Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Boxes

Squawking and squirming and stretching we're born
and then we're bundled and boxed and branded,
our futures foretold by the labels worn
on the boxes into which we've landed.

Our learning begins with boxes that spew
endless streams of cheap chaotic chatter,
then we go to school to learn what to do
filling boxes so that our answers matter.

We ride in boxes between bigger boxes
where we live and we love and we labor.
And in these boxes walls of smaller boxes
keep us alone, divided from our neighbor.

When we reach that day we all move toward
since our mothers began maternity
we get our payoff, our final reward,
to be locked in a box for eternity.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Demeter

The air smells deeply of earth
of rich dark shiny soil
that has just been turned by a plow.

I can see it in the field on the farm next door
dark streaks of dirt laid between
the lines of golden straw that had covered the earth
until the plow came by
and turned it over
evicting earthworms and laying bare
the secret spots where scattered seeds shall take root.

I pick up my wine from the table
and lean back in my chair.
I lift the glass to the the sun and a beam shines through,
the ray revealing rainbows hiding in the wine.

I look at the dirt in the cat scratched field
through my glass
the sun and wine bleeding red across the earth.
Soon enough, soon enough I know
the sun and the rain and that deep earthy smell
will fill my glass again.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What Adventurers Do

I want to do what adventurers do
and travel by canoe to Timbuktu.

I want to be a sailor on the sea
on a wooden ship called the Annabelle Lee.

I want leaves to slap my face
as I blaze the way to some exotic place.

I want one more chance for a last great romance
where she and I dance on a moonlit street in France.

But instead I spend my days locked inside a box
watching seconds die as they race across the clocks
and I find myself wondering why people say
that doing that is what makes a productive day.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Curious Question...

Why do people cower when they see a black man on the street
when, statistically, I'm more likely to be a psychopath than any black man you'll meet?

I do so appreciate when people commit the sin
of judging a man by the color of his skin -
it so easily disguises the truth when all they see
is the color of my skin and not the real me.

So when you're stuck on that cold, lonely roadside
and you silently thank God I stopped to offer a ride
enjoy your sense of relief
breathe out, put on a smile
and though it shatters your every belief -
you'll be dead within a mile.

Sit next to me, talk with me, be dazzled by my charm
nothing in my demeanor will raise any alarm.
I've learned how to hide, to cover and disguise
the killer that lives behind my eyes.

I live for the moment when the innocents finally realize
that I am the bogey man, the one that you should fear
not that black man your refused to look in the eyes
and the stab of my knife makes that so clear.

Friday, April 5, 2013

In 100 Years


wake work worry sleep
wake work worry sleep
this is the schedule that I keep
wake and work and worry and sleep

and I'll wake and I'll work and I'll worry and I'll sleep
until age takes the means to earn my keep
then I'll just wake and worry and sleep
wake and worry and sleep...

wake worry sleep
wake worry sleep
that is the way
I will pass each day
until age takes my reason away
and I have nothing left to say
so I'll wake and I'll sleep
and wake and sleep...

wake and sleep
wake and sleep
this is all that will be left of me
in a decade or maybe three
all I am will be something I used to be
until time plays its final tick for me
and then I'll sleep

sleep

sleep...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Imperfect Life

Stopped at a light on a cold day in fall
I think over my life, what brought me here.
It's now that I see that I lost it all
and my face is crossed by a single tear.

What happened to all that used to be me?
All I was, everything, has slipped away
like small ships in a sudden storm at sea
and I am alone on this autumn day.

I'd try to gather it all back again
but cold winds blow and the branches are bare.
I don't think there'll ever be a time when
there's another place called home and I'm there.

Now the light has changed - I can't stop for long
so I step down on the gas and move on.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Next Year

Next year...

we always say next year
year after year
until...

next year is here.

And now our lives are measured

in months

in weeks

in days

hour by hour

second by second

until that final moment
when our eyes fly open
shocked at all we didn't do

...next year.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Radio

I like to have the radio on while I cook.

It is comforting, like the voice of an old friend whispering in my ear,
telling me a new joke or the latest gossip
while I stir the pot and taste the sauce.

It does not intrude -
The radio does not demand I look at it
or write a reply back.
It just keeps talking, humming a tune
that makes me listen while I read the recipe.

And when I sit and eat my meal
the radio fills the quiet
while I fill my mouth, unable to speak.

I thought I'd offer the radio a taste,
ask it if it wanted some of what I had made
but just then it started taking about a diet
and I knew what its answer would be.



Friday, October 26, 2012

The Whippoorwill's Call


Evening has really just now begun.
I hear the haunting calls of whippoorwills
boasting that they have found another one
as the setting sun slides behind the hills.

But there's still time to dream before the night.
The whippoorwill will call another time.
Before it takes off on its homeward flight,
there's still time to think of another rhyme.

And when the whippoorwill calls out for me
then I'll put down my paper and my pen.
I'll grab my hat, lock the door, leave the key
and answer the whippoorwill with amen.

Someday, I will answer the whippoorwill -
when my eyes are closed and my pen is still.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Message Status


i want to say u it's so nice to meet you
u are so nice, dear
What an absoultely HUGE day!

What can you accomplish in the next two years?
Committed relationship
What real men do

Be better than all men!

I hope for reciprocity

She who seeks adventure

(The above is composed entirely of subject lines from emails in my spam folder.  Each line, including the title, is an actual subject line from my inbox. This is what is called untreated "Found Poetry"):

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five Minutes

Why would five minutes do
when I want to spend forever with you?
Why would a passing glance satisfy me
when I want your face to be the last thing I see?

Why should I be satisfied with sips
when I want to drink deeply of your lips?
Why should I be happy with a simple touch
when my heart beats for you so very much?

I want forever, right here, right now,
and one day we will have that somehow.
But if a moment is now all I can get,
if a glimpse is all that time will let
me have of you...

then - for now - that will do.

Five minutes will have to do.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flight

I sat and watched a butterfly
over the grass, among the blooms
and suddenly I wanted too to fly
over the fears, above the gloom.

Unlike him, I have no wings
just sunburn and rough skin
on my back; no gossamer things
that might lift and bring me in
to that world free of worries
where he delicately floats by.

In his lazy way he never hurries
he just wanders carelessly in the sky.