Monday, October 26, 2009


In the front row a man stood up
Sweating, thin, dark –
He held his hands to his chest and looked up -
“Dance into my heart”
Was the silent prayer his body spoke.
A question:
When you danced tonight, did you ask
Whether a soul might come back through you
Or why that soul might choose your feet
To touch a wooden stage once more?

Lithe brown god walked on black earth
Among ancient trees
At his feet the soil upturned,
Making new saplings sprout behind each deep footprint
Young trees that that fast reached up
Bending beyond view,
Scratching the palms of a sky god
Who lowered down a silver arm meet the green leaves.
In this way, the earth and sky met that afternoon
Just before the endless rain began.

Did the last brave ones go?
The boys who ran in these narrow streets
Who shouted to one another about who was king
And who would die?
What if I called out to even to one boy to come home?
Would he come back to see hollow eyed stares through windows
Asking for something though it’s too late to ask.
Sometimes these faces speak
To the small spitefulness of days piled on days unforgiving.
If you could hear their voices they might ask
To be opened up again.

I remember sitting with you once.
You looked past the cliff and the waves
To somewhere beyond where you could feel but not see.
I watched the wind draw your hair
Back from your young, drawn face.
Were you choosing a place where we were meant to go together?
I’m still here.
Can you hear me?
I’m still here.

October 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Sign of Fall

Wooden knuckles of bare branches knock on the window
And spin around in a wind dance as clouds close in.

Then, rain drops slap, surprised, against the glass
What a fall from thousands of feet to come to that end!

You shouted your last exit from this house one year ago,
And for a moment your shape re-appears.

Tonight the compost of that memory slips
Into the cradle this empty house.

Red clouds under lit by a low sun sink
Just where the land ends and the bay begins.

Just outside, I can hear a little girl
Shrieking in delight that she’s seen a ghost.

Quieter still it grows as a single dog barks
Into the blanket of charcoal night.

October 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting Organized

We talk about your close call –
How my right hand reached yours
Taking hold and pulling you up.

You bring up this moment and call it luck.
I hiss in my inside voice that falling would do you good
And that a big fall could not come soon enough.

On the surface we talk about the circus and the greasy food
I judge you in private and begin filling with emptiness
Nothing will happen this time- nothing happened before.

Something needs to happen I scream
As I ache for cause and effect and dream of consequence.
The pokes in our chatter pluck eyes from another insight.

You talk for five contiguous minutes of your changes.
I reach for the cord on the window blinds
And tug down to let some light in.

It’s true, it’s true that I do not know how to begin.
My ears closed to your chatter long before this instance.
We have but exchanged gas in dark rooms like these for years.

As you stand to leave
You extend your hand and I take it,
This time coming to know

That you and I may never meet.

October 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Talking in Bed

I ask a question about tomorrow
And you go broad in your answer
Nonsense spaced by deeper breathing -
Then you roll on your side and drift.

I am awake long after you sleep.

Tonight I watch your chest rise and fall.
Little twists of street light
Enter through the window blinds
And dance on your unshaven face.

I feel them first before they speak.

The moon slides from one pane to the next
And falls over the window’s edge.
You make sounds and utter dream speak.
Outside, the bus drops off its last night passenger.

Footsteps crunch on pavement gravel.

Listen to the dozens of small voices
Speaking to me in this silent room.
The committee of my mind expanding to confer!
It will be hours yet before sleep comes.

For now, no matter what they say, I will make no promises.

September, 2006

Minor to Major

David’s silver hair, backlit by low sun -
Wisps, somewhat disorganized, reached out
From the top of his head.
It was our moment on that bluff and that bench.
The stroke hadn’t taken him,
But had come close.

I looked him in his large brown eyes
As he spoke of closing in on a bigger truth
Beyond the stories.
“That’s where my faith begins.”

I leaned back and opened myself
To David's story about a singing snake
Who crawled blind through an intestinal path
Buzz-humming the way singing snakes do.

In a flash of genius
The snake transposed his tune from minor to major.
“And then he opened his eyes.”
Emerging to a star-specked, infinite night sky -
Flicking new words of ‘I’ woven into ‘we.’

David grabbed my ear and gave it a gentle twist.
“I’m ready for it to end.”
What he wanted anymore was simple –
A moment like this one
One more day in the warmth of knowing
That simple comes from letting go.

October, 2009