Archive for February, 2019

Still Life

it’s amazing how few people
draw flowers correctly – see
the fractal emerge from the page,
sentient and postured

a few delicate strokes as needed
to render the chlorophyl,
pistil and stamen

I watch carefully how form inverts
along the optic nerve to become
a weight of the heart, life between two pages

a boutonniere where the mind was,
mandala for a dollar, a dozen for ten

the rose and the baby’s breath,
sky-blue mums amid perfectly serrated evergreen leaves
dabbing crisp stems in cold water

sunlight on pink petals surpassed
only by sunlight on wood

I am defined by the curlicue,
the cowlick of life atop freckled smiles,
where water and earth combine to push
all of the lush seed wide open

to emerge and say hello to
this day of days

Chagall 2019

Full of Sound and Fury

…it resembled the inscription
of the Egyptian cryptologist,
a cartographer’s worst nightmare –
spilled ink, worn more for wear than comfort,
the rhyme revered even then but not for long,
despite inclinations to the contrary and out of the ordinary

the rumpled cloth did look like a rat, I’ll grant you that,
but not enough to draw a throwing knife – and in such a confined space –
my God, who knows now which lines were intended to be what!

In the melee of the poem, one must always watch for
a snatch at the ballocks

Chagall 2019

Use It In A Sentence

gimletized: having had too much vodka and lime juice;
from the latin, meaning small goblets

Chagall 2019

Speed Bumps

This morning I stutter-stepped
to avoid tripping over the beams of sunlight
splayed across the wood plank floor

Chagall 2019

Inside It’s Heretically Sealed

The curio smells of sweet wax, scented candles,
it’s always smelled that way, lemon and vanilla
tea lights acquired God-knows-when, a cloying
allure filled with memory under a patch of cinnamon,
forbidden matchbooks from forgotten places,
no flint ever struck, each hope of a tiny flame
still intact, fresh and dry, all ready to kindle

You in the uptake of breath, the vibration
of you is a dimension I imbibe, I pulsate
in your static, the sweet ozone of ether
about you

In the corners of cool dark places behind beveled glass,
fire asks for the hand of the wick

Amazing how the limbs contort to sound the heart,
enlist wood and metal, engage golden ratios

Fingertips strike tones, velvet bishops
– adjacent squares – eye one another diagonally

Intervals distort when you push them,
so don’t push them, let them be

I love the assist
of the barre when bending

Point and flex,
a bushel and a peck

I once had a toy, a mechanical contraption really,
the size of a small music box, a crane that bent stiff-legged
to gobble up quarters fed off a tee

It was old even before
I’d acquired it

Chagall 2019


One should always trim their wick
after a long burn.

Chagall 2019

Moonlight and Cartwheels

How anxious I am to venture outside
where the sunshine and tips of branches meet,
a junction I marvel at every eve,
so perfectly made for one another

Timeless shadow upon a serrate edge,
one more night of cooled green summer Moondance,
a gavotte in darkness, low to the ground,
spring at hand – the long muscled run of calves

I love how the air turns colder at dark,
travels the body braced to pique more life,
a cold draught carves all my inside hollow,
blue starlight hidden in tall wept willows

Soaring above the tree-line, looking down,
the ground rushes up to meet me, swoops by,
I lean and I yaw, I out-maneuver,
veiled in smoke of my making, I vanish

Nose-up I have sometimes stalled and backslid,
reversed, a tail crash-landing position
I invert at the very last minute
saving the crowd and me from injury

Chagall 2019

Morning Plenary

When Jobs gave us a sneak-peek of
the Teach the Children ad, we all cried.

Chagall 2019

The Art of Prewash

I told my son that
every time I come across
a dish with peanut butter
or egg yolk encrusted on it
coming out of the dish washer,
I curse both him and his parents.

Chagall 2019

runoff from the high ground breaks through
from under ice-crusted snow, cold water flows
such a deep blue that its black,
like the lines of a broad felt marker

salt left behind by a tear,
cooled in the wind,
dried on your cheek

you ask me if I will stay mad all day,
I ponder if I am simply supposed
to support all you purport to be
despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary

in response I ask
how can I be sure

I turn to watch the bolt of
life from the underbrush
startled by your footfall

you oversimplify the world, I say,
there’s a lot of gray between here and now

while you overcomplicate it, she says,
…I’m right here

you ask me if I intend to remain mad all day,
I ponder if I am simply supposed
to ignore, forgive, forget,
despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary

I turn to watch the bolt of
life from the underbrush
startled by our footsteps

you overestimate your claim to the world, I say,
there’s a lot of gray between now and then

while you overcomplicate it, it’s all here,
it’s all right, she says

runoff from the high ground breaks through
from ice-crusted snow cold water flows
deep blue-black like the lines of a broad felt marker

salt whisked away in a tear
blown by

Chagall 2019

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