Thursday, October 27, 2005

after dinner curl

curled in feline C
curve tail to touch
nose-whiskered tip
in dream-timed breath
modulated flesh waves roll
fur-soft purr sounds sated
of dinner's lap o love
is my daily joy
this cat

First published in Angel Animals 8-13-05.

Miles--our Love Cat

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Morning Light

We land on an island, or grasp a raft of floating debris. Can we catch a rest before the next storm? It is a broad expanse—this sea of life.

Morning Light

Some call it God, My Lord or Master.
Heavy the measure of justice in yesterday’s night.
Fight each reason remembering the riches
For all is of the holy cup.
I thirst. I drink.
I recall the laughter of last vacation
a month before winter.
The storm last night:
Listen to its answer in the moment of hours.
Call in the cards fanned to stretch the ages
of metered justice and reason’s plight.
Freedom is my cup
and its charge—
this morning light.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Still Lake

Though it is October, summer isn’t over without a day on the lake. And friendship really never ends.

Still Lake

Shady dock. Red canoe.
Green algae paints the water line
on rock wooded shore.
Red and yellow bottomed turtles sunning,
plop from logs as we approach.
Gold-leaf boat sails beneath
the web-wrapped snag.
Water skippers playing tag.

Muskrat swims along the bank,
circles, circles back and back
to hidden mud leaf,
rush and reed.
Dead trees tell of bridge and ship
builders’ ancient dream.
Beam and masts still stand
unused till after world.

Breeze touches lake away from shore.
What fish jumps in silver
light so near afar?
Two ducks quack-flap off
from willow shade.
Love for life, or fly away
from rendezvous of water feast,
leave by south and northeast.

Pasture of apples, gold and red,
electric fence protecting
from waterfront and beast of trek.
Reflect sky travel on the dock,
thirty of the summer’s clock.
Boys sharing, comparing
tools of survivor’s trade,
happy in the shade of this still lake.

(I wrote this five years ago after a day with friends near Lonsdale, Minnesota. Seems like it was yesterday.)

The Stool

Sits under a tree on the boulevard of a busy street. Was lunchtime for one, and a feast to the eyes of this driver’s mind.

The Stool

Set it anywhere
An artist will see it
A musician will hear it call
And the audience will approach
Like the players all walking on stage
Seated prominently talking
The street now calls
To the stool.

Prop of supposition
Launch pad of reason
Rather the wisdom beyond
The easel, the pen of the poet
Invisible space and white of mime
Life shines all around me
Take it or leave it--
The stool.

From here
She catches each color
As it comes from the cotton wood
And a Saturn with plastic sides.
He trumpets the horns of
Smokin’ trucker John
Playing long with
this soul on
A stool.

My subject,
My inspiration
On three legs or four or
One -- steady as the gold leaf diving
Where do we go from here?
The dreams of people
The seeds of trees
A stump or knee
Or stool.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cinnamon Roll

Here's one from the past. The cooler weather brings back the experience.
I was working in the yard and came in to the scent of my wife's fine craft.

What waft doth freshen man’s heart with love
but the scent of dough bake rolled
and rising from the hearth o’ pantry’s oven.
Aroma home and hot with butter.
What better way to say she loves me,
than with the roll of honey loose,
laid with nuts and dripping in twist this treat.
Could hardly be said much better
by her fond touch and stretch shared later
in night chamber’s down of goodness drifting.
Hot and tender. Soft pull and chew.
The love of woman makes sweet the home
and did I mention cinnamon roll?

written 3/27/03

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Autumn Rain

Cold this morning.
Warm hearth.
And hearts overflowing at the window.
Our breaths alternating
with the wind
blown in from the near side of winter.
Only yesterday I held your hand and asked for yes.
And now I hold your hand and remember
all the yeses, and all the times two made one.

Listen to the autumn rain.
A thousand lovers tapping.
This window.
Our hearts.


I wrote this one earlier in the year when considering the Pope's demise. Not fully understood when it came in, but the words and rhythm flowed. Seemed to go beneath the contemplation of his death.


Enter now
A stairwell white
Plaster walls this spiral way of even steps
Twist down the walk that tightens in its turn
Then rise of step drops further than the tread.
I tilt my head and even knees bump top
The tiny box of twisted, plaster steps
Wind down from white-wash caste
To bleeding brown on browns and tan, the taste
And black with blood from others past lost in descent
Dried and crusted in the cracks of these crocked straits.
The light above has vanished
And I bump down this funnel of apparent death.
Cannot lift legs or heels to catch the last tread ledge
Only gravity now rules
And I slide
A final pull this spiral trough bent in a twist of fate.
My face wipes abrasive wall as arms reach where dim light once shown
And hands cannot grasp even the last foothold
Yet, I still hold this pen, this light.
You see its message here.
Unless no one has found the truth of this trap, this pit.
I write to find the sun.
Where ink-black still shows on tan
Perhaps to gain the white of precious paper page
No plaster surface walls
Call the readers from the grave to see this script
And wish it to this paper page
Spiral light or winding, dark descent.
Written on the walls of hope or discontent.
Journal of a journey through this lent and back to light by writing of the fall.
White paint of plaster, spiral way still holds the light
Of a window to the sun
Shines now hopeful by this pen
Would that you read and do not follow me.
Though free at last I, soul, wrenched from the wedge of flesh and pit
I join the light
My eyes are open now
I was asleep
There is an easier ascent.
Than pulled by passions of an underworld.
I see you read.
And know that rise and fall are on the same staircase.