Category Archives: poetry

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.

A careless triolet

A sudden silence in my wordless voice
that snared the rain and callous wind
and dripping eaves, by choice.
In sudden silence paused my wordless voice
with little notion to rejoice.
Between disdain and careless twinned
a sudden silence in my wordless voice
that snared both rain and callous wind.

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.

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.

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.

 

Puzzled

The color is at least a brown,
though it shades a bit of red
with purple tones at corners
and the interlocking tab.

A protruding sense of purpose
it contours like jagged bone
meant to match in synchrony
maneuvering to its own.

And yet, uniqueness hems and flanks
the space, the opening it takes
and turning ’round the key
will not fill disparate gapes.

So left then, is a scenic -rude-
all unveiled and bit-by-bit
assembled there in lots and cast
and there one piece does not fit.

All solving will not cure the form
inside this pale, imperfect zone
of puzzle pieces. Looking close
a wealth of hues and shapes, its own.