Suspended in the void
Unable to reach across
light years separate us
Oh, how lonely we shine,
Stretching out bright
fingers in the dark
tiny brittle wine glass
by a heavy bowl
the gleam of linoleum
next to the dish drainer
picking up the offending
a shadow lingers
the hard glitter
of icy dust
A fine snow dust
Scattered on the glass table
outside the kitchen window
buds begin to show on the early trees
Spring more than a month away
struggles for a foothold on Winter’s slippery perch
My dreams– black and white
in this cold season’s fade and creep
slight movements of gray
angles of shadow
slowly shrinking with the snow
One Good Simple Thing
There are things in life
that take the hardness out of the world
for a moment
Ghostly music seeps in from another room
makes me stop
She is singing again, and I cannot move
I cup my mind around this whisper of flame
The slightest puff of air will chase it into the night
and leave the world colder for its loss
How to Be a Fool
Most likely you are standing
or moving on a well beaten path
right now look down
thousands of footprints
in the mud and dust,
or up at the sky and trees overhead
see without time
a moment in space
only you can speak
in the morning my basement office cool
gray light filtered through
bright stalks of grass growing
against the little pains.
The day absent minded old man
grumbles and storms a little
And then clouds stretched almost blue
For a few straining minutes.
green evening and rabbits on the lawn nibbling
clouds breaking into pools of pale sky
The meadow is silently moving in furtive breezes
Or a stealthy predator circling
Peace is a Place
Watch as you step
there will be a place
to put your feet
the sun and moon
a star will shine
Mount your horse of water
raise your cup into the circle sky
the path will be clear before you
A sword gleaming
in the distant dark
will lead you home
Moments in a Long August Day
I stand in the office.
sunlight comes in through two windows
one behind me and one to my right.
My hand is moving away from the book I just put down.
A woman talks fast and loud.
She swivels around in her large office chair to face me.
I see the slight curved wrinkles at the corners of her eyes.
The hum of computers is there underneath her voice.
The words come fast, so fast they can’t mean anything.
One metal prong, curved as it comes up from the file,
reflects itself in the straight tilted end.
My finger and thumb closed together nearby.
I sit tilted forward, leaning over a yellow file folder,
black lines hard on the yellow.
Someone talks behind me in loud, dry, tones
rough rocks moving together.
The whispery hum of computers still underneath it all.
Both of my hands lightly grip the black steering wheel.
Through the windshield I see a narrow two lane road rising in front. Trees form a solid wall of shifting green in many shades, leaves glittering as the breeze moves them.
Dark green leaves against the bright yellow of a house.
In the distance a hillside,
a patchwork forest against the cloud washed sky.
I am counting pieces of plum colored printer paper.
The sound of a drill comes from under my desk.
A man is on his back head and shoulders hidden by the desk.
legs lay apart flat on the floor.
Someone reads an Email about impending change.
I sit on a couch
paperwork on a coffee table.
A man looks from me over to his 3 year old son.
He says something in Punjabi.
The boy nods his head and replies in clear singing tones,
also in Punjabi.
“He says that he wants to go to school now,”
the man says.
“He is ready.”
The boy smiles at me.
I smile back.
The light is green.
I steer the car through the intersection
up the hill.
“What was that beep?” asks my son.
“It was just my watch.”
I am walking toward a parking lot with only a few cars here and there. My wife, who walks next to me, tells me some ideas she has about college and her career.
Across the parking lot
spreading, chaotic oak, symmetrical pines, narrow cottonwoods are scattered about an undulating field of short cut brown tinged grass.
I sit at a glass table on a second story deck in the cool stretched shadows of an ancient furrow barked hemlock.
A bowl of minestrone steams
It is too hot to eat.
I take a bite of jicama, sweet, crisp, and wet.
My wife talks about her work and change.
The headlights shine on the bushes and telephone pole as I steer the car around the corner
Up the street and down into the driveway.
My daughter sings with the radio.
I turn off the car.
All is still.
A dark cloud of pain,
she sweeps in
disturbing the rhythm of the current
swirling ghosts with open mouths yawning
Her body shrinking
in knots of fury
The child, I release into that storm
is immediately lost in the tide.
she follows, carelessly
“It is the only life I know how to live,”
she shrugs with her last look back.
I sit alone
swallowed by a trailing ghost.
I Will Sing You A Silent Song
Where is my joy?
In quiet songs
deep in the pattern of wood grain
Talk is my fear
Words are ripped from my thoughts
by idiot devils
shredding of bits with their jabbering claws
When I talk
The music is no longer
in a night full of cricket buzz
your hand just touching the back of my neck
One More Day
Another chance to move
about in this small space,
Sweep a corner clear
Chalk an outline of where
I will fall
Adjustments that amount to
millions of still frames
most of which I will
keeping only the ones that
mean the least
flat transparent images
unable to hold feeling
as if belonging to someone else
like me seen
from a distance
flickered movements strobed
onto my mind screen
a razor, a black-bearded man in a
tutu endlessly repeated
until all possibilities are
Receiving Messages From Separate Individual Realities
grabbing a handful porcupine jello
the space contained in a floating soap bubble
lips vibrating, tongue clicking, throat coughing
shuffle leap into the blinding wall
How can each voice be different and call us on
into what might be oblivion?
Could it be
life is in voices speaking
not to be understood, but felt.
Feel the song of edges
Knife and saw, feather and leaf,
vibrate and tilt
until something not yet solid shakes
into the peripheral field
Don’t look! it is not for seeing.
Don’t listen! it is not a sound.
Feel it there, not in words
but whispers of grunting fetishes
ground into a powder
taken by the wind.
sticks in the eyes stinging,
muffles the ears
leaves us arms stretched out waving about
frantically for something
to hang on to
Hard Round forms undercut
grasps and clings to darker patches
Locked in the knot
unable to fall back
slowly spread onto cushion night
steel light beyond
the glint of a blade
shivers of radiance
on waves at dawn
blood in my body stretches
a taught band struck
quivers a note
fades lower into silence
shifting of feet on gravel
dimly deeper, the path appears as I step
balanced on the thin edge of now