Friday, July 31, 2015

The Road Waits


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The road waits,
but I’m not ready.

I pause, cradled by soft leather
In this silent room,
listening to morning’s
soft breath stirring
the glimmering summer leaves,

as the perched bird
gazes through my open window
into my wondering eyes
and waits.

But this is a good morning to wait.

Look how the extravagant grass waves,
and truant weeds luxuriate along the fence,
while in the small central garden
red flowers gather like
warm, slumbering children
under the wide,
spreading vine!

But still the road waits.

I’ve seen
the glistening pavements
slide under my rolling wheels,
the river to my right,
green Ohio rising
into northern forests,
and misty Kentucky
calling to me
across the wide,
glittering waters.

The road goes on,
and I cannot
wait.

(16 March 2011)

Friday, July 24, 2015

nightfall



grey limbs twisting
through emerald shade
reaching at last,
clear blue day!

fern overflowing,
with living lace
red rose embracing
impassioned grace.

the sun’s final flames
high leaves emblaze,
soft summer night claims
fading day.

(25 August 2011)

Aubade: Mourning-dove




Dawn fires
the cold roses
one-
at-
a-time, 
when, with
planetary urge,
all explode to
vermillion
conflagration.

Then the cherry tree,
plain in
drab leaf,
erupts into
emerald
glory,

and high
from the bright rooftop
the mourning-dove
sings
his low, plaintive
song of 
summer.

(15 June 2014)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

City Nocturne




“Where there is no peace, there is no light.”  Thomas Merton. Honorable Reader: 
Reflections on My Work


I dwell in city nights
hear cars cruising
down streets
streaming confusion
whispering,
boulevards of light
stunted lanes,
high-
wire siren, stunned
shot-
finders, tense
dispatchers rolling
black and whites,
ambulance
coroner’s wagon

while laughing,
from theatre emerging,
from restaurant and bar
unaware, we swarm
through rivers of blood
to black cars, crush
of silent plush
power windows up
lock the doors
and slowly drive
through these
shimmering
terrible,
beautiful
streets.

(2 April 2012)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

late in the day


late in the day
the shadows grow
                                                                       
night rises, upwelling,
overwhelming
delicate myrtles -

roses drowning

in the darkening tide

(7 July 2015)

Friday, July 3, 2015

America



Deep thunder shakes this warm July evening
and lightning flashes over the waterfront
filling the clear, starry sky with acrid clouds and glimmering rain
falling to the water as children gaze
in shock and awe,
waiting for the next big one to explode.

False bombardment as celebration:

such fits my nation, founded in genocide and slavery,
this nation baptized in the blood and tears
of Navaho and Cherokee and all the tribes of the American holocaust
a nation that devoured one quarter of its sons
in four short, blood-soaked years; my nation,
a nation of efficient bigots and hungry hypocrites,
giving the world Gettysburg and the Trail of Tears
as models for problem-solving;
a nation unlike any other, not able to live up to its promises
because no other nation dares make such promises.

The bright violence of rockets' red glare lights our sky
like the bold Declaration ignited the world, and thunder
rocked mighty kings from complacent belief in their divine rights,
rocked the people of Europe, thirsting for their own rights
and land and a chance to pursue a little happiness;
yes, rocked even distant Asia, deep in its ancient dream
foolish men joyfully following the distant thunder
to seek the fabled Golden Mountain.

The promise was made and broken and made yet again,
and the anger of betrayal torched the cities of the sixties,
and singed our hearts
and in the redeeming pain of change
made them a little less impure.
Yes, we are imperfect,
but we know our sins
and pay for them over and over again,

and to remind ourselves of the debt yet unsatisfied,
every summer we celebrate in the only way fitting for such a nation;
In the starry sky fiercely glowing with liberty -
in the transcendent thunder
of the Promise.

(4 July 2011)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

They Are Strangers Here

Seagulls circle high,
In the heavy October sky

wide, white wings
nudging the dull air

riding gyres 
past the waving crest
of our highest redwood.

They are strangers here.

They’ll find no shallows to fish
no mussels to lift
above the concrete wharf,
drop and crush
and delicately dissect
still living white flesh.

They must be lost.

Here they’ll find no flying sail
no schooner driving into
wintery winds. They’ll have
no rising bow here
to amend their errant way.

And yet, for now, they’ll stay,

Graces of light
In the gray gloom
of this cold autumn
afternoon.

(27 Oct. 2010)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

In the morning, early



In the morning, early
before the sun has cleared
our neighbor’s roof,
we move through
our morning chores:

You water your gardens
and I feed my birds.

The rose, the morning glory,
creeping higher
up the blue trellis, reaching
for the brightening sky;
in the window-box
the vinca flaming red,

as sparrow and finch tumble
from the cherry tree

swarming in noisy congregation,
fussing and quarreling, shoving
for more seed -


rejoicing!

(1 July 2015)