Category: Poetry

About the Thing

I project the softest of thoughts into the weathered image,
appropriately round to resemble the heather edge.

I mute my colors – a darkened frame,
the rustic ground on which I lie.

The smell is a cave’s wet mildew, dark cool echoes,
an intensely exciting sense of something about to happen.

To pause now is good – to cease perhaps profound.

I escape what I see, elide its impression so that
it’s seen like a fallen tree having made no sound,
felled and silent, without remnant of trespass.

The day adorns itself with spectacular patches of sunlight
here and there, now and then niched in a place I know,
almost but not quite forgotten.

Away to windows lovers will fly like flashes to see starlight
tonight before clouds roll in.

The day turns to a dark powder, a granular graphite that is
oddly breathable and invigorating.  I inhale deeply.

Chagall 2018


The Heart of the Matter

A young african-american child on a plateau in full-sun sings angelically – operatically

(Not sure if it is a boy or a girl – is that relevant?
That the child is african-american is probably not needed either)

So a child – a young human being –
a being?

innocence really – from atop this majestic plain

rears its head and in clarion voice
exalts the heavens

Chagall 2018

Concentric rainbows
Not merely arcs of color
Full vibrant spirals
Violet, blue, indigo
These soothe unlike the others

Chagall 2018

The Collector

I haven’t seen many philatelists lately
with their square tongues and perforated bubbly saliva
affixing stamps in neat little pages of boxes

Prizes from all over the world and times
of yore, tiny vignettes of who we are and
who we have been in square-inches

Marked in currencies frankly no longer around
in denominations too small to matter any longer
but I knew a girl from there once

To convey ones thoughts at one time was much dearer

As a child I would send self-addressed unstamped envelopes
in envelopes addressed to the government (stamped of course)
requesting first-day-of-issue stamps

Pristine inaugurations in thumbnail landscape
postmarked to commemorate the christening event,
a landmark in posterity – oh, a new stamp!

The idea that we have ideas to convey
to others that we would pay to have delivered
in good faith by others

But now
feeling un-affixed and postage due
I upload this onto my pressed wordblog for you

Chagall 2018

I shall start quite arbitrarily
thousands of pages in
with To Wordsworth
P.B. Shelley
and read
up until
the end.

Chagall 2018

The other side breathes
Eulogies in haiku verse
Exhales into God

The other side breathes
Creating equilibrium
The ledger righted

Indistinct voices
Eulogies in haiku verse
Enchanted mantra

Sound astounds the air
The earth stirs when resonant
Exhales into God

Chagall 2018
Revises and extends earlier posting of same name

The other side breathes
Eulogy in haiku verse
Exhale into God

Chagall 2018

Duet 22

Sometimes I sit at the piano and shape chord forms freely in space,
handsome constructions of arched fingers in opposing motions,
in search of dissonance over harmony

While she randomly intones beautiful sonority, sounds like words
aimed at the more resonant chambers of the room, her voice round
with a touch of rasp to engage the world-weary

Her melody shifts at odd intervals, the tempo-free meter floats
in time and heart, in perfect poise aligned without tonic,
we resolve at will, or not at all, the upper partials of our tensions

We modulate to a better point of view on life, its victories
and more often of late, its sweet despairs, which no one key
can capture, paint, hold or release

How many times we have stopped mid-phrase
and have kissed madly – over the top – operatic,
without losing the tone nor the shape of our song

Chagall 2018
(This is a revised excerpt from an earlier piece found here)

Reciting what’s on my mind,
in the same vein,
a similar wave

Around those corners
again, colors seen before,
yesterday’s song on the breeze

What’s new,
or old but newly seen,
or rarely ridden?

Atop looking down
I brace against a steep dive
aloft in the timberline

There’s water in the wind tunnel,
hot pellets belt my face,
sting then drip warm, turning cool

In S-curves at high speeds,
aimed for the apex of the turn each time,
carefully – blending quickly

You are only the gap between fingertips
away from me now, hold on
but the waters let go

I once stood in awe at a sepulcher
for someone I would never have known
if not for you

The water washes away chalky words on the ground
that once appeared to have so much meaning
so soon right before the rains

Boxcars and oxtails, firelights along rails
where hope emblazons faces seen
still from so far away

Hear songs from a fell
in the forest, dark evergreen
intervals of tone – listen

There beyond lies the hem of time
weaving an edge, unraveling
the fabric ahead

I heard her by the pool say she was 55,
her boy was 9 – had older brothers near 30,
and their relationship was a joy to witness

How long have I been
bobbing, suspended

I try to find and ride
the random but plentiful updrafts of life
naturally on offer

The immediacy of sunlight in mid-air,
in flight from out-there to us
is earth’s joy

(Pardon me, I need to step back a moment
to see if I have alit yet again
in the same vein)

Chagall 2018

Balloons for Ana Marie

I knew her when
she was first

in platinum
as if under black light
she shone

terse, tense
lithe and alive
in a lather of lavender foam

stretched, arced and aching
for a view higher than
her back could bridge

she was rippled, a dance –
fragrant, a tingle, en-pointe

a place where fingertips
might traipse then linger
to dally lightly

she slides to feel
every portion of a body
in motion against another –
to give in to gravity

something about this fabric
in time

I have always conceived her as spun in lights
enrobed in a series of pulses


ever brighter
and then
ever smaller

to recede:
like a constellation
traces who she really is
via stars once decided on
long ago

again, I’m recalling
when she was first

Chagall 2018

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