Archive for April, 2022

So, when is the NAACP going
to change its name to 

cc: CC '22

Hue And Me

If I were an artist,
I would never wash
the color from my hands

or from my smock,
or whatever it is that
artists wear

I'd parade around,
a festival, might even
adorn myself with lights

and I'd hum, and I'd sing,
and I'd whistle, clap and dance
up a storm

say artistic things in made-up
tongues, you'd get the gist
despite the words

at night I would dream of rainbows,
and waterfalls, and time gone by,
albeit in monochrome

for dreams these days
are not what they used
to be

and in the morning, I'd rise,
choose colors for the new day, 
while coffee brewed

yesterday's colors would 
fade of their own, without
intervention on my part

my skin, my mind, my life,
is both palette and canvas,
today I create what I will

cc: CC '22

Bet You Think This Song’s About You

One-and-done She,
comments and disappears,
hit and run, casual asides,
engaged to a point, pointlessly,
a dance for two en pointe,
the sun in her eyes, the grass too tall, 
the cat has eaten her homework,
excuse the excuse pile, the detritus about,
the art you will find intermingled there is
merely a quip, single entendre at best, yet 
her breeze still blows high over the canyon,
lost aerie where an eagle once nested,
taken advantage of for the ages, 
by those who shall do no harm 
...pretty and witty and wise...
where sandpipers and New World warblers fly away 
cast in silver echelon, to seek the lost universe,
a spiral in time, now an aged lady spies
the youthful nymph amid cascades of color,
still vibrant, imbued with that day's sunlight,
its pomp and its circumstance, its radio waves
continue yet to travel outward from the planet,
watch it fade to gray, too black, but somewhere 
along the way, two moody in indigo

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ABBA Blabber

Poetic rhyme forms force the words,
more a jigsaw puzzle than prose

I would rather let a rose 
and songbirds
find their own way

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A chilly morning in Dijon,
I walk briskly past the 
old carousel, quiet now,
a few tables in the square,
here and there, coffee and 
daybreak, bread a few 
steps away

a door opens and 
a bell chimes

the factory in Lille is
no longer, I remember
the match that struck
the last Gitanes

the night of strong
hot smoke, laughter 
behind the fountains

a palmful of
drams of whiskey
the keeper called
baby Jameson

up the street I touch
the owl on the church
where the goers now
kneel harder, pray more 
quietly to atone

cc: CC '22


Thank You For Also Knowing

Someday we'll meet where the seam is now torn,
along the embossed, the perforation, the stitch of 
time and place when the sun and sky align just so

How wonderful that there is another who holds
the memory of the same moment, to affirm that it
and we did occur to witness

What we hold is dear, the light, sounds,
scent, and the touch of the whole, without you
I cannot be certain that what is within me is true

The mind plays more games than the heart, 
which bets large sums more rarely, despite
good fortune in small wagers along the way

Our cobbled stories are alike, they breathe
both sides, bellows to kindle flames, dying embers
pulse for air, revived, satisfied

In the darkness are vivid colors, more muted
when seen from afar, up close those grow and glow,
unveil themselves in the sweep of the surround

We are mosaic, we are stained glass, 
the prism effect of time shined through life,
the sum of fine incomprehensible movement

A latticework of delicate gears,
balanced chemistry,
ancient formulae

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Land O’ The Last Lake

What happened to the beautiful girl 
on the butter box, adrift in her canoe?

How lonely the world is without her

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Outpacing Peter

Faster than Peter,
past acacia and carob,
I ran to the tomb

We sang, we danced,
embraced and wept,
jumped up and down, cried out

Our voices echoed:
the chamber there was empty
past the low doorway

Alone in the damp,
except for our friend’s garments;
his scent was still there

I ran past Mary,
leaving the rich man’s garden;

sweet hawthorn kindled
the fires of Golgotha,
from the day before

Past olive, almond,
apricot, pine, turpentine,
I ran to tell them

© Carlos Chagall, Easter Sunday, 2013

Paschal Thoughts

Earlier that week, I filled with hate,
the rank odor of Sanhedrin
elders, soiled smocks, unwashed feet,
telling us to stop the teachings.

I was so proud of the others,
they stood up finally for him,
putting the blood back on their hands,
keeping his blood there in our hearts.

Last night, the Tiberias Sea,
was chilled, but beautiful starpoints
hung there high over Galilee.

I told them to cast to the right,
but as always, they don’t listen.

I stopped caring I’m different.

I lie on my back in the boat,
massaged by the gentle rolling
waves, seduced by the briny winds.

I knew who it was before they,
the glorious sun outlined him,
there on the bank in silhouette,
waving us in. “How was the catch?”

The fire was already on,
bread from wild yeasts on flat stones.

He told them to cast to the right,
and of course, this time they listened,
though they did not know it was him;

dawn broke, he caught my eye, smiled,
as if to say, “Nothing has changed.”

One hundred and fifty-three fish,
caught in the net cast to the right.

I could have said I told you so.

The breakfast fish, crisp salted skin,
the bread slightly charred, delicious.

He asked the son of John three times
if he loved him, would he shepherd
the lambs. I fell asleep then
on the sands riding the surf’s sound
to future days, time yet to come.

When I awoke, I was alone.

© Carlos Chagall, April 2013

The Guide

The dappled splay of the elms' limbs shadowed,
upon ground where millions of creatures live,
God's hand everywhere, despite you and me,
in the trees by my windows small wrens rest,
family members beyond the glass panes,
at dawn we sing together, sometimes laugh,
sympathetic trills, new melodies lilt,
their's seem to float upward, while mine fall down,
I have never heard dissonant birdsong,
the saddest of calls from the mourning dove...
odd, as I write about the mourning doves,
two appear atop my roof, their song loud,
sorrowful wails, perhaps she is pregnant,
beautiful young with potential for flight,
able to fly away, to leave it all,
yesterday leaves us tomorrow's promise,
today is just a figment of the light,
once when I had wings, I knew how to soar,
how to nest, now alone in echelon,
I bank and I yaw in the cold updraft,
in the quiet dawn that proceeds me

something is astir behind all of us

cc: CC '22

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