The Book of Days and Marmots

Saturday

Some climb so they may live, while others
Live among the heights,
And take it only as their due,
The chosen few
Who placidly ignore the sights
Among the high lands of their fathers and mothers.

Some struggle daily to be anything like free,
While others freely roam
And give no further thought
To what they have that can’t be bought
Like peace and home,
And taking mealtimes in the place they want to be.

Is there a place for you beyond the hurry,
On a mountainside to dwell
Within a place to call your own?
A touching stone:
More sound and safe than you could tell,
Just past the edge of all your sorrow and your worry?

Sunday

Idly, upon the hills,
They spent their better days;
Sorrow came like sudden rain,
Darkening their ways

Once, the sky, in brightest blue,
Was in state arrayed:
Memories, grown dark, that drift
Slowly off
To fade

Monday

Do not judge me by
Appearance —
I am small, but strong.

Unlike some,
Who are big, but who
Live as fools.

Tuesday

I sing a song of mountains high,
And crystal air, and skies still pure:
My voice, it carries, swift and sure,
To those who know the battle’s nigh.

The battle’s nigh, and will be long,
To keep the hills and forests green
Beyond a world grown dank, obscene,
Where there sounds yet a mountain song

Wednesday

They called me a “fat squirrel” because
They didn’t know my name;
My type they’d never seen before,
And so, they did defame

My very self, with imprecations
On my size and weight:
But I’m a marmot, dammit —
That’s a blessing, not
A fate

Thursday

We climbed for half a day; the Tirol Alps
Lay well around us, everywhere we looked,
Ablaze with life and light. And naive us
Expected Julie Andrews to show up.

Friday

Past sweeping swaths and heaving hills,
A mountain made of madness;
A covert camaraderie,
A gluttony of gladness

A paradise of paradox,
The half-known on the heights:
A man among the marmots,
Who belongs to
Barrow-wights

The Business of Poetry

I’ve been a poet time + times,
I’ve made exactly zero dimes.
I’ve seen more wise things said by mimes,
Although I have penned many rhymes —

I’m not quite sure if “poetry”
Is a cognate for “poverty”,
But both are much like puberty
In that they’re very hard on me.
In truth: a sort of lunacy,
That’s soon reduced to parody.


The moon and sun were out last night,
They hadn’t met for days —
No sooner did they meet, then they
Both went their separate ways.

It’s like some friends, or marriages:
That’s just the way things are —
But satellites can still reflect
Upon a late lost
Star


I used to hear the singing stars at night.
I used to feel the swaying of the trees —
I’d dine and drink both star- and candlelight,
And taste the very fabric of the breeze,
As lonely gulls cried out across the way:
Back when I had the sense to sense
The day

Now Gratitude

Now gratitude, and love, and joy:
That heart meets heart, and girl meets boy –
That you met me, and I met you,
And we’re not even close to through
 
With what there is to see; explore —
The love that wakes us, wanting more –
The endless glist’ning of surprise
That are the stars
Within
Your eyes


it is as thoughts through fingertips
whene’er I touch your face;
and love comes pouring back on me,
transcending time and place

i only ask a moment more,
i only ask this hour;
and i would stay the march of time
if i but had the pow’r

which i do not, and never will,
and so, just let us drink our fill
of what we do have, while we can:
for loving now beats any
plan

mystic forest

the mystic forest

where branches intercept what

the heavens declare


the glow streams through
the yielding trees
to add its light
to our unease

but though our minds
are restless, true –
what light we have
will have
to do


scolded by beatitude,
blessed by touch of sorrow;
forest of today’s intent,
hide my shame
tomorrow


as i live and breathe

she once said

before she just stopped

Token

what is your truth? what have you seen
when no one else was there to see?
is there a lonely spot of road
that's made from you or maybe me?

you knew one in the wintertime
when walls were painted with despair
and no place that you went preferred
to anywhere
or everywhere

what is your plot? your character? 
  your theme?
why do you linger over post, 
  or meme,
or stare at empty screens and wait 
  for words?
or dream of flight, while sealing out 
  the birds?

the lonesome road of wintertime
the isolated way;
the habits that are character,
the token we must pay
to see while we have eyes to see,
and not to look away:
for humankind is horrible
past what mere words can say.

our eyes look down,
the raptors coil above:
it's only love that is our hope,
and all our hope must be
in only
love

painted / blanket

behind a door,
inside a box,
wrapped up in papers with a bow

is how he feels
about his love:
so much that she will never know

he’d give his arm,
he’d give his heart,
but he can’t make his feelings felt

and silence like
a blanket falls —
for what she doesn’t know
can’t help


in painted sadness daylight goes
and takes her long hopes with it;
it’s time to care about herself,
it’s time to stop and pivot

and do the things she knows she must,
and to herself show honor:
although she knows she’s giving up
some things
she’ll always
long for

Daffodils

Someone invented the hammer
As a useful tool

Someone else used it
To bash people’s heads in

Someone invented language
And the same thing happened


Hatred, injustice, and ignorance –
Hey, we hit the trifecta!


I saw what she had written
In a type of dizzy rush:
She used her words to kiss me with —
All I could do
Was blush


The castles that we build may stand
And say what we have stood for —
But mockingbirds will always mock:
It’s all they’re really
Good for


The beautiful haters are everywhere,
Enticing us to join their cause,
Enthralling us with stirring words
To tear down barriers and laws

And then we go back to our shacks,
While they return to mansions fine —
The beautiful haters are calling you
To come
And get in line


It’s hard to know
The true false from the true:
It’s hard to be
When all you do
Is do


“I’d like to sell my soul,” she said,
But only found one taker:
The man who came to make her bed
And throw the circuit breaker

“I’d want to show my wild side.”
He said he didn’t mind —
But then was, frankly, mystified,
And soon was disinclined

To ever make that bed again,
Or throw that circuit breaker –
She tried to sell her soul, alas:
She lost her only
Taker


She grew up in a castle of books,
In world made out of mind and tome;
And she grew in the wonder of all she read
‘Til only in tales did she feel at home

By a thousand lakes, ‘neath a thousand clouds,
With stories and fables still, she fills —
In a world full of magic and long-kept faith
By a carpet of daffodils


 

(“Daffodils” – 2-8-2017)