Metaphor’s Threat

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (74)

It is hard to hear 

what must be said

easy to fall 

into cliche

a pair of shoes 

softly worn old

they know the way 

to take you home

as cows wear down

 a simple path

between one place

 and another

no difference

 really matters

our thoughts carve out

 the same channels

and run like rats

 trapped in a maze

never pausing

 to look for more

than what was there

 the last time here

repetition 

a common thread

comforts us all

 with old ideas

and traps us too

with such fools as I

(July 11, 2020)

Control’s an Illusion

I negotiate the moment:

the shape of a shell;

the color of a shoe;

the proper knot for a noose;

what was said when,

and to whom. As if time

whispers the secrets

it finds in tide pools:

what belongs

scuttling in the rocks, 

and what has washed in

with the last full moon.

(May 24, 2020)

the future was a threat

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (13)

in school we were always on the move

field trips to museums to math class

with Mr. Buesing to middle school

to high school to college the future

was a threat brandished like a whip

by degrees our world turned

then it stopped and I stumbled

and found myself here in the mud

like a body dropped from the door

of a passing car

(January 18, 2020)

no siren’s song

from “process, not a journey” a work in process (5)

always the fear waits

along the edge

of the trees

the casual phrase

the unsheathed knife

it waits

for you will come

unbidden

(January 7, 2020)