beneath the river filled with silt, contempt
flows over grounds of guilt, and arrogance
is there rebuilt, while silence rules and reigns;
the quilt of blessing torn by regicide.
along the river of remorse, ’twas seen
the major, out of course and innocence;
the hidden force that draws things forth, and makes
the source of everything that is and was.
the banks were misty in the morn of hope,
although a bit new shorn of grass and weed;
the soul reborn, the life malfeasant, was
as worn as any tread or shoe or shirt.
as absence fills the heart with more than space,
the mist was here, and there, and everyplace
The way the river must move to the sea,
The way the planet must move t’ward the sun,
The way I am to you, or you to me,
As worlds will circle, rivers endless run –
The call of something born before our birth,
Celestial, yet deep within the earth;
As deep within you, I would, I must be —
The loss of anything like liberty –
The waking into madness in a sweat,
The touch that must be consummated soon,
The truth that turns the wise to a buffoon,
The every-paying, never sated debt —
The distance that will ever be too far;
That souls and bodies, souls and bodies are
(“A Sonnet on Desire” – 3-29-2017)
He woke to find his nose and throat were bleeding;
Another day from day in blur succeeding,
Of waistline grown, and hairline fast receding,
Amid the whirl of strange called “middle age”.
His vanity loomed larger in its weakness:
An ego not prepared to go in meekness —
A story old and stale in non-uniqueness,
A fate too common to be met with rage.
We all believe, though many voice their doubting,
That we’re immortal: sanctity soon outing
This deathly, earthly life that leaves us shouting –
That death is freedom, and all life, a cage —
His wordless plea, a wasted, vain convection:
An empty soul, trapped in his own reflection
(“Middle-Aged Man” – 3-15-2017)
Way back, when love was just an empty house,
The view was good and looked out on the sea,
And there, ostensibly, were you and me,
Each one supposed to be the other’s spouse.
Each morning came in course, the sun would rise,
And we would go about the things that made
Our days and hours go; the bills got paid,
And, sometimes, laughter rang beneath blue skies.
Our empty house did have its beauty, truth,
And felt quite open – breezy – in the main,
Until the first dark coming of the rain
That let us know we didn’t have a roof.
It’s everywhere the same, in all its forms:
Real love will give us shelter when it storms
the curtains barely closed, or maybe clothed –
but either way, too much could be seen through –
within me, all those feelings that i loathed
of giving in, or lastly, giving to.
don’t know why women do the things they do,
or why our passions lead to so much loss:
but boys embrace the girls they should eschew.
i then went over as she came across:
her fingers traced a pattern to emboss
upon the growing need of who we were;
we drank the storm of motion, sweat and gloss,
the screamer of the dream, the whisperer,
the afternoon she had, and hadn’t, planned
that i could never really understand
[“the afternoon” – 11-10-1999]
Alive: and through the prism we must go –
The variegated shades that we conflate,
The wanderings that form our fixed estate,
The feelings that will ebb, and then will flow –
The pageantry and beauty of the show
That proves itself ebullient, sedate,
Or otherwise; as we our tales relate
To those who do, or maybe, do not know.
Awake: and into all that shines and breaks
We rush headlong, and into fate and chance
We pull up, or we put down, all our stakes:
We stare intent, or maybe merely glance —
We see the shifting lines: the loves, the aches,
Those colored patterns – all our circumstance
It was a time that many thought they owned:
The cities filled with hubris mid the hosts,
And countryside piled up with Facebook posts.
There, souls, self-righteous, saw themselves enthroned:
A breathless rush that could not be postponed
Of pointed gibes, and vain and idle boasts
That rang through interwebs, and past the coasts
To many reading lips whose minds intoned.
But out there, on the lonely paths, was seen
A girl whose mind was full and otherwise;
Whose heart was used, whose senses, soft and keen
Could see the danger lurking in the skies:
That how we live’s not what we say, or mean,
And whole-sprung truth, we rarely verbalize
(“On The Lonely Paths” – 3-13-2017)