Remembering the river where we walked
The bridge above the water, strong as life
Remembering how every day we talked
Of all that should be said by man and wife
Remembering the rains of middle spring
The rivulets of memory are clear
When washed by words of love, remembering
The torrents of the passion of one year
Forgotten are the times of fear and doubt
Which vanish like the dust within the rain
Forgotten like a storm forgets a drought
Like rapture brings an end to tears of pain
Envisioning the fount of love and peace
Which flows forever, nevermore to cease
You shake and cry when pleasure is intense
You shake and cry for what? I thought I knew
It must be something deeper than I sense
When I’m a million miles away from you
You shake and cry behind the thinnest veil
You shake and cry and tear the veil away
My mind absorbing every small detail
In hopes to hold forgetfulness at bay
I hear you in the distance, like a storm
I see you on a page within a book
I smell you like the rain when it is warm
I taste you like the fish can taste the hook
And then I break the silence with a sigh
Unsure what made my lover shake and cry
To mark the life I think I live, I write
Reflections of reflections in a lake
To mock my life the words I choose seem trite
Reflected only for reflection’s sake
The surface is disturbed by rippled waves
The soul below is buried in the mud
The most illusive poems are the graves
I dig to warm the cooling of my blood
Oh yes, I try to dig within the lake
You laugh to watch the water flood my work
I cry to see the ripples that I make
Obscure the place I think my soul may lurk
But laugh or cry in pity or in spite
I think, to mark the life I live, I write
Her kiss is more than simply lips to lips
It’s more than teeth and tongues and heated breath
Her kiss is more than tracing fingertips
Through lipstick red as life and deep as death
Her mouth becomes a passage to her soul
The act becomes a breach of space and time
Like chaos losing ground to self control
Or poetry surrendering to rhyme
But when she slides her hand behind my neck
And lets her hair fall all around her face
And when she knows my will is held in check
Her kiss becomes my solitary grace
My world contracts to nothing less than this
Where nothing else exists except her kiss
I tried my best, like autumn’s auburn leaves
To cling to spring or summer if I could
But found that winter offered no reprieve
And learned that clinging doesn’t do much good
The roots, the trunk, the branch gave up at last
And doing so they left me little choice
Their need for me was somewhere in the past
And mine for them, a dry unheeded voice
The west wind blew and shook me from my place
The south wind felt just like my final sighs
The east wind was a slap across my face
The north wind froze the teardrops in my eyes
Old winter came without a joyful sound
And I was dead before I hit the ground
These roots will make me sway, but not collapse;
they melt the wisps of visions barely seen,
distill their plastic nature and perhaps
such distillations sharpen what they mean.
Encapsulated beauty, fattened kine,
a place to fish where fish should not be caught,
all symbolize intentions that are mine,
although they all escape my waking thoughts.
These roots do not inflict me with desire,
like alcohol’s ambition, nor its pain.
They have no need of water nor of fire,
Although they bring the sun and cleansing rain.
And though we dream within the sleep of death,
in these I count the coup of waking breath.
Beneath the lake of god I slept for years
until my flesh was cold enough to feel
the heat within my veins, and heated tears
became a revelation to reveal.
Beneath the lake of god I heard the voice
of all the prophets’ dim and distant cries.
I dropped the book, a solitary choice,
and in my lightened state began to rise.
Then through the lake of god, its waters clear,
I rose and noticed suddenly how deep
the water was, and though I didn’t fear,
I wondered what had kept me fast asleep.
And as I broke the surface of the lake
I felt the air, the breath that I could take.
It’s night; it’s like a metal chair again
inside a concrete room with concrete floor.
The air is thick and silent, like a sin
that keeps you trapped behind a concrete door.
It’s night; you sit and stand and sit again.
You pace the dark, unyielding, dirty floor,
unswept, just like an unrepented sin.
You hear the clicking steps and locking door.
It’s night, and night is sleepless yet again.
You’ve curled up on a thousand sleepless floors.
And what you thought were dreams were only sins
that crawled you toward their locked and concrete doors.
It’s night, and so you sit and stare in vain
into the concrete darkness once again.
You’re dead because you haven’t learned to live,
to suck the marrow from the bones of life.
And if you resurrect enough to give
yourself a chance, like sharpening a knife.
Then life becomes the death of death, the time
between the birth of flesh and birth of dust.
And all the knives you sharpen seem to shine
or else they dull with oxidating rust.
Then breathe before your breath becomes a mist,
a cloud of trouble stitched to life and death.
And breathe the air as if it had been kissed
by something not less passioned than your breath.
And cut the ties you’ve tied to time with love;
and pray to god within and god above.
She hides beneath my bed and cries too loud
for me too sleep. I wonder if she’s there
because I dreamed I saw her in a crowd,
a sea of darker eyes and darker hair.
Her sobs waft up, an anti-lullaby
that permeates my heart, my soul, my ears.
And yet, I must be deaf because her cry
is nothing more than silent falling tears.
What’s wrong with me? I ask in whispered prayer.
What dulls the pain that grinds inside my head?
Hello? Hello? My god are you still there?
Are you still hiding underneath my bed?
Pushed back with dusty papers that I keep
all filled with poems written in my sleep.