Is omneity even a word…

Imagine the memories of pain and hurt,
discomfort, disappointment and sorrow
didn’t just dissolve as they tend to, but
were stored-up, like a single collection
which stayed with you – a pool of tears,

embarrassments, losses, frustrations
and fears teaming with every dread,
every haunt of what has ever happened
and harmed the hope of comfort and
confidence that all’s well with the world

or at least tolerable; sure, some do
linger but the sting eases away somehow
and recollections fade, or else the
assemblage of broken bones, cuts
and bruises, stubbed toes and loves
lost would crush you, as poverty ruins
through an abundance of nothing;
there’d be no hauntless nights, not a

single pleasant day, courage would be
ridiculed and driven to despair by the
burden of history repeating itself
because our crimes against humanity
are as simple as living through it all;

so consider it a mercy to lack a sense
of permanence like an infant puzzled
by an object hidden, taunted with the
Where did it go? game we all play
and bless the benevolent omneity for
the freedom to forget, if not forgive.

Today is nothing special…

on-this-day-in-history-eventsOn this day in history
absolutely nothing of consequence
happened, to anyone, anywhere;
no ships sailed, no princes born,
discoveries in science, medicine
just didn’t happen on this day,
yesterday and tomorrow are
filled with life-changing people,
events, battles that turned great
wars into peace, even the subtle
alterations to the fabric of everyday
life made by once anonymous people
which reverberated into time and
made history; remarkable things,
great consequences, overwhelming
tragedies and brave exploits
all happened on other days, just
not today; of course some were born
on this day, babies loved, wanted,
even prepared for, but they remain
nameless to all but their mothers,
unknown to school books and
will never fill-in-the-blank’s of
literacy exams for they just were
and are no more; and the closest thing
to notoriety they’ll enjoy is that on
this day in history they’ve been
written about, sort of.

No one has cried…

I am the tree that fell in the wood
with no one caring to hear,
the one at whom dogs bark
out of hatred instead of fear;
I am the one who spoke loud and clear
with no one knowing I uttered,
the door that is still a door
and not a jar unshuttered.
I am the book written but unread,
with a spine uncracked or bent,
the lure considered but dry,
un-tied, untackled, and unsent;
I am the road often taken and trod
derided in gospel and verse,
the angel that didn’t fit on pin head
in the sophistry that’s so perverse;
I am the billions ten times over
who have lived and loved and died,
the everyman ignored or enslaved
and for whom no one has cried.

Folding laundry…

When it’s past late but not yet early,
she stands aside a table searching her
laundry basket, folding towels and
matching socks by feel and fabric in the
dark and imagines all her children – all
at once – all now so far from her and
they’re all safe; it was so long ago
and everything else has changed,
the house is gone but she can still
hear the tap of their feet sneaking to
one another after bedtime, conversations
of no consequence crisscrossing dinners,
the splash of baths and the wet tangles
of exhausted heads on her shoulder,
and damp towels dropped anywhere,
gathered to wash and dry and be folded
in the dark alongside dozens and dozens
of socks matched by feel and fabric.

Pages unturned…

This is a room in which all of life fits
soaring arches of stone unearthed and shaped,
draped in heavy, old wood, dark with age
from the Garden of Eden but untouched,
with all of everything bound and shelved,
rows and rows in some divine order
not worth arguing over, only to enjoy,
spaces for reading, seats at tables,
paper but only pencils for taking notes
shafts of light crisscross and dust dances
in the show of rhythmed, unhurried air,
in perfect quiet only small sounds heard,
a turning page with tender respect,
signs of satisfaction or stifled laughs,
but in the shadowy recess of the isle,
before a skewed chair left untidy
it an open tome, heavy and solemn,
resting readerless with tear-stained pages,
unturned.

Aeschylus watches…

AeschylusAt 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,

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.

Simply an accessory…

I feel famous on days like today,
plucky and serene, unhurried by
a schedule everyone else rushes
to keep, naturally pausing to look
into a mirror, chin raised and
finger tips guiding aside a wisp
of hair that falls back lazily,
attractively; exiting into a calm
day to match just me, stepping
onto the bus without a pause or
breaking stride, smiling in response
as strangers try to get my attention,
nodding and turning toward the
window as the sun itself brightens
while other squint uncomfortably;
my uniform hiding behind my
overcoat and scarf which is so soft
and flimsy it’s simply an accessory.

Mom’s victory…

‘Everyone’ is such a rich expression,
so powerful, persuasive, intimidating,
but it was no match for my mother
who could make its effect conditional
adding a simple ‘if’ and all would fall
off a cliff, as in ‘If everyone jumped…’
her artless and shrewd play ended
debate with a victory she deserved.

Sacrosanct happenstance…

The highway sped away
behind us in our brown Chevette
as we chased the setting sun
toward the Mississippi; it’s a
race we won and lost so
often we ignored the score.

A thermos of coffee in the
cold, a Coke in the heat wedged
between our feet because
cup holders hadn’t been
invented, but we deserved the
convenience of refreshment.

Everything west was ahead of
us, everything east past; we’d
follow closely those who braved
the limits, wondering at the
listless, lifeless dodderers
with no place to hurry to.

How many little, sleepy towns
did we cruise through along the
life we called our highway as we
talked out our dreams; this
happenstance was sacrosanct,
and it taught me reverence.

Inescapable eddies…

eddiesI am a stone tossed into the rushing river

ready to be hidden and forgotten

disappearing where there is no memory

 

and late at night when everyone else

is calming and secure, the waters rushing over me

won’t be enough to wash away my sin and sediment.

 

I am a stone thrown by the child’s hand

aiming to skip but gouging at the water

and briefly, just ever so briefly, struggling to fly

 

my splash is of no consequence, no ripples

my wake succumbs to the silky churn of the waterway

where no thoughts can compel another end.

 

I am as a pebble in a strongman’s hand

no connections or care slow his effort to govern

fears and ways so he’ll be remembered as great

 

and when I sink obscurely along with many others

we are useful to his ends, his dream to be remembered

resistance is futile, will and passion only frustrate.

 

I am a stone once here, then nowhere

once sinking slowly, now nowhere else to go

so promising, so imaginative, so hope-drunk

 

my dreams linger as reflections on the underside

of eddies you see but ignore as fanciful fits of nature

as my story plays on above me, out of reach.