Category Archives: free verse

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.

Metathesis

Raw material
thought unneeded and defective
on snows of paper-
Coloring the outlook in real pigments,
a gradient in between the
two-tone coloration anchored
by the evil absence of light.
It must be a bitch
or at least alien logic
to walk thru or wear on
in such complications.

On the timing,
don’t rush or force the ending.
Science waits-
wins out over time and darkness-
increasing the demand for
beautiful poems.

Whither

I wish in sounds that the wind makes
when rustling the leaves in rain, and
shakes, scattered and thrushed.

In a way, it is like breathing –
in another, waved and brushed.

I brace my frame against the chill
that stuns and stings,
and howls the shrill coil.
The fear that it brings,

headlong and brittle
into the wind.

I lose myself in those rushing moments
of burst and calm, the fate of limb
with a wandering unction.

Casting aside the lithe, cold grim
then writing in new script, a whim.

 

Choice words (Cento)

Under the wordless sky, come
with loveliness and the icy drouth
of hate –

The diverse forms of things, how can we learn?
Such is life’s trial, as old earth smiles and knows
We call things beautiful, not as such, but because of what they mean.

One moment rests my heart, to rend the next
with words alert and bold,
betrayals so long repeated
that they are taken for granted.

And passing on, smiled like a singing rainbow,
the sky too soon shall witness on your winter hill
as atoms dissipate, as chance sorts life.

*********
A Cento is a poem comprised of lines borrowed from other poets. This one owes is origins to the following poets:
Edward Albert Clements, Margaret Fraser,V.N. Wylde,John Creagh, Kathryn Worth, Joseph Stanley Pennell, John Davies, Robert Browning, Anthony Madrid, and W.S. Merwin.

Crossroads Eulegy

The church at the corner
of High Street and Orange
has closed its doors, and will be
torn down.
Peeling away the veneer of eternity
from man-made totems.
Perhaps, like its neighbors,
the touchless car-wash and
the auto lube- each seeking to
cleanse and repair brokenness – it suffered
from poor accessibility
from the main road
and people were not induced
to stop over.
Maybe it missed a key tenet
of going – even down the street
or across the tracks- to share
a moment.

All this – it makes way for the new road project
and adds extra lanes to this junction –
so that people can travel
to and fro,
but never have to stop.
Or perhaps, they will install
a roundabout – the evensong of
souls that move continuously
through the intersection
on their way to someplace else,
never noticing the the brick
wall that faces the highway.

Hidden

In praise of pewter and braids –
and time that fills the empty spaces,
my songs carry with them
faces of blue, confiscated from clouds.

I imagine them as downcast-
bent as the newly emerged jonquils
under a storm.
Forlorn, as an abandoned
patch of last season’s snowmound.
And roiling with the murk
of runaway rainfall and laced
with mud.

Somewhere, burgeoning
behind the surging somber
lies her bronzing sun, polished
and rose umber, attempting to gleam
during the hidden moments of today.

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.