Strong wind blows Straight through fields my heart, Flattens the wheat before it is ripe, Takes streamers of flesh, Ripping the cloth that I wear, Leaving no protection As it passes through my life. Ah, the waves of wind stripping the seed— Where will they end? The flower that I hold in my hands Drops petals hour by hour…. Life dying without leaving mine, Falling as if old loves lie forgotten, Fire of memory burning hot, Coals lasting into dark of night. Only now I remember How much is buried, forgotten, Blown away by the wind…. Long years when I was mad Now turned to dust and sand, Falling between fingers, Left on the fields of my heart.
Waking in the middle of the night,
I rise from bed and walk into the kitchen,
Open refrigerator door and peer inside.
There is vague hunger lingering,
From a forgotten dream or unfinished poem,
I cannot know, do not care as I behold the options:
Cold sausage pizza, leftover salad, cold chicken,
Half a quart of milk, a bunch of grapes.
My mother shouts within my head:
“Don’t stand there with the refrigerator door wide open.
All the cold air will flow into the room.”
I close the door and contend with mother’s voice,
Pray that she is now resting at peace….
Then open the door a second time,
Hope some food will beckon and speak to be eaten.
How do I satisfy indistinct longings
When they refuse to clarify or speak?
Do I try some of this and some of that,
Merely to grow fat?
Do I use imagination to taste each bite of feast
That sits upon the table of my life?
Pouring glass of water, I drink from flowing stream,
Satisfy a deeper longing rising in the night.
When shadows are at their longest,
Day is nearly done, and the sun almost gone.
Sometimes I hate feeling of approaching night,
Not seeing where I’m going,
Being lost within the dark.
Other times, I love the sense of losing light,
Leaving behind hours of day,
Where who I am is not constrained
By who I’ve been.
Sometimes it can get boring in the day….
I enjoy the change, opening adventure of
I will not lie.
The truth is— I don’t know why.
There is dread I might go blind at times—
Lose my way within the darkening forest.
Worse, with coming of the night I could die…
Not even with chance to say goodbye.
No guarantee I’d take with me
A glimpse of who I’ve been.
I don’t want to go the wrong way,
Rather take the essence of my love along,
An open heart, forgiving all—
What’s left can peel away,
Like a newborn that no longer needs the egg,
Yellow yoke holding essence of beating heart
Exposed, enlarged, flying
Upward until soaring through clouds,
Escaping gravity of fear….
No shadows to darken thoughts,
No confusion in my head—
Pure clarity of simply Being.
I woke from last night’s dreams
With far too much on my mind—
Tensions held within muscles,
Knots inside my stomach, cramping,
Holding tight shades of offending darkness.
When it stirs and wakes,
The old power swells until it bursts,
Prunes whatever hopes I’ve found,
Budding leaves in spring chocked off,
Freezing cold fractures bark and bones.
All I knew was that I needed to walk
Outside into the morning light,
Draw thirsty drink from new day’s
Wine dark love.
My dim vision basked in rippling, golden light….
Spinning, tunneling its way into the center
Though every level of my pain,
Healing the scarred open flesh,
Flaking off the scabs upon old wounds.
Walking into woods, I feel the tingle rising,
Sun break forth… something new
Emerges from the heart— new birth,
Vibrant wholeness starts to rise.
Arms lifted, prayers dancing on my lips,
Birds singing fresh air greeting.
There, within strong shafts of light,
Expanding ancient harmony.
Though I did not know why or how,
I knew it meant Everything.
Standing here alone, Fixated on the lonely edge of the moon, Mirrored icon of its cratered face, Married to the shrieking owl Shrinking against the dwindling stars. Every hair on my head Feels a lunar spell, erupting… Empty ring upon my finger Burning, searing, unfaithful nights— Unending symphony of pain. Barking dogs bear down on me. I run my sleeve across my brow, Magma moving underground, Blazing touch of hand upon my lips… Finally, I wipe away her scent of perfume Lingering these many years, Lofting into tearing eyes. Before I return home alone, I open knife and make a cut— Split the scab that hides a deeper wound, Tears bleeding as I rip pages from a book… Suddenly I notice others stopping, Looking, turning, Running toward me fast as wind, Destroys silence of my mind, Going against the grain of night, Double knot in stomach as I run screaming Out of time… cuckold yet again. Damn.
The night is young, In this adolescent hour— Stars are not yet glimmering Above the valley opening to the west. A copse of white trees appear dead, gathered, Stand as ghosts, reminding of what once was…. Or shall it ever spring again with leaves Upon bare branches? I cannot tell at dusk…. Even as the cold wind of February Blows upon tall standing reeds Rooted on the shore, waves lapping lazily Hour by leaden hour among the roots, Rustling free and wild, touching Though they sleep forever more. What words rise within your mind When such hours unwrap themselves? Day drops the mantle of stronger light, Stands alone in singularity As Sun wearily departs and deeper shadows Shroud the waking stars, one by one, Eyes open from darker eastern sky…. Quietly, stars open the book of memory, Speak without a word of cold immortality. Slowly, it approaches…. This night of stars, At first feebly blinking, then unconstrained they come, Fair dreams that light the lamp, only brighter As light overshadows complete blackness Allowing eyes to dimly see within the dark.
When I was seven and my great-grandfather Was eighty-three, he told me the full moon Was made of cheese. Not all of it, and Not all of the time, but after it rained, There were hidden craters where water Turned first to milk, then curdled into cheese As tides upon the Earth reversed, Churned the surface of the bleu moon. He was so old, he had lost his judgment or Had the wrong kind, but he did have time, Thinking many hours on what kind of cheese Would taste best on the moon, in full light, After it rained, all alone with crackers and a spoon. I spent that night camping under pine trees, Staring at that old full moon and wondering, Watching it over my shoulder, clouds passing overhead, Eating crackers I had stolen from the kitchen, Thoughts turning to cheese in my churning boyish mind, Wondering if my great-grandfather might be right. Past midnight, after a brief shower moved through, Wind blowing through the pines woke me from sleep. I’d been dreaming my great-grandfather was W. C. Fields, up on the moon, shouting “I’d rather be here than in Philadelphia!” And I knew he’d always preferred aged cheddar to Philadelphia cream cheese, even up there on the moon…. That night, while I was slowly aging in my sleep, My great-grandfather died. He flew to the moon with crackers and a spoon, Searching for his secret crater of cheddar. I felt the wind as he passed above the pines, No doubt hungry, searching for his fill of heavenly cheese.