Category Archives: free verse

Gathered

The grey blue sky sits somber
till the sun arrives, pink glint and shine
off buildings -faces in the darkened
canopy revealed as blossoms in bouquets.

The stack of bricks sit solid
till the men decide, with sweat and mortar
placing them in preset order – line
structures built to demarcate.

The words I hear ring silent
till the light resides, with spur and purpose
on their ebbing rule and tide – a dawn
A gath’ring of brush come late.

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Eulogy in a Far Away Place

From so far away, your voice – though faint-
gave us canvas and light and dimensions.
We painted the universe with your eyes.
The perspective of an otherworldly
sea and sky. Horizons that you crossed,
plummeting into an eternity of single things
and ingredients of worlds.

And even though you were created
for grandness,
you were destined for sacrifice
just as the universe designs.

How a star flickers its light, then disappears
and the silence in the darkness
leaves us cold, longing for a reemergence
of belief.

How a wave ends its course
at crest, then breaks ashore
to ebb and rest for just moment
before falling away.

How the autumn gold rushes
into view, then descends –
leaving a matte of color and
texture that reminds us
of the beginning.

Buttoned

Slipped into function, an x and o fashion
held fast between the thumb and forefinger
and shoved between stitches.
Crossed threads with fibrils
hatched of coral and seagreen coloring,
the twined straw-ness it sculpts
crossed purposes – to hold within
and to have beauty fitted on the surface.
Our eyes opened to the brief delights
of geminate pairing and not duality.

Swept up (Cento)

Negation, all fulfilled desire
gold with a heart of cinder.

Everything suggests something else.

When the weeds sprawl
it is not what you think.

The dust motes float
and swerve in the sunbeam
because I say we rather than they;

They change the color of your dream:
We is whiplash
and backhanded ways of settling grief.

Very present like a dark poem,
far and unreadable just out
at the edge of this poem floating.

And it is this rocking back and forth

to take in to sate the mouths

of humid heavy air and the wing music
of bees and flies.
Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.
Tomorrow waits with a big broom.

**************

This Cento contains lines from the following poets:

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, Robert Frost, AF Moritz, Muna Lee, Carl Sandburg, Karen Volkman, Lee Herrick, WS Graham, Susan Donnelly, Alison C Rollins, Ha Jin, Jean Garrigue, Jacob Saenz

While

I spent the morning reading my old poems
and realize they feel like memories.
The lonely ones that desire a second (or third)
reading, the triumphant ones
that trumpet their arrival,
the amorous ones –
they pull me into a corner by the collar and linger,
the nonsensical ones that twirl and wheel
about the sacred and profane, the love or disdain.
The obtuse, they wander.
The linear, they gander.
The poems, I gather to mind
and hold to abide in warm embraces.
They all have their places.

Potential

I’ve seen where the snow melts to rivers,
passing over the cusp of terrain.

Poured lonely and loved into vessels pressed
by eons, it froths and drives.
Pulling and pushing the raw,
Filling and turning the wanton mutation
of these bends and falls to impatience
and hurried decline.

Cold and clear – this water, 
a gypsy surge
bathed with benevolent favor
and no time on its journey
for deliberation.
Embraced at its finish
and swirled among the pools
of a quintillion bonded kindred souls.

Disbelief ( a Cento)

Time does have mercy. But it doesn’t enumerate or wait.
A mother of course goes on setting the table, even if it’s with broken plate
lit with the fire of sighs, casts spells, burns sage,
sweats in a lodge, her own prayers flaming,

afraid to demand the right
to be afraid.
You’re trying very hard.
the sensation of anticipated
hearing close inside the ear
and the incipient murmur or cry

Ask and ask until nothing’s left to ask.

A hundred Cheerios, one by one, thinking,
bearing a slender cord for unseen hands.
The rims of wounds have wounds as well.
The memory- as the sole miracle hovering in the air-
Dreams. Time. Horizon. Farther from home than belief
of how your mother laid roses.

 

This Cento is comprised of lines from the following poets.

Chen Chen, Barbara Ras, Sheryl Luna, Robin Morgan, Ko Un, Alice B. Fogel, Carry Fountain, Edwin Markham, Lucie Brock-Broido, Arthur Davison Ficke, Simon J. Ortiz.