Archive for May, 2016

The Dead Man Dies

May 24, 2016

They’d always thought that the dead man
was deaf. They never noticed how a baby’s cry
would set off his own tears, how a
smoke alarm would bring a panic, how he could
always hear the lunch truck when it pulled
into the parking lot. The call of hunger.
The miracle of ruby red lips.
They’d missed it all; too bad; they had to.
Sometimes it was like a second sight.
But he was always “the deaf man”.
He couldn’t hear them when
they talked about him behind his back.
Oh, why don’t you drop dead?
He couldn’t read lips, couldn’t see their faces.
No need to whisper; he was a little ‘slow’ anyway.
He couldn’t even hear the prayers
they said when he died. So suddenly.
On the wing of silence.
Remember the dead man, they’d said.
He couldn’t hear. Not a drop.

The Tower

May 12, 2016

How like a child who seems to climb each day
To higher floors. How like a new sunrise,
Something off to the west, something gay
To warm the mountain’s shadows in your eyes…
Save that for later; climb up these old steps.
The tower is ready now; your mission is
Accomplished; go to sleep. All your projects
Have borne the fruit of day; your gifts are his.
Surprise! As the snow melts, you stare and stare,
For words that loved the world are words you hear,
But cannot see. The tower cries beware.
The child inside you flees. You were his fear.
You’d like to save every house you ever owned.
Tower, ranch house, Tudor, now dethroned.

A Different End to Daylight

May 5, 2016

There’s bones among the thorns tonight—
the treetops brush the wind,
and clover and grasses quiver and glow.
—Why, even the chipmunks sit up to listen.
All nature seems to pause over
my quiet colloquy as best it can.
I sit in the rocking chair that I built myself,
oh, maybe twenty-five, thirty years ago,
a knockoff of a Maloof chair, for sure—
but a pretty good one none the less—
and talk to a person I no longer believe in,
someone who still concentrates all
the consecrated ground in a blessing
to things that feed in the distant sky—
while a rainbow fades into the sunset.
No pot of gold again tonight, folks.
Just the baronial wings of bats
as the air fills with their filial faith,
and ends in a different end to daylight.


May 3, 2016



May 1, 2016