Wednesday, May 26, 2021

A Book of Job: Help Wanted


What a job. An eyeful of the lawful

Spectacle, bespectacled, is Plenty

On Wheels. I'd roll from whales, the mighty awful

Issue of the One God. Give me twenty,

A hundred gods. I'd take these glasses off

And turn my head when He asked me to cough.

This patchwork quilt of comforters is more

Than any single man should have to bear

(A married man perforce begins to wear

Away); but God's piternal band will pour

Changes on these brass symbols, men who bore

His burden slackjawed. I know. I was there.

O God Thou God too strong for me, You made

Earth yours. It is too good. I am afraid.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Memorial Park

Many have risen.  Not all oaks
are nymphs converted. Other folks,
their bite exhausted, left with bark,
arose again, to point a park:
not as a plant, but through a bole,
not as they were, yet as a whole.

They bear their branches. Who believes 
that green is all there is to leaves,
both food and feeder? In their arms
they cloud first, then support the swarms
who fancy live apartments. Birds
pay their respects, in other words.

They die, and some are seen again.
Some fall in cords, and some in pain.
These find no end, no fine full stop.
Dead at the root, dead from the top,
bent double as in desolation,
somehow some last. Some consolation.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Yard Work


The columbine grow everywhere. The bees

Pursue this with an appetite which bugs
Their eyes out, and the honey goes to feed
Those other bees, so they can churn the blue
Delphinium across the sculpted yard.
Sweetness and flight, the noblest of the bees’
Intrinsic obligations, comb-schooled: hives
Are where you have a duty, not a name;
And yet you bleed for the angelica,
Honeysuckle, and, late, the rose of sharon.
Flight in a buzz and whirr of obligation
Bring the columbine on, unto the fourth
And fortieth generation; and the queen
Invites you with the fittest floral set,
Even when brown and yellow do not go
With pink or with the silence of mid-June.

Monday, May 10, 2021

An Anecdote of Middle Age

The stereo gathers no moss. It rocks
The lamp now bouncing closer to the edge;
My turntable will dump it on the floor
Unless I intervene. Why, you can think
A hundred divagating thoughts within
The couple seconds left to make the save,
Or not. There is a window to look out,
And spring is imminent. The Cyprian,
Who now wears lycra and a navel ring,
Instructs her votaries, commands the prone
Attention of the young and wish-they-were,
And favors sleeplessness by low-watt bulb.
Sequins are hers, and cottonwood like snow,
But pliable and weightless, borne by breeze,
Outside the window clearly, outside time.
I never liked that lamp much anyway,
Not much to rock by, at its shaded best,
Lava lamps having died so long ago,
Their tie-dyed coffins are as decomposed
As Toscanini by the grateful dead.
I save the lamp. You had to know I would.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Kit & Wally

 This appeared in The Listening Eye with the title "Kit Talks Back to Wally."

First Kit

If still, in spite of age and pain,
parental dust and winter rain,
love conquers all, or conquers some,
if by the grave, where love is dumb

and all young roses limp and wan,
the lovers pass, and, if they can,
disport themselves in sun on grass,
the time they cannot stop, they pass.

Else we were not. And here we are.
This is the backseat of the car
Young Andy hears behind. So prove
that what we are, we are for love;

and if you will not live with me
and be my love, then let us see
what temporary kisses do
to put death by, a breath or two.

Wally Replies

The Land of Nod is very nice,
but deportees can't live there twice,
not free like waves to come and go.
The sun departs, to let us know

it has its ups and downs. No kiss
can make it stand. We live with this
and die without. She whose embrace
extended youth and glozed with grace

day, night, and all, looks old. Poor you.
Comes noon, grass will forgo its dew.
And yet it grows. And covers all.
Your summer swears it will not fall.

If love came back, if love stood still,
if men loved long, though looks could kill,
I'd live with you, no caveat,
and be your love. Or maybe not.