poo tee wheet says the bird
from the shelter of cedar
at the edge where it’s heard
a soft sun warms spirit.

it moves in the shadows
ghostly and vague
to an angle of repose
cheerfully satisfied

with up tone, then down
and no branches breaking
the volume of a call
not loud, not soft.

Those who leave
Find a twist of the soul
And cigarettes don’t last too long,
Which frustrates the best
In this stumble of sadness,
That sour taste in the mouth
When a last drag is done
And melancholy breezes lack a name.

Requires a hand to turn this way
Then over, without effort or care,
But how to catch up while gasping
All we cannot remember, think we’re beyond,
Every moment in one, packed in that duffle bag
With just enough room when you leave
And never enough to return,
Once gone.

So common for people to imagine
A life spent idly by the sea.

The sound, rhythm of water to shore
A coming home, over and over

Occupying an edge, on the point
Before another possible one.

March 18, 2017

If you hear those voices…

If you hear those voices
as you pass the cemetery
don’t be concerned.
It’s the women
talking over John or Joe
Amos or Alex
with whispers of confidence
that life without them
resembles their time together.

Just a mite poorer,
assuring as they propose
it’s no one’s fault
you were taken so suddenly.
Surely his spirit
preserves what is left.

As the mumbling continues
positive and desperate
there is no need for concern,
just pass on by
watch the devil moon
waxing its way down
Venus perched to one side
diamond bird of a planet
so close to the sun.

May 23, 2015

I’ve never seen a baby crow

I’ve never seen a baby crow
Just now, parents played chase
In the pines out there
Picked spring cones for what might be
Some bug or seed imagined by me.

Where do they learn to fly?
On what branch to branch
Do the small ones go
To then pair up each spring
And never show the fruit of egg.

With my eye attuned, alert
I might be surprised,
See their flight
Perhaps I’ve overlooked them
Taken for a starling, robin.

April 4, 2015

Chuck is a poet

I know this poet Chuck
who uses second person
as a kind of habit,
and I asked him once,
you know, I knew he’d been asked
many times before, I’m sure,
about his tendency to slide
or slip into saying, “you”
when it clearly is an “I”-thing
or moment or
Well, you know it can be
so irritating when you
start talking as if you
knew what the other person
thought, when of course you couldn’t
but it is so funny when you
see it happening because you
can’t resist it. You just about
fall into the habit like you’d
done it your whole fucking life,
now that you think about it.

I know I had it…

I know I had it
at the tip of my writing finger
something about each of us
having a personal
ring of Hell
We live in or no
was it of our creation
in our long lives
and of course Dante
He came to mind because of an Akhmatova
poem, I happened upon
on my way to something else
but that never materialized.

On a scale…

On a scale of one to ten
I would like to bend
You and me
To a perfect figure eight
Climbing slowly to nine
In all its lopsided
Counterbalancing
And end in
Double digits that
Are the start
In reverse
From zero.

political poetry

Looking at the 1944 Poetry magazine, I realized that in that time at the end of the war there was no option to not turn a gaze at the devastation everywhere. I would think it odd if a poet ignored the news of that day.

That said, I find it difficult to find a poetic voice in current events. In the moment, there seems nothing beautiful or whole in the muddled mess. But as a historical piece, these thoughts and observations are crucial and interesting and, in a voyeuristic way, beautiful.

There is still much difficulty finding the real in our political and warring paths. Perhaps I am not the one to write them, and I think whoever writes them will be better understood later, much later.