Category Archives: love

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.

Real

A real poem may awaken you before dawn
as you watch the shadows scrape away the dark
leaving pits and imperfections in the light,
things that trip or hide from you at night.

A real poem may drink coffee black or filled with cream
while watching rivers rise to meet the banks
and how it meets the line of trees, carrying debris,
then leaving it behind as water recedes.

Truest poems hear the second hand,
the sound of resonation in a quiet mind-
rememb’ring things you heard just yesterday
that click and talk, and will not go away.

And last about the poems that you feel
inside, the ones that cry or laugh or wince or smile,
Embrace them with your joy and gratitude,
caress them at the dawn and let them soothe.

Pastel

In springtime, when our love was young
as children frollicking, run ’round and sung
wearing orchid dresses or mallow
neckties – to romp in damp grasses
in crayola sunlight.

Late winter of another year
in charcoal black and sinister
veneers of burgundy and brown- our hopes
and passions tread into ground.
And lasting what seems of a full bitter night,
unanswered prayers of a hopeless plight.

Come morning, then, in the orange dawn
a windless chill – almost gone.
An Easter vigil, impassioned rites
borne of blood-red, silver, black and white,
returns a prize bought with a cost-
hope eternal once thought lost.

Pattern

Going forth from dot to dot,
and lines to sect, and textured plat
– I feel her form in jazz – all that
time, melodious tone and scat.

And though the curve she’s wont and apt
to slide and clutch, her eye for voicing
taut and slack.

The tremble that I feel is naught
set side by side her ending thought.
And once the silence lingers hot,
Is she the pattern that I seek, dare not?

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.

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.

A question, in advance

It sings itself, doesn’t it?
the song about love and hope-
the one about couples, and snowfall and candles
familiar lyrics and trope.

Each verse is a longing
request for addition
with vocalese twinges
that wear down, by detrition,
the crag and stone hindrances
built by decision.

Until, yes, the endgame –
the paramount question
asked with charm and sorcery
with little regard for others
just you and me –

Will you dance inside the phrases
and read my poetry?
Hold my hand firmly
as you focus and you breathe?

Can you imagine, here, set free?

*******
The song “What are you doing New Year’s Eve” was running through my mind this morning, and I wrote this as an accompaniment to the song. A tribute to the muse and love in general, I suppose. Wishing you all the best in 2017.