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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

The Key

It is not a needle.
It is not a syringe
It is a key
that fits my front door
but now that I have it
will I use it?
Am I ready
to leave my distanced redoubt?
Is my unmasked heart prepared
to trust those I meet?
I cannot say
but the key turns
the dust-dry tumblers
the bolt withdraws
the door creaks open
I squint at the sun
of a different year
smell the aromas
of an unmapped summer
hear the surf noise
of my lifeblood’s anticipation
and I step outside

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In the space
Between their words
They stand
Wondering
How they arrived
At this hollow space
Where neither
Can see the other
Where friendship
Rimed with hoar
No longer warms
Both captive
To their own
Righteousness

 

k

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I visit his grave
with toes deep in restless sand
waves erase my path

k

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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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