An Evening Sonnet

How many angry words are too soon said?
He reworks all of these, his long mistakes —
They rattle and they stab inside his head;
They gather into pools, and sometimes lakes.

Escaping does not quite seem possible;
The pools too deep, the lakes uncrossable —
And so they form a sort of slow revue:
The when and how, the why and where, the who —

So is this what a man becomes at last?
A parody? An anchor in the sand?
Or finally, just might he understand
That there’s no peace till there’s peace with the past —

    To sit and hold, to breathe, and to believe,
    And fade away like shadows of an eve

Her Tears

He wishes he could spare her tears today.
But there is nothing, nobody who can;
For tears will out – they’ll always find a way,
To issue when they will, despite of plan

That she might have of putting on brave face.
He loves her with an old man father’s love,
Full wishing he her sorrows could erase,
But knowing what her tears are symptoms of

He does not try to do what can’t be done.
No comforting with words that are but lies,
No hopes that have no hope, no stories spun,
Just loving silence all the while she cries.

But if a bridge from his love could appear
She could walk to the moon and back from here

The Weight of Memory

I woke this morning heavy in the thought
Of what it was when you were in the room;
And though these many years have changes wrought,
Your scent’s still in the air, your presence felt.

The dead still brushing by me in my day
With more of wistfulness than nearing doom:
As sense and mem’ry twine in interplay,
Amid the daily cards that I am dealt.

But how you shaped me those long years ago,
The threads of yours that weaved into my loom,
These make up who I am – and will, although
The solar heat of age my mind will melt.

I hope, amid my soul’s infirmity
That you’re not disappointed, now, with me


 

(“The Weight of Memory” – 7-14-2015)

Playground

The day was full of everything; and time
Was spent on ‘this’ and lots of ‘what-comes-next?’ –
The crowded planet settled down to us,
As problems dwindled, or became less vexed.

The playground rang with sounds of full-breathed joy;
And hearts felt lighter, even as they sped
In chests of children of indifferent age.
There was no leader, no one to be led,

Just glowing skies and fire in our eyes.
There was the honor code of lasting friends:
To make the most of all, the least of none;
To neither guess the means nor seek the ends.

I was age four, eighteen, hell, forty-two –
I’m sure we can still go there — how ’bout you?

The Wind Across the Woods

The wind across the woods is in her ears;
The morning’s full of spirits out of place
And time, a sort of fence built out of years
That makes this darkened world a spectral place.

She pulls her jacket tight against the cold,
And leans against the wind to help her start.
This temporary dwelling’s gotten old;
Another harbor’s waiting for her heart.

The air is pushing, whistling through the trees.
They move in silhouette, together yoked —
Her skin is stinging with the early freeze;
This place attacks her, sure and unprovoked —

    And yet, it serves to prod her, help her learn
    We all must carry this weight, in our turn

displaced river

beneath the river filled with silt, contempt
flows over grounds of guilt, and arrogance
is there rebuilt, while silence rules and reigns;
the quilt of blessing torn by regicide.

along the river of remorse, ’twas seen
the major, out of course and innocence;
the hidden force that draws things forth, and makes
the source of everything that is and was.

the banks were misty in the morn of hope,
although a bit new shorn of grass and weed;
the soul reborn, the life malfeasant, was
as worn as any tread or shoe or shirt.

as absence fills the heart with more than space,
the mist was here, and there, and everyplace

4 Poems On 1 Photo

In moments that matter,
Other people’s feelings become
Matters of moment


I see stories everywhere,
So I don’t go out that much;
Half-unfinished tales crowd in,
Daughter’s tears and mother’s touch,

Signifying — Daddy’s gone?
Signifying — Hunger? Thirst?
Speculation, all the time:
Writers: we’re the very worst


In autumn, tears, like dew upon the ground
Unbidden come to cover mulchy leaves;
The air grows hard, and little space is found,
Though paths be wide, for one who sees, who grieves —

But love, a blanket, warms us when it can:
A moment’s pause, a word, two hands to touch
That close the distance, whate’er be the span,
That’s caused by what’s too wrong, too hard, too much,

But still lets tears maintain their gentle flow.
This is connection’s secret, to respect:
Each other’s cares to care to truly know
And neither to obscure, nor to deflect.

  There is a time for each of us to fall,
  When only loving kindness helps at all.


When you can love someone
More for the love they give others
Than they give you,
You will understand

A Sonnet on Desire

The way the river must move to the sea,
The way the planet must move t’ward the sun,
The way I am to you, or you to me,
As worlds will circle, rivers endless run –

The call of something born before our birth,
Celestial, yet deep within the earth;
As deep within you, I would, I must be —
The loss of anything like liberty –

The waking into madness in a sweat,
The touch that must be consummated soon,
The truth that turns the wise to a buffoon,
The every-paying, never sated debt —

    The distance that will ever be too far;
    That souls and bodies, souls and bodies are


 

(“A Sonnet on Desire” – 3-29-2017)

{ fridays off }

in silence sat we, pleasured in her book,
a summer on the edge of autumn chill —
a scholar’s life so measured, then we took
a balancing of glass, a motor skill —
when she was why, because of being who,
we lived our words, and did what we could do.

for my Orlando was she Rosalind,
in days pentametered by word and touch,
and time most perfect to my mind stays pinned
when underfed, and thinking overmuch,
the scene within my cinema plays false —
a drama in three acts within four walls,

as scalable as masks we stretch, then doff,
like foolish dreams, and love, and fridays off