stairs

“I change too quickly:  my today refutes my yesterday. When I ascend I often jump over steps and no step forgives me that.”           
            –Friedrich Nietzsche
I plod up the stairs
take a step up
then sit
before stepping down
again
the step looks familiar
but it’s not
that was the one
from yesterday
today the stairs
still ascend as well
as return to the ground
I too change quickly
so much so
my today and yesterday
implode without
condemnation
nor forgiveness
no tomorrow
to refute that
stepping forward
or stepping back
I still stand
one foot above the other

(February 16, 2014)

Demands of the Time

February 2, 1995
The pen’s nib scratches
a black scar across paper.
A larger world demands attention,
but for now- – I write this poem.
Like a bird repairing her nest,

I must think about today.

(from “My Book of Changes,” 1994-1995)

The Longest Night of the Year

it’s late
the moon is in eclipse
my wine glass is empty
I rest my head in my hands
beyond mere exhaustion
or the constant sadness
aching beneath my skin
I should know by now
after so many lifetimes
of watching the night:
the water rises at my feet
the storm surge shall pass
I have no fear of drowning
I’ll find a way
to draw myself
writhing
from my darker anger
to harvest the  depths
as a fisherman once again
pulls his nets from the sea
(from a work in progress: “Arcana” King of Cups, December 29, 2013)

Communication Problem

the mannered exchanges
the polite inquiries
to health and hearth
the words and smiles
we dance between
like rain upon the street
the social intercourse
of hand to hand
chat and greet
bastions sincerity
into muffled silence
to prevent
its sharpened teeth
from slashing fine lines
along the throats
of each person
that we meet
(September 5, 2013)

Early Spring

to Quinn, age 1
Light dawns slowly across the whole.
Ludwig Wittgenstien
The apple tree blossoms again;
the pink and white blooms grace
the bare branches like birds.
Snow bells drip from the shock
of lily leaves that huddles near
the base of the house out back.
Quinn toddles to the couch,
eyes crisp with laughter, 
cradling a book he wants to read.

(circa 1993, from If This is a Comedy, Why Aren’t We Laughing)

Ablutions and Sacrifice

Beer is not enough
to sate the gods
of tension tonight;
so, he pours another
bourbon and retreats
into himself, to wander
within his broken
thoughts like crows
picking bits of flesh
which cling between
the coastal rocks.
(May 18, 2013)