Monday, April 27, 2015

The Village

In that kingdom, it is written,

birds do not sing: they hum, show tunes
mostly, though records and radios
are unknown. Overseas travel
is a bird’s hobby. They have seen
mermen; they’ve been to the far side.

In that kingdom, whose king does not
touch the ground, birth to death, for soil
that knew him would have to be burnt
(and who, of that thin stratum, spares
any centimeter gladly?),

the yaks dance in their fields at night,
shaking their horns, and the stars faint.
The marmots whistle in the aisles
between rows of quaking blue pines.
In the skin dormitories sleep comes

when light fails. Mountain Edison
won’t string lines here. The yaks strike sparks
when hooves tap stone, on cloudy nights
looking like mountain glow worms.
Dreamless, love is an act of sleep.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On the Border

The river flowed with blood and sparkling water,
side by side and travelling fast, unmixed.
On the far bank, lilies and pink petunias;

on mine, roses the size and hue of mothballs.
Hot here, cool showed off there.  Grasses waist high
bobbed and rebounded under a light breeze.

There, a sign the Unforgiven could read:
I read; like my compatriots, I laughed.

The dust administered a shock.  I bled
and laughed no more.  Heaven constructs its own
retaliatory tools.  Nobody asked

me to repent, too late, too late.  I tried
to break my fast, but could not prise apart
the breadfruit package issued me.  When Might

combines with Milk, the bad, the weak, the blamed
had better fast.  Unhoped.  All Hell is still.
Nowhere, we are not going Anywhere.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Greek Tragedy

Chorus announces: See how all is made

Proper and tidy-like. The gods abhor
Disorder. It's at tit-for-tat they stand
Up, and the stars are symbols on a vest
Of justice. Be amazed and be content.

The Elderly Man protests: It isn't so.
The baby rabbits die before they blink,
And fatty deposits in the blood of queens,
Glamorous, doomed, gone to the mattresses,
Knock them as dead as crones. Don't talk to me.

Chorus replies: All righty, then. We won't.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Why me? Why here?

Every day at least a couple readers arrive here via something called, the exceptionally dull website of a UK-based service, which, for a fee, will teach you how to be a ghostwriter, copywriter, etc.  (Picture mock frisson of horror.)  Although I can find on it no hint as to how people are referred from there to here, I guess I ought to say thanks.


Thursday, April 09, 2015

In Time of Plague

This appeared in Lyric.

This morning there were microbes on my walk,
Said Alex, and I swept, then scrubbed. I smell
Invasion, which is not repelled by talk.
He power-washed his porch. I wished him well.

Affliction has no limits. In the trees
Bats plot the overthrow of priest and peasant.
The grass is crowded with bug-born disease:
Ants march, and they will not make conquest pleasant.

I wash my hands of this. And that. The soap
Is dirty now, though Alex claims a cure:
One quart ammonia, sublimated hope,
A heart that’s tainted, latex gloves too pure

For dirt’s adhesion. Listen to the song
Of angry grackles: armies in the sky
Will drop their worms upon us before long,
Then move into the rumpus room and die.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Light Verse

Yes, it is dark, he said. At night

This often happens. In the day
I have observed you get more light.

He moved to touch his red toupee,
And I surmised he might prefer
Less light upon his pumice fur.

The night, he said, is caused by black,
The day by white. When there is blue,
It indicates a spiritual lack.
Of green I can say nothing true.

He cleared his throat. He leaned to me:
In summer I prefer iced tea.

His eyes were clear. His soul was fried.
Each hand embraced the other wrist.
When I was young, I often lied.
I found it helped me to get kissed.

Once I was young. And he was right.
I often found it dark at night.