Read it again, please…

Today is Just a Page

The marks have no moral,
they know no stories,
nor me or mine,
no memories surfacing
in the quiet of the day’s ebb
haunting and mocking what can’t
be changed by dreams,
they are carried along
as the wave of the page turns slowly
to the next leaving anyone
reading to wonder
who writes this way,
not how but why;
and the way the words go
becomes a prophecy
because it is a path
leading to another nowhere
ready to mean something,
to be noticed
and maybe even remembered
enough to justify
a child’s plea to read it again,
and again, and again, and again.

Morning rhymes with nothing…

Too Early for Words

In the quiet of the morning
in the ease of rest refreshed
with the stillness stillness still
and the dawn God blessed

the spiders have spun a yarn
the dew has bathed it in peace
when all’s uncertain and true
and night has started to cease

there are no found words to speak
there are no new chores to do
verse has failed me yet again
and left me alone to stew

all is forgotten in fog
all too gone to pray a prayer
the unseen is left best that way
and rhyme is nostalgia there

Is there a way back…

Careening Through Life

Do trees cast off their leaves,
eager to be free of those parasites
drawing more than they offer;
do they cure and fall themselves
as birds leave nests never to return again;
or is there a romantic but exhausted grasp
which simply but reluctantly
fails in the cold of November?

Do the vivid colors of toys
cling to pathways cossetted in the
soft tissue of my memory;
a red fire truck of tin metal
and sharp edges that cut
my tender fingers as I played
the role of rescuer in the midst of
a horrible blaze; and what of the smell
of Mom’s cookies – unmistakable
and gone forever except in words
put together in strings
without sentences; is there a way back
to those sunny afternoons
with powdered sugar floating in the air
and me praying for a broken sample?

Oh the places you’ll never go…

A Splendid Sufficiency

You know that moment when you realize
it’s just not going to be your day, week, year
or even life – it hasn’t happened the way you planned,
and that’s okay because what has happened is nice enough,
maybe too nice for someone like you (to be quite honest),
and all that planning and dreaming wasn’t for naught
because it taught you to hope for tomorrow, not just more,
and you learned to enjoy not travelling to Europe,
sleeping in smelly youth hostels, eating bread and yogurt
that tasted nothing at all like the food Mom fed you,
hitchhiking to Kathmandu to the feces covered monkey temple
although you’re still convinced that would have been nice,
and somewhere around Ayers Rock in Australia
your true self is still waiting to dream about stars with you,
that volcano in Chile is dormant until you ascend
in bright sunshine and thinner air, to burp some lava
from deep in earth’s crust just so you can say you were there;
there are hundreds and hundreds of things you never did,
and so many people you just missed and never will meet,
but that’s still okay because if you’d have done it all
you would have burst from life’s gluttony and never realized
that dreams fill you up quite enough if you let them.

Aeschylus stands, mocking us…

 – There is a Street

At that opening of time when
slumbering dawn quietly overwhelms night’s hold,
and the soft glow of Mercy patiently plods
the moral-less darkness of her own anonymity
as light appears in unembarrassed windows
stained fresh with the dust of life
to greet curious strangers who will soon pass
spying how others might face the day,
and if all that’s lingering can simply be forgotten,
all that haunted and whispered and taunted
can be forgiven or concealed,
while inside Aeschylus stands, arm encircled
in his garment, bald but boldly bearded and
as Greek as can be steering every
tragedy in his constant effort to choose happiness
which we want to believe, we do, but
we choose to keep walking this street
looking for another answer in another window
and another choice that will be made for us.

What is it about dreams…

Dreaming a dream

Thoughts which wake are many and few,
dancing between they always pursue
the start, the gasp of rest been robbed,
testing haunts, peace be mobbed;

starting from within, so we’re told,
suddenly alive once hidden foretold
erasing peace and awakening fear
haunted and close, close as near;

wish them gone and they return
curse the many and one discern,
then from the one all manner come
waking the sense before the sun.

Jack of all trades…

Oh, to be a Jack

Jack of all trades, master of none,
was the watchword back in the day
and I always found it so annoying;
an excuse, I was sure, to just ignore
so much going-on, available to me,
ready to become part of my little life
and make it big and exciting and alive;
but because of a distrust in abilities,
my grasp of every little thing, lacking
discernment, the inability to discern
between lust and love, hyper-attentive
distractedness, and the damnable
curiosity that kills cats, I was told
I just didn’t need to know because
people in power like to keep secrets
in order to keep it for themselves;
but I didn’t want their power,
I was no master, I just couldn’t stand
being happy with not being a Jack.

Is your name written in the book of life…

– Book of Life –

This is a room in which all of life fits,
and therein are many books and just one;
you see soaring arches of stone shaped and
draped in heavy, old wood, dark with age
from the Garden of Eden but yet untouched,
with all of everything bound and shelved,
rows and rows in some divine order
not worth arguing over, only to enjoy,
with spaces for reading, seats at tables,
paper but only pencils for taking notes as
shafts of light cross every view and dust dances
in the show of rhythmed, unhurried air,
in perfect quiet with only small sounds heard,
like a page turning with tender respect,
sighs of satisfaction or stifled laughs
followed by childlike pleas that it be read again,
but in the shadowy recess of a cold corner,
before a skewed chair left untidy
sits an open tome, heavy and solemn,
resting readerless with tear-stained pages,
and it’s title is the Book of Life.

Frank has a story…

Everybody Needs a Story

Frank said that the young boy
that he used as a guide was too easily distracted
and got bored quickly, leaving the sightless Frank
all alone, stranded in shops or sitting in the park,
and that bothered him;
but he was a tough guy, it seems, with a story, and
as any grandfather would say, interesting people
always have a story and that explains so much;

Frank lost an eye in an accident when
he was just a child, and then he lost the use of the other
in a boxing match as a teenager,
and I can’t imagine what he was doing
in a boxing match with one eye, but he could, and did,
and that’s Frank, I guess;

he heard that somewhere in Europe
dogs were being trained as guides for WW I veterans
blinded by mustard gas, so
Frank sent word that he’d really love
one of those dogs, and they sent him Buddy
who was the first one of its kind in this country,
all because Frank knew to ask, and
Buddy became so famous that when he died
newspapers ran an obituary for him
because even Frank’s Buddy had a good story,
and I decided I’d better get working on mine.

It’s normal not to be normal…

Maladaptive Adaptive

We don’t understand normal anymore,
don’t understand what’s happened, before
we’ve became the new black, the new average,
and maladaptive became all one could salvage.

Making-do and not expecting too much,
a reasonable way to cope – a sacred crutch;
lest any be forced to act out of compulsion,
a violation of will leading to convulsion.

The mushroom cloud of the family,
looms large on the horizon of the latchkey;
and any invocation of is dripping with guilt,
a poor rendering of the intricate human quilt.

This was not always our social affinity,
but an industrial product of economic viability;
accommodative adaptivity in a pragmatic vein,
we collect round the character campaign.

From Ozzie and Harriet, Ward and June,
to the village it takes to raise this tune;
we’re better off not asking too much of any
for disappointment weighs upon all heavy.