For You

 

Words drift
Settle, pile up
In drifts and banks
Over the rocks
In my mind.

I walk through
This blizzard of words,
Watch them settling
On my shoulders,
For a moment, perfect
As exquisitely delicate lace
Before disappearing,
Melting into the wool of my coat,
Gone, lost to me forever.

But not you,
Never be lost to me.

When I’ve had nothing else,
Words were always there,
Trusted and true,
Counted on, relied upon,
Supplying all I needed,
When there was nothing and no one.

But for you,
To always have you,
I’d watch them all–
Drifts, banks, flakes
Melt, dripping away
Into spring
And you.

Words Fail

 

Feast on a meal of bitter herbs
As you sit in the old rocking chair
Witnessing eyes like your own
Staring at you with murderous hate
You cannot sit where once you rocked warm softness

You stand, pace a bit, perch on a stool
And think of all those years ago,
Had you known, had you known–
Smeared the lamb’s blood on the lintel
And waited in prayer
For the cloud of contagion to pass

Faith becomes a sour cup
From which to drink,
And the writer’s ink dries to dust
Upon the page,
Swept away
By the winds of age.

11:12 AM Picture Sent

 

Such discarnate words
have no power, life–
struggle so for air, color–
to capture some tell-tale sign
of the animate.
Letters swirl and dance
in some perverse pretense of desire
to procreate,
to mirror a thing
resembling the beauty
in a picture sent at 11:12 AM
of yellow irises,
wandering purple jew,
privet sprigs and blooms,
purple sage flowers,
and rosemary sprigs
in perfect arrangement.
But these letters,
these words
never find
that perfection,
that beauty,
that touch upon a heart, upon a soul
as flowers chosen and cut
from your yard
and arranged
by your hands.

Purged

 

all the words have been emptied out
scrubbed cleaned
some were trash and tossed
into a bin
walked to the curb
to be hauled away

and of those cleaned
no sparkling diamonds
no lustrous pearls
just words
of dulled cut glass
nothing to catch the eye
inspiring a heart or soul
to take flight
nothing to hit the gut
twisting in recognition
of human frailty
nothing to batter against the lid
of a mind or soul locked away
freeing it finally from a prison
so it is best perhaps
to end at the recycle bin
and then to rest after such cleaning

Useless Things

My words are useless things.
Their journey
from soul to heart
to brain and down the arm
to the hand to the page
is a time too long spent traveling
to retain any sense, any power.

As I read all the words
I’ve written for you
or because of you—
I am shamed
at all these words do lack
of elegance and grace
in their tangled broken threads—
they’ll never be the banner
I wish for you.

I know if only I could find
the right words
to weave the right patterns,
the turn of phrasing within the fabric made—
you would know,
completely understand
Everything—
See all the beauty I see
when I look at you—
Then there would be nothing,
nothing
you did not know of me.

Saw Dust

Excuse me, please
While I sweep these words
From the floor like the saw dust they are
And toss them to the wind
To scatter in their ineffectiveness.

For nothing can be made
From such dust as this
No table, no chair
No house,
No tower, no bridge

They have no substance
To support any weight
Let them drift on the winds,
Return to earth as if sifted through,
Inconsequential as they are
Hidden in some tall, overgrown weeds
Somewhere out of sight
To rot in some organic way
Providing nutrients for soil.