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Setting Out

sky thicket
There are stories I have not written,
paths I’ve not walked, nor trampled,
bramble I have yet to tangle with

there is peace in the dust

Footprints in the lie of my heart,
narrow heel and textured sole, your well-worn moccasins
left to dry upon sun-warmed wood

I have rarely seen yellow so blue

The absence of you,
the anticipation of someday

There are words to you I have not spoken,
ideas I have not explored, nor endured,
webs I’ve not woven

My mind is a round I sing,
a duet I perform, a half-verse behind
with you a step ahead, a whole-tone higher

And I am a stray astray,
bled in thick bramble

Chagall 2020


time lapse photo of cars in asphalt road

I have no patience to be profound,
I’m a fast truth junkie

Chagall 2020


Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on
I prepared to harden young vegetable transplants,
which is getting them accustomed to the sun gradually
over the course of several days, so that they do not burn
when ultimately put in the ground

I conceived to put them out at sunset, rather than sunrise, 
to take advantage of the cooler solar light of early evening
and then to dial back to noon's harsher rays,
to start with an hour and to add each day
a quarter-hour more

For example, set them out at 7 PM, and bring them in at 6, Day 1. Set them out at 7 PM, and bring them in at 5:45, Day 2, and so on, until the seedlings accustomed - inured - to 12 o'clock sun This sounded crafty and so on Day 0 I readied to proceed
until it dawned on me that I was planning to use time in reverse,
contrary to its natural flow

But it had felt so possible

Like a seed, all of my futures splay before me,
while my past converges on a single vanishing point behind me

I am a prism that diffracts existence
to reveal its constituent parts

Through me run seemingly
parallel lines Chagall 2020

The Conditional

If you follow a butterfly's flight intently,
hold it unswerving in the palm of your eye,
trace every turn, each subtle winged gesture, 
emboss on your mind her cursive persuasion...

ultimately she will alight on you

Chagall 2020


tree with brunch and green leaves during sunset

Photo by Pixabay on

Which came first, birds or people? Were there songs in the trees before houses and paths between neighbors? When this was just limestone and tufted primeval moss, at the birth of new birdsong, practiced trills emerged from the canopies of beech forests, afar from distant firs Call and response, coo and reply, was there yet another about to answer the searching cry, to refrain the melody, to embellish harmony, to complete the haunting
interval? The flutter of these first wings grips the heart outside of time

Whistlers in strong winds, did they love the sun
and the morning as much
as we?

So busy making nests then,
though the need for shelter was itself brand new And there will be time enough to kill today, and there will be eons to burn Even now

Which will last longer, birds or people? Chagall 2020

Fever Pitch

this is a poem from my “award-winning” book –
won’t you take a look?

…at the cafe eating macaroons (or was it macarons?),

buy me a mug of java – put something in the cup –
…drink me up!

and thank you, I your nominee –
oh my gawd, the Jeepster award:
my favorite color is blue,

va fa in cul’

I still dot my eyes with tiny hearts
in real life, my letters are block,
no cursive here, you bet

my influences (influenzas?) are
Mickey Rooney and
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

…every bond you bind, I break…

my epitaph? I tried

(don’t be silly toto,
scarecrows don’t talk)

…and that’s when I yelled out
why not flying monkeys!

Chagall 2020

Unrequited Blues

it’s a shame that I don’t drink
got whiskey to spare

it’s a shame I don’t smoke
got plenty of rope to burn

it’s a shame that I don’t binge
got food and streams to wade

it’s a shame that I still yearn
don’t got you

Chagall 2020

yesterday’s breeze
a beachcomber faded blue
memories of Emily I recall
too beautiful that summer
in Kaboo’s old Chevrolet
dancing shoes and give me some time
she loved Fogelberg netherlands
souvenirs part of the plan
heat waving boardwalks and sand in sandals
shared sno-cones and all things turquoise beaded
I thought her lips were sadly luscious
puffed and peppermint-wet delicious
so necessarily hers so readily there
I would sometimes catch her peeking
though my eyes were always closed
(but then how could they be)
she of gorgeous aroma and scented oil
sadly I’d leave wanting more never less and less
then September the month that brings endings

September always rolls around

Chagall 1977/2020

Just Monday

I feel it was just Monday,
I feel like it was,
though seven nights have come and gone,
I would swear it was just Monday

I feel it was just April,
I feel like it was,
but we’ve traveled around the sun one more time,
wasn’t it just Spring?

Monday through Friday, deep in the thick,
till the weekend rolls around,
June, July, august marches through years,
summer ends, autumn, and then…

I feel it was just lovely,
I feel like it was,
didn’t you feel life was lovely too?
I could swear that it was, just now

Chagall 2020

Raising her head and gazing about, she asks,
“How did we get here so quickly?”
Tearfully, she says to me,
“I thought getting old would take longer.”

Chagall 2020

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