Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Long Rows of Old Childhood

My months are getting longer.

Long rows of harsh-barked oaks, old childhood trees.
Running, running, running fast my hands along the dry trunks,
feeling little bits of torn fur in this half-light.
Quiet sounds up there,
dark canopy of branches, flitting,
rumbling whispers.

You need to stop following me.

Rolling in and out between stiff fingers,
lithe, little bits of fur and particles of bark.

Like a foam-lipped dog,
kicking out its legs behind its rolling neck,
echoing through the wild woods.

Echo, echo, echo,
follow, whisper, running!
Bark like the soft shutting
of a wooden trapdoor on an empty stage,
no curtains, curtains, curtains rippling billows in the wind.
Sounds of many, many steps down corridors and avenues.
Rolling little bits of fur down deep forever-rows
of oaks, the dark trunks of old childhood,
off into the blinding darkness of
someway, someway, someway out.

Hands still holding to the barking limbs, the old child.
If we get out, I say, we'll leave this place together.

My months are getting longer.

Iron Caught in Hard Scales

"Don't you think," said the fish to the hook,
"that you should clean yourself off a bit before
you try to get at me like this?"

"Why," replied the iron, "so I told the worm!"

Looking close, the fish gave heed to conversation
and the fisherman, who felt the tug, drew up the line
and saw the scales writhe rhythmically,
pierced through the outskirts of one eye in agony.

Hooks have never caught in fleeing tails,
only in chatty lips that know not when to still themselves and run.
Did Christ say we should reason our temptations to the ground,
build up our good defenses,
or swim off quickly, leaving nothing in the water
to be caught and fried in butter, smooth as silk?

The courageous man seeks peace for himself
at the ultimately very low expense of all his pride.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Circling Fields of the Open Air

Two single plumes
having nothing to do with one another
circling fields of the open air.

Two lovers discussing chattilly how
horribly lovesick they are
for their distant, distant loves.

Two wax candles
burning weakly in far corners;
little light.

Two sides, one blank, of a lottery billboard,
its promised count long since inaccurate.
Millions still decide to play.

Two shade plumes; clear air;
bright reflections in dark water, someone
snaps a photograph.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

To Know the Autumn Trees and Laugh Like Rain

O heart! The rich, warm, rolling hills to the south
unfold as if they were the stars in bloom.
O soul; the marshes set afire, the clear scent of an old room
touching the crest of the red-leaved bird
that soars your skies to brush the walls of mere remembering,
and see, the gold flows out beneath you!

What of these? O, love!  To know
the fingertips ungloved
of all the many autumn trees!

Above, the year's last thunderclouds cast spells of ruin
and below, we roar up laughter, singing:
"See?  We laugh, it sounds like rain."