A reason why would be nice…

There’s an end to my road,
just beyond a turn,
blind but known
to no one but me,
with a drop to the right
which leans my carriage
toward wooded darkened
with all threatening
fear of an imagination
greater than my own,
greater than a lifetime’s
horrors dancing alive
in its own shade,
it will succumb to only
my stupidly naive wish
to find revelation
instead of mystery in
all manner of suffering
before I reach the end
of my road, just beyond a
turn approaching next.

A lesser light to rule the night…

moonThe moon sits

suspended on nothing at all,

no clouds

on which to float

or darkness to hide

strings holding it still in the sky,

just a frosty orb

unmoved and painted in place

as the day fades to dusk

and the lesser light takes control,

growing brighter

to my eyes but only

by contrast with the dimming rotation

of my life every day.

Red’s Freddie…

Freddie the Freeloader CanvasWe were hobo’s, rail-riders, romantic vagabonds,
crisscrossing America through industry yards,
gypsy-like in our fraternity of flannel,
all our worldly possessions gathered in a bindle
slung over a strong shoulder, faces grimy with soot,

meals of tinned beans warming by an open, calm fire,
covered with the moon we know the stars but
we’re reluctant to make wishes, alone but not lonely
we lived by the code wary of jungle buzzards;
this is how the world saw us, played us with dignity,

Red’s Freddie, industrious in searching for work,
asking, knocking day-laborers who knew the
“give us this day” of the prayer was for us,
and sitting through sermons to eat the angel food;
we enjoyed seeing ourselves so happily portrayed by

Halloween trick-or-treaters begging door-to-door
not knowing we died of exposure or malnutrition,
but never because of too much candy.

Royal laundry…

bubblelandThe name sounds so fun, so

playful, like a carnival ride or

fun house, and tonight, almost

midnight, at the table in the

plate-glass window a mother

folds laundry while her two

little girls sip chocolate milk

from glass bottles, carefully as

a rare treat to be savored,

returning the caps between

each and every sip with

serious smiles, and their eyes

glowed with the primary

colors of the neon sign bright

overhead telling all that

Bubbleland is Open.

Cicadas’ scream…

The prairie grass planted
in the backyard that’s too small
for a swing-set and other things
kids like to play with
has grown wider, taller, thicker
each year taking up what space
there is, or was; in
late summer it dries out
no matter how much rain
falls, long tendrils of variegated
green shyly yield to
a drying yellowish-tan,
stiffening and bristling
as breezes twist through
and the rustling rivals
the persistent cicadas’ scream
in the backyard children
outgrew before the prairie grass
was even planted, again,
in the Illinois soil once covered
until we tried to cultivate spaces
for kids to play and plant
grasses that once grew
on their own and in late
summer it would dry out
no matter how much rain fell,
and the long tendrils of
variegated green shyly yielded
to drying tawny-tan, stiffening
and bristling as breezes twisted
through and the rustling rivaled
the persistent cicadas’ scream.

Adam’s lazy, languished attempt…

AdamGiving up takes so much effort

but as true Adams, we find a way,

like Gelo spent years on his back

painting his shame on a ceiling

to capture the limp reach of a man

opposite Almighty in eager repose

after spending his days of creativity,

for supremacy he’s worked harder

and this is all that’s left to do right,

with aides awed, curious with art

while the man already looks tired,

careless apathy for anything else,

too ignorant to be awed, he shrugs

and I see my own finger there,

without care for philanthropy,

I’m as tired and naked as Adam.

If Platonism is wrong…

I’m not one to believe in it – that

there is a fullness that aches to be so

and all possibilities must and will become real

with time a self-contained, single story

moving from point A to point B with no Z

and everything is as it should be and this

is the hero’s story we call history where

every mother’s cry for child lost is akin to

the happenstance of a good parking spot,

longing and impatience are virtue-less,

love is shortsighted selfishness which is

but a cheap imitation that mocks us

and every accident is only so to those

who aren’t God and therefore don’t know

these are the mistakes we call life

for which we must ask forgiveness.

Fat lady, please never sing…

Steering WheelI like to look over the steering wheel
from the backseat, neck stretched out
like a turtle exploring – a child reaching
with her eyes to see ahead, as my Dad’s
strong, heavy hands grip our trajectory
lightly… even on this speeding highway
while the world flies past in blurs and
he taps his fingertips on the wood and
leather of the wheel in time with the
Firestone Opera he listens to every
Saturday afternoon as we drive to the
bowling alley; everyone else wants to
drive someday, control their own
destiny or at least the radio station,
taking new roads, risking it all on
the hope of getting lost or just making
one’s own way in the romance of
adventure, but I still want to sit in the
backseat craning my neck over Dad’s
shoulder peering ahead, knowing where
we’re going but still curious as if
discovering the new world again
and hoping the fat lady never sings.

When isn’t enough…

When will we learn, when

will we realize,

the race isn’t run all at once

or at all some days;

business distracts from the

industry of being,

just being and breathing and

occupying space;

it isn’t in being connected

but knowing,

and happy not knowing all

there is to;

shrewd enough to sleep

at night without

fear of time slipping past us

while slumbering;

when will we learn, when

will we love

enough to believe it all

matters enough;

when will we learn, when

will we…

Ode to a long life…

They’re wrong – there are no soft winds that

blow anymore, no gentle breezes to refresh,

although the sun does, at times, warm old bones;

those moonlit nights all blur together in darkness

racing cataracts into dullness, and no calming

sunrise greets me after a sleepless night as I stand

in the kitchen facing the east window wondering

why every day is more difficult than the last and if

this coffee at five am will keep me up tonight; so

romanticize and wax on eloquently as I eat my

oatmeal sans sugar or butter and wonder if

living longer than my savings is such a great thing.