Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Every Mother's Song

Born with teeth, a caul, a head of hair,
marked for great things,
Is anybody there
to hear the mother as she sings,

Unto me is born, is born, here, a child?
The same starfall
Spattered a desert, wild
forest predators saw it all.

He now pays bills, she irons out disputes.
No one here sings
To the naked men, suits
of skin, cold miraculous things.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Power of the Pen

I sharpened my pen, attacked the bad
Bad men. They were still standing when
I finished. I would make them sad,
I thought. They would be sorry then.

They weren’t. I gave them bitter names;
I called their mamas out. They kept
On being what they were. In flames
I sent my pages. Jesus wept,

But they declined. They were afraid
Of neither noun nor nib. My room
Was lit by indignation, shade
Of Johnson’s inspissated gloom

Hooting from where the restless go
When weight has fled. They did such deeds
As penmen perish not to know
And burned the barns and ate the seeds.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Apart from You

I've never been particularly happy with this poem, but I don't get all that many requests, so, Shirley, I dug it out of the filing cabinet.

Apart from you, there have been none.
Yes, I have stared. I looked at one
who walked like leaves caught in a breeze.
I pictured this, remembered these.
Piffle. Trifles. Bagatelles.
Our bed at night remembers, tells
me more than I should know. It makes
too little noise. I wake. It wakes
shadows of colors, and once a light,
though briefly, shook apart the night.
I must be done. I am undone
apart from you. There have been none.