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Lines Written in a Pandemic a Few Days After the Summer Solstice

from a work in progress: “Process, Not a Journey” (67)

our earth wobbles its way

about the sun like a drunk

unsure of her footing

moves again

toward the bar

*

day by day minute by minute

plods toward darkness

for the next six months

each day grows darker

by one minute

*

not quite disturbing

the dullard doves

who coo complacently

on the fence

cardinals and jays

fussing constantly

slip after each other

between tree branches

I watch and listen

to this dance

for hours

and can do nothing

*

as it was in the beginning

world without end

(June 23, 2020)

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charmed life

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (63)

DCF 1.0

inevitably

we would join hands 

twirl a circle

with wild abandon

then fall into laughter

on the fresh cut grass

.

summer was summer

for longer than a summer

could be or ever would

be again

.

when the kids on the street

were everyone we knew

and the world was safe

nearby

(June 16, 2020)

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limbo (a reading)

limbo

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (61)

months of laconic weeks drift

past as the centuries two-step

a dance macabre about the village

square like old lovers late at night

dance slowly arms entwined 

in a practiced grace

your death’s not important 

to them any more than mine 

only this dance matters

the horror of it lies 

in the death head’s grin

which does not pretend 

to hide its deception 

there is no skin to map 

its laughter into flowers

across our blind eyes 

no dead platitudes to act 

as balm for our world in flames

(June 14, 2020)

Featured

limbo

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (61)

months of laconic weeks drift

past as the centuries two-step

a dance macabre about the village

square like old lovers late at night

dance slowly arms entwined 

in a practiced grace

your death’s not important 

to them any more than mine 

only this dance matters

the horror of it lies 

in the death head’s grin

which does not pretend 

to hide its deception 

there is no skin to map 

its laughter into flowers

across our blind eyes 

no dead platitudes to act 

as balm for our world in flames

(June 14, 2020)

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)