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Posts Tagged ‘modern poetry’

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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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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22 Nov 1963
19 Oct 1964
04 Apr 1968
06 Jun 1968
27 Nov 1978
06 Oct 1981
28 Jan 1986
09 Nov 1989
19 Apr 1995
11 Sep 2001
15 Jul 2020
06 Jan 2021

JFK
Mom
MLK
RFK
Milk/Moscone
Sadat
Challenger
Berlin Wall
OK City
9/11
Brother
America

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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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By the full moon’s light
I read
of times long past
of a distant village

where limestone cliffs
as blue as the moon itself
rise high enough
to split the sky

where the mountain springs
murmur liquid life

where the townsfolk
hard and resinous
as turpentine trees
keep secrets
break hearts
learn lessons
(or do not, until too late)

and while their setting sun
reddens the pale scarps
above their heads

my sun rises
blanching the sky
behind my setting moon

I close the final page
and return home

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When I do die, I hope it is in spring,
though not for me, no, not on my account.

For my part I would rather die whilst deep
in Autumn’s arms, to meet my final slumber
as the Earth trades out her riotous robes
for melancholy hues, and hones the evening’s
cool-lipped kiss into a thing that bites.

To die at such a time, in synchronized
conclusion with the fading world, it seems
most apt and natural, but still, I would
not have it so.

Those friends who rue my end,
I would not have them grieve in chill and growing
dark, nor hang with crepe the holidays
of friendship, love, and hearthfired warmth, nor mute
their joys with mournful tones, like minor chords
that linger in cathedral vaults.

Instead,
for them, my dearest few, I hope to die
in springtime, just as Nature’s hand arrives
to balance any sadness with the fresh
and unrelenting joy of life’s renewal.

I would ask the sun of warming days
to light each face, have blooms and birdsong lift
their hearts, and let the season’s boisterous breezes
dry their briny tears, all while surrounded
by the freshness of a world reborn.

k

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thoughts upon thoughts
memories upon memories

last week
I remembered
the day we met

yesterday
I remembered
the day when I remembered
the day we met

this morning
I remember remembering
that I remembered
the day we met

now
I hold infinity in my mind
remembering all my 
rememberings
past and future
of the day we met
from that first moment
to the end of time

memories upon memories
thoughts upon thoughts


January 29, 1982, 7:29PM PT

k

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