The moon gave me stories…

The moon gave me stories,
The stars gave me dreams,
The dreams told me, “everything
Is not as it seems.”

I know the message more and more
Those planets tried to send:
That though we’re in the story,
We do not write

The end

Alabama – 4 (of 10)

(Part 4)

It’s summer on the lake —
My friends are laughing down the way;
I am beneath a tree,
And full of reading.

The splashes off the dock
Intrude a little in my thoughts,
My smiling thoughts,
As into space I go, though intermittent.

I sip some water, then
Put down my bottle, doff my shirt,
And run to join them,
Shoving my friend Andy
Off the dock, into the lake,
But he grabs me, as well,
And we both tumble.

There is a smell of hot dogs grilling,
Grilling in the shade,
Our counselors, or so they’re called,
A few kids in kayaks, canoes,
And bright sun driving us to be
Either within the shade or in the lake —

I dry off with a towel,
And chat with Sandy, sitting with her sister,
Both red as flame, and freckled,
Just like I am,
As we walk back into the shade,
I ask her if
She’d like to sit together
At the movie —

Her voice gets shy, and she says, “sure,”
And we then go
In opposite directions
Towards her sister
Towards Andy
(Me, the latter)

He’s drying off, and says,
“Well, did you ask her?”

I nod, and he so he punches me
Up on the shoulder, like boys do,
Although I spill a little water,
Which I then fling at him.
No harm is done.

The shadows stretch into the evening:
Cinder-block showers taken, soapy,
Steam that never leaves the cabin,
Flies that join us as we’re walking,
Wearing after shave, although we don’t —

A wooden chapel, wooden seats,
A movie screen stood up in front,
A few old fans to keep us cooler,
When she comes in, her red hair
A torch to my young eyes —

No hands are held, few words are said,
But smiles fleeting are exchanged,
The movie is an awful one
But yet we like it, or
We like the feeling

I walk her halfway down the path,
The leave her to her sister, friends,
And wander back the other way
To join my own friends, planning out some venture

And later, sleep is
  distant voices,
  bright red hair, and
  outer space,

  sweating underneath a fan,

  and all that is a summer

  on the lake

another type of memorial day

never held my father’s hand,
we had instead to keep up;
and fall that year was all
that eight years old could fathom

he was our uncle, my father’s friend,
gone overnight, and we all
were there, on the trip he, too,
was supposed to have been on

asking about changes, and why,
my father said: the end of change
is the end of life –
to which
my mom said don’t scare the boy —

but scared was not the issue,
prematurely graying in the mind
was the problem, even at
eight years of age

my brother skipping rocks
marked the solemnity of the
occasion, and my sister’s
humming a song from Hair

let the sunshine in,
let the sunshine in,
let the sunshine in,
the sun
shine in

A Dating Memory – Carnival

So up we went
To a sky that nearly swallowed us –
A bass line could be heard across
The vast expanse of people –
Smells of sugar and salt and butter and
A bit of your perfume
I still can smell —

Two holding hands and feeling high
In several different ways –
We laughed to feel the wind and all
The myriad sensations of the evening –
Clad in our respect for dating, and
Our devotion to the cause of discovering
Just how high and how far and how fast
We could go

At fourteen

And not really on a date, but only sort of

a farm vacation memory

my sister next to me
and i unable to see
above the wheat holding
her hand trying to
find a way back to
where our parents and
aunts and cousins were
laughing unaware
of the farm-related
terrors of seven years
old and the amazing
healing properties of
previously mean
big sisters

Once Upon A Moon

He told her, once upon a moon,
That “love’s a true-and-always thing” —
They watched the curtains turn to night,
And heard the song the first-birds sing —

She wishes now, upon a star,
That he’d float back on some balloon;
But all is loneliness, and cloud,
And once, was really once
Upon a moon

O, Love: What Life Will Give

O, love: what life will give today
It just as surely takes away,
Like angel-grass and cones of snow,
And places that we used to go.

Then memories, like little hands,
Reach out, into the hinterlands;
They try to build the world anew
Out of the painful residue

Of what was once, but is no more.
A road, a school, a candy store:
A place you stopped in days gone past,
To get a snack, and watch your dad

Pump gas