Archive for March, 2013

Easter Condensed

March 28, 2013

Every year the spring came alive in their mouths,
like a cactus skin had been peeled away,
leaving tongues of sweet and smooth vapors
for them to breath and exhale,
each separately, sure, but so like
a man and woman making love
before the kids got home from school,
that Easter came and went, condensed.
Both were out of shape, and too busy
to be giving their time away like this,
but they lingered still,  listened
to the sound of their own breath,
like it was the sound of a train pulling away
from the station, and wished that it would stay.

The Unknowns

March 27, 2013

Imagine the eggshell ghosts
among the narrow statues
in a line taut as a sacristy cat—
all the unknowns.
All watch as a saint in a stained glass window
caught in the nameless sunrise is illuminated there.
Strange, isn’t it? How feline his features!
He looks to be tormenting rats
he has trapped in a box. A parable, yes?
Music is playing, an unknown requiem,
for the unnamed saint—
but something has made
the choir scream with laughter.
You will find no more metaphors here,
my friend, not among these rafters.

Every ghost is known by someone still alive.
When the cat and the saint prowl through the pews,
the church above is like the hereafter.
All grace is silent and unknown;
that’s the news,
that’s the laughter.

What They Say

March 17, 2013

They say, fire is the inspired hour;
ice the minute left behind; water
the years—all the years;
and air…
air explains how time can stand so still,
while the breeze brings
the scent of apple pie through
the open window
and the open window…
the open window smiles
and counts the days until the spring–
like they might be ours always.

Brother Sun

March 15, 2013

…An old man’s eagle mind.

It seems all that was needed
to illuminate the eagle’s dreams
could be found in his illusions.
Other birds will live on
in a representation of his flight.
His sentences will
lighten the sky as though
they had always been there,
a presence so real
the air flared in its surender.
But listen. The beat of legendary wings.
All our perfections are made
of sand and paste,
he sings—
a momentary act,
a winter’s epitaph.
We pass as stone
in an orbit around the sun,
so peaceful,
infinite and alone.

Ice Chronicles

March 5, 2013

Sure, it could be snow that covers his stick-like torso;
ice has already hollowed out his head.
Yet he sits and sings under the shadows left
to the evening by the lonely winter’s day.

He sings. And while he sings the sun appears to rest…

So still, it must perpetually crest the perpetual ice;
so still, it permits the snow to re-freeze back into icicles
hanging off the barn, as if it were a cave
where some ancient, tusked mammoth had drifted off to sleep—

How they must sting the hands of little boys who
break them off for fun or food.
Sure, they know he can’t be there.
Sure, they run from a gust of wind, these boys.

But they all know the tune by now,
how it all starts so harmoniously
and how it ends with icicles and wind.
Still, they stop to listen. They stay to play.


Of Sleighs and Sleds

March 1, 2013

A short field, a slippery hill,
A sylvan glen gone suburban,
A whiskey trail…
Why not?  It’s a snow day.
Or let’s stay by the fire
And rename each snow flake
As it lands and dies.
Buckbean, walrus, crocus, skin—
Insect, badger, windflower, pin—

A honeymoon of sleighs,
A marriage of sleds.