Tuesday, April 22, 2014

TWICE STOLEN BONES









Twice stolen
bones sink 
beneath open
water, wash up
in the shallows
beneath the trestle
bridge on the way
out of town

Just finding them
makes my heart
ache with the sharp
pain of losing you
The way the mess
of nerves stay raw,
open and throbbing,
calling to a phantom limb

I stand on the bridge
sway with the wind,
rock on my heels as a
train whistles by
so close, I feel
its heat, see the
engineer's wide eyes.
I turn away
and watch
the black river
serpentine
below me...


Sunday, April 20, 2014

YOU WOULD SWEAR










Being out on the bayou at any time
is surreal, but at eventide,
when the water's surface
becomes moonlit briefly
You swear on that moss-laden
tree, there's a woman hanging
by her wrists
You blink and breathe deeply
and in that moment are
suspended in limbo
Where thoughts and nightmares
tumble over each other
You hear someone chant nearby,
then far off
Hold your breath...
Where is that tree again?
Something falls across your face
By turns you feel sick, then faint
Your reflection in the water
is paper-white
A gator splashes loud
 and you crack apart like porcelain
Now the moon's a gaudy bauble in the sky

and still you tremble

Sunday, April 6, 2014

OF COURSE YOU REMEMBER













Remember when you swung on that leather strap
over the waterfall at Niagara Falls...
I bet you, you couldn't make that swing,
You said, "watch me"
Then in a move I didn't believe you could make, you hopped
over the barrier,
Onto the unit that the custom guys use

I could see your face make that tough-guy look you do sometimes
Then you held your hand up high and I saw the diamond winking
in the light,
And you grinned, as you zipped yourself onto the line,
Folded the ring into a pleat in your jacket
Then, with all the power I know you have in your shoulders
You literally flew out over the falls, made that huge loop and then back to me...
of course, I said I'd marry you.

Monday, March 31, 2014

JACKSON SQUARE, NOLA













There is a museum
just off the square
—Presbytere—
If you have time
to visit it...
plan to;
the videos
of Katrina
will burst
upon your
consciousness
Leave you
shivering
Wondering
what it took
to heal
What strength
must be rooted
in the people
that live here—
They have been
torn apart
more than once
And know much
about mending lives...
and souls.
Identifying rows
of the dead
Laying them to rest
above ground
Dancing their
loved ones
into heaven
on a prayer
And a hymn voiced
growl.



Sunday, February 16, 2014

JUST A SIMPLE WORKING GIRL

She listens, listens, holding
her breath.
         Denise Levertov  "The Servant Girl at Emmaus"
         (A Painting at Velázqyez)

Later, safe from the court
of public opinion
and avoiding all
She employed the tricks
party to her trade
Knew to stay safe
and to keep from
contracting any virus
She must keep her
wits about her;
be in the right
frame of mind
If she should
fail to recognize
the difference between
true bravery and
silly fool-hardiness
There would no support
for her anywhere
She was well aware
of what the wages
of sin were...

Join me this week at Creative Bloomings (click here) as I cohost from Feb.16th to the 22nd.



Sunday, February 9, 2014

WHY IS IT SO HARD

What a great prompt! I often said that Janis Ian is my muse (she and Leonard Cohen actually) so, this was a natural fit for me. I've used 5 of Ian's songs and indicated where the lines come from with annotations...I hope that becomes clear by the end.  I've combined this prompt with this week's Sunday Whirl wordle words

WHY IS IT SO HARD (3)

If I had one wish tonight (3)
I would wish to stream my muse
Get up the pluck and even write
Again to tell her how she helps me so

I am older now, I know,
but still as big a fool (2)
Why is it the simple truths
Are the hardest to believe (4)

Still, I can't forget back when
I too did not "want to ride
the milk-train any more" (1)
My everyday routines passed
by in a type of invisible flow

I recall thinking then too,
"The days are okay
I watch the TV in the afternoon" (2)
When I would try to list all
that was going right...
"I'll go to bed at nine
and waken with the dawn."
The most gutsy thing I did
back then was listen to
your songs...

"And in the winter extra
blankets for the cold" (2)
How often did I play this tune?
I wonder the groove did
not wear through...
"Overused and much abused" (5)
But I did gather blankets to
cover my shivering body
While you brought "the comfort
of a few old friends,
long past their prime." (1)

Decades later, you still
ignite me muse
"And gazing at the moon,
I'll pray to go quite mad." (1)
But pray harder now to
stay sane so
"Pass the tea and sympathy
For the good old days long gone." (1)

I wish I knew you well enough
To ring you up and ask you
If I have grasped so very many things...
Or even if we both could learn to fly...
"Cause in the air we'd meet as friends
Equal to the sky
and I would be content to watch you fly
but from the ground you're just someone
who's standing closer to the sun
and I am just a shadow by your side." (3)

Notes:
 1. Tea and Sympathy (from Between the Lines)
 2. Getting Over You (from Hunger)
 3. Shadow (from Hunger)
 4. In the Winter (from Between the Lines)
 5. Bright Lights and Promises (from Between the Lines)
   
 



Monday, February 3, 2014

HERE, WHERE LIE THE FORMER

Such the bucolic place, here
where the markers lie flat
side by each as if open to all
that miss

their loved ones;
Those others
whose potential
has been forever dimmed
Then finished—the
balance tipped

to the dark side
The senses shrouded
as they need accept
Both they that
no longer breath
and those that grieve

There is a fearful synergy
in that and no way
To edge away from it
nor tip-toe around it
either —what was former
is now always...