With ramshackle shards Of heart, soul, self Falling away like the browned petals Of a long-wilted bouquet, We create a riotous noise In ramshackle attempts To find some connection. Lumbering, awkward attempts At reaching out to touch once again, To replace, to freshen The brown wilted and missing parts With new bouquets of spring Whose stems sit in eternally Fresh, clean waters. We dream of a life lived No longer ramshackle, With no long-wilted bouquets Of a past to haunt with falling petals, But a life returning whole, To move without noise Through the world once again.
What would I learn Could I raise your bones From the earth? And like some ancient medicine woman Scatter them like runes to read Or use them in the making Of a sacred instrument To rattle next to my ear? What would their music tell me? Would their rhythms move me? Would there be some wisdom spoken? Hidden within the notes of rattled rhythms Of all your dried out unearthed bones Is there enough marrow left to have All my ancestors speak to me? Should I, in some ancient tribal ritual Of ancestral cannibalism, Ingest your ground bones Mixed with magic into an elixir Infused with your ancestral spirits, Be given the power of thunder And lightening that is your strength Earned by you through the ages? Is this how your spirits will travel through me Teaching me of all the earth and sky? Is there a way to know, to learn To hear all the secrets you deem I need, Need to know in this time, this place For this, this last chapter Of what I have left to me? My ancestors, for I have wasted Away pages and chapters, Squandered decades of the anthology You have written into me. Ancestors, speak to me, So I waste not the years Left to be written By your spirits into me.
Walking through days--- There are too many left And not enough To let me forget. I walk into sunrises Into sunsets-- There are not enough Sunrises or sunsets left In life to let me forget And too many yet to live To live in remembering. I walk to gain forgetfulness. There are not enough miles, Not enough steps, Not enough earth To walk To bring About forgetfulness. I walk, seeking shelter From thunderstorms Yet they remind me. I walk, seeking exhaustion In the mountains Yet they remind me. I walk, seeking the healing of salt From ocean waters Yet they remind me. All speaking In whispers Of the earth’s remembrance. It all reminds me— The brilliant azure sky, The verdant green of forests, The primal roar of oceans, The Rorschach shape of clouds, The roil gray of storms— It all reminds me, Brings me back Nothing allows me to forget.
When the prowess of early morn
And the touch of dawn’s fingertips
Overwhelm my heart and soul,
I am reminded of some story
I heard somewhere as a child—
From a book or cartoon
Or some sitter’s wild
Imagination of bedtime tales,
The story of the gargoyle
Who was beckoned
To a place in heaven
By an angel fair.
And there the gargoyle stayed
For a day or three or more
Or maybe a week or three.
For a moment,
The gargoyle knew sweetness and joy,
Thinking, perhaps, for once, just this once,
The universe had smiled down
Upon one of the gargoyle race,
And felt the cracking of stone begin.
But the gargoyle, being a gargoyle,
A somewhat silent, stony creature,
Soon bored the angel who withdrew,
Having angel business to attend too.
The gargoyle knew. Knew from the start too,
But had hoped it was not to be held true–
That angel and gargoyle were not a pairing to be made.
Such creatures being out of each other’s realm
Cannot last but a season or two.
So, the gargoyle fell to earth again
To crouch forever upon a building,
Keeping watch upon the city and the sky.
The gargoyle knew this was the nature of things
And thought itself blessed for ever having known
The sweetness of an angel.
For what angel had ever doted upon a gargoyle?
The gargoyle asked.
For years, the gargoyle crouched,
Watching the city and the sky,
Remembering, reliving the sweetness
Known of an angel.
Yet wishing such sweetness had never been tasted,
Never been touched,
Forever was too long to remember
The memories encased in stone
Where wind and rain would never touch,
Would never wear them away.
Thus, the gargoyle paid the price
For allowing stone to crack.
I clipped away dead branches
From the living shrubs today.
Not an easy thing,
But a thing that must be done.
Strange it is how dead things
Will cling so tightly to the living
As if to squeeze
The last remaining bits of life away
And thus, have company in death and dying.
There is yet more to do
So only the living things are left
To flourish in the spring sun.
The sun returns
In an earnestness
We have not seen in months.
Not yet does the earth send warmth
Enough to climb through the soles of our feet–
Not yet warmth enough to creep onward up our legs,
Stretching, reaching toward our souls,
Where I carry the wish I have of you
One day, perhaps—
Perhaps, I may find the courage to grasp
In an aching, aging hand the bone to break
And set loose the wish I have of you.
Curtains drawn against the sun
Of an autumnal afternoon
Spent in another hotel,
She drowns in what
The bathroom mirror shows
Of emptiness in sapphire eyes
As her empty heartedness grows–
Her wrinkles a road map
Of crosshatched lies
Told and lived even now,
As her fingers grip
The sink edges of porcelain
Cold against her skin.
Her mind swirls,
Dizzy, lost in her creations
Of new golden plated lies.
In the fading light,
My hindsight schools, lectures, drills
In how to take steps,
In how to look away,
In how to live hopeless,
In how to heal with saltwater dreams
Overflowing with hope.
Yet still with foresight
In how to guard,
My scars, my wounds,
My picked at scabs
fading light of days
Flowering with dreams,
Of life remaining.
Meet me in the field
Where heather sways with the wind
Through time we will live.
Life, never a friend,
Kept us from knowing true joy,
Meet me in the field,
Where loss is gaining
And grief blossoms into joy
Meet me where gold grows.
When you found the things you could,
A mist of breath showed in the rain,
Twin clouded rain shimmered colors
Of gray stone before you on a path you would go.
If only, if only, you should know the bones of us,
Move knotted stiff with the griefs you’ve piled upon your soul,
We’d glow of phosphorus and neon in velvet darkness.
Walking the dark, shadowed canyon of dreams
Wilted by disappointments and deflated sunshine
Waking to dimmest daylight at noon
Where you cannot bear to look
Upon your own reflection,
A sight of horror in your own eyes now
In that cracked crystal ball where you stand,
In your own self-consecrated field
Of plastic flowers bowing their majestic heads to you,
Your straw haired head is bowed,
Smiling at the ground.