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futility’s song

Everything we do is futile, but we must do it anyway.

—Mahatma Gandhi

she dances

casting off ghosts

like skin

she has no bones

no laughter

to lace

the pettiness

tossed on her

like shrouds

to disguise the decay

she avoids

yet accepts

.

she dances

as her feet shuffle

a stolid beat

to disrupt silence’s

desolate

reign

she has no words

to mouth

against herself

no cloak

against the coldest

wind

(April 17, 2020)

Committed to Ritual

 

bandstand-pic 

The days and nights pass

in calm acquiescence. As

expectations lurk without

patience, sad laughter slips

into conversation’s pauses.

We each drink to avoid the

silent ramifications: there’s

nothing to say; and, what’s said

means nothing. A stock phrase

spills from a stock question

in a communal recitation.

Only empty gestures remain

to conjure, with a hollow

dance, the clichés of love.

 

(May 10 2018)

solve for X

eyeem-49219149

 

you present as a variable

an x or a y

an unknown desire

 

to provide an outcome

for a question

I did not know to ask

 

each only opens one door

to slip down the hall and out

is to dance the wet grass alone

 

or sit near the window and sigh

as one grey day blurs into tomorrow

with your answer left unresolved

 

I do not know where to go

within the variables of my heart

 

 

(February 11, 2018)

 

 

 

 

Time’s Lackadaisical Continuum

butterfly-gif-animation-9 

A fire flares and flickers

As the dark embers pulse,

Keeping beat to the dancer’s

Feet twirling in a circle.

He hesitates to speak,

To throw his slow mind

Into relief against her quick

Laughter rippling the room.

His words bind him to earth

Like roots tangling underground;

Hers flutter like butterflies

Rising as one from flowers.

 

Flames, flowers, roots and embers

Turn, and turn, and turn again.

 

(January 30, 2018)

Cough

Unknown-1

 

clotting into a thick mass

dread drops like cottonwood fluff

throughout the soft afternoon

 

I cannot breathe this darkness

too many knots of decay

to choke like thorns down my throat

 

each morning I spit a bit

then find scraps of redemption

as I stumble out the door

 

a new day’s dark-red dawn blurs

a simple numbness unfolds

inevitable and cold

 

I gasp and look to the sky

hopeful I will breathe today

 

(November 30, 2017)