Saturday, August 23, 2008

Old Words

old words
once spoken
lie in a box
unbroken by the years
they have slept

when in a while
ever seldom
i peer inside to
gather up a sheet

the random ink again
forms recognizable thoughts
that long time past were
a part of me

they now awake a sleeping spot
inside, and as i am looking
it returns to fill me

i feel the warmth
and hear the laughter
and lightly drift
away...

but just as quickly
i close the lid
recover the box and
the sheets i’ve hid

for time has past me
in layers deep
and thoughts in the box
will once again sleep

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mojave

beyond city walls
ancient and still
a low desert calls
“dare come, if you will

i’m old and i kill
i rot with dry heat
my winds can chill
my winds can beat”

on small tracks from near
leading to nowhere
the endless is here
timeless, i stare

yet this wonder grows
stretching on scorched white sand,
at dusk the winds blow
to torment the land

sun rays cannot keep
amber yields to blue
and as the blue goes deep
evening again lives new

with wind softly faded
a hush rises thick
the desert is shaded
darkness runs quick

cacti and joshua trees
scorpion and lizard
dry without breeze
stars are a blizzard

the moon becomes lamp
probing its light
moving over the camp
watching eyes in the night

all silence broke
in one animal shout
then spirits awoke
to wander about

the mystic dark hours
are hiding a treasure
secrets and powers
in sands beyond measure

a sky jewel gleamed
across the desert floor
the morning, it seemed,
had bolted the door

“i’m secret to the ancients,
i’m caretaker to the ages,
beauty and patience
are words for my pages”

Thursday, August 21, 2008

long hypnotic waves in motion

long hypnotic waves in motion
children play, birds will run
loving my Pacific ocean
at the shore, in the sun

walking through the long deep pull
reaching water to my thighs
crashing, breaking under seagulls
white wings soaring, summer skies

the water blue, and sand that’s white
run together beyond my sight
holding one against the other
one is son, one is daughter

here’s a balance for the world
each upholds the others space
one is still, one is swirled
both entwined in cosmic pace

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

age

You feel, act, look, sleep,
move, talk, dress and think
just like a star.

But seriously now,
if you didn’t know when you were born
what age would you think you are?
after writing a while
talked to my wife
was sitting when i pointed
and meant to say ceiling
instead i said sky
of course i know why

a simple reason
like thistles and rabbits
thrive with old habits
it’s most likely, you see,
working with poetry
does that to me

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

it's coming from the sun

it’s fitting that I start from here
the tale that I can’t tell
just meditate and don’t relate
you know the story well

i’ll tell you what the prophet sees
the things I can’t relate
the thoughts you’ll twist into your toys
the things you won’t debate

it’s not what you expect you see
that’s how we play the game
we hesitate instead of flow
as the world remains in change

the greatest words I’ve written
the wildest things I’ve said
were sung by children half-asleep
and wetting in their bed

there is secret news I’m going to say
it’s sleeping in your heart
but take your time, it’s here with mine
don’t leave before you start

it’s coming from the sun
there’s nothing more than that
the fire burns, heats the earth
and here the poet sat

while knock, knock, knocking
the postman at the door
brings coupons free, some for me
and still I look for more

but there’s something that I’ve written
the wildest thing I’ve read
when world began in secret news
the words some others said

it’s not as you expect, you see
that’s how the world does go
we go about trying to learn
instead of forgetting what we know

while knock, knock, knocking
the old man at the gate
chases his hat, loves his cat
and that’s more than he can take

beyond the last tomorrow
when the old man loses sight
thoughts will rush like choir boys
passing each by candle light

it’s coming from the sun
I can see it coming down
what it is our words won’t say
but there’s sure enough around

it’s fitting that I say no more
of the tale that I can’t tell
after all, I’m only you,
a poet too, as well

Monday, August 18, 2008

at sea

ivory skies
flat and boundless
nowhere near anything
we can see
our wake
trailing
as a puppy
in wheat
sun fades
a day
complete

Sunday, August 17, 2008

meager thanks

for the first thought and the last dot of light
for the rain and the grain turned from the earth
for the intelligible speech, the perceptible sound and the colored sight
for the lasting sleep, the multifaceted life and the miracle of birth

for the total that has been set forward
for the mystery of what lies hidden
for the wisdom yet to be heard
for the sum of all that is written

for the total beginning
for the complete end
for all that is given
our meager thanks we lend

As Leamington Feels

our first time on the water since
ocean crossing on Isadora with Captain Z.
a small car ferry took us 27 miles
across glassy, flat Lake Erie
to Leamington, Ontario for the Tomato Festival
signs advertised Mexican, Mennonite or Chinese food

walking the town we entered the culture center
oddly, a building entrance that reminded us
of the center in Porto, Portugolo
inside was a small Heinz museum display
honoring the company begun in 1875,
which came here in 1909
ke-tsiap a spicy pickled fish condiment
of 17th century China,
keh-tsiap in Cantonese, may be
the origin of the name,
a lesser and unlikely possibility
like ford naming the Edsel after his son
but Heintz never had a daughter named Ketchup

we went to a place called “Restorante Mexican”
for terrible food, not easy to do,
but the mexicana owner had absolutely no ability to cook
wasn't people friendly, the place was up for sale
we missed that indicator

driving behind a black pickup with
a beige propeller on the back bumper
the center bolt was loose so the two blades hung straight down,
it was like following a well-hung barn animal

we tried a diner that reminded us of John Belushi
and a sketch on Saturday Night Live,
whatever the customers wanted they were talked into
a cheeseburger and a Pepsi,
this diner served only tacos and soft drinks
but very, very good
chicken or beef, soft drink or water

in the park the eve before the festival
a gifted young singer sang through his nose,
what a shame, he had great tone and musical phrasing
and could be truly great with help

the morning of the tomato parade our time was up
for this most interesting change of pace,
boarded the ferry this sunny warm day
and came back tired