Thursday, July 29, 2010

Strange Domain


How I love the steady rain,
or perhaps more to the point,
why do I love the steady rain?

Since childhood I've loved solitude,
not loneliness, you see, but a quiet solitude,
a peaceful place where thoughts collect

without fear of being disclosed to others.
Why? Well, I can't actually tell you, except
that it seems I've sought the real "me",

to know more of what's in this mind,
in some fashion much of my life, and
failing, it would seem, for as long, thus

I love the encompassing feeling of rain,
the blue shadows at dusk, an empty park,
the lamentable call of mourning doves,

seclusion in a stand of autumn aspens,
or laying beneath a shedding fall oak,
an overcast but benign winter sky,

a field of snow unbroken by man,
the soft fall of large snowflakes.
Yes, within such tranquility it becomes

easy to explore the strange domain
contained within this head of mine, perhaps
I'd even let a few chance thoughts escape.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stretch of History

Second installment on The Oregon Trail poems:

The bone-white wagon tongue,
its carriage long ago disintegrated
and fallen into splintery planks,
laps thirstily at the dry sod along the
edge of the trail, finding only
parched earth and no water, burrs
and beetles instead of hydration.
The dry stalks of Indian grass,
burned rust red in the summer sun,
clink and snap against each other
as if an ordained primordial rhythm,
mimicking the clicking of ‘hoppers
as they pass from stalk to stalk
and me, on another visit to this trail.
More prairie than desert, but still
more a place to leave behind, only
insects, lizards, hawks and the curious
chickadees seem to make it home,
this dusty stretch of history.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Verse for Jan

Twilight has edged its way in,
the sun being tamed by the advancing night,
while among the darkening cottonwood
the chorus of songbirds grows muted,
relaxed and that intimate,
beloved magic enters our
golden domain again.
The air grows headier
with what I call your essence -
the scent of every blossom
that ever was, ever could be, seems
to be a part of you.

I could say romance permeates the air
but over the precious years with you
I've learned that being close to you
doesn't always have to be sexual.
Rather, it seems the measurable times,
the cherished moments are those when
we are alone together and each can embrace
the other's smile, keenly aware of what
the other is thinking, feeling
and dreaming without it being
put to words. Indeed, the best times
are simply those when we
can quietly look into
each other's eyes.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The man he was

This man is lost to the intervening years,
thank God, and the new man has emerged.

The walls reflect nothing,
allow nothing, just the dusty
depression of a room within
a house within a faltering marriage,
barren of love or hope of continuing.
Only a break in the blinds allows
a razor's shard of light through
to the suffocating heaviness of the
dark room, slanting across the floor
to the feet of the man in his chair,
the man he is, a diminished shell
now, devoid of dreams and plans,
of sexuality and a passion to live,
longing for the man he was and
the life he failed to appreciate.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

first blush of dawn

In the bleakness
of predawn the fear
is there, as it always is
when I struggle to awaken.
But I know the fear
will begin to dissipate,
the pulsing heart will
diminish before I get
both feet on the cold floor.
Morning coffee
and a pinkish gold
breaking through the
shuttered window and
I know I live, that fear
is temporary and strength
increases with each
moment, and I'm aware
that I didn't really lose
her love despite
the dream and I know
love will endure, and I didn't
die. All things flourish
with the first blush of dawn.
I only wish the dreams
to disappear, for good.

indefinable surge

A fiber, a strand
of something bright, clear
and sweet rushes
through me each time
you touch me, each time
I dare to think that you
might love me as I love you -
the most wonderful
yet indefinable surge
which enlivens each cell
of this aging body.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cell by cell

How unfair this aging process,
this melting down of tissue and
disintegration of bone and sinew,
this deterioration, cell by cell,
and the muddling of the intellect.

A goodbye

This will be the last verse concerning my brother - naturally he's been on my mind and I know you realize that. But a final goodbye is in order. Thanks.

We said goodbye to you, brother,
and no one heard our hearts breaking.
All that could be heard was the capricious
wind snaking its way through the
bulrushes along the river and up through
the spray of flowers on your headstone.

What could not be heard was the
catch in our breath as we tried futilely
not to weep in front of each other -
a foolish attempt, for what comes from
the heart at a time like this needs to be
felt and expressed, for it is true and good.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The way it should go

How appropriate, dare I say
"appropriate" without diminishing
a life, his life, that this is
the way it should go with
the pot of flowers I kept trying
to resuscitate - the brilliant
vermilion blossoms, struggling
against poor earth and little
water, kept trying to show
forth their infinite beauty.
How appropriate is it this day
the flowers finally gave up
and died, their struggle futile,
that my brother too should die.