#500. totem poem

December 10, 2011

bottom of the sea
top of the ocean
salt water in between

human we gather
for a last meal 
we gather the totems
wear our ancient masks 
hold on to sparkling 
figures in memories
sustained thru time
to comfort and upset us

bottom of the sea
top of the ocean
salt water in between

we create art from meaning
it is so hard to give up a child
a father a lover a wife an old life
the prison of desire
is a prism to look through at death
my little fragment of rope
desperately tied and retied
holds me in this circle

bottom of the sea
top of the ocean
salt water in between

#486. kick the can

November 26, 2011

calling me home
with the darkening dusk
and the endless street games
going on with the seductive voices 
of the other children ringing the seratonin 
bells of longing to belong in my traitor heart

fear bringing us all home to a silent dinner table
father mother and son and son and son 
in the house by a now dead cherry tree
we ate and became the family that i cannot find

anywhere in time the deep echo of my name 
still rolls down the block behind the houses
of neighbors up green suburban knolls
where the kids all wrestled as one 
in the coming night of life
calling me home

#484. thanks turkey

November 24, 2011

surrender to the wild 
bird of enormous mythical crispy brown
proportions and time slips out of now and then 
into ancient moments of family love pain belly laughs
and the last crackling leaves turning wet and winter cold

#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

#287. mom was right

June 8, 2010

even the smallest of talk
deep pleasure
treasure
when visiting
missed family rarely seen

#242. hearth

April 24, 2010

in the glisten of evening
my girls return my spirit
to the life that remains
mine to share

water slaps
earth groans
metal squeals
wood creaks
flame snaps

forward through
memories to come
clearly

open to the sky
brothers still brothers
our moments are ours
shared sharp sure

brothers no matter
the present
our childhood remains

#216. lastly st. louis

March 29, 2010

lastly
i thought
and then
time and its
gentle and cynical
mysteries
with ghosty
neighborhoods
lost virgin loves
a long gone cook’s sandwiches
never eaten again
deeply felt haircuts gifted
by mariannes in storefronts
where piles of groceries
undrunk liquor
in empty bottles
wait out the snowstorm
of cousins young
before their
time
freezes and revisits
its harsh and sentimental
mysteries
lastly
i thought

#180. ferry (for whitman

February 21, 2010

arriving as i am
old
into my childhood
understanding a flight
to my dream
at last i sing
every day
as i yearn to
know
that you
could be me
we are bound
as a family
of strangers

water is gurgling under the keel

#174. men in the mirror

February 15, 2010

jackals
wind

fathers apart
from their sons

we go on
and our tears exult

simple
how separation is

wind
jackals

sons apart
from their fathers

our tears go on
and we exult

complicated
how connection is

jackals
wind

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