Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fever number eighty-three

    I am ill, or perhaps just tired
    From the last hike – children
    Bickering in the other room,
    Shouting from time to time –
    Like that – liking the sound of
    Their voices never saying anything
    Of consequence – yelling with
    Fervor and conviction.  The day
    Is dark – I hear the rumble of thunder –
    Kim Jung-un threatens war –
    Heidegger is denigrated once
    Again.  I lean back – anyone seeing
    Would think I’m thinking but I’m not.
    A helicopter flies low, searching for

    Someone retarded and lost, full grown,
    Not armed – “do not shoot him” a voice
    Pleads from it moving slowly in
    Circles overhead – not thinking like me
    Walking about seeming strong –
    One who is going to reduce sounds
    In the room – Retarded man passing

    By, if he will, outside listening to the
    Voices in the sky – not wishing to die,
    Hiding in a bush each time a voice
    Goes by.  I see him by this time –
    Should I approach?  What could
    I say to assuage his fears?  He
    Will not listen or if he does he’ll

    Think he understands this
    World better than I and maybe
    He does.  I’ll leave him here
    To do his hiding in bushes
    And trees, with his
    Fear of what he is
    Hearing – weary and ill.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Tree House

    What would it take to make
    This okay?  Moving away would
    Cause readjusting, needing to
    Remember new locations of
    Light switches and numbers
    Of stair steps, forcing me to
    Stop my drifting dreams, settle

    In and remember – I built a
    Tree-house seventy years ago,
    High up, overlooking the street
    And kids walking underneath.
    When it rained we’d get a bit
    Wet, Richard and I, my best
    Friend at the time.  I heard

    He was arrested for beating
    His wife – more than once –
    He may be too feeble now
    To climb.  I climb my stairs,
    Open the curtains and look
    Out at the trees I planted
    When I first moved here

    And the rustic shed my son
    Is building a bit at a time,
    Much as I built the tree house –
    Only lower down – with windows,
    Though looking out I see little
    When looking down.  He’s
    Yet to install a front door.

    When it rains I have two
    Drains in the yard to take
    The flow out into the street.
    Eaves over-hang the window
    I see the mountains through.
    I’ve a coffee-maker up here
    And granola bars – back then
    It was peanut butter sandwiches,
    Richard had no wife to beat, and
    I had none upon which to lavish
    An affection I didn’t know I would
    Have, thinking back past her
    Now it’s not so very bad up
    Here, especially when it rains.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hurricane Season

    Running toward us through the rain,
    High-heeled shoes in one hand,
    Purse in the other, she smiled
    Unfearing.  The whole bus cheered.
    Sometime later it was just me she
    Seemed to run toward.  I wasn’t
    Initially sure.  Indomitable,

    She could not be otherwise, 
    Clouds gathered, rain fell. 
    Water eventually reached
    Our threshold.  She stepped
    Out, her purse in one hand,
    Her flats in the other. It was
    Up to her knees by then. 

    I rushed out, hoping to grab her
    As she fell into the deepest part,
    Me, standing now knee-deep
    Waiting for I knew not what, a
    Sunken purse, a floating shoe?
    Above a hawk sailed unperturbed, 
    But here below foundations groaned.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dog-eared dreaming


    A number of men sat
    ‘Round the table discussing,
    Words.  I heard “philosophy”
    Mentioned, but I mostly
    Heard music that only
    Occasionally let me feel
    Words.  Words that could

    Sing.  There were times I
    Reached or stepped with
    Something that ached; so
    I stopped rather than moved
    On listening to what I
    Heard.  The men seemed to
    Speak of conditional relations

    Overriding what might otherwise
    Have been said, if it was said long
    Ago or in another context.
    I watched through a mist of music
    The rising and fall of it all, the
    Imputation of sadness
    And inevitable loss.

    I rolled over and the ringing
    In my ears increased.  I checked
    The time.  I’d slept too long
    And it drowned out the nuance,
    And signification, the bandied
    Words.  The boy on the Ferris
    Wheel saw it all and wept.

Friday, October 6, 2017


    A number of old men stood in a
    Circle and sang by turn.  I was
    New there and stood aside.  I knew
    Them all and was surprised they
    All could sing.  Some were good,
    Appropriately supplying the
    Lower ranges, tenors handled

    The rest.  Even those who weren’t
    Good took their turns and were
    Pleasing to hear since I knew
    Them.  I could  take my place
    In the next one, knowing
    The words; yet knowing I
    Wouldn’t -- not willing to join

    This singing.  I would sing a song
    Entire though on my own. All 
    Those old men smiled as they
    Took their turns, and went on
    Smiling their joy as the night wore
    On – finally leaving as they ran
    Out – their last song fading.