The living days

You turn and look at me

maybe for the first time

or the tenth, or the thousandth time

only to see what you knew you’d find –

a man looking back, whisker’d, aging,

eyes a little dimmer but still aimed at you.

 

I smell your morning breath

and think to myself how perfect,

how expected, how perfectly normal

and good and welcome.

The first kiss is always best

in its unnoticed awkwardness –

maybe because of it.

 

The shear warmth of your body

reminds me of our shared need

for presence and company and comfort

unattainable in the strivings of our days

but remembered in uncounted moments

spread over time and times and time again.

Our sagging bodies remind us of life

lived under common skies, the unexpected usual –

and it settles into me

in a kind of daylight reverie to what is.

 

We make love or something like it,

and vaguely remember the youthful bump

and grind of the easier, less calendared moments,

and scoff at our glorious, happy failure.

The pieces were better, stronger, truer

but more anxious and photoshop expectant.

But this is better in all its effort

and planning, and untelevised humanity.

 

These moments are charged

more insistently by words boring

and daily and dull, but real

and good and dressed in old pajamas.

It is the harmony of music left to

routine and chance and time, the choir of songs

sung to the easy marching hours

and resting nights full of the brighter

skies of want made less

in the beautiful tedium of the living days.

 

 

Just about the time

Just about the time your legs give way

from under you, having danced all night

at a long-awaited wedding

 

Just about the time the advance

comes on your salary, welcome chicken

scratchings held up against a pale and hungry account

 

Just about the time when the last,

tired rays of sun enfold themselves

in blankets of shadow

 

Just about the time your increase

first parallels the centrifuge

of your necessary debts

 

Just about the time you roll off

your partner and unmeasured

breath matches the sound of contentment

 

Just about the time the needle drops

and a tiny arm caresses out music

from the dark groove of delight

 

Just about the time the robin sings

long enough on your lawn

to notice you noticing her

 

Just about the time when it’s no longer

just about the time

 

Then, it is enough

Spring on Ash Wednesday

I should probably just write a new Ash Wednesday piece. But, hopefully there is still some charm and comfort in the old as well…

Rob's Lit-Bits

Ash Wednesday has come round again to spill forth her penitent goodness. I first posted this last year on Ash Wednesday. Let’s walk the Lenten road together.

 ash wednesday

Begins again this Springward journey;

rebirthing all that once lived.

Trickle again once fickle brook and stream

sickle sighs yet in repose, sleeping still.

Earth, sore and Winter-stiff, seeks, sighs

stretches out skinny arms of want.

Her cold, hard bosom births not what soon will come

e’er the Sun’s hungry mouth suckles,

fills his lusty gut on hopeful barrenness

feasting on milk of timeworn, weary passage.

* * * * * * * * *

She forgets not the suddenness of late

and sooner dark, splayed upon a fine, greenness

come for to spite the buds of transforming light

bidding death where life has yet to emerge.

Warmly insistent she speaks, sharing her story

poured out over the long-shadowed land.

Bring such…

View original post 106 more words

Perhaps I sat

Wastin' Time.jpg

Perhaps I sat too long, feet dangling

from the troubled wharf as the gulls

committed their noisy intrusions?

Perhaps I drank too deeply

of the preening dew, her skin

stretched wide upon the grass, wanting?

Perhaps I met my match

in the atrocity of a Herculean day

held up beside my pallid, frayed self?

Perhaps I gawked too lightly

into a pinafore sky, turned inside

out against the paling hours?

Perhaps I missed the voice

of shadows winding, deftly

pointing out the obvious?

Perhaps I was surprised

at how easy it has been

to see nothing in everything?

 

Perhaps these questions merely distract

from the gift of just sitting here?

_____________________

Photo by D. Legin

 

China-cup chats

I’d thought about this once,

maybe through lakeside footsteps in dreams.

Maybe when stride met stride with yours

and we studied the smile of blue hours.

We grew fat with the memory of tabletop

teas over doilies and the speech of saints.

Would it have meant as much

to begin each sentence with as little

common understanding as possible?

Or are we just better at

straining China-cup wishes

through soundbyte chat,

writ large on Tupperware souls?

Whenever we were brave to upset our apple carts

at street-parties, temple gates, church halls, downstairs rooms,

full of happy smoke and sure-talk,

we made for ourselves cider from apples –

handshakes from hellos, initiatives from invitations.

In the dimness of the post-potluck hallway

we had the best things to say.

Things left until after we’d crystallized our consciences,

codified our spaces, tallied our victories,

counted the offering;

edited our truths –

things best left in the hands of friends.

Those without agendas, solutions, or any big ideas –

 

only names. 

 

d.j.t. and the language of impudence

you carve away your slabs of inconvenience with silver spoon,

handed to you in confidence that you might

earn your own pottage.

through flared nostrils, you billow and bluster. 

a pall of disagreeable swagger

posing as fortitude – your aftershave.

 

middle-pack crow at best, your squawking tenor

makes ears bleed that otherwise wouldn’t bother.

but loudest means best when the bleating flock is

only a cover for the finish-line break away.

 

child-wound-daddy-talk, shoulder-chipped, posture-power

harumphing with front-seat view, proxy-driving

from the back-seat limo of puppet-kings,

where you learned your craft.

 

too big the metaphor

for too small a man

so big a tongue

for so small a deed

a borrowed empire built

         on a ground of smoke and lies and bones of the poor

it makes bad wine from old grapes your gardeners never drink

carve away the dross enough to secure your shiny tale

but never let them see the fear you hide through shinier grin.

 

mirrors, over-polished, well-lit, world-weary, familiar,

you cannot look away – an honest pairing, your truest friend –

they always stay quiet when you gloat;

at least they wouldn’t deny your rightful place

among the great, the dress-for-success, self-made (apparently)

emperors of steely resolve and art of the deal.

 

the golf course cathedrals where gods of industry

find reprieve from the weight of their own misdeeds.

the art of misdirection, sleight of hand, deftly removes

what others need, replacing anything too easily overlooked

while we look the other way.

 

stuffing faces in your pockets, names under your lapel,

souls with dirty fingernails and hungry bellies

whose sweat fattened your wine cellar

whose tears fattened your belly while you robbed theirs.

whose unsightly color and ungodly language

builds your fortune

justifies your hatred

explains your anger

baffles God.

 

scratch and sort, smile and sign away the lives

of the lesser than

those too insignificant to see, but dangerous enough  

to uncover your tiny horse-blinded life

dripping with Babylon pipe-dreams

Caesar’s gold pajamas –

Herod wiping out a generation for fear he’s not first –

the screams of mothers to drown his madness.

 

her glance was never a look in your direction

she had no choice given her job

she feared your hunger for pussy and the shamelessness

required to step lightly with a conscience that weighs nothing.

 

and for all that the world is still too small

the job’s in the bag

but the cat’s out of the bag

and your hand is overplayed

masks are wearing thin

time and truth tether themselves

drawing the rope across the chasm

between your rainbow of lust and a bog of emptiness

just in time to speak the one dark word

still hiding stubbornly in your closet –

 

insignificant.