Palimpsest


Soft layers scribed over

erasures, poorly scraped;

a velum saved for use

as if it were a silence,


independent of any thought,

original, and never spoken;

emerging fully formed, 

like Athena, into the world:


I am my own metaphor,

a translation stuttered

from a transparent other

which I will never know.


My words hover over words,

like mist over a graveyard.



(December 11, 2021)

Prompt

Write what you know.

Write what’s in front of you.


The obvious obviously:

Pay Attention!


The world is around you;

You are in the world.


(December 10, 2021)

Poem

I lie to myself most of all:

That I can write, or

I know who I am,

As if there were a difference.

(December 9, 2021)

Only in Reflection

You see a mirror;

you are not there.


Upon reflection you think,

as countless doors open.


Nothing’s behind you,

except a mirror.


You are alone as I;

another door closes.


You are a wall,

separating away.


You are the way

through nothing.


You are the door.

You are the mirror.



(December 5, 2021)

Another Sunrise

The courage

to walk out the door

is too much

too often to flee

to the streets;

to leave the house,

this life, to wander

free, to live

without 

this constant fear.

So, I stay put,

puttering about

my place

and await

my next breath.

(December 2, 2021)

More Light Than Dark, But Still There is Dark

Often as I read or write

a poem, my mind wanders

unable to track the line

across the page, or leap 

with a dancer’s grace, as

the line breaks a short hop

down the page. I drop, lost, 

between the melted words 

as if in an antarctic crevasse.

The whiteness widens, and 

I fall through my thoughts

randomly cracking my head

on a word which spins me

along a tangental arc

deep into the uncharted dark.

(November 21, 2021)

My Hands

These are my mother’s hands:

wracked with worry, the veins

thick below the skin, soft

like worms in loam.


These are my mother’s hands:

holding my face, stunned

that I am still alive

to walk through another day.


These are my mother’s hands:

kneading the bread dough

for another Thanksgiving,

one more meal together.


These are my mother’s hands,

empty like bones in the ground.

(November 28, 2021)

Reconciliation

Unintended, random like dice, or love

the stories fell into place, puzzle parts

as remembered, and retold as punch lines

to a deflected tragedy one night

late after almost all had departed.

You spoke into your anguish. I listened,

troubled in my failed attempt at reason,

for what you had said tore into my heart.

How can anyone know the genetic

strands of what we have said to each other?

where the safe world we have constructed shapes

us from the lies we have neatly explained

until the only truth we know is ours,

tangled in our hearts’ cold reliquaries.

(November 21, 2021)