13 Years

 The requiem played
 So softly in the background.
 Our words stuttered to a halt,
 And we listened to this--
 The breath between words 
 Not said in the silence
 Between us.
 All the while the strains of the requiem
 Filled the ever widening space
 Between the words of lies and truths
 In the deafening silence.
 To relieve the pressure in our ears
 We talked of all the daily banalities
 Of work, of dinner, of lunches,
 Of the silly things the dogs have done
 That made us laugh.
 We talked over each other
 Stumbling in a strange vocal dance
 Until finally tripping into silence
 Before a final goodbye is said
 With your lies and my truth unclaimed.
 But the requiem played still--
 And then silence. 

July

cardinal_male_big_tree

Days of summer
Are so few numbered.
Golden days filled with heat,
Traveling into warm nights
A favorite season.

This July begins,
With no need to seek life at its cradle
A new journey starts.
It is time to put away,
Rid and purge,
Box up junk,
Hold the garage sale,
Donate what’s not needed,
And then,
End a chapter,
Turn the page.
Reach, stretching toward loving hands,
In that place of life and peace
Where morning is heralded in birdsong,
Written in silly verses of the cardinal, the tufted titmouse,
The mockingbird, and finches–
All who do battle with cute well fed bushy tailed vermin
Attempting to steal away all the seed,
I wake each morning beside beauty beyond any,
Any I have ever known,
Heart filled,
Complete.

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.

Cleaning

To clean a heart and soul,
the way we clean a house:
scrub away
the grime and grease,
bleach away
the mold and mildew,
polish away
the dusty dullness,
vacuum away
dirt and dust
and leaves and grass
tracked in on muddy
dog paws,
who then shake wet fur
all over the floor,
yes, even vacuum away
all the hair shed upon the floor
by dogs and you,
then mop away
dried dirt,
straightening and organizing
as you go.

Then rest,
enjoying the gleam and shine
before opening the door
to visitors once more.
Yes, if only a soul
Could be cleaned
So very easily.

Miles

 

Miles traveled
watching fingers of wind
comb through long grasses by the roadside–
as your fingers have combed through my hair–
the heads of the blue bonnets and paintbrushes
all seem to bow, nodding toward the north,
toward you, toward home
the wheels turn faster down the highway
I have been gone too long,
far too long from home.

Dovetail

Certainly, there never has been this.
This wanting, such a perfect thing.
Never has there been
this joy or this missing.

Never did I think
to find such joy
in the ache of missing,
feel it beneath the breast bone,
thus I discover parts
of myself hollowed out
by winds and waters
all my edges smoothed
in preparation for you
who fits and fills
each dip and hollowed place perfectly
as if custom made for each other
by hands larger than our own
to fit easily together
in a series of simple clicks
to complete, to complement
a fit of strength and equal parts

 

Joy (for my daughter)

Joys in the morning
Coffee and a cigarette
Then a run
Under the blistering
Texas sun
Simple things
Coffee, cigarettes, a run

Yet another year looms
And older I become
A year stretched out
Like a blanket
Of meaningless days
Thoughts of what will be
When my blanket of days
Is folded and finally
Put away

To rest
Content
Having found
Some thread of meaning
Unraveling from all the threads
In this blanket of days
To pull the thread,
Letting the others fall away,
Hold it close,
And say,
“This was enough.
Yes, this was, indeed,
Enough.”

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.

Truth

What truth is there but this?
Contained within the sand, wind,
An inky blue sapphire sea
Watching whales and seals play
As they sing their songs of joy
I listen
Their language so foreign to me
A vocabulary of rejoicing
In all that God has made
I can neither interpret nor define
Within this human construct
That it seems God forgot
Yet I seek to know
What they say
Of love
Of grief
Of play
Of joy