7 Essences – 1

The first: in fall,
A gathering for fun;
Her newly single,
Gentle and aloof,

And I, a troubadour,
Or kind of sentry,
Who sang on balconies,
Or on the roof —

She was a moving spirit,
Born a dancer;
Though shy in life,
On stage she loved the eyes –

She spoke in tones so low
I had to lean in,
And found a feeling
Hard to recognize

For lacking much experience
To name it.
As did she, too, although
In different ways —

Of why two souls, so different,
Bind together,
Or just how fast it happens,


Painters Paint

At eight years old,
And lacking much like talent,
I look around the class
At other kids:

The girl beside me,
Tight black hair and brilliant,
Her future full
Of galleries and bids —

The teenage boy,
With parents always fighting,
Whose eyes burn blue
And in whose hand a brush

Turns into something
Almost like a weapon,
And on whom
Black haired girl has such a crush.

The twins, whose sharp
Intention marks their faces,
Each word the teacher says
A precious thing

To them, in their devotion to
Their training;
To labor rather than to
Dance, or sing —

The teacher: short,
Demure, and full of passion,
Her hands as small as mine,
But far more skilled

At making fruit and bottles
Look like something,
A vision caught, transfigured,
Then fulfilled.

All of us, like ants
Upon an anthill,
We did our jobs, our missions,
Sans complaint:

And though I wasn’t really one,
I know now,
The same way hearts keep beating,
Painters paint.

Tuesday’s Child

He sat at this table,
Years ago,
Writing her letters
In a densely symbolic language
Only the two of them
For every real love
Is an entirely new language.

The truth about love is this:
It forms little cultures and
Subcultures wherever it
Can take root and bloom.

In her eyes, he was a perfect
Tuesday’s Child —
Full of grace in thought and gesture,
While to him,
She was Summer and the sun
And the scent of a cup of coffee
Whose ethereal steam was
Destined to touch the sky

The Perfect

She grew up in the perfect home,
And learned their perfect ways
Of flawlessness in imagery
Through golden-colored days.

And people think she has it still,
In life, and mien, and dress —
So why is it that she’s so filled
With perfect



The wallpaper in that office
Has a pattern,
And so do they.

He says
If she really loved him,
She’d see how hard he is working
And appreciate him,
And that he needs to feel appreciated;
She says
He began breaking his promises
The day they got married,
And has never stopped breaking them,
And that he doesn’t really see her
At all.

No one “wins”
At couple’s counseling;
But when you feel no sympathy
From your partner,
It is natural to seek it
From whomever might be at hand.

But a counselor is not an arbiter,
There to lay down a judgment
As to who is right and wrong,
They are more like healers
Whose guidance may be heeded
Or not.

Locked in a pattern can be
One of the hardest places in the world
To escape from;
And they would have a better chance
If they could work together.

(Of course,
If they could work together,
They probably wouldn’t be there.)

People want better,
But wander into inevitability;
Patterns become prisons,
And those prisons become
Places people sentence themselves to

Where voices are raised,
As they stare in opposite directions
Towards brightly colored wallpaper
That might have been used
For their children’s