Monday, November 30, 2009
“Why did you leave me here,” she yelled,
“I hate you most of all!”
Tears in his eyes, he told her, “I love you,
And you get hurt each time you fall.”
He brought raspberries from their garden
He picked fresh that very morning.
Their life survived for 55 years until,
Time stopped it, with little warning.
Only one of many residents,
Torn suddenly from their home…
Now a roommate with a hundred,
Finding themselves, in a crowded room alone.
Gale had a heart attack, and Patty,
Lost her hearing, then her thoughts,
Hildred has her memories of resistance,
Anti-war buttons and life’s whatnots.
Ed remembers, still he has a wife,
She lives right down the hall…
Regrets the last sixty-two years,
Regrets that one decision, most of all.
East wing has their best stories to tell,
Of earlier friends, now late.
Some give in to the nothingness,
Others fight for a curious fate.
Patty forgot just where she is,
George shakes his fist with rage,
At a place where time still matters,
But disintegrates with age.
A generation younger,
I stop to tie a woman’s shoe….
With a cinematic vision, privy
To my own end, in plain view.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
We stood in line for forty years,
Mourning those who did not survive the waiting;
Or see it…the Leonard Cohen concert in the United States.
We experienced new pets and presidents,
Raised families and buried some, all while waiting,
In line to see this long anticipated, Leonard Cohen Concert.
He climbed the stairs and knocked on the world’s door,
His words still true, were worth the waiting,
From this frail, spry man with mic held up by liver spots.
His songs are about faith and the future,
Though his liver spots a hint of finite life, and more waiting.
Soon after this, we are on our own rhyme and slipping time.
Thank you old skin, for the final ceremony of life;
The funerals of our best years, those we spent in waiting…
Enriched by these memories of time well spent waiting.
When Suzanne leads you to the river,
The tea and oranges still taste so right, but waiting
At the river’s banks, it is time to bid adieu, goodnight.
I guess I am very angry; exposed to your advancing age.
You were always so honest, but while we were waiting,
I danced; ignoring your words of seasons, this world, and time.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Otis walks in a world of change,
Corporate nations fight for power…
He bucks in fun like a pony,
Then stops to sniff a flower.
Little white boots march,
Down the beach road late at night.
When in a Boxer’s innocence,
He spies a rabbit, with delight!
He freezes, body in full alert,
A catch like that would make his day…
My sixty years of wisdom know,
Some rabbits always get away.
Still Otis thinks the hunt is pure,
He prepares, fine tuning his art…
I allow myself this tug of war,
Rather than break his heart.
While Otis discovers a greatness,
In a world where my dreams feel spent…
He shows me the joys of new wonders,
Worth the price, he’s heaven sent.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
“The saddest picture in the world today”,
Boasted the New York Times.
The photo was highly reminiscent of,
Most natural and human crimes.
I remember well the Blue Jay bite,
Severing the Guinea chick’s head.
The neighbor’s dog in the geese and hens,
Decorating the farm’s lawn with the dead.
Today a black crow perched nearby,
Blood dripping red death from the beak,
There is no peace in nature I know,
Yet still I search and endlessly seek…
The knowledge somewhere peace exists.
Love lasts now and forever after…
I no longer like to hear the gull’s,
The clocks, and the reaper’s laughter.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I collected daily miracles,
In an envelope, I called hindsight.
Reviewed them every year that passed,
To live them over, make them right.
I collected my friend’s stories,
Forgave those who wounded me,
Constructed moral decisions,
So many deeds no one could see.
I collected a vault of miracles,
Hindsight, a light so bright…
Lately I sneak out to the beach
Dumping these envelopes at night.
The clouds race by above me,
At warp speed above the sand…
Or is it the world is falling apart;
Clouds steady, over slipping land.
The Shaman I found in the woods today,
Was intimidating, yet I spoke…
“How beautiful you fit in this place,
With your fern and moss covered cloak.”
“How out of place you seem here,
Standing where I once stood…”
He continued, “I reached the heavens once,
Before becoming mere fallen wood.”
I thought him so much more than that,
“You’re a universe, far from alone,
The squirrels, beetles, worms and birds,
All claim you as their home.”
“Yes, that’s the secret of life,” he said,
“My essence you plainly see.
None of us, were ever pure mortals,
Thank you old man,
for reminding me.”
The greatest joy of my life so far,
In retrospect, the most memorable, ever…
Was driving my tractor through the rows,
Of apples, alfalfa, bare land, snow, whatever.
Surprised hoot owls and shooting stars
Flew over my head, tree to tree.
Machinery moving to the beat of nature
The most freedom in life I’d see.
Diesel rhythms in quiet moonlight,
The world can’t understand yet…
Riding on the seat of a tractor,
World peace, …with a lit cigarette.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Googling my old friends,
I find no thumbnails, just tombstones…
No skeletons in their closets,
They’re gone. I find real bones.
No latest news or babies,
Only long obituary lines…
Discovering the waning life;
The ending of our times.
One by one, called by the lord,
Their loved ones left alone…
I bought myself an answering machine,
I’ll not answer my ringing phone.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Byron, Emily, St. Vincent Millet,
Thanks Plath, for your research, and trying.
You captured life in your written words,
Thus, escaping the bonds without dying.
A hemorrhage, car wreck, a suicide,
Secret notes in the leaf of a book,
Gives those whose lives pass too quickly,
A played again, slow, second look.
All microscopes on a fallen leaf,
Earthworms, Robins clouds moving in sight…
Four line autobiographies,
Before you faded into the night.
They set the standards for our living,
Their thoughts uttered under my breath…
They wrote road maps steering our feelings,
Pioneered the frontiers of our death.
My face is warmed by summer…
There is a chill about my feet.
A dampness invades my soul and heart,
As winter and sunset meet.
The feeling of isolation starts,
An emptiness of the heart,
The touch of cold slab solitude,
As summer sun and warmth depart.
The first freeze in the night time
Cracks my heart in two and wide.
The stars appear much clearer,
As the sun and moon collide.
Faster they drive, in greater numbers
Past my house both day and night.
They used to wonder who lives here,
In this old house on a cliff by the water.
No one knows.
Tailgating, speeding they seem to fly,
Much too quickly to notice or wonder,
Who lives here, in this old house
On the cliff by the water, in their smog.
No one knows.
Rushing to appointments, cell phones ring,
No one knows this house is still here,
Year after year time takes it toll,
On the house on the cliff by the water.
No one knows.
The cars an endless blurred ribbon of motion,
No longer slow for coyotes or pheasants,
Who like the deer no longer visit at night.
This house on the cliff by the water.
No one knows.
Upstairs near a window I watch you nobodies
Driving by so fast and so unaware,
Tightly I hold my dog and we cuddle closely,
As we try to not let change slip between us.
No one knows., except me…It is ending.
Leonard Cohen said in so many words, "All I write are sentences and words. It is only poetry if you are moved by them." I am going to take his thoughts one step farther...this photograph is pure poetry on so many levels it would be a disservice to write any words addressing the subject. I ran across it on the internet and have no clue who the genius is who captured this incredible image. Click the image to enlarge it an find the cigarette!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Remember if I cannot walk,
The many cows I’ve chased,
Dogs I walked…
You needed a rest, and I still
Walked the trail and talked.
Remember if I cannot speak,
The horrible jokes I told,
Opinions I have rudely voiced,
Some times you prayed for silence,
Now I have no choice.
Remember if I cannot hear,
I’ll remember all you’ve said,
The feet, the tongue, the ear,
Are all that fail me now,
My memories, still quite clear.
I was tempted to sleep a hundred years,
To never take a chance…
My father’s depression warned me,
Dampen the music, never dance.
I moved out to a farm alone,
New world: stray people, hillbillies,
Reinvented my very own solitude…
Koi, pigs, laughter, cows, and fillies.
Real estate and fire departments,
Art galleries and history teaching….
Connections made like spider webs,
Gathering people, always growing, reaching.
Each step a once feared daring risk…
Built the path to make me something.
Years of fear were spent in vain;
The only risk was in doing nothing.
Island Time (Maintaining the thread of access…and escape)
Time for me on the island,
Seems to stand perfectly still.
In reality, undetected, it rages,
At warp speed with a savage will.
The clocks do not heed their master,
The sun, a blind eye to the dial…
The scenery appears unchanging,
Yet it only lasts a short while.
Seduced by the lure of serenity,
We moved here, surrendered our fate.
Infinity here is one hour,
One by one we queue at the gate.
Some are buried on the hillside,
Others ashes float in the cove…
A few were mailed out of town,
I jumped into my truck and drove.
I’ve spent my entire lifetime,
Out witting, and running from time.
Only to discover when free again,
Nothings ever owned,
Driving in the heat wave,
The woman stuck out her hand…
Creatively orchestrating a ballet;
In the wind, the accompanying band.
I thought about all the people,
Our millions of human hands;
Capable with the juxtaposed thumb,
To reshape our lives and lands.
Why do some create beauty and art?
Some hands gather, nurture and save…
Others create new methods of death,
Sending species and nations to graves.
I used to roll the concrete,
To use as a step or stair,
Or sledge hammer the ‘crete to pieces
When I didn’t want it there.
I used to build a needed shed
Expand it to a comfy home
Built a bridge for friendly access,
Ripped it out to be alone.
I used to hike for miles,
Stable on my own two feet…
I smoked my share of cigarettes,
I used to roll concrete.
If I say hello, he turns his back,
Hurling insults as he leaves;
Stealing everything around me,
Yet has nothing up his sleeves.
He is a most impressive foe,
Smarter than me, he’ll boast…
He heckles me relentlessly,
His friends, the entire coast.
He chooses to remain aloof,
This force I will never know;
I hold his mirror as ordered,
For this narcissist crow.
Monday, November 16, 2009
The sun rises in a harp of weeds,
Plucking every thistle string…
Shoreline birds flee with the dawn,
Time flies on a Heron’s wing.
Daylight’s ascent hits every chord,
Notes airborne to the sky…
The seconds are the melody,
Minutes on a Heron’s wing fly.
At night the new moon rises,
Retuning every chord and weed.
The Heron returns to monitor,
The Orchestra of sprouting seed.
Spring brings the thistle fresh refrain
Sunrise brings another day…
Sunset sees the heron fleeting,
On it’s wings, another day.
The breezes play the grass harp,
While pendulum branches sing.
The shore birds have departed,
Time flies on a Heron’s wing.
Most people celebrate their life,
Reminiscing incredible years.
I celebrated on the piano,
Blessed with two incredible ears.
Seemed I could play most anything
The gift was heaven sent…
Joni Mitchell’s best, Beethoven,
Then with age,
the fingers bent.
First it was the Rudolf,
Then the old Steinway
Sold, fulfilling other’s dreams.
While my youth faded ‘way.
Evicted by time, I surrendered the keys,
Each closing eighty-eight doors,
Forever locking musical memories;
for just empty floors,
So incredible the human brain
The melody still lingers,
In my dreams, I still play on and on,
And love with crippled fingers.
All the doctors and the MRI’s
Say I need to “Get in line”
But through protective blinders,
I live in Nineteen Sixty-nine.
After all the medical advice,
Still the pianos had to go…
Now it is the blaring stereo
Recorded pasts, are all I know.
She is no longer perched on the lilac.
It does not mean she’s no longer there…
The image lives in my heart and mind,
Though she’s currently perched elsewhere.
Ironically shaped like the bomber,
Whose thunder made her take flight,
Little eardrums not made for sonic blasts,
Or this world where humans fight.
I provided a minute of reprieve
Offered cold water and some seeds.
Unfortunately I’m not a time machine.
To supply the past world she needs.
Treacherous is her migration,
Through glass windows and truck radiators,
To build a nest, and carry on
In a world with no peace mediators.
Humans, like birds are animals,
Only we carry the gene for hate…
Born with both thumbs and cleverness,
All that’s needed to squander her fate.
I made an offer on a house
In the canyon, by Bixby Creek Bridge
A twenty mile view of the Big Sur coast
Burl counters, but it had no fridge.
Geologists said I’d be victim;
A fatality to West Coast erosion.
Twenty years later, the house still stands
Epicenter of the land cost explosion.
A million dollar equity now,
Would I ever have stopped to write?
It was the Whidbey Island night storms
That raised my pen up, towards the night.
I wished I had made other decisions,
Listen to me now and quote…
“If I had followed more of my dreams back then,
I wouldn’t have thought, what I wrote.”
I made on offer in the Big Sur Trust,
Protected views, no future could spoil it.
It was a most incredible house of glass,
Serene solitude, yet with no toilet.
Every day hands cripple more,
Soon I won’t eat in finer places…
Nor point to the menu with a fist,
Amusing discriminating faces.
People ignore deformities,
But behind my back they’ll talk,
The volume is getting louder,
As it affects the way I walk.
Still the clock keeps ticking,
Rusty’s face, a mask of gray.
We are tethered to the time clock,
While life’s mobility, ebbs away.
How hard to imagine multiple fates,
Incorrigible scar tissue,
Be it of the hands or heart,
They all become one issue.
Freedom won by circumstance,
For any reason you’re unleashed,
Should well be celebrated,
If alive or just deceased.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Truck tires turning on asphalt,
Tred catching, throwing up black sand.
Once I have traversed the road of yours,
I have forever changed your land.
It is the oil I dripped in the parking lot,
With the rain, all washed out to sea…
Changing the oceans forever,
I have changed H2o’s chemistry.
I went to the dump last Sunday
Adding twelve cubic feet to the land.
Fifty-five cans and a Styrofoam cup
Are my foot prints in the sand.
Diapers, bottles and Bic pens,
Plastics, paper and fluoride tooth paste,
Anti-freeze and laundry soaps,
Disposable lighters and human waste.
Buddhists moving a single pebble
For ever change the earth…
I started to drastically change things,
From the moment of my birth.
Truck tires turning on asphalt,
Your land will not be the same.
I am sorry I altered your planet,
And I don’t even know your name.
I am in the world’s grand design,
No more than a pimple.
A spec, a zit on the face of the Earth.
That’s the truth, just plain and simple.
Sometimes I think I am awesome,
My act, no one can top it…
Yet I live in fear that some day God,
Will see this blemish and pop it.
Best case scenario, purgatory,
I am not dead, but alas!
An eternity of haunting others,
A blackhead on America’s ass.
Aces are my acme, my apex of a dream,
Where words take off at night;
A vocabulary avian assortment,,
Eagles the simile of youth’s flight,
I digress to pure BS,
Words folded in a paper,
By a poet, scribe, or pope…
Sent to a friend or hidden
In a sealed envelope.
Delivered, thoughts, some not revealed.
A lover’s pledge unopened,
One’s heart, forever concealed.
A history relies upon,
Discovered written lines,
Humans leave their cryptic messages,
Informal, graffiti of the times.
Letters through the ages,
Meant romance was delivered,
Messages wrongly interpreted,
Leave lives chopped up and slivered.
There are letters for the public,
Etched upon a block of stone.
Displayed on a public building,
Or grave markers, standing alone.
Libraries maintain archives,
Storing the words in stacks…
Some times statements most profound,
Unopened, sealed, stamped in wax.
Words often found years later,
Unravel a world’s history.
Interpreted and now deciphered,
Open up an era’s mystery.
This universal uttering
The eulogy of naïve youth,
Prove words shatter souls like glass
As ever, isolated, ordinary truth.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
What Price This Heaven?
What price to charge for a heaven,
Where I sought refuge in the eyes,
Of windows that have witnessed,
O’er a hundred years of changing skies?
What is this cliff top perch worth,
Where I’ve flown face first into clouds,
This kite who woke up crying,
Weighted down by winter’s shrouds?
What is the cost of favorite rooms
Where faithful dogs still call?
I frolicked on this cliff and field,
Held their paws, yet lost them all.
What is the value of inspiration?
The debts, the deaths, I’ve paid…
The pull of beauty to sadness,
Sensing a home in the ashes, I’ve stayed.
Why pay anything for a loveless world?
There was no one there for me…
In the end I was the strong one,
Cut the tethers, set my own soul free.
What price this piece of heaven?
This house is my every breath, each word,
The spirit running through my veins
No mortal can ever afford.
I’m scarred by the wounds of others,
Their suffering I did not inflict,
The result of greed and ignorance,
Sometimes just one man’s sad edict.
I’ll never forget the Germans,
Who gave up their right to choose,
Lulled by trumped up hate and apathy,
Then the deaths of six million Jews.
Maybe Japan could have been tamed,
With the deaths of just three men,
But alas, we have Hiroshima,
And genocide, all over again.
The Middle East, countries in Africa,
In my own city, no peace yet realized…
Evolution works for some species,
Yet man’s incapable of being civilized.
Time Reinvents the Past
I slipped tonight, I’m tumbling,
Into depression’s great abyss…
Pushed deeper by euphoria’s felt,
Days I have lost and truly miss.
So strange it is, my worst days,
Back when poverty was mine,
Reinvent themselves as memories,
Appearing great in the lapse of time.
Old fears, now celebrations,
Sad fates, a grand surprise…
Every loss of a life I’d touched,
Still a fatal fire in my eyes.
A survivor still at sixty years,
Life on my terms, at any cost…
Pain the mortar in my wall,
Each brick a cherished loss.
Love seemed to be the concubine,
Of both usury and betrayal,
I cast my list of lover’s names
Overboard, upped anchor and set sail.
Sometimes I revisit without warning
Thoughts, touches, or smells from years ago;
Reducing me to a flush of tears,
From songs played on the car’s radio.
Forever Young, Endless Love, My Turn
“And I will always love you…”
Each year a stronger microscope,
Magnifying lyrics and dreams untrue.
The music was our life in songs;
KSRN, mega hits of “one-four- eighty-five”,
Faded to time and lack of interest.
Both station and 60’s youth; barely alive.
The sky is a restless storm tonight,
Clouds becoming churning seas,
Spraying, rocking, sinking the moon,
Resurfacing, onward, a celestial tease.
The stars, a million lighthouses,
Escorting the moon on its way,
Another frightful journey made,
Then forgotten by the light of day.
Otis and I again, the weary sailors,
Walking the windy beach at night…
Under this heavenly performance,
Well within the storm’s electric sight.
The wind blows fur and overcoats,
Toward the gate of our safe fort.
Warm inside our living room,
Hopes wish the moon, safe port.
Driving Past Your House at Noon
I saw your mom in her garden today,
Admiring her flowers and the view…
Gray hair framed her withered face,
Then I remembered she’d died. It was you.
I thought of the chocolate cookies she made,
Sweetening visions of days once were…
Whilst trying to fathom so many years past;
Those decades, as you became her.
The Little Acrobat of the Fall
A victim of the new depression,
I’m in my trailer to save heat.
A huge chunk of my income lost,
Made me ration everything I eat.
Underneath the kitchen valance,
I spied a silken thread…
At the end a little acrobat,
A spider, waiting to be fed.
There are no flying insects left,
He watched me eat each meal,
We shared a fear, a common fate…
So it was ripe to strike a deal.
I placed a storm-felled apple
On the counter by the sink…
Its rotting birthed a thousand gnats,
And a fat-bellied spider, I'd think!
Entering this life in the 1930’s
World Wars filled her questioning youth.
Not worried about being a popular girl,
Hildred strived for change through truth.
A single mother (two sons), and a teacher,
She taught the good life, and fairness for all,
Followed her retirement dream by moving;
Boston, beckoned, the peace activist’s call.
Hildred wore a political button each day,
Not to advertise her own points of view;
Rather she hoped to expose all humanity,
To thoughts and discoveries brand new.
On Monday evening, at five P.M.,
Hildred, slipped the boundaries of her room…
While the newsman announced to all mankind
NASA’s found water on the moon.
Dedicated to Hildred Cyr d. 10-26-09