Monday, May 29, 2017

Death

The way you describe Death
in that last poem
as a mysterious traveler
with no sense of direction,
counters everything I've ever thought
about the subject.

Perhaps the death of my Grandfather,
sudden and shocking,
or all of my childhood pets
playing now, on a giant open farm
near the moors of the Yorkshire countryside
as I was told:
they all go once Death meets them.

Most likely, though,
my mother's death
solidified the concept for me.
Her beautiful, bountiful, golden curls,
bouncing from her shoulders
like one of Charlie's Angels
as she walked hand in hand with Death
one afternoon down Hermosa Beach.

You see, to me, Death is lonely
and needs such company.
Death is an animal lover
and enjoys watching fields of dogs,
guinea pigs, birds, cats, mice, and still others
frolicking together.

Death needs grandfathers to teach
how to fish, hunt, and put together
a bicycle chain.

Death needs grandmothers to care,
filling their little farmhouse
with smells of German food,
baked breads, sweet rolls:
warm smells.

But, most importantly, Death needs
a beautiful companion,
such as my Mom,
to warm the bed on those
deathly cold, November nights.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Aubade

I will think of you
alone in your study
4:00 AM blinking on the plastic face of the clock,

or perhaps you have an old grandfather clock:
long chains attached to circular disks,
slowly ticking the moments.

I will think of you
awaiting the first bird to deliver his call,
those 3 notes.

I will think of you
while I am putting on my socks,
lacing up my running shoes,
fighting my inner daemons of laziness,
plugging in my iPod,
putting in my earbuds,

awaiting aubade.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Perdita

I'm holding her hand, tighter than I realize,
as we serpentine through the crowd,
when I realize that I'm lost.
I know where I'm walking, the benefit
of living in a decade where I am always the
center of every digital map; watching my haloed
triangle, stylized for effect, gliding toward
that red, inverted-drop-shaped destination

Omnia perdita sunt.

I'm disregulated, close my eyes
to oneiric images of my father
dragging me to the bathroom,
stripping off my clothes, yelling.
Hot tears dissolve in the steam-filled
shower, as I shit myself.
His breath spews forth like lava,
molten magma, scarring my body,
callousing my ten-year-old skin.

In extremis: my memory fades to black.

We've crossed the street, skipping across each
crosswalk stripe, arriving at the park.
My son's run off ahead, fearless and rugged:
Appaloosas galloping in the still-warm dusk.
I hesitate before letting go of her hand,
quickly desperate to never let go of her hand.
We walk toward the swing-set.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Poems of Billy Collins

The Poems of Billy Collins--
I shouldn't be surprised
that I'm writing again.
It only takes about

half-a-dozen of your poems
to cause that itch,
forcing me to write again.

Do you use special ink?
Magical, mind-altering ink pens?
or are your books laced
with a drug that eliminates

even the most stubborn
writer's block?

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Lost Ideas

I’ve had
more attempts of
poems
than poems.

I have sat,
pen in hand;
(actually,
open laptop,
white screen,
blinking cursor,
fingertips pressed lightly
on the keys,
almost feeling each letter)
to be more accurate.)

I almost hate
when an idea hits me,
square on the back
of my head,
like a hot slap,
after a sarcastic remark
to my father.
If I do not have
pen and paper,
computer and outlet,
the idea is lost.

So, I run
frantically
looking for
napkins,
tablecloths,
scraps of paper,
a pencil, pen, marker.
I would use a knife
and write in my own
blood,
if the idea was
that good.

Most of the time,
I wait,
looking over my shoulder,
for a periodic
slap,
that is a poem.




Monday, May 01, 2017

Jagged

The grey mist
swirls
around jagged and cracked rocks.
I’m staring out onto
an endless ocean:
“Am I alone?”

The glowing, grey dimness,
full of shadows,
approaches from the sea
like a messenger,
soaked with rain,
bearing ill news.

I hear the sound of waves
crashing on the rocks
below
my bare feet.
Cold, damp penetrates my skin
vibrating my bones.


The silence in the sky.