Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Running Away

Running away isn’t hard to do
Your just declare your endless love
For where you are and sigh
And heave a heavy breath or two

And when you’re almost out the door
Be sure to purse your lips just so
In a sympathetic smile –

Then turn your head and say no more. 


A spider, fat and gray,
Was making her home in my stairwell.
Before I could snarl or roll my eyes -
Her slender legs caught my attention
Rhythmically she wrapped and wrapped her prey
Her tender arms bending this way and that -
Like a mother shaking out her child’s sheets
On chore day.
And what reason had I for all my contempt
And past crimes.
She did what I do every day.
And with fewer complaints no doubt -
Or hope for her own future.
Content with her fate-
Steadfast with this dance - which would -
She trusted - beget generations of healthy decedents.
Long after she had sacrificed everything.
And for that I had to love her just a bit.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Tonight the only chill is a welcome one
And the sun burns blood - red over the horizon -
You lose it though, around the bend, over and over
As if it’s too much to ask for one clear view
And you swerve and grasp the wheel with an ache
Swallowing your rage –
And shame -
You need the sun not just
Fierce and bleeding
You need it whole

And you need it to stay

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Just after the tumescence of perfect love recedes
You locate your disappointments
Which were there all along
It could be a mother
Lover, or child
But you made the mistake
Of the ages -of basking
In touch - In the eyes
In soft breath, and gentle words
In the carnal moment -
Fleeting and illusory

Maybe you stopped cheering as loudly as you had
Or someone’s eyes stopped wrinkling in the corners when
You walk through the door
Maybe they just woke up
Or grew up
Or realized you’re not the only one
Who can bake rainbow cup - cakes
Perhaps someone stops remembering –
Or remembers too much
Or realizes they are as fleeting as a breeze
And runs after their life

And though you think about running too
You want only to go in reverse
You don’t say a word – because you’re silly
But not stupid
So you hold your breath
And race against all of your deeper longings
You race as though your life depends upon it.

Which of course it does.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Speaking of Magnolias

I’m not going to mention the magnolias this year
You've grown weary of them
And I've been wondering
If you’re bored or sad

Only a season ago – or so it seems
they were magnificent, weren't they?
And why the storms had ravished them so
And spared those others - just across town
One can only wonder
So perhaps we shouldn't bother with the magnolias 

They have withered certainly – and lost their fullness
And what the wind did to those boughs last year -
leaving them battered and scarred 
And cast across the land …
Do you remember?
We wondered if that was it for them
Though we didn't want to say so

But still they are splendid really – in their way
Towering over the old farmhouse
Tossing tender violet blossoms
This way and that...

Yet they make you sad, don't they?
As though they were somehow meant to last forever
Why must you continue to press for exceptions.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Breaker Boys

This is just to tell you
that these days
the first thing your mom
would do
Is put a gate at the top of the stairs -
that you started out clean -
and children cry
that sometimes when you ask for things
answers come
even yeses -
and grown ups give kids treats -
just because
that the first spring day out of school
would send chills down your spine
and sometimes when you fall
it is soft -
and just so you know -
by now...

someone would have asked about
your dreams a hundred times.

What You Learn on the Front Steps

On the front steps you learn that the
wetness in the air glazes your skin
That the breeze holds just enough coolness to get you
Though the evening
You learn that the grimy kid from 7th grade
Has learned how to wink - 
Figured out how to smile at just the corner of his mouth
That when you get goose bumps it will hold off
The heat for a second or two

On the front steps you learn that the multi – green shift
Your mother made isn’t too plain after all
That the dark muted leaf pattern
Matches the musky summer evening
You learn that someone else’s flesh
Against your collarbone is electric
And a bird’s call can take up the whole sky
You learn to read lips because your head is spinning
From the dampness and the heat and the dark breeze
And your bones are too raw to listen

You learn to be grateful that the morning
Seems light-years away.