Here, Again

I close my eyes, and you are here again.
Your hand upon my shoulder, just a boy;
As though by magic, wrinkles smoothed away,
And graves released their peaceful, sleeping ones.

Your voice I hear, the ringing baritone,
The joys of harmony, and hearts content,
Though labor and the struggle, even then,
Put creases on a face not far from youth.

Your aftershave – I feel it even now –
The way my nose would tickle when up close,
The eyes that swept your family, then the front,
Of trying to, believing in, the good.

My eyes are open now, and all is still.
The sun is slanting in, and moving by;
And here, again I’ll feel that love is best
When it appears unbidden and aware

when all the colors…

… we have ever dreamed

a saturday, with many staying in
to watch a football game, or be with friends:
he wandered out to see the autumn leaves,
as new in town he was, and restless kept

the stretch of woods he walked was gorgeous dressed;
he listened not to music, just the sound
of wind and cars and people as they went,
and felt the cool of autumn brush his neck

and saw a woman standing by a bridge:
a walking path above a tiny creek,
who stood there leaning with a book in hand,
and in it, for a bookmark, was a leaf

she said “hello” as he was walking by,
and he said “hi. what are you reading, there?”
“a book on inner sanctity,” she laughed,
and he did, too. and then he asked her name

she told it him, as he then told her his;
he said he was still new in town, and worked
at such-and-such a place. and she remarked
upon the colors of the fall that year

so step back with me now, and merely watch:
see unsuspecting love peek out its head –
as two who set out just to be alone,
now walking slowly through the glorious fall

when all the colors they had never known
were seen at once in all that may yet be:
come watch them now, as i do, in my mind,
as he discovers she discovers he

for love’s a story always with a start,
be it one of beginning or surprise,
when all the colors we have ever dreamed
get wrapped up all in one,
and so
do we

A Dream of Summertime

She wants to feel the summertime again,
To know the touch of hopefulness and joy;
She wants someone to love the girl she was
And is, within the shadows of her room

  along the lake, hair glimmering and wet,
  a bright new swimsuit, laughing friends in tow,
  with music from a boombox on the shore
  and dancing on boy’s shoulders into night

  the towel-drying, and the backward glance,
  the brothers from across the lake who wave
  as they go down the road towards their house
  and one of whom she thinks she kind of likes —

She turns to see what time it is again.
It’s barely two o’clock, and she’s awake,
And full of something like what was a dream
That just slipped through her mind, like sudden breeze

But wait, was there, like, sunlight on a lake?
And something smelled like coconut, she thinks;
She hears Pandora play a Frampton song,
And drifts back into something close to sleep

She wants to feel the summertime again.
She wants to be alive, and full, and free —
But there, within the shadows of her room,
She knows: even the old pictures

Are filtered

Near Here

I grew up here, near here, and walked these sands
  as thoughtless as the waves; I chased love young,
  and drank regret, and burned through seasons of
  revolt and gathered mastery with fists —
  as fate rolled on, and washed new times ashore.

I brought each dawn an offering in gray:
  a meretricious emptiness set high
  upon an altar made of lightning whelk
  and carefully arranged to suit my mood
  which was, too often, on display in full.

The pandemonium of onset hope,
  the fantasies, less carnal then oblique,
  were here arrayed, lived out, then set aside,
  as I took every path except the straight
  and bruised myself impatiently enough.

Tell everyone who comes: the dream is real:
  it’s just that dreamers work with faulty tools
  and scan horizons for what isn’t there,
  near where you are, near here, and everyplace —
  near here, near where you are, and everyplace.


you took your camera out into the snow
with joy upon your face of twenty-three,
and laughter swelled upon the fields in drifts
and rang across the hollow through the smoke

from chimneys up and down the backyard way,
as images of icicles and frost
and crystalline embodiments you shot,
in days before you’d ever know how good

a picture was, until developing
the film, you’d see if any was worth much
of anything worth keeping then for viewing,
it all was feel, and happenstance, and chance,

just like a snowfall in a southern winter,
just like a day of laughter in the snow,
just like a memory that’s slowly fading,
your words, your face, your laughter, and your voice

Photo credit : ID 49849775 Talashow |

Across the White Abyss

A shade I see, across the white abyss…

Does love tell tales, or does it silent stride
Across the frozen yard in wintertime?

I know of fires, burning lower now,
That still retain the passion in their smoke,
Although their coals be few, and scattered poor.

Though breath be seen, it is a ghost’s lament:
To see what can’t be felt, to hear a voice,
But know that feelings shall no more have sway,
And have life without living, night and day.

The pain may not be felt, but still be there —
What’s true of pain is also true of hope,
But that is more than twice as hard to know.

But even still, the boiling kettle needs
The water we must fetch from down the way…

… across the white abyss, into the void

the truth, it breathes but briefly

the truth, it breathes but briefly on the march,
the eyes, they scan so quickly for the dream;
you sat, ensconced, beneath the tree of peace,
the years of fear now ripples passed away.

take love from off the dresser where ’twas left:
(if you’ve the heart to grow a little smile)
then send me news, from underneath the tree
of how you’ve grown, and how your heart has leapt.

for valentines and bears and father’s tears,
for mysteries that flow, to flow again;
the truth, it breathes but briefly on this earth —
but love is all, as it was all… back then