Sunday, July 21, 2013

Why Can't It Always Be Like This?

Answer: Because, if it was always like this, it wouldn't be like this.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

St. Valentines Day

Dressed in red, like red wine,
she was all valentine.

I saw – too late to see –
which hand struck me,
and brought me to my knees.

It was St. Valentine’s day;
she was dressed all in red
like a bottle of wine,
and my momma said,
she was all valentine.

Dressed in red, like red wine,
she was all valentine;
she stood before me like a story
I had read, but not believed,
and I sighed deep, relieved
to know that I would not be alone.
She stood, by a yellow sky outlined,
as weighty drops of light fell like stones
and lit her face, then mine.
She was dressed in red, like wine,
and she was all valentine.

I was walking in an alley,
and she was walking
close, right beside me,
smiling and laughing, singing our song.
The moon above was passing
into the womb of dawn;
my hair was wet and white;
my feet, bold and light;
my heart, full and strong –
when with her, I was a King,
and she, like unto a queen –
I was forever young,
squinting in dashes of daylight
as she kissed goodbye the night –
everything was wrong;
everything was right.

I saw shadows behind me,
and lied about my youth;
I heard voices before me, shrill, frightening –
but not quite their meaning –
because, when with her,
my world was always spinning
too fast for listening;
too fast to tell the truth.

I heard too late to hear it;
I feared too late to fear it.
I thought this was our song, 
but I knew – all along –
you can change the music, but not the lyrics.

I saw the sun above, and read it;
but it was easy to forget it –
to every question, she was the answer.
I believed, with love’s faith, in her.
Perhaps, she knew; perhaps, even, I did too,
but neither ever said it,
and I could not admit it.

I remembered it was day,
and was surprised – I was not tired.
Her eyes turned sudden grey,
then blue, like friendly fire,
and blazed like diamond's glistening.
I started to say something,
but looked over, and found nothing
interested her; she was not listening.

I felt, at my back, a cruel wind
mingled with her whispers,
and I asked absently, “What am I doing here?”
and I recall, just then, she yawned –
and then, right then, I knew – a night was gone
that would not come again;
a dawn had come that would not ever end;
I saw her smile, but she did not see me,
and the Sunshine made her sleepy.

I heard, behind us, some men;
their very breath was threatening.
Before I knew it, we were surrounded;
their taunts in the alley resounded –
and without thought of life or health,
I started fighting – for her, for us –
for hope, and love, and trust –
but never for myself.
My life concerned me little;
she concerned me, little else.
I fought, and bled, and fought more,
and the only thought that filled me head
was, “Is the girl safe? Will she be well?”
And there, of a sudden, I fell
in a puddle of Sunshine, like one dead,
and I remembered what my momma said:
her hands were red, like red wine, 
and she was my valentine.

I saw too late to see
the hand that struck me,
but her hands were red, like red wine, 
and she was all valentine.

Sunday, July 07, 2013



He is a ghost now; he is a ghost  how?
He lives in ghost town,
and his life merry goes round 
and round  and round – and round 
but his days are in distance drown,
and his songs: music minus sound.
He is ghost; he is a ghost, how.

He is the flip of the coin;
His life is unlived, unexamined, unknown:
like a battle before him, raging, unjoined;
like a seed in hand, waiting, unsown.
His life the one decision he can't postpone
– but he defers deciding.
He beholds his days  from without – 
like trains, in passing; he is not riding.
He holds his life like a doubt
that crushes resolve in a rout.

Truth is to him a castle unkind 
perched 'pon a battlement, with doubt redoubt 
not worth the seeking, with nothing to find.
The world is for him a riddle too stout:
a question he runs round-about:
a knot, not worth the untying;
a mystery, not worth the prying.

His life is the lie he repeats without lying,
with supernal wit, and impeccable timing;
His life is a tear  but, he is not crying:
a fight –  but, he is not fighting;
a court  but, he believes not in trying.

And his path is by riddles beset:
there  but not there  yet; yet
descending up, ever darting down;
dying beggar to wear a crown;
selling his name to buy renown;
he is a ghost now; he is a ghosthow.

He recalls what he cannot forget;
holds what he must soon lose;
risks, but he never makes bets.
His deeds are cold and removed.
His days: foretold, in righteous reprove.
His faith: in proof whate'er he approves;
his acts he enacts with due dying,
then regards them with telescope, sighing,
like passing planes, soaring 'fore his eye
into the far flung hands of heavy sky,
out of sight, and sighting;
he knows the pilot, but he is not flying.
He is an autobiography, but he is not writing.

He is a ghost now; he is a ghost  how?
He lives in ghost town,
and his life merry goes round,
and his days are in distance drown.
He listens – but hears not a sound;
he walks  his toes touch never ground.
He is a ghost now; he is a ghost, how.

How Can One Blush?

*Credit to George Sand for the idea and phraseology of this poem.

Once my heart was captured,
I stopped, staggered, like a man in a sad story
surprised by a turn of comic rapture.
Straightway, raison was shown the door:
deliberately, and with a sort of frantic joy,
and I was the man who was once again the boy;
full to the brim with life: life worth living,
and I remembered everything, and more.
I accepted everything, I believed everything,
without struggle, without suffering,
and the song awoke, and then the poetry,
and for the first time since the flood came,
I found myself composing, and singing,
and I could feel,within, the symphony:
a new song. And I had a new name.

The Restless regrets, I framed
behind dark glass, in cardboard bins,
and stored them in the attic of a former friend.
Armed with my new name, without false shame,
I became an innocent; free of crimes; free of blame.

My heart raced, and I felt freedom like before,
but a freedom greater after a slavery endured;
I was true as true, and forever sure;
I was busy, but never rushed,
and I was rich for being poor,
and happy, so happy, I might have blushed --
But, how can one blush for what one adores?