Openings

The picket fence between me
and the road blends and
culminates with symmetry of
scenery. Not a barrier like
doors – those of different
colors and woodgrains – openings
with stone thresholds, inviting
and structurally restrained.
Fences with alternating slat/space
continuums – so observation is not completely obscured
but the breach of us and them is there.
I focus on the panels and their monochromaticity,
accompanied by sun-glare and
it makes me move to the open space.
Here are changing things –
blades of sawgrass moving,
birds that appear and disappear
while rolling in the sky,
the maundering of a single
cloud. My mind follows.

Unknowns (Cento)

The wars go on and on,
invading  your dreams.
Everything you saw
                                 you were,
and you saw everything.
Out of the heart of the ineffable
draw the black flecks of matter
and from these the cold, blue fire.
It produced a wavelike pattern.
All this prodding, so that to an outside observer,
we are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.
And just as I need every bit
 of what is seen,

even among these
defractions,
visions that witches brew,
spoken with images,
never with you-
There was never any more inception than there is now,
to go into the unknown.
I must enter, and leave, alone,
I know not how,
but knew love and
know it through knowledge.
-The darkness in the open mouth
uttered itself, pushing
aside the light.
Credits:
Jessica Hagedorn, Don Bogen, Diane di Prima, John Beer, Lisel Mueller, Jane Yolen, Michael Anania, Walt Whitman, Edward Thomas, Laura Moriarty, Helen Dudley, Margaret Atwood

Strings

To string a harp requires some skill,
nimble touches, and a willingness to grasp
and hold resolute while tightening.

Or to be astute with numbers, theorems-
strings that interweave among
the axioms – truths anchor,
reasons believe.

The twine that twists and loops
as you create, with hooks and pins
to overlap and interplay.

A line to slacken and release
a toy, only to tighten and recall
its track, returned with joy beguiling.

Or words that link by sound
or phrase to sum-splice and describe –
inspire, perturb, dissuade.

Then tie the cord, the knotted ends
that yoke the different threads
we spin and lattice, but not
to demarcate –
The strength’s in bond
and plait.

Walls and Bridges

Horizons awaken
and to get there from here one must see
where the hills and hollows meet
and the rivers and streams retreat
to dreams and shadows fey.

Please do not build a wall,
the kind where horizons are hidden from view.

Solidified mortar against the weather
against the sun and rain, that blocks
one or the other – when they -the both
of them just work together to ripen
and soak this land of opportunity.

I ask that you don’t build a wall,
the kind where there’s brick upon stone.

Though time will avail itself
The vines and the climbers –
the clematis and trumpets will rise
and entwine, stifling the numbness.
The grout it will crumble
with a shout through the pale
as history teaches – walls are assailed.

Do not build a wall, please forego
this thought of a modern Jericho.

The grindstone of building this edifice-
the structure and reasons abound.
The land and the people in unison
need something better – more sound.
Synchronous dreams and horizons.
Hope beyond now- shared not fought.
Walls will not bring us contentment.
Bridges are much better thoughts.

Summer in Chelsea

There’s a summer in Chelsea,
a lazy, flush sunrise –
a dew, with its mettle
at morning, then stripped of its guise.
Full glow and blushing
in the mid-day, with nothing
borne except the breezes
that prattle and patter the leaves
and the warm air that settles,
the ardor that thieves.
Just before rain-drops
and thunder arrive on the scene
to swirl and knead everything
before the employ
of the night,incandescent,with hushes
and wants. Pooled sweat and twilight
and intimate haunts.
Indeed, a summer in Chelsea,
and she beams nonchalance.

Reduction

He sees her wilting coriander
advancing ice and winter weather
casting eyes on cold and anger
like the wilted coriander.

He runs the lathe and turns the marrow
shaving, shaping without sorrow.
What is left but just tomorrow
piled in dust and bone and marrow.

Boiling down the balm and spirits.
Effortless in tone and lyric
words that weep and sounds elicit-
left with tinctured pome, the spirit.

And inside, while cold and bitter
sparks a flame, staves the shiver.
Waits for songs that he will give her
to warm the heart, and mull the bitter.

Thoughts on epiphany

I have decided that music
bears witness to the scenery around us.

A woman wearing a bunny eared winter cap
can listen to “Wild Thing” and “Always a Woman”
and still be focused on serious world issues.

The sounds of Professor Longhair and Dr. John
refresh a winter day of Epiphany just as well as Kings College
at Christmastide.

A conversation with a beautiful soul
can ignite a fire – for warming a dulled
and calloused heart.

Walking on salted sidewalks
leaves a rhythmic pulse in your brain
with bodhran and guiro contributions.

The sparkle of lights in the darkness
of early morning never grows old. The silence
makes them shine.

The end of the day lingers when you drag out
the last light from inside.