Saturday, May 23, 2020


    They’re stretched alongside
    The roads from here to back
    East, tolling the bells that
    Ring in my ears -- stopping
    To stare now and again
    Waiting for their coming,
    Sure as I’m not what

    They say I am, “look at this,”
    I say, flexing my arm.  “Look
    At this,” they say holding
    My date of birth.  Gesturing               
    To the shotgun next to
    The stairs, I send them off

    To Jessica’s growls, to Ben
    And Duffy watching.  Not
    Long after the sun sinks,
    A neighbor sings an off-key
    Serenade.  Neighboring dogs
    Bark and the ringing is surely
    Softer than it was before.

The Singer


    The singer on the hill
    Again is singing, sending
    Her bird-like trills through
    The horizon, her song, the
    little truths – he with
    An ear will hear
    And bask in their

    Dazzling explications --
    Walking, speaking softly
    Muttering about their
    Delineations – what we once
    Knew.  I drew near and
    Listened and heard her
    Singing as a young girl --

    A voice beyond her years,
    Our eyes rolled back
    Till I saw the words
    Deep down, first hearing
    Her sing so long ago
    My mind struggles
    To restore its beauty.

The Excursion


    “Have you had anything to drink, sir?”
    “I don’t drink at all, officer.”
    “Your driving seems somewhat
    Askew, sir.  Why would that be?”
    “Oh that’s because of a broken
    Knee-cap, and my ankle’s a bit
    Stiff.”  “But not you” he asked?

    “Not me.”  “Step out of your car
    If you please.”  “In that case I’ll
    Need my cane.”  “Not like any
    Cane I’ve seen.”  He took it in
    Hand.  “Walking stick, then, though
    I don’t do much of that.  Old
    People break, you’ve probably heard.”

    “I have heard that, sir.  My apologies.
    Why are you out here so late?” 
    “Wanted a burger as a midnight snack,
    Haven’t had one since my wife died –
    Leg’s a bit sore still. I’ll need my stick.”
     “Yes sir,” he said.  “Best go back home.
    You’ve been wobbling a bit excessively.”

    He saluted smartly, turning away. 
    I stood there in gathering fog,
    Unclear how I’d lasted this long.
    Looking back with the eyes    
    Of a child, seemingly from a
    Great height – my heart beating
    As steadily for all I knew.  I lay

    My stick in back and resumed
    My journey, using fog lights,
    Queuing up with the others,
    Waiting, getting my order and
    Driving on, steadier now than
    Before. One gets used to being
    Whatever comes next.

The Break


    You asked the significance –
    Insignificant largely in
    Light of staggering events
    Round about.  I stagger
    Now a bit in the west,
    But no one will see
    Or see quite as I,

    Breaking is a thing many
    Do, creating a
    Before and after
    Before we’re ready;
    So I’ll see if I can
    Change as need be
    My acquiescence.

    It will be after all no
    Hardship keeping
    Me here even more
    Than I’ve been, amidst
    Pictures from the hikes.
    I’ll reside now a bit more
    In the thoughts I think.

Not Being Bloom

    “Without memory one cannot think,”
    He said, employing his photographic
    Mind as he progressed.  Perhaps
    Though others remember
    Differently and are led to
    Conclusions at variance.
    As old as Bloom but not

    Remembering clearly
    My sixty years ago my
    Thoughts are shallow, floating
    In flotsam nearer shore,
    Not experiencing Juno’s
    Curse and needing to sail
    Beleaguered seas with varying

    Crews.  I am instead
    Being driven to confess
    Whatever she puts
    In my mind, careful
    That whatever I say doesn’t
    Deviate from her direction.