even when alone