Posts Tagged ‘modern poetry’

I get rid of things

gadgets that lie unused
plants that don’t thrive
clothes that no longer fit

I discard, donate, sell
from pasta makers to cars
wanting the unusable gone
wanting the usable used

Better a new owner
a new set of hands
to work them
a new set of eyes
to value them
than the darkness
of my understairs storage

Except for books

I get rid of things,
but books are not things

read and unread
are hopeful promises
treasure maps of the mind
histories yet unknown
friends unmet

I will spend my remaining years
inhaling their aroma
hearing the rustle of their leaves
taking them in
adding them to the thing
that is me


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you stand there
like Leonardo’s man
center of all
surrounded by
perfect Aristotelian
spheres of control
reaching out
from Self
to Heaven
and in these realms
you have arrayed
the spectra of the world
expertly arranged
perfectly codified
to the most trifling degree
from Those Held Dear
to the Alien Other
from Loved
to Hated
from Defended
to Attacked
but where
is the line
the demarcation
the boundary
between what realms
do you divide
the Worthy
from Undeserving
and why
for there is no line
that separates us
save the one
you draw

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Is there no coming back,
no retreat from this landscape of ire,
this canyon of sorrow

Far beyond the limits of hope,
bordered by despairing walls,
unable to care

Except for our own kind,
our own mind-like echoes,
our mirror selves

Where every difference,
each flower of nuance,
challenges the power

Born of our righteous rage,
grown fat on bias and lies,
clothed in trappings of heaven

Armed with tools of denial,
building myriad barricades,
but never a bridge

To link us,
to lift us,
to exalt

In all that we are?




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no reason
for silence,
for shrouding
heart-born truths

they are
overwintered seeds,
motes hard-shelled
and inert

aching for
spring’s caress,
the taste
of rainwater

sow truths
in sunlight,
broadcast kindness
on the wind

nothing flowers,
nothing nourishes,
nothing grows
in darkness


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and when she was gone
    the house lost its voice

no laughter echoed
    no giggles,
    no braying,
    no full-bellied mirth

banter lost its purpose
    no rejoinders,
    no quips,
    no quotes apropos

sounds of life fell silent
    no snores,
    no clatter of dishes,
    no questions shouted from two rooms away

instead, only
    stockinged feet
        on hardwood floors
    hushed whispers
        with the laconic housecat
    the ticking of clocks
        and soundless steeping tea

for when she was gone
    it felt wrong
        to laugh
        to love
        to live

but spring was coming
    her favorite season
        and her roses still wanted
            to bloom

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Do not presume that
because a heart is distant
it cannot can be read

Hearts can love or loathe,
be bound or apart, unmoved
by proximity

One can be as dear
unmet, half a world away,
as from down the street

Love can falter on
the doorstep, or reach across
the space between stars

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There is something we share;
it is an idea, a thought,
a dream.

We call it a nation.

We dream that it is as real
as the earth beneath our feet,
as eternal as the stars.

We recall histories of its birth,
tell sagas of its darker days,
make plans for its future.

We believe that as it is now,
so shall it always be.

It is the same with
other peoples,
other dreams.

But we are wrong.
All of us are wrong.

These dreams are fragile, ephemeral,
dew-dazzled hopes of gossamer.

These dreams can break, vanish,
burnt by cruel suns, torn by raging winds.

All it takes is another’s dream, another’s will.

One person’s dream of power can destroy
an entire people’s dream of peace.

If we let it.

If we let it.


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