Monday, November 29, 2010

Hope at Sunset

Across the fading valley
The silver bay shines,
effulgent edge
under twilight hills.

Confined
flat waters
cut a thin line
beneath dark heights rising.

Saw-toothed ridges
rip thin clouds
to ragged strips
the plunging sun ignites

to resplendent light
of love
for this sad, winter world. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Burial Day

Bright chill
coiling clouds
roiling coarse space
welling
heaving seas,

while naked
free
from death’s
empty pledge,
at last
I leap
into the lucid
air

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Morning after the Storm

Clear sky, vaulting blue
drives out the ragged clouds,
of yesterday’s storm.

Yesterday
the wind raged
as we huddled close
behind closed windows.

Lightning
enthralled the night
as thunder intoned
basso profundo,
felt before heard.

From behind drawn drapes
we felt trees thrashing
releasing spent leaves
until barren and clean,
fearless at last they faced
winter’s cold scythe.

But now the bright Sabbath
breaks through,
and the resurgent sun
pierces
spare nature’s
pure architecture.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Good Day

I called today
and heard the sharp alarms
ring by his bed,

but you said
it was a good day.

He was awake and
though gagged raspy with tubes
again humor filled his sly eyes.
He Laughed at the irony
that he, of all people,
should be rendered
speechless.

So through your speakerphone
I spoke to him,
uttering my limp, encouraging words
into the silent, empty air.

But you said he had heard
and with his eyes smiled,
happy to once more
be part of the conversation.

After we ended the call
I felt your cheer; not quite hope,
But not despair.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Waiting

Waiting
sitting in silence
finding things to do
on this normal , quiet evening.

rustling papers
and tapping keyboard,
with one eye on the phone
waiting for disaster
to ring through my complacency.

I can almost see
the sterile walls, the contained chaos
as hurried doctors and nurses
bring relief to the battle-weary  
binding the hundred wounds
of collision and anger,
cancer and a failing heart. 

I can almost, but not quite, hear
The IV pumps, heart monitors,
crash-carts clattering down
shining halls, carrying the artillery
we aim at the enemy.

But right now,
right here
all is quiet;

the cat mews patiently
for her evening meal
as I watch for the phone
to light up
and give me the news
that will shatter
this quiet evening.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Puritans


Puritans roamed Salem
clutching rough stones
to split tender flesh and stain the
virgin land with the guilty blood
of dire Satan’s slaves.

Cheerfully they prayed
for the blessed day when all true Faith
would flow righteously into
the common trough of their Truth.

And so, devoutly, they hung the witch,
cast out the papist, and
derided the Quaker as
friend to the fiend.

Stiff necks bent, they peered
into bright clouds
for a righteous wind
to suck them up
to their austere heaven.

But these modern puritans
eschew clumsy ropes.

Favoring the forward thrust
of a stolen jet, they plow through
high fields of glittering windows,
shouting suicidal chants,
riding on orange glory,

and expunge the infidel
from the spoiled earth,
smashing Satan down
into a hell of melting steel
and shrieking glass.

Gladly they die smiling, these martyrs,
certain they will soon drink heavenly nectar
in the airy laps of celestial virgins.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Morning Storm

Overcoming
the ascendant sun,

dark clouds
fill the world.

They nearly scrape
our tallest trees

barely clearing
low delta hills

gray folds flush
the new day clean

New rivers rush
through empty streets

driving deep
into compliant earth.

Thus derided and left for dead,
the sun abides its golden birth.