Thursday, November 29, 2018
It flowsover highways
past dark houses,
the green hills
through folding slough, past
low bridge and causeway,
down to Suisun Bay,
like a swimmer’s blood
pulsing through throbbing vein,
reaching for Gate of Gold
to break free,
(19 April 2011)
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Photo: Brian Federle, Overcast in Oregon
…on the 40th anniversary of my father’s death
When I last saw you
Your hands were clenched
With a rage foreign to your voice
And you were rushing inward
Away from the moon, beyond the glowing
Of my grief.
Yet on my way home
I saw the moon rise.
Where have you gone, then, If not
to that land behind the moon?
In the emptiness above the earth
In the terrific clashing of jet with atmosphere
I heard your new voice
I saw your new hands
Tearing at the cold, hurtling steel,
Casting off silk shroud
For dark soil
And even darker rivers.
If stars loom too large
Is not my window too small?
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Sunday, November 11, 2018
We watch as toddlers
run squealing through the house,
laughter bounding through bright halls,
a knee-level storm of pure joy.
They punctuate our grown-up conversation
as the slide-show begins.
Now you’re the bright eyed infant!
Mom was so young and pretty
Holding you close
in her strong, gleaming arms,
as the cousins, delighted, cry
“Look! Grandma’s a baby!”
In wonder we watch
the years of youth and school
love and weddings
and bright new babies,
pause on the haunting eyes
of those gentle people
whom we’ve loved
to the good night.
As your party continues,
I see in the eyes
of four generations,
a century’s worth
of smiling for the camera
a cloud of love
transcending both years and death.
So don’t worry about your age, dear sister.
we never really grow old.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
I search the narrow rooms of memory
through steep, childhood hallways
under high ceilings, past dim, flowered lamps,
when, trembling, I hear echoes calling me
in deep tones of summer thunder
to our willow tree out back
just as the blinding lightning
and shatters the still-living wood.
but compelled by my father’s gentle voice,
to another room
in my mind.
In the kitchen, at the top of the long, painted staircase,
I hear small, shrill squeaks and low, electric hums
coming from your ham radio set,
and walking down, I see you,
hunched in the red glow
of your magic box, calling softly
into your silver microphone,
“W8PNW calling CQ, calling CQ, calling CQ”
O lonely angler, you cast gossamer lines into the eternal, black sea
looking for a catch, any response, any acknowledgement,
but I’m with you! Standing by your shoulders,
I hear the distant human voice respond
“K8QJZ to W8PNW, receiving you loud and clear!”
I feel your joy of connection
as, quickly you fill out your special postcard,
(American Bald Eagles triumphantly unfurling your call letters)
to mail to your Newfoundland friend.
This, too, is contact.
Another soul found, identified, and filed
in your list of ham-buddies, and I grin with you
as you sign off
and resume your patient search.