Traveling

I sometimes forget that I’m only

traveling

in, through, over, and eventually

beyond.

 

And every hour

of every day,

that journey is subject to change

in a variety of ways.

 

There have been stops, stalls,

detours, and dead ends,

all distilling down into

this moment.

 

The rain falls,

and weeping sky

joins weeping heart,

as I’m

alone, aloof, apart,

and eventually

gone.

Crystalline Quiet

Snow-swept,
these softened crags
belie their lethal silence
with a peaceful scene
of still and silent lakes
of ice, and mournful windsong.

The cold tranquility of the whole
speaks to something
inside.

A longing for beauty unattainable,
love yet unrequited but holding
a glimmer
of hope.

*************
An explosion of spring!
Life in hiding
resurging with new energy
of colors and songs

The crowning note
in the music of
our spinning world
among her sisters.

We welcome now
the challenge of a new
slow-dawning day.

The Empty Poet

He searched the floor of his life for more words,

but there were none.

In his day, he waxed quite elegant, his inimitable style admired

by all who attended the readings full of smells of coffee, sweat,

and too much perfume in close quarters.

The applause, while not thunderous, was engaged.

The conversations, while not stimulating, were polite.

“I liked that poem.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. I just did.”

“Thank you.” Sips coffee to indicate

the conversation’s over.

The microphone was no longer a beacon, but a flickering ghost light

in a dark theater.

The notebook paper and computer screens were all test patterns; nothing to see.

Nothing in them. Nothing on them.

My life isn’t over, but it seems to have run dry.

Was there really nothing left to say? Nothing that moved him? Touched his heart? Enraged him? Set him laughing hysterically?

Desperately, he mined for it, memories in black, oily sludge best left buried slipping in stringy fragments through his finger.

Feelings unrequited. Longings unfulfilled.

And now, the words have flown as well.

No feathers to fly, unfettered, they flee.

The skin dries as the words evaporate,

and the poet is now a husk of man.

Desiccated and empty, seeming all of a man, but containing nothing of him.

The pen slips from his fingers; the battery in the digital thing no longer holds a charge.

Change is forthcoming, but he will stand and remain, no regrets.

The memories are old, unrelenting, full of sharp rebuke.

He rises from kneeling in the sludge of his art,

As his husk dries slowly in the morning sun,

as the poet’s soul slips free.

An Eloquent Quiet

When there are

no words,

the eloquent quiet

speaks to a deeper space

of meaning within us,

where there is no hiding

from that which forms

the core of us.

Buffeted like harvest scarecrows

by winds from every corner

in the open field,

will you stand,

though you rot from the inside,

or be pecked apart

by scavengers

posing as pretty distractions,

making unlikely alliances?

When the colors

of the new moon

form your corona,

aligning with a deeper darkness,

and your voice is your only

weapon,

scream into the eloquent quiet

and let it amplify

the beating of your heart.

 

The Summit of Self

 

You’ve traveled far to see me, child,

and never told me why.

Am I supposed to love you, hate you,

live with you, or die?

 

You’ve traveled far to see me, child,

but I don’t know your name.

Am I to solve a riddle or to

play a guessing game?

 

You’ve traveled far to see me

following some long dead star.

And now you stand before me here,

so I’ll know who you are.

 

No longer sentient, my child.

Not able to inquire.

I can no longer see or hear

your circumstances dire.

 

I’ve no advice or wisdom.

You must learn them on your own.

The maggots feasted long ago,

and sharp fangs cracked the bone.

 

I’ll say your name to you, my child,

and I will speak it true.

The skeleton you gaze at on this mountaintop

is you.

 

Descend now from this mountain, child.

There’s nothing for you here.

Death’s but a silent, endless dream

and so you mustn’t fear.

 

You weep, my child, but foolishly.

The fate of all is this:

the gods who see us war and play

betray us with a kiss.

 

 

Too Old to Dream, Too Young to Know

They say ‘You grow too old to dream’

They say that ‘You’re too young to know’

Yet say  ‘You can do anything.’

So do I stay or do I grow?

For if I am too old to dream

my time here is already done.

And if I am too young to know

then teach me, so the rising sun

will never find me void of thought

as I look at the world through eyes

of what I’ve learned of love and wonder,

cynicism and surprise.

A jaded innocence possesses

all the years I’ve been alive;

still taking people at their word

though most of them are talking jive.

I’ll never get too old to dream.

I’ll never be too young to know.

I’ll keep exploring although it may seem

there’s nowhere left to go.

 

Prey Tell

What is it that keeps

your heart in chains

of darkness, graves,

voids, abysses,

and things

that cut and kill and burn?

 

Do not your

sleep-filled eyes

behold the sun?

the clouds?

the stars?

 

What calls your mind

to embrace

the gibbering shadows

that dance in

ever-tightening circles,

venturing up

to block your view of heaven,

laying waste to your

body and mind?

 

Yet in you

is the seed of song,

of love,

creativity.

 

Work the fire.

Forge the axe

that sunders darkness

with light

and sets you free.

 

Prey,

tell us you

are game.