Category: poetry

Starving

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons and Feed My Starving Children

I am hungry, but I’ve noticed this:
I’m not starving. I haven’t had to
Eat grass or dirt today or
Give the last bit of
Rice I have to my child which I’ve
Carried on a 10 mile walk from my
Hut to the malnutrition ward
Of Kathmandu Hospital.

All the hyberbole in the
World won’t stop the poorest souls in
Narrow and narrowing lives from failing to
Be yet more invisible. I don’t
Need a drink. I am confused
Again by words and their
Meaning. All the
Misstatement in the world won’t
Fill an empty well.

The Grocery List


My mind was a grocery list last night
Running through the pantry of
Missing items. Of those staples
Of self I do not have. If I
Take a job offered me (why bother)
I’ll just be the spoiled apple
In the crowd.
I put “good attitude” on the list.
I wanted to join the child of my
Own club, but uh oh.
Put eggs on the list.
Then there are those
Skinny jeans that need
Filling. One-by-one I try
Erasing a bad habit or
Two from the list, the
Late-night snacks, the
One cocktail that goes down like a
Sigh of relief, and then
Reluctantly I add in all awful
Caps EXERCISE, which smells odd and
Tastes plasticy and so it rots
On the shelf every time
I buy it.

After I finished the
List and slumped in
A chair, weeping, I went to put on
My pajamas. Colin, I said, it’s
Not that I hate myself. I don’t.
It’s just that to make the list
Of what I am missing,
Doing wrong, need to fix or
Do better,
I lose the will to see inside
The pantry to all that I already have.
I know what you mean, he said.

Easter Morning Undone


The choir moved like
Cattle from the pews to their
The risers, Easter morning.
Two arms raised and one intake of breath.

That morning however

A soprano stood alone at her
Bathroom mirror, pushing her
Fingers through still-warm
Grey strands. Hot plastic
Beast on the counter top
Lay slowly cooling down
Waiting to be put away. The
Woman tugged her green
Jacket lapel, touched the golden hoop earring
And gazed at the jagged and
Ever-unfamiliar face surrounding
The shock of green eyes
Pooling with memory.

A tenor himself listening to
The Beatles on the way to service
Strokes and strokes his beard again
Like totem. He’s not singing a
Hard days night in this Camry but in a
Beetle that burned out 28 summers ago
And left him stranded on a New Hampshire
Highway, so that he had to walk into
The town with his guitar and his
Duffle found himself in bed that night with the
Stranger who stopped and offered
Him a ride.

The alto shakes. She prefers to think she
Vibrates, but the hand she once used for
Simple tasks — drying a wineglass, sewing skin —
Has broken away from her body’s grasp and gone on out
Its own. She won’t answer you if you ask.
She has not consulted anyone. She
Cares not to know why. She wears
Deep purple today, remembering
Mary Magdalene and her set aside grief.

The bass forgot his reading glasses today. He is
Singing from memory, and seeing the glasses on his
Bedside table, on top of his iPad, next to his
Empty beer bottle. He walks back through the
Room and sees he forgot, too, to make
The bed. The phone rang while he was
Tying the pink tie his dead partner gave him
Three years ago. His mother calling to
Say hello and make sure he is
OK. Yes mom. Love you. Call you later. Click.
He finished tying the tie and lost in
Memory,
Walked out.

Two arms circle. The choir finishes the breath in
G. In steady stream they leave the
Risers, Easter morning undone,
Each gone to find one seat again.

Three Girls

[caption id="attachment_367" align="aligncenter" width="417"]Three Sisters - Near Canmore, AB Faith Hope Charity[/caption]

Our girls are not
Bedrock and limestone.
Take them to the dance and
Pump them full of absinth and
They are yours. But all those
Bruises rush downhill in
An avalanche of destruction,
Coach.
Little man, you are
Pummeling your own
Little girl, your own
Little princess at her
Fifth birthday in the
Bathroom with your hand over
Her mouth saying shhh shhh
Don’t tell. Apologize and
Wallow in your regret; don’t
Worry little man. Another
Misguided sister will bring her
Charlied up compassion to
Bear and around and down again
The story will go until
Your own little man
In short pants and
A mantle of excuses
Centuries-long and heavy
Slams himself inside another
Unconscious
America’s Next Top Victim, cuz
The girl won’t go
Easy but the
Judge will.

Area Attractions


Google can you spare me a
A chance encounter with
Life? I keep wandering around
Your innards, picking at
Scabs and chewing on old
Gum stuck under old
Search results somehow unable to
Recall what I came here for in the
First place. And, also, no thank you
Bing.

Once I used a thing called a
Guide, which was a book, written by
A person who’d put foot into
Cow shit at a summer fair and
Ate stale sandwiches from a
Museum cafe. And converted then condensed those
Memories into hard-cold paragraphs of nothing and
Symbols you’d flip a key to read.
So what’s the diff, google user? Shouldn’t I just
Succumb to your 4 stars?

Decide, my distant youth calls to me,
The pack getting heavy on her back.
But I have wandered off into
Webbed inertia. What area attractions appeal
To me I cannot say. I can only hear the
Noise of newsless news, the screech of
Baseless fears, and
A death rattle inside
Perfect tasting love minutes
Wasting away.

furnace rumble – small stone

our furnace, remade like
Madonna, oil to gas (and just as
huge), shakes the house
around her so
thrilling
that
every year we
do a white heat dance
she’s still kicking

– part of the 2013 Mindful Writing Challenge on “Writing Our Way Home”

Sun Drops – small stone

late sun drops low
over the reservoir
one circle of light among

the dozen headlamps
already licking the
new english road.

I want to stop. The single
goose on a high rock island
wants me to stop.

the soft black top gravel
shoulder is wide but I’m
past before I know it.

sun there and gone, behind that
remnant wood; the rock wall
slumps, goose replaced
by a shattered pine tree.