Lover Too Late

This sonnet is a reworking of an earlier one:
First Touch of Our Second Child


I watch you place your hands upon your hips
and trace them to your belly, where they pause.
I watch your subtle, gentle fingertips
trace lovingly and linger where the cause
of this, your life’s creation makes you smile
again, like when you kissed me, skin to skin.
So half a life with him was worth your while
to bear another child of his within
your perfect body.
Solemnly you turn
to find my eyes upon your reverie
of life.  What fitful thoughts can you discern?
Does life create rapport? Then come to me
and place my dying hands upon the place
that bears the evidence of his embrace.

An Omnipresent Vision

So there you sit one day, today, your mind
awash in something that you drank to keep
you sane.  You think you see the stream that flows
through time, your time.  But high or low it’s all …
all omnipresent; you are god, you fool.
The time you dined with her is all the same
as when your sons were born and when you dreamed
you died, you drowned in crystal waters, deep
or when you swam, not caring if you lived
or like a happy fly, you died.  So fast
it flies, your life, down Oran-Delphi hill
as if you train for something you might win.
As yesterday the music that you fear
is played again and draws you ever near.

Winter

My prayers, like snow, fall gently to the ground,
accumulate in drifts of quiet words.
I watch through frosted windows as the sound
of hallelujah’s beauty lies unheard.
The god of winter listens to my song
of joy with grace as cold and blue as ice.
My liquid soul is frozen, fast and strong,
entombed in patience.  Patience will suffice.
My heart beats once; a billion snowflakes fall.
I give each one a blessing and a name.
The overwhelming stillness of it all
becomes a benediction to proclaim
the love I feel, the love I want to sing
when beauty melts, when beauty blooms in spring.

A Vision of My Soul

It shocked me, and it hurt; my god it hurt!
when evil tore my soul when it was weak.
My mind and body hardened to divert
the enemy of whom I now can speak.
I almost died; the devil almost laughed
to empty out my soul before it healed.
While powerless to stop the violent draft
of life, I caught a glimpse of what’s concealed
within my soul. I saw a burning flame,
like glass and fire, penetrating light.
I saw a stone engraved with a new name.
The name was mine; the stone was brilliant white.
I healed, but not before I fell from grace.
And now my soul is whole, though out of place.

Paper Boxes

My thoughts are boxed in paper-folded squares
and lined like soldiers on my window sill:
my thoughts of you in dreams, caught unawares
of all the paper boxes I would fill
with images of how your wrist is curved
or how the sunlight combs your scented hair,
in hopes that every thought might be preserved
and let me always find them standing there.
But thoughts in paper boxes blow away
when windows are left open in a storm.
The paper melts in rain from clouds of gray
and dissipates the thoughts, no longer warm.
Like wisps of wind I watch them through my tears
and whisper their return through silent fears.

First Touch of Our Second Child

I watch you place your hands upon your hips
and trace them to your belly, where they pause.
I watch your subtle, gentle fingertips
trace lovingly and linger where the cause
of this, your life’s creation makes you smile
again, like when you kissed me, skin to skin,
like countless years of love was worth your while
to bear another child of mine within
your perfect body.  Perfectly you turn
to find my eyes upon your reverie
of life.  What wistful thoughts can you discern?
Does life create rapport? You move to me
and move my hands with yours upon the place
that bears the love, the warmth of our embrace.

Nearer

A thousand miles away the sweetest sigh
of love and longing leaves her lonely lips,
a prelude or a postlude to a cry
accompanied by trembling fingertips.
A thousand miles away I hear her hair
brush gently as it falls across her face,
the softest sound of which I am aware,
a subtle sound she amplifies with grace.
Nearby, the howl of autumn winds and rain
is deafening in all its autumn rage,
a furious sound of cacophonic pain
which struts and frets across my noisy stage.
But I, poor player, choose what I will hear,
and press the phone more firmly to my ear.

Leadership

“The problem is the fucker didn’t blow,”
says Sergeant Hansen, giving us his look
of “stupid private-dickheads.”  But we know
he’s smart enough to fix it by-the-book.
The dynamite looks like a pile of shit,
although the turds are perfect tubes of red.
There’s forty-seven stinking pounds of it
all heaped down-range.  Which one of us is dead?
We “dickheads” who are certain that the blame
for all that unexploded shit should fall
on someone else, still wait to hear the name
of which of us will check the fuse.  The call
comes quickly as our sergeant gives a shout:
“You dickheads wait right here.  I’ll check it out.”

Dust. Wind. Dude.

Before the earth became the earth, before
it formed into this ball of grand design–
Before the earth was nothing, nothing more
than dust, quintessent, minuscule and fine–
Before the man called Adam, being first,
became a man with hopes and dreams and lust–
Before becoming hunger, pain and thirst,
he too was nothing more nor less than dust.
And from the dust they say god made the earth;
and from the dust they say god made the man.
And to the dust, decaying from their birth,
they say it’s part of god’s eternal plan.
And yet it seems more simple to my mind:
That dust is simply everything, refined.

If I were nothing I would be a breeze
that starts from nothing, lives then disappears,
devoid of solid forms, formed by degrees
evoking neither useless hopes nor fears.
If I were nothing more I’d be a gale
that whips the water hard against the land.
Without remorse, relentless I would flail
the rocks of time to glasses filled with sand.
I’d have no name, but you would know my voice.
I’d live and die, then live and die again.
And following my path would be the choice
described by the futility of men.
I’d whip the chaff of souls of all who sinned,
but still I’d still be nothing but the wind.

A dude is just a guy like you or me,
an everyman within these latter days.
Instinctively he knows that he is free
to leave, although more frequently he stays.
He’ll stay when friends are boring, though he’ll yawn,
then laugh and tell them, “Dude, that story sucks.”
And after they have finished, when they’re gone,
he’ll laugh again as suddenly he’s struck
by something that was mentioned by the friend
that wasn’t quite as boring as he thought.
He’ll call on some pretense and then pretend
to be profound, although he’s really not.
He’s just a guy, a dude like you or me,
who knows that knowing nothing makes him free.

for Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan

The Call

It’s dark and I am walking toward the night.
The streets are slick with mists and heavy sighs.
I only see reflections of the light
which blends into the asphalt, the reprise
of songs too cheap and tawdry for the day,
whose melodies are flickering and cold.
And yet they’re loud enough to guide the way
into the dark, the night, where I am told
that god no longer hears my footsteps fall
and I no longer care if god can hear,
because my soul has heard another call
that has no need of faith; it’s loud and clear.
It pierces me with certainty.  My breath
is measured now.  The call is simply death.