#348. the cutter eagle

August 8, 2010

i built a ship
a childhood
balsa and pine
on my small hands
the hands of my dad
large and sure
we worked so hard
to build and paint
the cutter eagle
running home
after school to sand
the hull smooth
and dream

complete
i gave it to my dad’s
father when he admired it

years later
it returned to me
after deaths
it was covered
in dust and cobwebs
rigged it

as my years passed
it grew tattered and
broken and thrown away
with one of my failed lives

but my ship still lives
rotting on in a landfill in jersey
and here within my double planked
mind making its way across the endless
sea

#299. earth and swan

June 20, 2010

for myself as papa
without my kids again
midfathers day laughing
with lover wife playing
tug of war with the dog
i still know the truth
of the experience heart
love and time gave us
my children and will
wait as long as i can
as you need

#283. lost

June 4, 2010

without a word
the little girl
draws me in
small and bouncing flirt
who pushes me
to my memories
of my own children
lost so long ago
that only their vague shapes
remain to me

#282. rachael

June 3, 2010

the pure water
sparkled less than you did
giggling at two minutes
an old soul teaching me
about the sun through the flecks
of dust on a morning
alive with gold
a tall summer tree rustling
in your waking breaths
is the moment of gift
which is all the fire
that i have of you
daughter

i am the caretaker
of my father’s tears
my mother’s clay face
doused his fire
the grass grows long
over her ashes

oh death
the changes you bring
are hard to bear
but those same changes
are hope and beauty

the air is somehow
sweeter now

#194. opening day

March 7, 2010

opening day

the game always started
on the trolley
with my head leaning
against the glass thrilling
at the closeness of the trees
and buildings rushing by
the ground disappearing
as we whizzed over bridges
the pittsburgh gorges opening up
ground returning more slowly

half an hour later
one little paw in my dad’s
the other in my mitt
smoky vaulted forbes field
with infinite flat green grass
opening up the day

#137. the flying walrus

January 9, 2010

my father used to fly us
through the western pennsylvanian
ohio and west virginian skies.

my brothers and i were always thrilled
to be invited along on that ride
although the joy was different for each.

i do not know what kicks my brothers
gathered on those weekend afternoons
we didnt talk much then or even now.

but i really enjoyed the feel of taking the stick
with my dad giving it over but more i loved
knowing that even so he was still captain.

#52. Pale Blue

October 16, 2009

Pale blue
pale
and blue
the nylon shag
under the piano
my father’s rage explodes
on my brother
thank god
its my brother.

#9. Feeling The Need

September 4, 2009

Feeling the need
To finish up.

Safer than running
From the smoke.

I saw myself
On the 6 train
Near canal
Only thirty years gone
Since then.

The memory of my father
Bending
Returns to me
As I relax
In the palace
Of weariness.

For a heart to murmur
Heeding the Crown.

He’s dancing in the ocean with donuts on his head.
Playing a triangle

Machines gasping meat
Grasping the hudson ferris
Wheel
Turning into returning.
Living at altitude
Subterranean Traveling
Hearing my young voice.
My old voice translates.

The years are fast and
I am moving towards dust
The perfect bride
Entering my house
After the long week
Now gone candle soft
Burning down
To rest
Finally
No prayer needed
Just prayer
Answered.

#5. Mom and Dad

September 1, 2009

The memory of my father
Bending
Returns to me
As i relax
In the palace
Of weariness.

My heart tweaks
Like my mother’s
But no indulgences
No power
Ride.

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