Sunday, July 30, 2017

Letting it Pass

    Heading back to the house
    And out of the heat, my own
    Heart beat to what I was hearing,
    The delving throb of the night
    Edging toward day, forcing its
    Way, for it had no where to go
    And wouldn’t stay.  I can though,

    Slipping aside, letting it pass.
    I can fill my mind with darkness
    Like a moonless night, and not
    See light unless its forced upon
    Me.  I’ve been in brightness
    And know what it is to
    Run as sprightly as a faun.
    I’ve blinked away sleep
    And felt a joy in mornings
    Of the sort I was used to
    All those years of being.
    But when nothing’s left,
    As now, is it not best to set
    Aside one’s going and stay?


    I’d made a bargain: if He’d
    Win her for me, make her mine
    I’d see her as the great love
    I’d sought, then if He’d cause
    Her to see me in the same
    Way I’d love her no matter
    What time and tarnish brought

    “For the rest of our lives”
    Which seemed a satisfying
    Eternity, so many are unrequited
    In such an endeavor, but here
    She was watching me
    And I could see her whenever
    I liked and hear her speak

    Much like an angel I suppose.
    There was no guile or effort. She’d
    Whirl about ending up with her
    Glossy hair slung round her face
    Then stop.  “See what I’ve done”
    She seemed to say knowing my
    Adoration would make it a wonder.



    You might say, alternately
    It was just her looks and
    Manner that got her the role.
    She couldn’t act, you say,
    But I never said she could.
    I knew her so well I could act
    Around her and save the scene.

    She’d blurt whatever she thought
    And then, mouth open, listen
    To what she’d said; then look
    At me while I took her words
    Around the corner till she had
    Her thought back and smiled
    That award winning smile.

    Enigmatic, they said, like
    Garbo.  I knew that it was
    The disease, and her hiding
    It in public.  Her downcast
    Eyes made others think
    They’d said or done the
    Wrong thing. She deserved

    The award for all that --
    Like a fighter with a damaged
    Brain that fights on despite
    The dizziness and loss of focus.
    She’d start to speak then lose
    Her way, then her bright eyes
    Would finish the conversation.

Saturday, July 29, 2017



    “We were in school, too ill,
    Declared unfit to serve.” They
    Watched us with apprehension.
    We stirred the fire with
    The butts of our spears
    And grunted, looking sidelong.
    “Wouldn’t want them anyway,”

    One of us said.  No point
    In mentioning the dead
    No longer here.  The air           
    Danced fervid with swirling
    Dust.  Some say it’s spirits
    Of our warriors, or enemies
    If the swirl is wrong.

    One of us began to sing.
    We all joined in, drinking
    The wine, letting it draw us
    Toward our next encounter.
    Fire burned like burials till
    We stood slick with sweat –   
    The drum beat. Time to go.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Pseudo-Damien at the Supermarket

    I saw there a woman made
    Old by her illness, shuffling slowly,
    Leaning on her cart smiling
    As she waited gently while I picked
    Out peaches.  “Have a nice
    Day” was what she said, and I went
    On but looked back seeing her

    Care-giver put food in her
    Cart.  I could care for her
    I thought, remembering the
    Way Susan smiled from the
    Comfort of being cared for.
    I walked on anxious to
    Get home and back in my

    Easy chair.  Once there I
    Considered, why not go to
    Some Island of disease and
    Care for whoever is there?
    And thought I might, if I didn’t
    Have to deal with doctrine and
    Could forgive their petty whining

    Despite my being there to help, and
    If they forgave my needing something
    They didn’t have, the smile that gave
    Off light that could lift my thoughts, and
    If they forgave my being there and in
    Their way, and if I could forgive
    My living their after they all had died.

Becoming Old


    Was I old before Susan died?
    I didn’t know.  She couldn’t
    Stand nor walk not talk to any
    Degree.  I’d take the stairs two
    At a time to get her lip gloss or
    Book or mint and find her below
    Smiling; so I entered that glow.

    I was there beside her
    Indeterminately aged and
    Demeanored, shielding her from
    Intransigent winds wrinkling her brow.
    She’d look at me and smile.
    I’d smile back holding her cup
    While she drank and all that while

    She seemed as though I was all that
    Was needed, strong, able to
    Lift her into her chair and wheel
    Her wherever she wished, but
    When her shield fell and mine
    I felt it.  Was it then I grew
    Old, and shall I take to hobbling,

    And go about now with a cane? 
    I haven’t given her wheel chair
    Away; perhaps I’ll carry it
    Up stairs and sit in a
    Deception.  How far shall I
    Venture?  I don’t presently
    See a path I recognize.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Our Two-Year Anniversary

    It’s true, it’s been two years
    Since she went away, but I still,
    Despite being told when we’re
    Old we all must wither, wonder
    Why she had to go. She was
    At our start lustrous-eyed and
    Always had something to say;

    Then with the years there was
    Less and less at her command.
    I filled in blanks, assumed
    What she was feeling, what she
    Needed, chattered about our
    Times – all the while she merely
    Smiled, this brown-eyed girl from

    Blue-eyed folks, she held much
    In.  Surely her smile would be
    Enough for me she seemed to feel,
    But as she withdrew, living more
    And more in whatever was next,
    She never actually said, and then
    A day came when she went away.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Late Night Conversation

    Last night Susan learned her
    Current dog was stranded on the
    Other side of the Boulevard.
    She asked him on the phone if
    He could time the traffic and make
    It across.  He said it was too heavy;
    So I wondered if he was afraid

    Despite being as tough as Susan
    Thought.  I took the phone and told
    Him to stay where he was. I’d come
    And pick him up.  The line was
    Silent for a long while.  I wondered
    If a dog would talk, even in a dream;
    Then heard him say his soft “okay