Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nocturne November


breathe deeply
the darkness,

listen to the rain
pounding drum-beat drops
see glass glisten,
liquid streets stream,

imbibe the stink of mud,
rot of moldering leaf,

as life
subsides.


(5 Nov 2011)
_________________

atmen Sie tief durch

die Dunkelheit,



lauschen Sie den regen
Schlagen Trommelschlag Tropfen
siehe Glas glitzern,
Flüssigkeit Straßen-Stream,



trinken den Gestank von Schlamm,
rot von modernden Blatt,



wie das Leben
nachlässt.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fall Leaves


Wind-ripped leaves
cover my yard

severed flesh, leathery
fingers splayed
grip the brick walkway.

Flush winter roses
drop petals,
red shrouds cover
glistening gold veins
sundered
from ravaged trees.

Yet the trees survive.

mimicking death’s
grey angularity
oblivious to the wind,

nude limbs
lean into the howling storm
and dream of June breezes,
singing green afternoons,
the faithful thrush
thrusting new life to flight.

But for now
black clouds gather

the winter wind sings dirges
for these sacrificial leaves
nourishing the famished earth.

(11/18/2010)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Transubstantiation


Golden eyed, blazing
through summer trees
gently swaying
you blind me,
bind your warm hands
to my sluggish brow
and ignite me with your holy flame.

My heart, fiery and free
soars high, with you
always beside me

leading me
through dissolving mists
‘til pure at last,
at last I see

you’re filling me
with your eternal mind,

making of me your sacred bread,
your free-flowing
wine.

(6/13/2011)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November Sunset

About five o clock,
the warm November day
just stops.

Bright afternoon
slams into evening
not even pausing
for twilight.

Blue sky
dims quickly
to violet,

but over ragged black canyons
the orange sun
lingers

and suddenly bursts
into astonishing gold.

Blithely ascending
the bright crescent
claims the cool
velvet night.

(11/16/2010)

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Homecoming

When you were in Vietnam
we got your letters, two or three at once
and then the whole house buzzed like a nest
of honey drunk bees as we poured over
your every word.

We kids imagined you, strong, tough,
blazing with righteous American fury
cutting down those dirty commies,

but Mom and Dad
read each letter more slowly
glancing at each other
with darker looks.

Then one day we got the recording you made,
tiny plastic reels, shiny brown tape wound
in fragile loops; your voice!
just like you were in the room, speaking
re-assuring, everyday chat about R&R
and shopping in Bangkok. Finally,
the tape nearly spent, you said that
you were coming home soon.

And one bright July morning
you came home! Your hat was rakishly tilted,
a Lucky cigarette carelessly drooping
from the corner of your grinning mouth,
all paratrooper swagger, gold braid running
through your buttoned shoulder loops,
colored ribbons and medals all over your chest.

As you walked through the door
I stood aside, awestruck, shy.
You sat like a visitor in your own home
and we opened the packages you brought for us,
Christmas in July, as one by one we held
our Asian wonders, and watched
as Mom held your hand and
Dad searched your eyes.

But you were tired, so upstairs in my room
you took a midday nap, and when Mom told me
to wake you up for supper, I nudged your shoulder
and you bolted,
breathless,
down the steps,
into the quiet street
and stood at tense attention,
(the neighbors all gawking),
as you waved your M-16
made of air
and memory,

and waited
for the morters
to fall
and kill us all.

Then the light returned to your eyes.
Slowly you walked back to the house
and gently took me by my shoulders
and told me to never,
never
touch you when you were asleep,

and I never asked you why.

(11/11/2010)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Faith and Disobedience

When I heard how you raised
the little girl who died,
with searching hands
I found you,
and felt a strange new thirst
for light,

So I begged
for a miracle.

You asked me
if I believed
that you really could do
such a thing,
could illuminate
my personal night.

Filled
with inexplicable
faith, I said
yes!

and when you touched my eyes,
I saw your face
with a newborn’s sight.

Lord, I cannot lock
your love,
inside my heart!
my very sinews will burst!

So, disobedient in my praise,
I  shout it out
through this bright, new day!

(12/2/2011)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Matins

Times of transition
appeal to my sense of
transcendence.

In joyful morning
eastern gold flows
over our highest leaves.

The blue-jays shriek
as our cat prowls
the wet grass.

She does not care

that this is the edge of time.

But I can feel the sun’s fire
as I work in the yard

and hear the mockingbird
in our highest eves
calling to his love
in the cherry tree!

Soon the wind
again will rise
and another summer day
will coldly decline

as the western fires
wilt
to bluest steel, to
blackest silk.

(6/11/2011)