Where One Falters

Along a path distracted,
possibly the wind, or a bird,
pulls your attention away,
and you stumble on nothing;
as if the ground shifted,
but only beneath your feet,
and only within the moment
a glance requires to be coy.
You find yourself down
and bleeding, a gash
puckers across your face,
your leg twisted, broken.
Paying attention is difficult,
but imperative, or we all fall.

(November 13, 2016)

“green one red”

            nothing remains
littered across the floor
an aftermath to violence
framed by silence upon
either side of an event
as if it could be contained
to be carted away quietly
and ignored until forgotten
as if the scars could vanish
from these broken hands
as easily as blood into water
(November 9, 2016)

All Fall Down


With the advent of November
In Texas, the not hot season
Begins. The trees give up,
Desperately dropping leaves
Through the muggy air. Night
Falls earlier than the day’s
Work ends; dawn breaks 
On the drive to work.
Peering between black curtains,
The light remains elusive
And coy beneath low clouds
Crushing all who resist.

(November 7, 2016)

Fallen

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
                                    –Charlotte Bronte
He waits patiently in the parlor
like a forgotten Sunday suitor
as the yellow afternoon drapes
the room in dusty silence.
There is no dignity in sadness,
just sadness, a complacent yawn
alone.  He peers from the window;
as the day’s shadows grow deep.
Violently trimmed to partially fit,
he forces his wings into a box,
so they no longer can do harm,
then walks across the room
to sweep feathers from the floor.

(October 31, 2016)           

Melodrama Distracts

Thorns prick his arms
as he lifts her from his roses;
blood droplets fall to pale skin.
Fires leap from a pyre,
like tongues crying to heaven.
Flesh burns, and burns, and burns.
Winds swirl her ash, a final
embrace, before he falls
exhausted to the ground.
Why so many masks
to disguise the end
of what was never there?
Oh, Metaphor!
Conceal my desires!

Even from myself.

(October 16, 2016)

Dancing With the Moon: a haiku cycle



Love’s Pervasive Light
The full moon in Arles
hung above Austin as well.
We all live one life.
He watches the moon;
she hears a whisper, and looks up!
Months of silence pass.
She watches the moon;
alone, he sees it too—
light dawns to the whole.
They watch the full moon,
lost in their separate lives:
love’s pervasive light.
Like you, I exist alone:
O, Moon! Reflection of love.
(October 28, 2015)
November Moon Haiku
a frost moon rises:
winter’s still a month away;
my bones ache with cold.
(November 26, 2015)
Dissonance
Full Cold Moon tonight—
high today seventy-eight:
my life in this world.
(December 24, 2015)
Old Moon
thin clouds streak the sky
like wolves’ articulate howls
the moon does not care
(January 26, 2016)
hunger moon
wolves moan in the woods
ice crusts across old snow
desire still lingers
(February 22, 2016)
Lenten Moon
worms rise from the dead
earth after winter’s slow thaw
crow bathes in moonlight
(March 22, 2016)
Egg Moon
the procreant surge
dances with the moon’s shadow
beneath the new grass
(April 22, 2016)
Mother Moon
night flowers suckle
the milk moon’s reflected light
we are the other
(May 21, 2016)
Four Haiku and a Tanka for a Hot Moon
Full moon at solstice,
an intersection of time,
which already fades.
*
Wine and moon drunk,
who am I to question this?
a rose is a rose.
*
Buttermilk clouds drape
the solstice moon in thin shrouds:
What am I to this?
*
We think we can know.
Language lulls us into sleep,
as if the moon cares.
*
Never a still point,
the moon dances the solstice.
Yet another space:
Doors open to us again,
for time signifies nothing.
(June 20, 2016)
Four Haiku for a Buck Moon
We come to ourselves;
patterns repeat as patterns—
You, me, each our own.
*
And then we grow up—
Almost as if we planned it:
earth’s procreant urge.
*
I’m too drunk to think
beyond the now of this page—
Who am I to doubt?
*
I desire you still,
to hear your voice in laughter—
to begin again.
(July 18, 2016)
Four Haiku for a Lost Moon
It has rained for days,
rare for a Texas August:
the moon lost in clouds.
I too have been lost—
low clouds blur the sky with rain;
no sultry red moon.
To what do I rise?
The lake black in warm moonlight?
Another year’s gone.
With patience one waits;
green corn rustles through the field.
The moon ripens too.
(August 21, 2016)
Harvest Moon: Circles and Spirals
A pervasive light
slips along our shadowed world.
We are each other.

(September 16, 2016)

Shantith, or Original Sin



“Behold the time of the Assassins.”
                        Arthur Rimbaud
It is not that stories don’t matter, but they are not justified; the margins neatly matted. Each spring, as a child, the carnival would arrive in town for the fat stock show.  The kids in the local 4-H and F.F.A would compete, trying to win best of show and scholarships from the cows, pigs, sheep, and goats they had loving raised over the year for slaughter. We ignored the poison in our veins. Instead we spun, and flipped, and screamed tightly to each other on the carnival rides, held safe in our laughter. The horrors lurked somewhere else, some other state, some other country’s small town. Someone else’s children burned in the magazines stacked securely on the living room floor. From a blue sky, the sun shone brightly upon the cottonwoods in the back yard. As neighbors leaned on rakes talking quietly to each other, the sounds of lawn sprinklers spritzed through the evening air.
(July 8, 2016)

Judgments

The violence of his cowardice echoes
softly around him like feathers
in the aftermath of a cataclysm
which never quite came to fruition.
The silence is dull and pervasive;
it clings to him like a baby’s skin
elastic and cloying. He flinches
with each breath, then flees ecstatically.
His thoughts, slavering hounds, follow
heads bent as if penitent monks.
He longs after a kinder obliteration
to ignore his inevitable recompense.
Yet from this snuffling terror’s howl,
there is no absolution, no escape.

(June 19, 2016)

Weary, I Remove my Glasses

(Orlando, Syria, Sandy Hook, Gaza, Nigeria…)
My vision blurs
                        the world; things
are softer, easier
            to ignore—
                        clarity fails.
I don’t need glasses
                        to read, or write;
the word seems
                        black and white,
            easier to discern—
The latest horrors
            are far away;
                        I am tired,
and rub my myopic eyes.

(June 13, 2016)