Sunday, June 28, 2009

Redbird (tritina)

She says her mother comes as a redbird
and visits our yard, mostly in spring,
not wishing to conjure a vestige of death.

She was young for the sickness, the hospital, her death.
She leaned on the window and wept to a redbird,
of torment and sorrow, dying in spring.

Chill winds have blown, now yielding to spring.
Songs from green branches disavow death.
And a daughter confides in whispers to a redbird.

Redbird sits on the window in spring chirping a rebuttal to death.



A Confession Before Dawn


She stretches and yawns. It is just before dawn
I think she wants love and I stroke her small frame.
But she noses toward the door and stifles a bark.
I let her out in the yard,
watching her fade into corners of blackness.

Blackness of body, blackness of night
blackness of memory,
she reminds me of Amos,
in the field by the shed, lying still on his side.

The specter rises cold in my mind that nothing from that time

was in my power to change
but the life of a dog.

I am sorry
I left you with them,
your hardened chin chiseled and stalwart against
cruelty and neglect
they destroyed you right under my nose.

With one eye he asks in shades of realization
"Do you know the sadness at the end of all things?
Or do the flowing waters of life say to you in ripples
that we had a good run against impossible winds?"

He was small and tight with singular vision
a lost eye measuring nothing, not a sliver between his death and mine.
His gaze follows a trail of shame
complicity and ignorance.

What is cowardice but choosing the wrong fight?
I could have swept him up and taken him away. But I didn't.
There were so many more sides than mine.

That's how I felt staring out in the night.

It was easier then,
submitting to the crush of defeat,
easier than making a small wise choice,
the desperation of tiny victories,
rather than believing in his seat at the table
and finding only a chair in a house on fire.

She ambles to the back door, and I greet her with a promise and a smile.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

black and white all over again



i just
love must
over promise.



Why x-ray yesterday's zebras?

abc poem using every letter in the alphabet in order for the first letter of every word. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pine Ridge, September 1975

You can break into song
for Sitting Bull, Hoka Hey!,
of visions at Greasy Grass,
or how he was murdered
because of the Ghost Dance.
You can write poems
for Crazy Horse, victim of
bayonets and a bad translator.
Or take a walk down the
Trail of Broken Treaties, recounting
the white lies for Red Cloud.
But don’t speak of a city on the hill
until you bury the heart of justice
in South Dakota snow.
Hold back ruler and scales.
You cannot use them to measure
these forgotten people, while
Leonard Peltier, number 89637 –132,
dances a Sun Dance from his cell.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Love Does not Change the World

Elske gør ikke omlægge
den afholdt, sig omlægge sig.
Love does not change the world.
Even David took up five stones
and weighed them in his hand
for balance in the battle.
Though faith waited in the fields,
he chose wisdom from a dry river bed
over chaos' wink at order



-  "Elske gør ikke omlægge den afholdt, sig omlægge sig" a quote from Soren Kierkegaard (1813 1855) Danish philosopher "Love does not change the beloved, love changes itself"

What Would e.e. Do? -or- Betraying Your Muse

what if judas were a was and if (was just) because
when love is only /doglick breath, a slant smile from your mother
and drunken kiss’s ‘neath lemon lamplight, of course, the thing it does
what (if judas) were a was and if was just because
when dust claims morning mouth, a slight below, before the growling buzz
and whiskey is as whiskey does, tonight to write, to red, 1 love 2 th’other
what if judas were a was and if (was just) because
when love is only /doglick breath, a slant smile from your mother



-A Triolet Inspired by James Ciriaco's poem: Anxiety of Influence, and the work of e.e. cummings. 

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Air Up Here

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Poke in the Ribs from the 128 Color Box (a triolet)

She always colors between the lines.
Her crayon's stroke is most sublime.
Far afield my hand does stray, when pushing one of mine's.
But she always colors BETWEEN the lines!
"Oh" she deigns to say "That's ok.... It's just fine."
(I know I'm a colorer from a different time.)
And she always colors between the lines.
Her crayon's stroke is most sublime.




Friday, June 5, 2009

An Answer

She nailed a Haiku to the door at midnight;

a perfect lie, singing like a canary

in reverse;

a vacuum thought

about a shameless life.

The laughter of crickets

divided youth from

middle age.