Saturday, March 30, 2019

Ulysses Agonistes 2

    I sought to reach the cove before
    The storm, but there followed
    A rising sea.  I put down anchors
    Fore and aft hoping they’d hold me
    While the sea swept harmlessly
    Past.  But I’m on a lee shore
    Roiling against God.  The trails I’ve

    Traveled have spilled me down 
    The mountain and out to sea.  
    Foul winds rose and shoved me    
    As far out as they could go.
    I struggled in weather gear
    Ripped and torn and missed
    My true way to the cove.
    Anchors held all through   
    The night, but now they drag
    And will soon let go.  Should I
    Hide below as I smash upon
    These rocks?  I think instead
    I’ll stand upon the deck and
    Watch my own destruction?

Ulysses Agonistes 1

    In an earlier time I sailed
    Out in full armor, but this
    Afternoon with a light breeze
    Coming from the north
    And possessing my full rights
    I let a burdened boat cross
    Before my bow, falling off

    Letting him take my place,
    Veering, trying for a better
    Wind further along.
    I’ll sail whatever course this
    Wind demands, never
    Needing to win at merely this.

    I won’t hear the winning horn
    But urgently seek my long sought
    Cove, Penelope there where
    I once dived down to find
    Her.  Let others swallow
    Their indignation.  I’ll
    Dive down unannounced.       

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

On he Road


    I’ve been on this road a
    Seldom understood long time
    And have never managed
    To catch its name:  The signs
    Wink by so quickly.  I must
    Do my best to watch for
    Directions: “Gas and Lodging”

    From time to time or 
    “Rest Stop” which I
    Pull in to and seeing no one
    To complain, let my dogs
    Out off-leash to run.
    I look about but see no
    Explanation of where this is.

    My sense of direction, always
    Poor seems to have gotten worse:
    The sky in this unpeopled place with
    Its immeasurable number of stars,
    Each one with a name
    I never learned, aches
    As I cross over a crest

    Away from the rest-stop’s lights.
    The night is full of explanation,
    But I am limited by the
    Energy I still possess –
    The dogs come near and wait
    To see where I will go – on out
    To infinity – or back to the car.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Heidegger on a bad day

     I on the other hand am fighting
    The not care-edness of being.
    The camera I use today will be
    Electronic junk ten years from now
    As may we all for all I know.
    Tip-toe as I might up every
    Little hill, past flowers

    Still in bloom, I see with
    Infinitesimal glimpses
    Using rheumy eyes and try
    I might think to reach out
    For something to grasp,
    Feel my last gasp coming
    In a cough like a fit,

    Fearing solipsistic sentiments
    I might give my camera away,
    Crush poppies in the field as I
    Walk by, lift my eyes to meteor
    Showers and eclipses beyond
    My reach even if I were to take my
    Hands from my pockets and try.

Daddy Long Legs

    The spider hung upside down
    With legs so fine they looked
    Like strands of his web.
    A wounded fly
    Fell in, struggling
    Weakly as the spider by
    Then quite close wrapped him

    Tightly and as soon cocooned
    Set him aside.  I raised
    My eyes and looked away.
    Whatever would happen
    Next required the spider’s
    Patience more than mine,
    Looking about at the rest

    Not web connected,
    Waiting none the less
    For what would happen soon,   
    I picked up my broom, swept
    Up blown-in leaves, tracked-
    In sand and debris, ready
    For whatever comes for me.

Bring me your dead

    “Bring out your dead,”
    “Bring out your dead,”
    Louder with each call
    A tall man with bald head   
    Looked in.  “We’ll have your dead.”
    His bass-voice demanded.
    “Have away,” I snarled,

    Looking up annoyed.
    “Don’t make me wait
    He snarled back.  I stood
    On wobbly legs and shook
    My cane.  “Do you see any dead
    In here?  You damned fool.  Try
    The house next door.  He checked

    His phone and checked my
    Number.  “No, no mistake.”
    I frothed, “You bureaucratic
    Muggins couldn’t find your way
    Around my block.  Get off   
    My porch or I’ll call the law.
    We’ll just see who here is dead.

    My anger overwhelmed
    My sense of being and I swung
    My cane, falling as I did.
    “I see him now,” I heard him say,
    Looking down with a glint
    In his closest eye.  I coughed, and as
    I died heard him contentedly sigh.

Philosophically Speaking

    “It’s going to get buried,”
    I heard him say. “It” being
    Something I held dear. I began
    Thinking:  The sound as
    He spoke was immense
    With authority.  But so many
    Do that in these late days,

    I slung my gun belt around
    My waist.  “Well see about
    This,” I mumbled aloud,
    Checking the loads in my old
    Colt and feeling the few
    More in my pocket if it came
    To that.  Turning I saw

    The one who spoke near
    The end of the bar – hat down
    Over his eyes – thumbs in his
    Belt looking nonchalant.  “Hey
    You,” he heard me say and looked
    Around. “You better think again    
    Before you grab your spade