NaHaWriMo 2018, part 3

Day 17

I cannot say why

the page seems a mystery

to a breath of ink.

 

Day 18

If there is but one

desire, given to all men,

could it not be love?

 

Day 19

A rotund excuse

it takes to suffer one’s pride

for want of one’s rights.

 

Day 20

A curious thing

this stand of winter flowers,

blooming out of rhyme.

 

Day 21

When the clock stood still,

two arms aimed at journey’s end

couldn’t stand the strain.

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Somewhere there lies, loitering

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Somewhere there lies, loitering 

in the distance between pen and page,

the anxiety between knife and cut,

the pause between note and

note – the death between enemies, lives

the untested, a life yet

to be conjugated

into constituents, a partial

whole of whole parts.

*

Maybe in all our persistence,

advancing

forward

our stolen inevitabilities,

we trade the certain for the sure,

the palette for the lecture.

Does not heaven bear the pernicious blockade?

The bee’s tongue waits to pollenate 

what soon will sweeten the starving

earth, and every smiling charlatan

a saint in the making.

*

Winnowing out from among the what ifs,

here-to-fors of judgements made before

the trial, the touch before the love,

is a shimmering reverie,

song of those who cannot sing.

It is the best song.

The churning stomach taut with

unrehearsed laughter.

It is the best joke.

The blanching eye, met full on

with the heavier beauty.

It is the wildest good. 

*

Somewhere there lies, loitering –

let it.

__________________________

Photo courtesy of Pexels 

On New Year’s Day

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Photographer: Zdeno Ceman

Look high up into the silent ubiquity of stars

and think. A razor’s-edge sky no more,

now, just lucid memory – the skinn’d-knee’d part

of the year, draughting, droughting, doffing

her news like the chevrier’s cap

to tip toward fresher dawns.

They spread themselves

out like white currents in black jam – a deft, 

thick parade of something always bigger than

it’s last time. Daylight, tapped out, 

waits for instructions.

 

Who’s news wrote herself of such worthy

stock as to preen in lace-ribbon’d journals,

the fare of hired kings, hourly queens?

Let the moated whims of the fanciful

remind you of marshmallow mouths,

full-brandied, shuffling through 

the shared coastlines of care.

Look far to the dual horizons of east from west,

wrong from pragmatic, and shudder full-wing’d

in the concentrated machinery of memory. 

Is this a constancy of preparedness? 

A repetition of verses, repeated, repeated again –

enough to repeal your doubts and reassign

them elsewhere?

 

Lean forward looking back, standing full upright.

Tell us what you would feign otherwise to see.

 

 

After London

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She grabbed my hand –

caught, like a tufted

grove of hazy branches –

there were promises unspoken.

 

The full English –

an edible morning rainbow.

Then, it’s heads down, cell phone

ground-under-ground feud

to downtown.

 

It’s the skin-tight suits

the ‘please watch me not watching you’

as we shoot through this

time tested colon –

speeding train of Tartarus,

emerging once again,

limitless –

 

Chuffed, checkered, intermittent

chock-a-block

with gardens,

breathing –

assigns us together in the march,

a soldiery of urban totems.

 

1980s yoga pants

like validation tattoos – a rite of passage

for all who feed the push, heed

the pull, hunt the posh, herald their

potential.

 

Miles of scarves, stairs, scars, and stares (downward) –

brogues, bulimic beauties, and burkas –

pumps, peacoats, pints, and paces –

faces down, chins up,

clacking heals, turning heads

chasing oil on water –

pooling from the duck’s back.

 

How much faster can we go

to get to where we always go

but have never seen,

here in jolly ole…?

 

Is there anything after London?

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The world and me

I love the world as she has loved me –

she to me, a globule; I, to her, infinity.

She unpacks her bags each morning, 

with equal fanfare, but no pretense.

_

She always was a generous friend –

a giver of pleasure,

waitress to my doubt,

bearer of my pain.

And, in her bosom? That longed for, long

home-s  t  r  e  t  c  h of the driver’s road.

_

Her knowing neck waits for my tears.

She sends reminders for me to

clap the dirt clods from my dusty hands

before I scratch out memories in clouds

or bend my knees to the great silence.

Toast her first, take her elder hand, look deep

inside her intuition – then ravage seems less likely.

_

“You pinch and toss, diminish and deride,

hoarding stolen jewels for your banality.

But I’ve borne you on my back, 

wrapped you in my folded skin,

planted you in places

you’ve known, some not.

You’ve nursed these ancient breasts

into the submission of harmony,

the blessing of acceptance.”

_

So I come to rest in her scholarly pain.

There is a certain ennui in my small experience

that shows up when I meet her gaze.

And any of my rumpled thoughts or faces 

meant as caves and shields

cannot cast shadows longer than the sum of her days.

_

I smile and we shimmy down the park bench

of years and stories told and lies perfected.

And she smiles because she knows everything

I’ve forgotten or discarded

or chosen to remember poorly.

_

I’ve bruised her.

She blesses me.

I love the world as she has loved me –

she to me, a mother; I to her, a child.

Going Over Things

Like under-inflated tires meant for better roads,

the sheen wears off until tracks become ruts

and steering makes no sense.

Now they wonder out loud if pitch and yaw can match

the swoop and dive of former days.

And they ask themselves the only questions

worthy of easier breathing and potato salad,

fresher still than the arrival of these moments –

unbearably skint of certainty,

but crouching in the dew of possibility.

This is no John Steinbeck novel they chuckle uneasily.

But it sure bears a resemblance to those sullen characters

pulled from page to thought, from thought to talk

and back again. 

And even Oklahoma dust tastes good in a mouth

full of hope, conversations pointed in.

So, like throats yearning for rain,

they steer the bow of an old truck into new wind.

An uneasy road curls herself, snakelike,

hiding just underneath – not so much friend

as necessity.

Unlikely companions, no longer in remission,

make plans on the yawning road before them.Morning run copy.jpg