Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Wall of Time ( in memory of my mother and father-in-love)



They are sitting on black and white
stairs made of ordinary cold cement,
their faces turned towards each other.
Her bare legs in shorts are a dancers
and a scarf only partly hides pin-curled hair.
His pompadour turns up as does his mouth.
They are in love and it is 1951.

Fifty years have passed since that day
that hangs with other years in the hall.

The creak of the floorboards calls out the change
in the way they walk in the morning,
changing, changing from nylon stockings to slippers,
work shoes to sensible, eager to tired.
They wear it with pride.
They wear it with contrition.

The basement echo saddens this listener
knowing time gives and takes,
and holds love accountable for each gruff word,
each wild embrace, every I’m sorry.

The skin grieves, cringes and curls,
and they weave lotion into what might seem harsh
until softness sits with them into the evening,
watching the flickering living room walls
lit by television and the steady rise and fall
of falling asleep early.

On her way to turning down the sheets
she touches his hair and says, “come now”
as he smiles into a dream
and she straightens his black tie on the wall
on their 50th anniversary,
knowing it is more than the walls breathing
that makes a picture crooked,
and much more that straightens it.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Loss Ladder




The ladder is lost in the slow creep of vines
laced to the seasons with rain keeping time
forward the laying of names and their place
enhanced with engravings that memory has traced

Reminders drift down from the trees each new year
delighted the waiting is no longer for tears
change turns the leaves of October to blazing
and the sadness of mauve has fallen out of my daydreams

I remember the feel of the brush in my hand
down her tangle of curls in the dampness of morn
still the length of her smile in my dreams after midnight
can still open the time of that long ago storm

Now smoke and ashes dig into the hillside
and fasten the rocks from out of my past
yet will always be present in my still breathing chest
where the cradle still cuddles with my once aching breath

I can see now how dying is another beginning
the song sung within life's cadence is a test
as a lullaby bubbles and rock a byes others
I've learned each new step on the ladder is the best
 
---------
With loving thoughts of my daughter Michelle who died of Reye's Syndrome in 1974 when she was 8.  October is her birth month

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lesson from Rock and River







Color the canyon walls
warm adobe
fire hearths of brick
warm
places in the heart

listen

The river flows
past hard and stable rock
two different forms of matter
each by uniqueness
gives importance to the other
a perfect relationship

Harmonize with things
that flow by you
like the rock

sweep gracefully past
the stunning fact
impeding
gesture with sound
that delights

   then

Sky dark
clouds dense charcoal
the rain stitching lines from sky to earth
in the canyon,
next to the river

Thunder trembles
the sky to open
the flowing current
steady
    pounding
the river surges
sending hard and stable rock
careening
    far

The rock
as others catch against it
changes the path
of the river
  flowing
     growing
        flooding

The world's ever changing
nothing stays the same

-


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To Find Marian and Vin



I almost passed by you
your proudly waves
the allure of bare feet
the first rush of letting go of skin
the sin of salt
little pins on pressed sand
where sun's reflection plays catch and drown
then draws breath again

I had to pull away to see
your mouth all spray with wind
your rounded clean line embraced by sky
to find the turn of curved arm where I am
still waiting wet and wild with sand


(with loving memory of my mom & dad and how they loved the ocean)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It Came on Wing






It came on wing of air soft-tuned
waif of thought  
loomed by mother’s willing knot
and the minutes daring sky dark tossed

Saying   now is in between of see
a place of dream and slanted time
and if you open mind of eye
past goodbye to winged caprice
where peace holds eager at arms length
you’ll see around the curve of grace
the lovely of a missing face

I know this thought is fulsome want
and bids to see past seem of real
to peel the skin between the strands
such faith is hard sometimes to feel

I’ve seen this bless of rip in fabric
all stitched down with stretch
elastic
to leave the room of bright lit tone
to find a song   no not alone
but filled with fabric cinched not severed
between the clouds    I’ve seen forever 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

On the Cement at Sunset








The fingers of her heart
tap out the measure of her feeling,
fragile tapered candles they spark
on the cement at sunset.







All around her
is a garden
growing so much whatnot,
lavished with wings,
bees and hummingbirds
surround her hair of dusk
where embers glow
with cinnamon.

Listen to the sound
of the stretching of her mind,
it is stitching now a minute,
growing colors,
see there the lavender of abandon.

I can see her from this window
that distributes time
wrapped in parchment
and tied with twine.

Her wings are splendid
and her eyes are prisms
that cast a shadow that burns,
burns the quiet heart,
torches the waiting pulse,
breaths air into the coals.

She is watching me,
across the chasm of my vestibule
she paints me with cinnabar
and waits for me
to walk with her
out into someplace else.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Which Way to the River




                                                               

Which way to the river

So far   so far

The path
walks with you

A feather notices the breeze
The ribbon of sky
touches the mountain
small thoughts are caught in the tangles
that dot the ridges all bend and bough there



Too far
distance is deceiving
time is its brother




Bathe your feet in rocks
trust the bones of trees
they have captured the way
their flourish marks the path
Sit down with breath
without counting
Listen to air speak
The water runs free
in me