POETRY

The poems shown here are taken from in a book of poems and lyrics I have published called Burning Snow. Until the printed book is released, I am offering the complete e-book version at no cost as a “thank you” for anyone who has been kind enough to visit my site. To get the book, simply enter your email address in the field provided and you will receive a link via email allowing you to download the book in a format appropriate to your e-reader of choice. Happy reading!

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Garden

REUNION


For Gaylon Currie


Wherever I watered the smooth, worked earth

That was to be my garden, 

White worms rose to drink. With a light-fearing reluctance 

They writhed up crumbs of loam

Until they shone on the wet, black dirt like blind stars.


Heavy-lidded shrub lizards, weirder than quarks

Or Persia, gave those worms the ancient eye,

Then descended with polite plops

To gobble up the heavens.


“Grazing my lizard herd,” I deadpanned

As you arrived, your arms around huge chunks

Of my past and cold beer. You blinked,

Stared like a great, wise reptile

And then, for no earthly reason other than love,

Almost believed me.


And that is it, old friend,

That despite everything you come with your hands

Held out to me,

Offering spirits, expecting magic,

Full of dark, thirsty brilliance.


All afternoon we leaned together,

Two shepherds of absurdity

Gathering about us like well-worn cloaks

The ragged meanings of our quest,

Drinking with the worms and stars.

All Things Are Beautiful (lyrics)

 

a tree uprooted by the wind

a baby’s crippled foot

a hornet’s nest, a bitter pill

a gate that will not shut

a rockslide on a rainy road

When you are all alone

a spider web across your face

a salesman on the phone

all things are beautiful if you love them

a thankless deed, a stubborn weed

the work that you must do

the pothole-ridden journey

from your false self to your true

a puzzle with one missing piece

that never comes to light

the blinding sun, a thorny rose

the coming of the night

all things are beautiful if you love them

the loneliness unthinkable

of stars out in the deep

the pain that keeps you living

the life you trade for sleep

all the ones who picked you up

then gently put you down

a cave of bats, a jellyfish

the traffic in your town

all things are beautiful if you love them

returning from a business trip

I passed a cooling tower

with a ghostly plume of steam above

produced by nuclear power

across the road by a vacant church

where lovers used to wed

I saw some words on a faded sign

for a troubled world which read:

all things are beautiful if you love them

all things are beautiful if you love them

Image by v2osk
Image by CHUTTERSNAP

WEDDING DAY

 

She married in a lovely yellow sheath dress

That nevertheless made her situation clear enough.

Not a wedding she would have planned:

The library of a Unitarian church,

Her two tall, judgmental sisters, her mother, making

The dramatically obvious best of it, her dad, kind as

Always, but ephemeral in his puzzling illness.

An unmarried friend, Carla, more pregnant

Than herself, as maid of honor. The groom, of course.

One of two men she might have married−both offered.

She chose the one more likely to be the father.

The right or wrong thing to do?

Now she wasn’t sure. But even so,

She’d rather die than fake her vows.

His best man was a fat and shaggy-headed

Boy she’d never met before, who, of all people there,

Seemed happiest for her. Afterwards, back

At the house, she thought she saw him

Fall in love with her; was almost sure of it.

That’s all it takes, she surmised, and here we are.

The honeymoon: a Hilton Garden Inn

Weekend getaway compliments of Carla’s baby daddy.

They skipped the pool, she cried a lot,

Not trying to hide it.  Her new husband

Said sweeter things than she could remember,

Laid his head gently on her tummy.

It helped, but to be honest what helped more

Was his army enlistment, the certainty he’d soon be gone.

Not gone forever; she didn’t want that.

Just gone for a while so she could measure

Things in peace, tell the baby her life story,

Spend time with Dad. You never know.

For a while she sat on the tiny balcony, her new

Husband asleep or pretending, midnight laughter

Funneling up from poolside. Someday I will

Be forty-five, she thought with sudden relief,

All this will be settled somehow. Between now

And then I will make myself wiser and wiser.                  

And with a little care, I will still be beautiful.