A Song of Earth

A bird AND a plane

 

I wonder if the birds envy the planes,

If their ancestral stories of tell of times long and long ago,

Times when they were closer to God

Than any other being to walk across

This sacred Earth,

A time when seagulls laughed their taunting cry

As shoreward they soared,

A time when the youth were held in line,

And the elders were wiser by far,

A time when the air was purer,

And the sky was bluer,

And when you landed and looked up

And up

And up,

You could see not a paltry smattering of stars,

But rather, the glory of the universe herself,

The face of the Goddess each night revealed,

The broad brushstroke of her lips

Wrapped around the words

Of a love song about her home;

Her eyes sparkling

As she sung songs of Earth.

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Sorrowfully, I Saw You

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I saw you on the train the other day,

Crying out under the burden

Of someone else’s sorrows,

Or at least I imagined that it was you,

And that you were crying,

And that the sorrows were not your own.

 

I saw you down the hall as well,

Standing in perfect stillness,

Knees bent under the weight

Of our caprice,

Head bowed as if in prayer,

Or at least I pretended it was you,

And maybe even said a prayer of my own

To the Old Gods we used to howl to,

When the moon was full of joy,

And so were we.

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I Wanted to Write You Into a Love Poem

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I wanted to write you into a love poem,

But all I can conjure

Is a picture of a girl crying off her mascara

On a stoop in the south of Chicago,

Smeared burgundy lips wrapped around

One

Thin cigarette,

And the man she used to love

Entering the scene upon his exit

From the doorway with it’s crumbling yellow paint,

Pale, now, in the rising moonlight,

Faded from

Two

Decades of wind and rain,

And the gun he’s hiding behind his back –

“Come in,” he says to her –

Voice shaking in the cold December night,

And she says

Three

Words in return,

Breath rising like a halo around her lips,

But it’s lost to the wicked wind,

And he raises his hand and puts

Four

Slim, flattening bullets

Into her, and the

Five

Children they had together

Come running

Just as the church bells ring,

Announcing the arrival of the hour

Six.

Starlight

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Every mirror

Reflects the ghost of you,

Staring back at me through narrowed eyes,

Beseeching me to follow you down –

Wide is the road, or so it has been said –

Down into Hell,

Down into oblivion and abandon,

Down into the darkest depths

Of my heart and my soul,

Upon which the sun

Is always setting

And whose waters

I am forever failing to tread.

 

The glassy surface of the lake

Shows a different side of you, though,

Wide-eyed and radiant –

Exactly as you were,

When the world was young,

And so were we.

 

I will drown, either way;

Tis a fitting end,

Says that part of me

That burnt up, and was burnt down,

By the starlight

I found, shining, in the blinding brightness

That didn’t strike me

Until after I’d gazed into your eyes

For the last time

In a lifetime.

Summer Love

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Summer love –

It’s song

Too sweet to bear,

Berries weighing heavily on the bough,

Overripe and golden for the taking;

Behold its forbidden fruit

And you will be helpless but to surrender

To the subtle call of the serpent,

Summersweet

In the heat of the moment,

Savage and bitter

In the fallout.

On Poetry

fountain pen on text sheet paper with rose

 

Poetry

Is anything and everything,

Save for silent.

Yes,

It is the silence that falls,

Irredeemable,

In the wake of your greatest defeat.

It is also the silence

That comes afterwards,

In every quiet moment thereafter.

It is especially

The hush that falls over the world

After they are done applauding

Your first and final act of greatness.

 

And Poetry Herself?

She is a shy and subtle muse, yes,

Beautiful enough to outshine Venus

Any night,

And you can find her in the stars,

Somewhere between

The myriad hopes and dreams of humankind,

And the spilt-milk galaxy of longing

That resides within our collective souls.

 

But she is never silent.

She burns, burns, burns,

Brighter than any star,

And so long as there has been life

In this lonely, sprawling universe,

She has been singing her anthem

Across the ages.

 

I hear her;

Can you?

Pressed Flowers

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I can still see you,

Pressed paper-thin

Between the pages of my life,

Faded and half-forgotten,

Flowers spared the frost

Only to spend the rest of eternity

Fragile and fitting imperfectly

Within the leaves of a former forest.

 

I can still see you,

Softly lit and spirit-like,

Spiraling through the city of my memory,

A brightness dancing across those dim and dismal years,

Skirts lifting as you spin,

The veil of the years that has risen between us

Casting the whole scene in a magic light,

Not quite poetry,

Nor quite perfection,

But something approaching

The one, or the other.