Let Your Love Be Sharp

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My friend, Sherman, passed his test today,
Renewed his license to pack heat in secret,
Concealed, hidden from wife, friends,
Presumably would draw if he were robbed,
Saw some stranger threatening. I assume he thinks
He’s safer with a gun. Ah, such delusions
We hold to shelter us from fear.

Perhaps everyone who loves should
At least have sharp knives, tenderly to
Carve with love at least a smile
Upon the thighs, back or face, cut deep
As though carving pumpkin on Halloween,
Celebrate The Day of the Dead with style.

Perhaps test the sharpness on your father,
Old tough skin might need a harder push…
Good kitchen knife for your wife,
Butcher when she harshly turns her back.
Let her bleed first, receive the hateful look,
Take the thrust the way you gave her children,
Concealed not by night, but in your darker moods.

As for children, let them all be evenly sliced,
Wounds pressed with love by father’s need,
Razor in hand always steady, their vanity
Becomes a consequence of veins slowly drained,
Nicking every artery to flow as love flows
Deep in loving hearts, secretly as one carries
Pistol concealed upon the body, always ready.

 

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Just Beyond the Corners of the World

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Even in the dark, I feel the lingering
Human presence of those now gone,
Those whose bones are joined with soil.
They walk our empty streets at night;
Miraculously they whisper among themselves.
No wonder my toes itch when I remove
Boots after walking alone in the snow at night.

Just beyond the corners of the world,
Forgotten names roll by under the trick of dim lights,
Familiar shadows moving in the wild, willing to meet….
Darkness swoons with heavy vapors washing the air,
Chills the breath before it leaves lungs,
Resolves and concentrates all intent—
Only what endures illuminates the grief.

He Walked With Steady Gait

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Old man sat there under the palm tree,
Weathered face as if chiseled in solid stone,
Dark skin and age spots evidence of
Too much time working, sweating in hot Sun.
Deep lines cast shadows on his flesh to testify
By hard steel his life has not be easy.

No prince of wealth has lived within his home.
Yet his wide brow, thin grey beard
Suggest an equality so constant with his years—
Simple, honest, determination has molded
Shape of soul that rich men have not found
Living as they do in warm beds and palaces.

He has known hunger, fear and darkness,
Walked for days in worn shoes with steady gait,
Slowly into future that, as is the case with all,
Remains unknown, unknowable
Yet put his quiet trust into the hands of God.
And that for him has been better
Than any light that promises
Known ways or bright boughs of flowers.

Directness of his eyes reveal he’s known
Grief and heavy sadness—yet the wounds
He’s carried have not made him mean.
Though he is no member of elect society,
He wears a curious crown of straw,
His gaze and straight lips give hint—

Perhaps of a rather common noblesse.
His woman, his sons and daughters,
His dog has known his warm embrace.
When winter winds sweep through his house,
He gives away his only blanket, rises early,
Admits to himself he does not know
Much at all but that a stone is heavy.

He admits his years are hasting away…
Soon his sight will dim and the tree
Where now he leans to take his meals
Will give shade to another man.
He will have a lasting rest under the grass,
Finally free of all the heavy cares,
Stone resting lightly just above his head.

As Moving Fog Softly Touches Earth

Moving Fog Touches EarthMorning clouds crept down,
Held within valley’s hills,
Gently stroked Earth as fog,
Everywhere it touched as much as God.

Sun blazed high above,
Perhaps it was a dragon breathing fire,
Shimmering and shifting shape,
Hues of colors changing
As much it seemed to change my fate.

I reached out my hands to grasp—
Dispersing fog began to cease,
Dissolve as much as Self’s intention,
Surrender now my only hope of peace.

The world falls with accelerating force.
Reels away as wind streams by—
Every tree stands firm in fading light,
Spends itself terminally in falling leaves,
Detaches as fast as fog drifts away from me.

Oh, Morning Star! Oh, full face of Moon!
Look down with mercy on my feeble heart—
Do not hold me tightly to such doom
As silence holds my prayer upon this start…
First light, then noon, then again the drifting night.

 

My Soul is Hollowed Out

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I’ve known this fleeting space
Where ratio of word to flesh
Evaporates and all is indistinct,
Shadows come alive and ache
Swims with wonder fused with bliss.

Only word that comes to mind is
Rapture as it comes in waves,
Lands upon the mind from
Nowhere, simply bursts alive as
All sense of form is lost, stretches,
Swells to marvel anything exists.

I sense I’ve slipped the clutch,
Time is laid aside,
Engaged, aware the world is filled,
Delectable, promiscuous,
Merciless yet sweet.

And when it passes, I’ve lost control,
No line, no point, no up or down,
In silence I am overthrown,
A kind of punishment,
Being ravaged from the Deep,
Left splintered yet whole.

Still, I beg the world….
Ask whatever God can hear my prayer,
Beloved, remain with me as Source—
With or without this bitter, ruthless grace.
Forever more my Soul is hollowed out:
Joy, tears, savage longing to know and to be known,
Held, hushed against soft lushness of the Light.

Anywhere You Need to Go

 

9549416159_5b33ccdc59_bRailroad tracks outside of town
Now old and rotting,
Once a curving spine to quickly move,
Deliberately plotted to go from here
To anywhere you want—
Branches going north and south,
Small towns, cities, mountains,
Far beyond the river to an endless shore.

Now there still rests upon the bed
Concentration of stones patiently smoothed,
Shaded even in winter by pines
Where needles break the living light,
Comes and leaves the way a heron
Hopes to spear and break the flesh of fish,
Soars and dives below waterline
To feast, to fly again across the lake.

Railroad needs a bridge to cross the distance.
For years, teenage addicts and fishermen
Would come to drink, smoke,
Find within old shattered glass
Handy tools to gut the fish,
Failed to hide from guilt or shame a truth
It might be a damn fine place to die.
No need to walk far to find thigh high weeds,
Hiding road from prying eyes.

Protecting mystery of this sacred place,
Come here only if you feel the need.
More likely to survive if you are
Old and overgrown, able to dispel
Rotting pain with prayer, not pills.
If you come at night, write in ink
Your name upon your hand.
Can you see it now? Flying low in dim light,
Grey heron, eyes cast downward as it fishes,
Needs to dive and kill, to gorge and live.

Let the War Finally End

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As winter comes,
Trunks of trees are hard as stone.
Bark of maples hold their sweetness,
Always waiting for the spring.

Had she ever really loved him?
Though he held her hand a thousand times,
Something had splintered in her heart.
This is how he learned of grief.

There were those who’d split her wide,
Slid between her legs and made her scream.
Had he known, he would have cried.
But he was weak and her door was tightly closed.

With every child, a hidden blossom grows—
Perhaps a hope the war might end. Even now,
At twilight, he smells lush smell of tomorrow.
Come, daughters, let cold war finally thaw to end.