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Preponderance of the Great


from “Renditions of Change,” a work in progress

I worry too much,

or not enough,

yet do nothing.

Here at home

cats curl

in our laps;

when friends visit,

the table’s full,

laughter and wine

flow unabated.

Far away

along the edges,

below the ice,

cracks appear;

and, the ground shifts

beneath us.

(March 7, 2019)

Obsessive Voice

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He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself:

Don’t pick it up;

 

He picks up the rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid—

 

He tells himself

Not to say such things.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid

 

For saying such things,

Then says them again.

 

He tells himself

Don’t pick it up.

 

He picks up the rock,

And puts it down.

 

(October 15, 2018)

 

 

 

 

Snapshot

source

 

As laconic waves lap the shore,

Children’s laughter catches the breeze;

And seagulls’ cries pierce the sky.

 

In the moment before it happens,

No one notices the clouds overhead

Casting shadows on the ground.

 

Recently, I saw an old photograph—

A typical summer beach scene:

Two young blonde women lean over

 

A railing in modest bathing suits.

They look out over the crowded beach

Toward the soft clouds on the horizon.

 

Everyone seems happy. Everyone

Exists in the moment, oblivious

To the candid moment they are in.

 

The caption reads: Germany, 1936.

It could have been any day;

It could have been today.

 

 

*(historical note: Dachau opened in March, 1933)

 

 

(October 15, 2018)

Gretel Lost in the World

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no dragons burn and pillage

even when lost in metaphorical

forests. the children’s screams

in the candy houses next door

are real enough not to be just

symbols in a jungian melodrama

analyzed casually over a cup of tea.

there are no stories to hide within.

the steel-eyed king and queen

handing down impartial justice

never existed anymore than the gods

who were used to justify raw power.

Whereas the black-helmed men

with polished shields and truncheons

still freely move down city streets

searching for someone else to kill.

(October 12, 2018)

Clay Feet

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to Lilith

 

I am no god to grant permission,

nor to watch your struggle

and pretend I know any more.

I want to lift you into the air,

to hug you close to my face, but

you are a grown woman now.

I flounder along in my own life.

The easy problems— to kiss

your stubbed toe, and all be okay—

have grown exponentially,

until I am as lost and incapable

as I think you feel. We all subsist,

scrabbling among the rocks searching

for that tasty bit of explanation

that will cause it all to fall neatly

into place, which never happens.

We are all lost in our worlds,

doing our best to love each other.

 

(July 3, 2018)