The Poem as Balm

we tumble and spin
caught in the wind
jet streams
and clothes dryers
fabric softeners
slate grey debris
fascination with friction
and static electricity
the planets are turning
soaking up sun
with a yearning
we choose
between jumping
and burning
think of poetry
as water
and net

In Lieu of Silence

“Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but words endure.”
– Edward Thorndike

 

We serve up words;
sometimes slow and bumbling
they plod along
or quick and sharp
they fly,

Not ready to wait
they snap out as if propelled
by an elastic band, and sometimes
they return to be eaten
with an acrid taste of regret.

Sometimes a bird on wing
or a lover bent in quick kiss,
then off again.  A sword
turned ploughshare – a whisper
so soft we lean forward to catch it.

Some words wear magic,
borne by the moon while we wait sleepless
in a metaphor of dream, and then
there are those that are hurled like stones.
We worry that the walls might crack.

We serve up words
in colors and hues of all moods.
Vehicles of conveyance,
they are the fabric
for our history’s quilt

The Whistling Buoy

“The whistling buoy is a signal to approach boldly; informing the mariner that he is in a position of safety,”  from The Whistling Buoy [Volume 22, Issue 132, Dec 1893

Having finally realized I am unsure
about a lot of things, like
Who is a god, the river
or the builder of bridges?
These questions
that straight jacket my mind,
will have their time and then
fade into the realization
that one’s truth might be a matter
of perspective

and perspective no more
than a slave to experience.
Imagine the water unbridged
by foot or flight. To be confined
to no farther than we could swim
would surely proclaim as god whatever
bridged the river. Come a flood
that ripped the pilings all asunder,
demolishing the arching splendor,
I wonder if

we might decide it is the river
that is a god, an angry one.
By then, long in the tooth
and denying tunnel vision,
we proclaim no doubt
that what we think is right.
But that is not the end.  Just when
we think we have it figured out,
along comes another generation
with a better bridge

or an innocence of tsunami.
We assign the problem to robots.
They have no preconceptions, only
those programmed in and discarded
by gigo logic. How much will our history
matter then? Will the robots build a better bot?
Who will calm the storm and quench
the flame? It is then we ascertain,
neither the river nor the bridge is a god. That
is reason enough to capitalize His name.

 

 

Scaling the Peaks

Mountains climbed
in measures heretofore unknown;
the sound of song an echo that returns
long past the making of the tones
or the paying of the dues. That song
to soothe the weary soul to climb again
with faith to go beyond the bend that blocks
our vision. With footsteps sure, to travel without doubt
or questions that would slow the progress thus avowed.
Our goal, a lofty one it’s true, as high as any peak we’ve seen…
in good times or in bad, to leave no muddy footprints where we’ve been.

 

Count them One by One

Having vowed not to complain
about summer’s rising temperatures
nor its squalling storms,
I lounge inside decrying the persistent hum
of the a.c.  —  Woe is me.

Apparently born to discontent,
I remember winter, vividly.
‘Twas then, when walking through drifts
knee deep and rising higher
I made that foolish vow.

And now, in leisure to repent,
the only entertainment affordable
to see is watching the electric meter
spinning wildly like a wheel of fortune
that will not stop for me.

Never satisfied, it seems, I sit,
mere sum of the self, wishing
for sun when it rains, for cool
in the heat, and suddenly I think,
July is just fine.

Thus in the throes of déjà vu,
I wonder if you, too, are sitting
in the comfort of your feathered nest
sipping from a beaded glass of tea
and wisely counting your blessings.

Peaceful Assurance

flowersandtrees

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lake of jade
reflects the flowers and trees
as if they are all we need to know
on this earth.

I think of Thoreau
and wonder
if there were wild azaleas
at Walden.

A bull frog
calls his courting cry,
and then a splash.
I can only guess at his success.

In a green so fierce it takes your breath,
I have put my voice aside,
Even my footsteps
are a desecration.