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Monthly Archives: May 2013

#38

Dream Speech
(a sestina)

He speaks to her in dreams of words
Left over from a lifetime of silence.
He wants her to understand his fears
And how they’ve shaped his poetic eyes.
He worries that she’ll laugh and turn away
But she listens and asks for more.

And when he complies and speaks to her more
She hears behind the dreams more than words.
And she feels his spirit fly away
Only to soar back and hover in silence
Trying desperately to be real to her eyes
And to ignore the pain that comes from his fears.

But he has lived so long with the truth of his fears
That the pain doesn’t stab any more.
It’s more like a fog that blurred his eyes
And in the past made him stumble over words
So that he fell into the comfort of silence.
Until her listening took his quiet away.

And now that his dreams have found a way
To burst out in spite of his lonely fears
He no longer feels at ease in silence.
So he starts to give her his dreams even more–
Spilling out in his secret words
The images now breathing in her eyes.

And listening she begins to realize
That though some of his dreams slip away
Not held well in the shape of his words,
She knows she can ease his little boy fears
And convince him to dream even more
And to explore his own particular silence.

And he finds new dreams in his silence.
He touches them and lifts into their eyes.
He understands his voice is strong and even more
His visions will not startle and scatter away
Even when confronted with left over fears
Because she hears and understands his words.

He pauses and sees she hasn’t turned away,
Comfortable in the glow of his poetic eyes.
So he begins to sing to her in fresh dreams of words.

 
 

#37

The night is circular….

The night is circular, tempered, gentle
Filled with soft syllables of lingering kisses
It is a breathing heart
That opens and closes

As the darkness breathes in with the evening waves
The light breathes out
Reaching for the moon’s touch
As I, always, reach for you

And whenever you speak to me, lover of tides,
Your voice smelling of juniper
Infinite and encompassing
I turn with myself

With you
I am circular
With you
I am gentle

Frangipani blooms in the darkness
The ocean drifts toward the scented air
You bloom in the darkness
I drift, forever, toward you

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#36

green whistles
(for Stephanie Garcia)

She presents me with her journal
like a beautiful birthmark
hidden on her thigh
proud of the shape
but shy about the skin it reveals

She lets me take it in my hands

Covered in leather
it is still fragile
a glass bird
night whispers
translucent

She turns away while I open it

After this ceremony I expect surprises
so I begin reading
like a child digging through the cereal box
hoping to find the green whistle
promised on the cover

I sift through dear diary thoughts
looking for the lines she crossed out
wanting to know
what was too personal
for her to let breathe

And then I find them
half-finished poems
edited images of her world
and when I look closer
I realize they are like all the green whistles
I ever found
ultimately cheap and plastic
disappointment hidden in the face of joy

And now I have to decide
how to return her journal
without revealing
that I think her birthmark
is not really beautiful
but is only a mole
stuck on her thigh

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#35

An idea of sunlight                    (originally published in Abbey, 2010)

In my mind
All that is poignant has died
The silence of the arrow
As it listens to the wind
The starry reflections
Of a crow’s glass eye
The lonely strength of a cactus
In a desert thunderstorm

I waited for far too long
Waited for something I could not recognize
Waited for the patterns in the dust
To settle in the sunlight
Now I am lost
With only the idea of sunlight remaining

Yesterday I realized
There is someone out there
Who will dig my grave
And I started writing him a poem
But I could not see anything
Except the shovel and the dirt

I could not even imagine his hands

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in previously published

 

#34

Stonor’s Eagles                                             (college)
(from the novel by William Horwood)

I roam
Through winds that eagles fly–
      Harsh mountain winds
      Swirling and crashing
      Against cliff faces–
Looking for a place to roost.
I whisper prayers into the night
To Gods I don’t know
Except in legend.
My face
Becomes my father’s face,
My eyes
His eyes.

Clouds form
And become the wings of the Gods–
      Lifting
      Protecting
      Threatening–
And I am filled with sorrow.
Rain falls from the wings
And I sleep into my dreams.

Ocean breezes wake me
And my father’s face
Becomes my face,
His eyes
My eyes.
Terns rise in breeding flights
And I smile
And let the wind lift me up,
No longer frightened,
Through mountain passes.
Shelters appear
But I fly by
Taking joy in the rain
And the swirling wind
Pushing me upward.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in college

 

#33

Tumbleweeds and the Suburb

A California tumbleweed rolls across the road, bouncing like a ball of flimsy, resilient
wood (which it is). Bounce, fly in the breeze, come down, hit the road, flex and give in
like a boxer’s face wrapping around a fist in slow motion, then bounce back up again.
Down the road. It disappears. Man, don’t they all. I’m shocked it even showed up
in the first place. Now that California is one huge suburb, L.A. stretching to Arizona,
tumbleweeds must have left. I hadn’t seen one in years. Maybe this was the last
bouncing tumbleweed. It had to dodge cars, backyard barbecues and Saturday morning
lawnmowers just to get to this place. Just trying to find its own home. Man, aren’t we
all.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#32

The Illusion of Speed  
                                                     (to be published in Cantos, 2014)
In an airplane heading east,
Ground passing beneath
Calm in its repose,
I realize
The universe is expanding faster
Than our limited steel and flesh.
I am farther from the edge
At every second.
I am being left behind
And suddenly I feel unimportant.

I’m inside a speck of light
A star can’t see.

No matter how fast I go
I will never reach the edge
To see what the universe
Is expanding into.

And inside this speck of light
Inside this speeding body
Inside my limited flesh
I feel a nothingness bloom
And expand.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in previously published