Category Archives: Poems

The issue

The paper product, emergent from the box-
standing at attention, waiting on the swap,
when a user has to clean their glasses or to sneeze,
then pulls the tissue out with seamless ease.

And doing so, this draws a sibling sheet
up to the outside world with no retreat.
There, in place, arisen from the fold
a new page stands now, vigilant and bold.

This act is oft repeated in response
in times where sudden need is vital, the ensconced
leaflets follow on – each one the same.
Standing firm to meet the need is their acclaim.

And this should be a model for our deeds:
pull up those who follow us, to lead.

Wood matters

Smoke arises from the chimney stack

in billows

from an untended burn.

It smolders and flashes, then flames.

More provocation

and maybe some oak, dense among woods,

for fuel;

it brings back the smoke

to choke away the cleansing flame

and obscure the fire,

producing words like bitterness and char.

 

Cento: For prayers

Threading a long night through the rules and channels
in my memories I thought of trust.

When you get new things
you treat them like glass for a while.

Now the stars appear and the Night dreams
a life, the dazzler, the dark.
We will lose the sun
and surely take everything off your hands.

I don’t know the word for because,
How do I tell my mouth to speak?
It’s quiet again and now the sky is a tangled
mess of rags seeking out the bored and unwilling,
the heavens melted, dropping water down.

Long nights for simple words
Shy words tiptoeing from mouth to ear.

At different times,
a feeling comes, not woven by innocent hands.
And how could any of us get by
with one in the way?

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This Cento is composed of lines from the following poets:
Robert Pinsky, Alex Dimitrov, John Lee Clark, Jericho Brown, Deborah Landau, Mark Tardi, Brenda Hillman, Jenny Xie, Melissa Stein, Ari Banias, Melvin Dixon, Donika Kelly, James J. Ryan, Lucy Ives,Pauli Murray, Adam Clay

Shadow poem

I tried again, in the shadow of the moon,
to leave a word of peace behind.
Sowing the winds, where earlier in the day –
the road dust arose from cobblestones,
and ringing songs fell in bell tones.

I jumped along, in the shadow of the moon
with no peace at all in my mind.
No poem to break the noise away,
I hear out among the busy drones
with ringing songs that fail and moan.

I paused and sat, in the shadow of the moon
deciding that my place in kind
is not a published communique.
These words are simply what I own.
They ring the songs, and that’s well-known.

***************
a poem about poems and publishing and rejection.

Paragon

The frost that abides on the blades of grass
in the early morning darkness,
will sublimate as the sunbeams rise and amass
and reveal the work of the artless.

The light will envelope a verdant day
and warm where cold was belated,
then tarry with a lush and capable stay
just as salvation created.

Listen

I’ve spent the week listening to songs
and paying tribute to old movie stars.
Ol’ Gator and the Crewe are gone,
the coffee pot is growling on.

The songs I heard are old and true,
yet still they sound like yesterday.
I send them out from me to you.
The coffee pot is growling on.

Ol’ Gator fought the crooked law
and justice served the Crewe at last.
Even bandits fight against their flaws.
The coffee pot goes growling on.

What could happen, which is worse?
Posed a voice I recognize.
Are our leaders so accursed?
the coffee pot goes growling on.

Where did all our heroes go?
I ask aloud – inside my head.
The lonely people – they all know
the coffee pot’s still droning on.

Songs and stories will often tell
us who we are to be:
Poet, lover, bootlegger rebel.
The growling pot has stopped, it’s done.

Break

Here waiting for the sunrise while I dwell in morning’s dim –
my harboring of hope is ill and sweating in its sin.

Watching for the light to catch the interim it steals,
moments pass – I’ll blink. I’ll miss it – other ones appeal.

Green is grey in darkness, with no blue above unrolled
just before the sun ascends, brandishing its hold.

Growing splendor on the mete, just above the line –
Beauty oft arises from the edge and redefines.

Naked time and space fill with the life-affirming glow,
just as love embarked and plunged into the dark fallow.

And as I sit in warmth and contemplate what hope will bring,
greens emerge, blue unrolls over every living thing.

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