Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Rain In Six Months

Parrying through the particulate air
rain drops finally smack onto smoggy leaves,
soot filled asphalt, splatter on
roofs crusted with dust and pollen
pelting cement that shatters the drops
a thousand times again.

Alley ways creased with ancient urine
and sticky dried bin seepage
receive their shower with a stink.
Endless roadways moisten, fill,
their gaining waters
mixing and running with lurid oils
gyrating on their surfaces.

And on the hills, parched beds,
and rock ravines,
rivulets begin, join arms, becoming streams
to anoint the arid basin once again.
Twigs soften, stones move, bark swells
and birds find feasts everywhere.
Even coyote and cougar somehow know
their prey will be rounder soon.

Rinsing the canyons and landscapes,
the clouds with their rain,
the perfect tilt of the earth,
have all done their work.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Go with Her

Old man,
his twisted toes in old boots
steps to his front door,
the frame bucks each time he forgets
to drop the chain.

His mortgage is satisfied
but the house is empty.
His slow blue sedan and he
have an understanding
that saves both their lives.

But he misses her cooking still,
the steaming kitchen in winter.

He rakes the maple leaves now
without being there with them,
telling their treasury of
summer stories,
tendering crimson and russet comfort,
a minuet of circular faith.

But he sees not
the delicate cellulous prints
diffuse on the sullen dark earth.
He lost his crimson,
bleached from his heart
like the paint on his barn
when she grew thin.

He lost love;

opens his mail,
shifts the grate on the furnace
and reaches in half arcs
to gather lost strands
that now seem to honor
no new beginnings.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Highland Avenue Shelter

Highland Avenue Shelter

This feline pair
lifted from
the acute cages of last chance;
a lithe adolescent
a big eared toddler.

A new title
is now suddenly fitted on them.
They regard floors and doors
spread out before them
like a thrilling new book.
Upholstered terrain has to be charted,
enemies avoided.
Specific human scents and food odors,
roll around them,
and those voices crossing above them
are without fear, or dismissal
or disdain.

Their large eyes soften,
pupils shrink and align,
and questing whiskers
are soon thrust into cushions
or warm chests.
Finally, their newly proud paws
angle into rest
like a baron’s arms
in portrait.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lane's Diamond - excerpt

Lane strided on, her face full with determination. Suddenly, she heard Erica’s voice around the nearest corner. Actually it was her laugh and then her words. So, she had company...maybe Alicia. Then Lane heard another voice, Darren’s voice! Quickly, Lane found herself jumping behind a ficus hedge into someone’s front garden.
The two of them rounded the corner coming right by her. Lane’s heart pounded like an old rail engine pumping up and down. Darren had his arm around Erica’s shoulders while she giggled and cooed and pinched him softly.
“What do you know? Those reptiles!” Lane mouthed the words silently. She had been so right about Erica’s motives for the last few weeks, and maybe more than that! She watched them amble past, this close to her that she wanted to trip them both.
After a few minutes she ran home, taking an alternate loop. As she ran she kept thinking, I should have said something to them! Anything, like, “I was just chasing down the UPS guy!” or “So kids, you’re in love and you don’t tell me?!” But more like, “You rotten-stinking-behind-my-back scum...”
The sun was dropping as fast as Lane’s self esteem. She raced up to her room but not so obviously that her mom suspected anything. Her mom called out, “Back so soon? Dinner in thirty minutes! Oh, and maybe clean up that room of yours...”
Lane hurled herself on her bed, stunned. She and Erica had clearly chosen different paths to growing up. She knew something was going on with those two, but stubbornly, she wouldn’t believe it, just wouldn’t ask, not that and let the friendship collapse. But it had anyway.
The tears came only after most of the anger drained away, replaced with sadness. Sadness that she had lost her best friend to what? A boy? Indeed, as she thought about it more, she realized that it wasn’t Darren she cared so much about. It was the loss of a trusted friendship and all that was tied up in that.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lane's Diamond - Excerpt

When she was almost done, she turned and shimmied a bit, causing the plate in her hand to fly out, land on the counter, skid across it, and fall to the floor. She covered her mouth and pulled out her ear plugs, wondering if anyone had heard the crash, which she hadn’t. In fact, her music had been loud enough to seem dream-like, having that plate scoot, arc down and break, without any sound.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Youth

--It's like the true gift of youth is not so much the boundless energy and lust for life with
the bodies to have it, but rather youth's lack of doom, the missing knowledge of the inevitable limitations age hands us, their heedless heady zest for life that is both affirming and foolish. I guess the biological drive to reproduce ensures such.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grief poems

Marble Cat

Lucid as the dome over her iris,
seldom fooled,
her paws are fluid as dream sequences.
She drifts into the room,
brushes the door and slides outside
to fissure tree bark
or hook into the feathers of a slow bird.

Back in, she whispers hello,
without divining
human approval.
This lithe creature,
reclining against my thigh
lets my fingers weave around her
resting hocks, or
my thumb burrow into her foot pad.

She rises and is compelled out again.
Her bullet head pierces a well placed bush
to gather information.
Then, collecting her sleek pounce,
she springs in twitching zeal
up a strategic tree limb to scope.

She considers without gathered hurt;
clean heart as open as dawn,
thumping big,
all the hours
life circled in her.
Such a short life,
such a visitation of joy.

Life In Two Cartons

the suits and shirts were given away
soon thereafter,
while still in the throes of shock;
as were the CDs and skis.
His "to save" basket was emptied
of magazines and news articles,
impotent now in the wider context of loss.
All but one of the hats(a knit cap)
were eliminated,
and the swell gag trinkets
from simpler decades appeared
silly and cheap now.
So were the smooth toys
and racy adornments lined up to stymie
encroaching middle age.
They lost luster and were foisted
on a handy also grieving friend.

Then his chinos went a few weeks later.
A heaving breath, more swollen eyes
and they were gone.
Harder still the shoes,
chanting his name in each rounded
give and stretch of leather.
But they too were finally thrown to charity.
Except those there...
his simple tie oxfords,
those go in the special carton,
with that favorite berry striped sweater,
and with his best watch,
a couple key investment files,
a baseball glove, a high school yearbook,
a strange set of beads, a small redwood box,
an address book (to send thank you cards),
and a photo album of his pre-married life.

The bronze monkey had to stay too of course.
How many times had it gazed at her
when she’d fought with him?

His favorite sun glasses
and a glass lion from Italy were saved,
plus an electrifying speech
taped during his promotional dinner.
Those went in, saved.

It all came down to two cartons.
Two boxes of intention and passion,
childishness and faith,
pursuit, competition,
and unmitigated joy.
She could visit them whenever she wanted.
There was always room enough for that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Poems

Cobalt Morning

Hounding the huge glass
housing your corporate stricture,
the cobalt morning reaches into
your window, supplanting your duties,
beckoning the long denied in you
like the growing need for food.

The blue enjoins you without mist today,
clear and obvious,
drafting that part of you so long unsaluted:
departure onto real cliffs and slopes,
face awash in crisp air,
with trees preaching quiet psalms.
That place with no right angles;
longer and deeper than a calendar.

Even the caveats plaited into
your company soul
cannot withstand the tincture
of this curving temporal blue.
At lunch you come heaving outside
onto the vague cement,
whisking a breath,
considering some personal diagram
to explain this troubling impulse.
You’ll try to put it
into perspective;
convert and align the gnawing fathoms
into something that can be
formatted, and perhaps
even faxed.

CEO - The World

The Inner Circle
formulates our New World Order
with a menu of self interest
more profound than a
new vaccination.
More truculent than a
non-cabinet Republican
who thinks he’s in the loop.

Lopsided Men,
wag tongues with covert operatives,
demons sporting close cropped hair,
lighting their cigars with the
Bill of Rights
on Persian carpets at Capitol Hill
or in a five sided building, and sometimes,
the big house on Pennsylvania avenue.

These policies serve huge interests
that hide under cover of
the Security Council,
State department,
or our economy.

Putrid priorities blacken
the back side of
sunny billboards.
Corporate multinational
tyranny thrives,
spun through willing banks.
Endless weapons distribution
stokes pathetic conflicts and
convenient despots.

Geopolitical decisions rake the earth
as the stratosphere thins.
People choke and grow more lesions;
so tremendous Presidential and
Congressional P.R. machines
create COPY,
dished out to us like cool melon
in the desert of leadership.
We, pop culture consumers.

What skillful treachery,
holistic treason,
fuel these preeminent deceivers.
New world order indeed.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Le Seine

La Seine

Old as the rainfall,
the deep green water rises and falls
like an ancient slow breath,
your throat and lungs
thick with water lettuce and reed.

Spent, darkened tree segments
decay into varying coves and shoals
harvested and devoured by microbes and
six legged removal engineers.

The grand Queen reaches across the land,
her corporeal ribbon
informed with arching loops,
that tell her age
like the roundness in an old woman’s back.

No more the reckless white water,
the gushing adolescent madness,
hurtling down ragged beds,
and with the stones that bring
fragments,and broken hearts.
Your peace has come.
A green maturity.
Your history layered in
fine sediment.

And in the open countryside,
far from city cement,
the birds above you
see your islets and gentle sandbars
stretch like skin folds and moles
along your long torso, neck and arms.

And at the sea,
you empty the dreams from your head
like vapor into air.

Coyote Comes

Coyote Comes

Big eared scrub runners
winking and rubbing sage brush.
Ever hunters. Their own enemies few.
Like senior legislators
waiting for the righteous dreamers
to tire,
they crouch and scratch,
sniff and whine.

The suburban sprawl
splayed on these overbuilt hills
they cruise like market aisles
feeding on its pets
who arrive like stupid tourists.

With a good rain
mice and rabbits fatten
new coyote litters
that will soon visit trimmed yards
sporting basketball nets
and soft unknowing dogs
or untutored cats,
their owners never imagining
silent killers with spotted backs
on honeyed legs
would devour them
next to some cordless phone,
steady plastic and foolish
on the patio.