The purple pills make
sadness go away but they
take the poems too.
Success seems so sudden
when you aren’t a part
of the process. Writers seem to
burst onto the scene
from nowhere and shoot
to great heights but they don’t.
They edge their way
in with this piece and that, testing
the water, slowly
a reputation, showing
they can nail
a brief and hit a deadline.
(found poetry: https://mslexia.co.uk/rosies-last-post/)
purrs for sex.
he rubs his
it could be
the rev of
But it’s not
out a song;
is what draws
the female in and
sets her eight legs
on the path
in the darkness.
Poem 28, June 28
Old words hide on the page,
in books, in computer documents, in a journal,
in anthologies, unwritten but stored in the mind
of poets like memories of lovers, friends, family.
Hot summer days stifle my poetry,
new words swim naked, having left me behind.
They splash, dive, float in an eternal
search to be truth, or simply escape their cage
of silence. My silences in old words contain
no mention of our embrace nor the softness
of it nor the times I touched your hand
& you did not jerk it away.
I sit alone at my computer as day
is chased by a cool night wind. I understand
the new words I seek in two languages. I promise
myself to speak them should ever we meet again.
I walk in a fog
so thick the sand and sea
are obscure, interwoven,
any difference indiscernible.
I flow my steps into the cool
bay feeling seaweed
between my toes. I see
only clouds that engulf me
and my hand in front of my eyes.
I worry that my brain works in reverse,
it wanes like the out going tide.
I hope clarity emerges
through the steamy mist
that covers my world.
Despite the clearly marked signs,
my father carried a pinecone secreted in his camera bag
from the thicket of trees of Tuolomne Grove
home to rest in Kentucky Bluegrass.
A Sequoia doesn’t thrive in Kentucky’s
humid summers. It longs for winter dark and deep.
My father will not live to see it
grow tall enough to tower over him.
I imagine a Sequoia would be
lonely without its grove.
Buildings are no companion for trees.
Neither are men, tiny figures
beneath the notice of such a Colossus.
I’d rather think of the Sequoias gathered
in Yosemite, whispering and rustling
to one another while I walk around and
through their trunks.
I am fleeting and insignificant
against their lofty and enduring heights.
Hieronymus rose from a harrowing night,
saw salvation approaching, and crowed with delight.
Sunday we sat in the transept of the cathedral
facing folks like us in the opposite arm of the cross.
The lector read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, “Whoever had much
did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less.”
Fr. Tobias, a Missionary of Compassion, said Mass.
His order cares for the destitute of the globe.
He prays for one of our children or grandchildren
to have a vocation. Our daughter studies exponential functions
to understand the power of investing
and looks for mentors to explain how to achieve fiscal independence.
One comforts orphans, the elderly, terminally sick, and homeless,
the other wants to generate income without working.
One is accumulating good deeds,
the other wants to accumulate revenue generating assets.
She’s employed by a Japanese corporation that nets 500 million a year,
he for a religious institution with over a billion members worldwide.
One has faith, the other self-confidence.
Both like to take risks when the ground is stable beneath their feet.
Midway through the homily, the sun climbed up to the church steeple
and found us through the stained glass window.
As Fr. Tobias urged, we must find our vocation on earth
so when the music of life ends, we will find our salvation.
And there was no dance,
no holy place
from which we were absent.
— Sapphic fragment
We were there when we were able,
taking you in our hearts’ arms
to step about the square at night
and then to share the lovers’ bed
until the night turned morning.
We were there, making all the motions,
but not fully present in our heads.
Duty kept its own embrace for us,
and we sat waiting its clarion call
as if awaiting the promised taste of lips.
We were young, a prime requirement
in the eyes of old men reluctant
to do foul deeds themselves
but not unwilling to call us to arms,
to insist the deeds required doing.
We were young, too unskilled
and too impoverished to argue the call.
In any case, there was no battle,
no bloodied place on ground or ocean,
from which we were fully absent.