If only life could be lived
in shades of black and white
like those in old photographs
where shades of sepia
and the spectrum of white to black blur
edges, cracks, crags,
leaving me able to fall
from the greatest of heights
to land softly
upon a loosely inflated mattress
no bruising, no bone breaking,
no soul shattering hard surface landings
in a life lived in shades of black and white
where the sharp edged colors of harness
days spinning faster
now toward twilight it seems
hours before dawn
years ago hours
lived, died, born again screaming
before twilight’s edge
watch the dawn hours
spin, dizzy and drunk with years,
into twilight’s grave
dry, drought ridden earth
riddled with cracks inches wide
forms chasms decades deep
layered in dry dust
rising as rain pelts away,
determined to flood
chasms, erasing all cracks
but this earth is too hardened
unyielding to any rain,
seeking to soften hard soil
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.
The guardian watches the sea,
For the return of old ones
Who long ago slipped away
Out to sea, speaking
Words of promise,
Words of return–
Not unlike your words to me.
Like you, the old ones
Will not return,
Lost in an ocean
Of time long forgotten.
They found new homes
Where to light their fires,
Burning away old, shriveled desires,
Burning away the salt of the sea,
And the dirt of old known shores.
The guardian waits,
Like a widow upon her widow’s walk,
Staring out to sea.
But as I have finished waiting,
I must walk away.
Catacomb of Colors
I can hide in catacombs of colors and never look to the sky.
My blood shed, bled out in tiny droplets of all the years of parting,
dripping, draining in the darkness
And carried away, scattered to the winds,
Leavings upon the ground, seedless seeds,
Sprouting up in colorless flowers of summer without colors,
Without the dreams of sunlight on their faces,
Without fragrance sweet, divinity in scents we can never forget lost.
We learn to live with regrets taken, earned, packed away
With the mortgage of things within our hearts, within our lifetimes of meaning,
Within our trying just one more damn time,
Drifting up in clouds of long-ago cigarette smoke.
Crush this dried out husk of me,
Scatter those particles of dust to the wind
And see if colors sprout once that dust settles upon the ground,
See if there’s meaning left within their regrets,
See if there’s fragrance, some elegance of divinity within a scent
To be remembered when there is nothing,
Nothing left but this wisp of memory
Within your breath.
Let go my hand, love. Leave me wrapped in the shroud
Of all my days and regrets shared along the way
To here, this time of parting. Leave me to hide away
In this catacomb of colors.
How to Fix a Valve
How to fix this leaky valve? First, a mild little Drip…drip…drip But it’s worn just a bit more To a moderate Drip, drip, drip And on so it goes to bleed out A smidgen here and there, Muttering and stuttering About things it could once contain. Nothing a spritz of WD can’t fix. Maybe some plumber’s tape round the edge To help the seal when it should close. Maybe some solder to narrow the band? Or use the iron to apply that stitching stuff To hold a hem or two? Or perhaps, Just rip it from my chest. Throw it to the flames. Watch it shrivel, turning black And then to ash. Who knows? I may be rewarded With a bird of feathered flame, Clutching in its talons a burning heart To place inside my chest. Or, if not, I could use the ash To mark my empty breast With an X.