Making it official…

It’s your wedding day and

you’re desperately searching for something

profound and memorable to say but

it’s all been said before, felt before by

so many so much better and well-lived

and you’re left with you just

being you and wondering if that’s enough.

 

What we long for…

I’ve been reading a lot about dogs lately,
not on purpose, but because others are wondering
what dogs think when they look at us
quizzically, with heads tilted as if to understand,
assuming they want to communicate
out of pure devotion rather than appetite or instinct,
and this anthropomorphic projection
has them living an unfallen life, no dread of death
or long-term memory to sadden them,
but only the romance of bones buried in the prospect
of hope instead of grievous loss;
a simple life of smells, the next meal, distractions
to fill the time in between sleeping,
which we honor by allowing them to continue
in undisturbed, sage wisdom;
and we muse with Lockean ruminations they must
enjoy an indirect realism of
mental representations of cars and mailmen
as they infinitely regress in noise,
barking as if exhibiting a Wittgensteinian tractatus
of use trumping meaning every time,
whimpering that there is nothing outside the text
in an infinite play of squirrels and
more squirrels, until we have them supra-human
in a simplistic philanthropy we long for.

More than less…

I can still hear my father’s scolding to
finish my meal because I was lucky
to have the food, lucky there was more
than enough because just one life ago
it wasn’t so; he’d worked too hard for
too long to give us – not him, but us –
freedom from worries he’d slept with
and here I was not knowing what I didn’t
know about life and hunger and working
for the sake of others and expecting
nothing more than gratitude – a simple Thank
you that was not worthy of apologizing for.

Not so simple…

Less with more is just another way of punishing

ourselves into believing in a world of abundance

denying abundance is somehow virtuous, convinced

complexity scares simpletons and simplicitarians

are to be avoided as much as they’d avoid me

like avoiding pain, missing love, scared of tears

is so much more than modesty or frugality,

so much less than dedication or expertise,

and so unattractive a life lived with blinders

and little joy, little fear and little satisfaction.

His Churchill…

It’s a cool morning but I can still feel

warmth from the October sun on my mid-morning

walk to my office when I stop my hurry

catching the aroma of a pipe upwind and it is

the same draw as my father’s Churchill, the same

sweetness packed with that pen-tool I have

tucked away in all my memories and momentos,

and heavy lingering I lift my nose to drink in;

 

I don’t see him, but somewhere ahead of me

on this path walked daily, he strolls to enjoy his pipe,

unhurried and routine as dependable as the sun,

I plan my travels to follow this aroma and imagine

so much and nothing at all hoping it never stops.

 

 

Refusing to remember…

Object permanence is

my greatest enemy;

it teases with the hope

that what I once had

remains, lingering

 

somewhere behind

the back of time past,

sleepless nights, empty

days, memories dancing

across a screen in my

heart; hiding from

 

troubles doesn’t make

them disappear, but

the love lost fades

and the only remedy

worth remembering is

I refuse to remember.

I love that it does…

It won’t just go on but I love that it does

teasing and toying a someone unmoved

not by lazy or ignorant presumptions

but satisfying ways which can’t be improved;

 

familiar stories retold and embellished

by fondness or pain exceedingly

dancing between joy and sorrowed

hidden beyond thoughts secretly;

 

a child grown because she always must

kindness and bonds stretched far enough

doing this well takes time and touch

while most fail and sameness rebuff;

 

if changeless variation is now a theme

as always it was but thoughtlessly veiled

permit a dream of sleepiness unseen

forgetting all else as one exhaled.

Soon be filled again…

Once upon a time they were called a road crew

but I have no idea what they’re called these days,

six men, leaning on shovels looking into their hole,

while another’s at work therein pounding or digging

and it is hard to tell who’s in charge in this circle

or maybe they’re all in charge or need to be today

while that one poor man does whatever it is he does

down in that hole which will soon be filled again.

This new sanctuary of freedom…

With church closed I’ve taken to the streets

for the long-hour’s walk each Sunday morning,

feeling no guilt at being seen elsewhere I’m

learning a new practice of distantly greeting

others exploring this freedom, nodding subtly

or lifting a hand to wave to dog-walkers;

we are all new to one another, now seen

instead of sermonized, this ‘peace be with you’

is our new liturgy, unled, unplanned and

even more satisfyingly so because it is ours alone,

and even some heathens jogging acknowledge

newcomers to this sanctuary of quiet streets

at eleven-AM on a Sunday – Amen and Amen.

Against the morn…

It’s a dark morning, but not in that way,

just threatening a storm and a heavy, rolling

blanket closes-in on homes as lights appear

in unoccupied windows, burning dimly

at nine and ten AM when there should be

no need for light to see, to read, to work,

and it seems ominously calming as I walk

past in quickened pace racing the rain

to light my own candle against this morn.