interchange

She asked me why I spoke like rain 
 that falls in tropics, unobserved, 
 and if I knew the reason why 
 dessert is always lastly served, 

And I said "I have no idea. 
 And no. At home, I eat pie first, 
 and if I'm hungry, still, eat more, 
 or maybe sit and slake my thirst." 

She shook her head in sad regard, 
 and said, "You are a mellophone." 
 I knew quite well just what she meant: 
 a mobile horn or baritone, 

Who specializes in off-beats. 
 I thought then of her piercing gaze, 
 and said, "And you're a golo spear." 
 She smiled broadly, quite unfazed, 

And said. "How often have you used 
 that metaphor? It seems quite odd." 
 And I said, "Never." "All the same," 
 she spoke, "It feels like pasquinade."

And so it was. And so it is: 
 my imitation of a mind 
 that can't be captured anywhere,
 or anywhere that I can find

Stella in the Snow

The moon was quite insistent,  
The winter -- in effect,  
And she was quieter than norm -- 
More circumspect -- 

For there are days where nothing 
Is all you have to give, 
And sometimes, merely breathing 
Is all you need 

To live

the colors of her waking dreams

the colors of her waking dreams 
were laid on papers as she fled 
into the pictures brought to life 
through breath she drew and paint she bled 

for though she worked within the dim 
the light she found was everywhere: 
the colors of her waking dreams 
removed whatever drab 

was there

the curse of royalty

She knew her roles, 
But didn't know 
How she could be 
All of those things; 

For though she showed 
Some aptitudes, 
They were not those 
Of queens or kings, 

But somewhat more like 
Circus clowns; 
A little scary, 
Out of date -- 

She knew what she 
Was s'posed to be; 
But some of us 
Just aren't 

That great

The Nonagenarian

Four-and-ninety years ago, 
He first came to these hills, 
The child of a couple doomed 
By undeveloped pills 

But somehow, he survived the times 
And lived on to relate  
The way he nearly fought the war 
(His birthday came too late) 

Instead, in southeast Asia, he 
Performed with passing valor 
A thing he sometimes thinks about, 
And wakes, in sweat and pallor 

But that was sixty years ago. 
So much around him changing, 
His escapades, mere stories now, 
His mind slowly deranging -- 

But in the hills again, he finds 
He can give up resistance, 
And hear the echoes of a past 
That other, whole 

Existence

it a place and you an architect

must you always build you must 
a sacred calling in your hands 
along a stretch of sinewed shored 
among the vanquished vanished strands 
the houses built into the hills 
the worlds you craft in mind and strength 
that come unbidden full and clear 
of love and height and home and length

I Watched Her Turn

I watched her turn into a soul 
That I could hardly recognize; 
And maybe it's just that I'm old, 
And she, a banquet for the eyes -- 

But there was more, and so much more: 
The restless hope that came that hour 
She realized her dreams were near, 
And getting them, within 

Her power