Poem: Five Definitive Movements

July 17, 2017

 

Childhood is

a flat green blade growing from the stem of a plant,

the absorbing and digesting of

a body of myths

 

Adolescence is

the property of becoming self-luminous

in the recognition of

fire and hunger and strong desire

 

Adulthood is

the acceptance of the heat and light caused by burning;

a steady flow that rises

as the tide, and ebbs

 

Wisdom is

known only to those of special comprehension,

something very white,

a leaf blown across the firmament

 

Death is

the beginning of all things, the nape

that links the body of one life to

the head of the next

 


Poem: Moving Experience

July 10, 2017

 

Should we trash your aunt’s portrait with nary a glance?

Take this excuse to throw it away?

Can we use the old closet as a place to deposit

The trumpet that no one can play?

 

There are sofas and chairs and loafers in pairs

unmatched and still to be packed;

barbecue sets smashed by unhappy pets,

and nine bottles of wine still unracked.

 

Several old tables with mouldering labels

sit forgotten on the back stoop;

while dozens of books lie hidden in nooks

and unwatered plants sadly droop.

 

Beautiful oak chests that used to serve guests

for overnight stays in the spring,

now jammed with hi-fi and cups and bonsai,

untidily tied up with string.

 

Boxes of china and photos of minor

children are packed in the car;

old wooden crates filled with pillows and plates

lie piled like produce bizarre.

 

 

There still are the spades, the shades and brocades,

the stove to unplug and wrap;

the children’s old cots, tights tied up in knots,

and plenty of crap to just scrap.

 

But we’ve lazed away weeks and now conscience tweaks

to put us in such terrible state.

Now that the day’s here, there’s too much to do, dear,

I just hope that the van will be late.

 


Poem: Martyr

July 3, 2017

 

He had long ago accepted the loss as permanent,

but that acceptation was merely a gloss, as yet skin deep,

 

not yet having bled into the very marrow of his being,

nor led him to that place of serenity.

 

His bitterness lay as deep as the roots of cedar in shale,

following tracks as distant and serpentine as the staged attacks

 

of true hackers working their miraculous juju through the internet

ether, and forever ending in a sad soiled grace.

 

And, though he could choose to confuse his loneliness with tragedy –

as if he were the sainted prophet of his own persecuted

 

exarchate in exile — it was but loneliness nonetheless,

and it hurt as bad as the arrows of martyrdom.

 

 


Poem: Having

June 26, 2017

 

I have seen the best minds of my generation squander their extraordinary talents on the marketing of consumer goods and the maintenance of shareholder value.

I have seen them abandon all pretence of worker’s rights at the behest of foreign and domestic bankers, Friedmanites from Chicago and MIT.

I have seen them relegate the environment to the dustbin, a victim in the race for quarterly profits and analysts expectations.

I have seen them treat safety issues as public relations issues, and seen them lobby to lessen their liability.

They have shamed seniors into wearing diapers, taught children how to smoke, and taunted teens into starving themselves to death.

They have sold goods that have killed millions, children, pregnant women, families, clans, tribes and nations, here and around the world.

They have spiked the waters of the masses with a poison called greed.

They have swallowed our ethics and morals and spat them back in our faces as branded goods for which it is right and necessary that we pay to display their logos.

You have contributed to their victory with every discretionary purchase, every dollar saved or spent.

You have accepted their world view with every envious glance, every lottery ticket purchase, every time you have watched a TV program starring “celebrities” or giving away a million dollars.

You have bowed to the inevitable with each ring of the alarm clock, each punch of the work clock, each end-of-week celebration.

You have become your parents, your older sister, your Uncle Frank with his shiny pants, your parents once again.

I have purchased things I could have made myself.

I have allowed my city to become plastered with advertising slogans, from store signs to billboards to the names of buildings and arenas.

I have dressed my children in designer labels, given then Elmo dolls and Flintstone vitamins, and let them choose CocoPops and TV cartoons over papaya and reading for breakfast.

I have enough of everything I need, and yet forever I need more; and

We have accepted all this bullshit, washed it down with the liquid lies of the liberal’s election hoax.

We have time and again made the wrong choice; time and again we have meekly accepted that the choices we are offered are the only choices possible.

We have been active participants in our own kidnapping, paying the ransom over and over again.

We have failed ourselves — and the bastards have won.  At least for now.

 


Poem: Salamander

June 19, 2017

 

A bright orange salamander silently slithers

the length of the soft-pink stone-chip wall,

making faster speed than I could in this heat.

 

I sit, staring, mesmerized by this costumed athlete,

this splendid natural explosion of colour,

this distraction from the dull monochrome of my life.

 

With a desperate reluctance, I crack open the velcro

ties that bind me to the lizard, drawing back my focus

to include my companion and the unfinished wine.

 

“Let’s review where we are,” she says. “Yes,

let’s do that,” I reply from a distance, forgetting

where we’ve been in this conversation and why.

 

She clears her throat and continues:  “You and I

seem to be headed nowhere, neh?”    She pauses,

examining me for confirmation.  Perhaps I nod.

 

“As a couple, I mean.  We have to come to terms

with that.  We have to face the true nature of our failure

you and I.  We are not meant to be, that’s the point.”

 

I say: “I see.”   I feel her eyes burning me, expecting more.

Across the street, the afternoon shoppers flow in and out

of department stores and groceries and fish merchants.

 

“Well?” she presses.  “Am I right?  What do you think?”

I sip the wine, close both my eyes, and imagine

the cool cave where the salamander rests.

 


Poem: Rolled

June 12, 2017

 

The woman with crow’s feet wrinkles

and smeared makeup

unfolded the billfold

removing the twenties and leaving the fives

— she had doubled her money and was willing

to leave him

cab fare home.

She waited a minute,

sharp ears listening to the spattering rain

and the flight of an early flock

flying north for the summer.

Slipping on the plastic green raincoat

she slipped out of the room,

leaving him undisturbed

in the empty barn

of his sex-sodden dreams.

 


Poem: Fanatic

June 5, 2017

 

Sitting bolt

upright

in the chair

the psycho

analyst

questioned me

in a game of

snappy

word association

 

            frost:tossed

            gold:bold

 

why did you

say that?

why not?

 

            tend:er is the night

            sleep:sleep

            shoes:Michael Jordan

 

did you watch

the game?

no, I was crazy

to have missed it

 

            air:Michael Jordan

            web:net

            net:basket

 

they make me

make

baskets.

Like I’m

Michael Jordan

or something