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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

I step into the drear of night 
bundled by the here 
enclosed in the present tense 
until the clouds part 
and I can see 
past the isolate stars 
and stately galactic swirls 
all the way 
to the birth of time.

Aeons 
stretching away, upward, outward, 
radiant lines speeding 
from my microscopic self 
my ephemeral now 
to the vastness of 
the eternal long ago.

Unless I turn around, 
reverse the lance of time, 
and those lines 
no longer spread 
but converge 
and I become 
the arrow 
the universe at my back 
heading into the future.

k

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I’ve studied tears this twelvemonth past.
Presented with such concentrated array,
comparison is a natural response.

Grief, I found, comes on in briny waves, salting recent wounds,
while tragedy burns with toxic bile.
Isolation, wrapped in bitter, aching skin,
tastes bitter, foul, and acrid on the tongue,
while pain, all physical yet all intangible,
hones its razor’s edge, making torment manifold.
But by none of this was I surprised.

Until
one day, not too long past,
when life’s encroaching blackness
pressed me to my osseous redoubt.
Seeking solace, I there discovered
a sound imbued of perfect beauty
and I was lifted, lightened,
transported beyond the encampment of my misery
to a place I’d left too long unvisited.

And in that place I learned
the tears of joy do not sting.

k

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Fingers deep in waking earth
  clearing ferns from wintry somnolence

Their feathered, spiked, serrate fronds
  release spores in ochre clouds

Raindrops drum my hat brim
  enthusiastic paradiddles of spring

Hands set blade to swordleaf
  trimming old stems and rusted detritus

From the center I lift accreted duff
  revealing curls, verdant and sleepy

Nestled in that fiddlehead crown
  is the confidence of rebirth

Hope is spring’s eternal gift
  a promise of life
    and all it contains

 

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I am built of tiny things
bits of stone and glass and wood and bone
each one a moment

I am drunk
and high
and sober as clear water
I broil my skin red in the Judean desert
as my toes freeze blue in the Sierra snow
I kiss Ellen under Corinthian sequoias
and Luann in the spray of Pacific surf
I walk barefoot across summer hills
through grass as tawny as a lion
I feel the thrum of my tires
as I cycle along fog-shrouded curves
In Paris I am lost in place and language
In London I give directions to tourists
I play Berlioz in a stone cathedral
I paint a sunset at a winery
I cook a meal that isn’t very good
I grieve a brother lost
I smile and hold my wife’s hand

These are tesserae of my life
not frozen in time but freed of it
not layers of the past but cut from a shattered present

I lay each one down
be it clumsily or with care
to form my greater whole

You see the mosaic
I am the mosaic
unfinished
incomplete
in progress

Moment by moment
bit by bit
I am built of tiny things


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I do not believe

. . . that all cops are bastards

. . . that all pharmacists want us sick

. . . that all lawyers are heartless

. . . that all Republicans are stupid

. . . that all Democrats are socialists

. . . that all conservatives are evil

. . . that all progressives are anarchists

. . . that all Blacks are criminals

. . . that all Whites are racists

. . . that all Arabs are terrorists

. . . that all Hispanics are gangsters

. . . that all men are pigs

. . . that all women are bitches

The world is greyer than this

Much, much greyer than this

On these points

And a million other ways

Thinking so

Denies

Everything

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You are tired 

Your heart 
wrung out 
lies limp 
spent 
exhausted 

Your mind 
fuzzed by events 
shackled by twin weights 
   of isolation 
   of jailed desires 
is rendered senseless 
numb

The parade of days 
a monotony 
   of toil 
   of grief 
   of sameness 

The calendar 
arbitrary divisor of time 
paints illusions 
   of separation 
   of change 
where none truly exist 

New year! 
Flip the page! 
It’s supposed to be different! 

Yet, it isn’t 

It’s the same 

But step back 

Look beyond 
   your home 
   your street 
   your life 

The world spins quickly 
and is slow to move 
but like a tide in flood 
   inexorable 
   imperceptible 
it does change 

Is changing

And soon 
like cicadas 
after years-long entombment 
we will emerge 
to breathe the windborne breeze 
to see the rising sun 
to sing in our multitudes 
   of love 
   of life 
   of our many futures 

Our hearts will be renewed 
our minds refreshed 
our lives rejoined 

Be patient 
Be calm 
Be hopeful 

Practice your song

k

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breathe deep the morning’s mist
taste the chill stony silence
invite the soul of winter’s patience
into a warm, life-loving heart
and be at peace

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