Saturday, May 30, 2009

Must have been an omen

To me it was an adventure -
new city, new life.
Our home was a 1941 Dodge ambulance,
parked in a friend's driveway
where five people, 10 dogs, two cats
and a handful of chickens shared
a two bedroom house.
Our cat, whose life had been lived
almost exclusively,
in a one bedroom apartment,
lived in terror in the oleanders,
hiding from the dogs.
When the dogs ate her shoes,
my bride began to cry.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Garden Horror Story

It promises to be a hot day,
tache de soleil in an altercation
with the electromagnetic spectrum
making the radio scratch and sputter,
has melded its intensified radiation
to high humidity and no wind.
Winged insects with bulbous eyes
and high pitched buzzing attack,
always around the eyes, nose and ears
like they’re seeking ingress,
spelunking for the liquid gold
they know pools in the mucous membranes
somewhere deep in the sinuses
behind the freckles surrounding your eyes.
Dahlias marinate in the humid sun
while the hostas and impatiens hide in the shade
ignoring the droning insects,
waiting for the crepuscular creatures,
when the fireflies rise to mate,
the signal that soon gastropods
that shun the sun
will creep out of their dark crevices,
antennae aloft like chopsticks seeking rice,
slowly, almost stately inching forward
a grand poobah entering the ritual chamber
to devour the acolytes.

Ok, this is a jigsaw puzzle using words provided by my daughter Megan and her friend Leanne Fawkes. The words were: marinate, altercation, freckles, bulbous, gastropod, grand poobah, chopsticks, fireflies, tache de soleil and liquid gold. Thought they had me stumped, they did. Little did they know just how bizarre (perhaps perverse) my mind is!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Woulda Coulda Shoulda

Opportunities lost eat at the soul,
a cancer of ‘if only,’
a litany of despair at having survived
without having lived.
Warmth, content, these are the thieves.
Discontent, cold, pain, fear, all true friends
that give brief breath-taking gasps of life lived.
Once, risk was oxygen
and the faint scent of disaster
an intoxicating perfume.
Now, faced by what could have been,
perhaps should have been
had I courage to gamble everything
for the momentary thrill
that leaves a permanent memory
I am left to wonder
would my life, albeit different,
be any better?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Perchance to dream

Daylight filters
through the curtains
of sleep chasing
the dream snakes back
into the dark depths
of the subconscious.
Thoughts born in
make lists of things
to do with the day,
locking the last barrier
between dream and reality
but knowng that darkness
and sleep
will bring the snakes' return

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Summertime kisses our thoughts with a smile
that’s made up of flowers and walking for miles
down tracks stretching silver by clear water streams
or through evening forest with air perfumed green.
It whispers of lullabies played upon leaves
rustling, suspended, from moss covered trees
and dances with fireflies mating by lights
arising in meadows on nuptial flights.
The low drone of honeybees softens the noon
as bright colored butterflies follow the tune
that a summertime memory plays for our ears
a song that’s been playing for thousands of years.

Monday, May 18, 2009

White Noise

There is a shushing noise
like the sound imagined as the ocean
when putting a seashell to your ear.
It fills the mind
until thought, even movement
seems in slow motion
with only the gentle susurrus
in the background.
The somehow amusing detachment
of mind and body,
consciousness no longer seated
in the physical
holds no fright
as sensation
becomes more like a whisper
than touch, taste, smell and feeling.
“This, then, is death,” he surmises,
the thought itself enveloped
in solitude,
rippling through the white noise
like a boat slapping through riffles
on water.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

mirror, mirror

Now, before your eyes
dawn upon the shining
you perceive a brace of
color in a jar of
just before your thoughts
you can feel the room grow
summer falling through the
pictures dreaming in the
on the pale walls of your
when, before your eyes
me, waiting by the

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Age

Some say this is a New Age.
They believe something,
the air, the earth,
the fabric of the universe itself
has somehow been changed,
made new.
I wonder at this,
crouched aside a game trail
called a boulevard in this new age
watching canis latrans root
through the overflow
of a restaurant dumpster.
Digging through the rotting carrion
of another predator’s kill
or pawing through plastic and cans –
which of the two ages is New?
The new moon that does not shine
smiles the same for each.

This is a poem under construction. A little unpolished and in need of I don't know what yet. It will mutate and the original hard copy has sprung other ideas. don't be surprised to see it again - I'm not getting repetitive - just better, I hope.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Freeze Tag

I can sense him sniffing around
like some working dog seeking a point.
I smell him, too,
in the taste left from
running the tongue over a decayed tooth.
He's seeking me, I know.
We've danced like this before,
a couple of times to be sure
but never with me this slow
and visible to his blind eyes.
The hackles rise at the base of my neck
and the white hot flash of ice
across my chest heralds his approach.
This time, caught in the open,
I can only freeze to immobility,
gathering each emotion that shoots
behind my eyes and soothing them into silence.
Will he pass this time? I wonder.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Gardeners - Redux

White blossoms push out
from the wood. Wet dirt wisps steam
almost all morning.

Nothing worse than too much time
on one’s hands while the ice melts.

The forest dances.
Blossoms fly from meadow trees.
Tall grass undulates.

Seize the moment to watch this
in the mists before the storm.

A clutch of young grass
falls from your hand. Did the wind
take it as it fell?

Ahead, summer's horizon;
Today, sweat and more planting.

Baskets on the porch
filled with trailing spring flowers
will bring summer joy.

Dirty hands, satisfaction,
Sense of zen captured in now.

The dirt hands you your
meal - this is where we first taste
the too-young tartness.

Berries, when ready to fall,
are different, not better.

When plucked before ripe
fruit and berry are less sweet.
Taste is the victim.

Life must fully gestate
or bitterness will prevail.

There are still cold winds
to make us forget breakfast
and stay in our beds.

Blossoms are a memory.
The flowers do not make spring.

Cold dew at daybreak
glistens on the fresh mown lawn.
Wake! And join the day.

Blossoms are the memory
and midwife to spring's rebirth.

Clouds are not bleak or
joyous. Understand the rice
you bring to the meal.

Do these blossoms understand
how little time they have left ?

Time is circular.
Which season begins the year?
Which one marks the end?

The cycle is a circle.
No beginning and no end.

The moon's white halo
is no sign of anything
but rain tomorrow.

A bicycle replaces
the ox. The field goes fallow.

Preparing to change
with feelings of unfolding,
a sense of blossom.

Rain today, sun tomorrow,
life grows from the excrement.

The verde blossoms
are already a carpet
here, gathered by wind.

Thus each gray morning
beginswith the usual triumphs.

Daffodils abound.
Yellow pollen everywhere!
Summer approaches.

Gaia is blessing us with
rain for our emerald world.

This Renga is an on again off again effort between David Irwin and myself. It's David's turn next but he has been occupied otherwise. For me, work consumes. I think we need to move on to summer, fall and winter.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Make it Pink, Make it Blue

Each evening, after dinner,
scraping left over food from the plates
she invariably turns the discussion
to color, to hue and contrast,
which paint would look best
on the nursery wall.
It is a marathon discussion
but with no end in sight,
no cry of victory expected.
At first it was a simple entertainment,
he would sit, listen to the speaker,
marveling how she could spin
an entire web of plans
from a tiny strand of hope.
Now, it has become, almost,
a challenge, with her shopping
through the pattern of responses
for a pivot upon which
she can force an altercation.
Frustration from an empty womb
drives her until exhausted
with emotional effort
and his unyielding love,
expressed through approving nods,
relentless optimism
and a preference for blue
or pink.

Another jigsaw using the words food, wall, sit, marathon, spin, altercation, speaker, shopping, paint, entertainment – provided by a friend, Teresa Arwood.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Seeing You Again

After such a long time
and so many reasons
imagined and otherwise
to feel bitter,
seeing you again becomes
a test of will
to not drink the poison
of regret and enmity.
The weave of two lives unraveled
seeks explanation, cause and effect,
but is best left a mystery
for the mendacity of blame
denies the truth of diverging paths.