Estranged from the Sea

The river is a strong brown god.
             T.S. Eliot,
Four Quartets

Sullied Ohio
         winding river
roiled by last night’s storm,
muddied and defiant,
rainbowed with the slick from barges,
a dwindling traffic
          now that the mills are closed.

Still, there are the power plants,
fossil fueled and bursting at the seams,
a grid in perpetual overload.

This river is hardly a god,
not even a candidate
           for sainthood, more like
a fallen angel, this keeper of secrets.
Stolen cars, bodies floating at the dam;
Pike Island would confound
           even Moriarty.

Savage in the time of Pterodactyls,
Still feral though confined, subdued but untamed,
you have made us the builders of bridges.

For Sale

Sometimes you can’t trust anything,
They promised a sunny day
but the weatherman was wrong again.
Standing here, dodging raindrops
 in the last green field
of a farm partitioned off for profit
we disagree on religion, politics, cuisine.

Still, I seek him out
at the family reunion –
more brother than cousin,
always bossing me –
but this is not the time for whining.

There is something honest
about flip flops and Bermuda shorts,
something that’s lost Monday through Friday
in a three piece suit. This field is up for sale.
Buy it, I urge, urgently, turn it into a farm again,
but even as I say it, it’s plain to see
he has forgotten the taste of rain.

Half awake

There must have been an entrance –
a keyhole or a mirror –
from that world to this.
Is it possible that a picture
enters the aperture unaware?

I am here now
without quite knowing how;
both memory and confession
are circumstantial…
a wisp of wind, a flutter of feathers,

so many fireflies
there’s no need to fear the dark.

Eons and Eras

Morning has arrived
fresh faced and full of song,
Eager to be done with yesterday
we march forth in sincere waves,
passionate in our pursuit
of progress for the cause.
By guns and stones
our will Is done. There will
be change. Tomorrow
with the rising of the sun
we awake to a new error.

Time and Temperature

Not long ago
  snow was on the ground;
war in Afghanistan,
Syria was seething,
Egypt was waiting for elections,
Iran was a powder keg.
Troops moved, weary
   of the repetition
but dedicated
   to the task at hand.

Here at home
   we shoveled snow
and complained
    about how time flies
and how fast the temperature
was dropping.
Spring came, flowers bloomed,
streams thawed and gurgled
their delight.
It was April and it rained.
Time and temperature had changed.

Most all else
   remained the same
and now it’s June –
Time flies – doesn’t it?
The temperature is rising
              tempers too.
The war in Afghanistan
   is winding down.
Did anybody win?

Egypt’s elections are broken,
Syria has exploded,
Iran is a powder keg.
The troops are moving.
Not much has changed.
It’s like a never ending rhyme.
Is it any wonder
   that we speak of temperature
and time?

I Dreamed a Carriage and a Friesian Team

Button tufted cushions, pearl grey
and as plump as the day they were made,
meticulously customized to snug each corner
of the red enameled Landau  carriage,
top down now to take in sun and breeze,
A time for stolen kisses as the horses have their rein,
hot blooded and high stepping, these Friesians
are no donkeys.

Standing tall at almost twenty hands,
manes and tails a mass of silky waves,
Ebon as the night, oh royal beasts, you take
us to most magical of places.  Beneath the seat
a wicker basket filled with wine and cheese,
and fresh picked grapes at rest  on chips of ice
to tease even the dowdiest of taste buds
into readiness to receive chateaubriand.

This little spot of heaven is our secret,
Central Park or on some distant farm, it little matters,
The sky is blue, the breeze is warm,  the checkered tablecloth
is finest linen, the fare – homespun gourmet.
Horses munch the tender grasses, content to roam
this new found pasture land while we picnic
on life’s greatest pleasures, good food, sweet love
and sleep beneath the sun.