Misaligned

ridleys_tumbling_blocks_closeup_1024x1024

 

She moves the block to the right

slightly, turning its axis

parallel to the table’s edge.

It is now as she imagined,

arranged in her mind’s symmetry,

aligned with the larger world.

Life would be easier if only

every one would take care

of everything instead of her.

But they don’t. So she does

what she can to help

put things in their places.

Yet the world she desires

rarely mimics the world

she lives within,

and the difference grows

as roots in a forest

askew to any explanation.

 

(September 7, 2018)

Quiet Desperation

Katmai-National-Park__508x400

 

I’ve never been free:

approbation and fear

a constant tap-tap

at my shoulder,

as a reminder— “No,

do not go there.

Stay inside this truth.

It’s comfortable here.”

 

Justly, it is never

too warm to sweat,

nor cold enough to shiver.

There are no bears here,

lost in their quandaries

as to my medial decisions.

 

(September 3, 2018)

 

A Safe Community

puzzle-people

 

I love to be loved,

as do you— as do

we all. No one wants

to be free: Trekking

off, boldly alone

through mountain forests,

the romantic cliché

tousling one’s hair.

 

I like knowing where I am,

to seem competent

in my children’s eyes,

to be myself inside,

a context provided,

a piece to a puzzle.

 

(July 21, 2018)

Even Sleep Worries Me Now

IMG_2381-1024x550

 

Inside dream’s not different

than day— I’m pursued

by doubt, dumb beasts

that plod along in herds.

I hurl myself away,

before I am trampled.

I wake bruised on the floor.

Then, embarrassed, without

transition, I return

to bed to sleep. I kick,

and shout out warnings

against the shadows

that crawl beneath my skin,

slowly feeding as they go.

 

(June 22, 2018)

 

The Only Safe Word is Silence

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I am not being

listened to means

you are not being

submissive enough

 

do not speak

simply act

on my desires

do not question

 

questions cause doubt

I must not hear

as insecurities

rattle like chains

 

for me to be free

you must not be

 

(June 8, 2018)

My Son Explains My Poetry to Me

Unknown-1 

One does not want to find

the body on the floor,

bits of brain and blood flecked

in patterns on the walls.

 

After decades scribbling

these poems to the page,

reading hundreds if not

thousands of others ,

 

apparently, I just needed you.

So, please, tell me, my child,

what my poetry means

to an ignorance like mine.

 

Keeping in mind, the reader

finds what he wants to find.

 

(May 16, 2018)

Vermin Fed Maggots

rat

 

Nearby, in the gutter,

common wisdoms

still wriggling.”

–Paul Celan

 

 

The remains of old ideas,

ripe with anger, are

so deeply embedded

one breaks bones

only to find dust,

instead of marrow.

 

They raise their heads,

and laugh righteously

at their bitter lies.

Always, they wait nearby—

truncheons polished,

jackboots shined;

While common wisdoms

smile like the recent dead.

 

(April 24, 2018)

Necromance

native-spell-in-South-Africa-or-Johannesburg

 

As blood from wine,

He is transformed;

The words solidify—

Lift from the page

Like a starling murmur

flows in morning air.

Obsessively, his thoughts

Turn and return

To the slightest wisp

She might, in passing,

Have whispered.

Memory is present

Always to form

A different future.

He writes and revises,

Remembers and reforms,

As if a candle’s smoke

Can reshape a flame;

As if all the words

Are uttered correctly,

He will be reborn.

 

(February 5, 2018)

He Sees He Says

eyeblinders

 

He resists his clichés

With their tiny reins

Guiding the blinder’s

Simplistic vision.

“Everything’s okay,”

he says, yet knows, as she,

it is all just a lie:

her questions, the feigned

interest, are too much—

too coy in their intent

for him to be okay.

He feels his answers

Thicken like cataracts

Clouding all before him.

 

(January 15, 2018)