Wild Horses (Written October 4)

Wild Horses

 

That was the horse looking at me again

Because the way I was standing was too noisy.

I turned my head so that my gaze

 

Fell upon the brown, watery eye.

I was not afraid. Half-crazed

I had climbed the steep hill

 

In search of the wild horses,

Abandoned from logging days, that still

Roam the mountainside. What was surprising

 

Was not the horse’s apparent tameness

But the silence of his coming over the rise,

And the way he advanced straight toward me,

 

As if to present himself to me, for my inspection,

And to ask, What is it you want of me?

Then five more came over the hill, like a posse.

He Looked Around the Room (Written October 3)

He Looked Around the Room

 

As if he were smearing on make-up

Or rubbing an itchy patch of skin,

Unable to think of anything to say,

 

He looked around the room,

And saw that there was no way

He could please everyone.

 

How long will they stand for it,

He wondered. The longer he waited

The less likely they were to listen.

 

One by one they began to move

Outside, onto the balcony, not hiding

Their disappointment. It would be wiser,

 

He concluded, to say nothing at all,

Rather than risk having the wool

Pulled over his eyes, yet again.

The Double (Written October 2)

The Double

 

The snow continued to fall

But the thought of turning back never

Entered his mind. At the end of the street,

 

And across the tracks, was a different

World, where, at long last, he would meet

His double, the one who had failed

 

To make something of himself,

Who had murdered and been jailed,

But clung to this last, feeble hope

 

For redemption. But what could he,

Who had fled the dominion of dope,

Who had made a life for himself, free

 

From the endless strife that had always

Plagued his double like a swarm of bees,

What could he do to set things right?

The Strain of Never Knowing (Written October 1)

The Strain of Never Knowing

 

Always there in that soft corner,

Quiet, alone, barely visible,

Tired of the bickering,

 

Waiting for night to come,

Waiting for the snickering

Voices to fall

 

Silent, the thump thump thump

Of the music, like a ball

Careening in the cage of the brain,

 

Beyond what any sane person

Should have to endure, the strain

Of never knowing what to believe,

 

The absence of all hope,

The desire to relieve

The pressure, fizzle out.

Whispers in Hallways (Written September 30, 2013)

Whispers in Hallways

 

There were whispers in hallways,

Phone calls no one wanted

Him to hear, email messages

 

Deleted the moment he walked

Into the room, passages

Cut from company books.

 

He was reluctant to leave the house,

Afraid he might invite looks

Of disapproval and scorn.

 

He felt safer inside,

Listening to music, watching porn,

Venturing out late at night

 

Into the all-but-deserted streets,

Resisting the urge to fight

The first fellow that came along.

A Special Talent (Written September 29, 2013)

A Special Talent

 

He had a special talent for affability.

In his youth, when his friends

Drank too much and became loud

 

And abusive, he remained silent,

Not to excuse them but too proud

To tell them what they

 

Thought they wanted to hear.

Later, when he lost his own way,

With the death of his father,

 

He seemed to suffer one piece

Of misfortune after another.

A brother died of dementia.

 

The woman he married left him.

His daughter, in absentia,

Made it clear she blamed

 

Him. Troubles dogged him,

But he kept his smile and the same

Ease in being with people, to the end.

A Man of No Consequence (Written September 27, 2013)

A Man of No Consequence

 

Where the windows look out on the night,

Where the moon drifts among clouds,

Where the owl hoots and the cat screams,

 

Where the sun never rises,

A man of no consequence dreams

He is late, but for what – is not clear.

 

A meeting that will determine

His fate. He has nothing to fear,

He tells himself, while his hands

 

Shake and sweat pours from his face.

As far as the eye can see, these lands

Belong to him, as it’s written

 

In the book for anyone who cares

To look. He’s hopelessly smitten

And will do whatever it takes.

Various Rhythms (Written September 26, 2013)

Various Rhythms

 

People walk in various

Rhythms, some on the grass,

Some on the street,

 

All going in the same direction,

With no sense of panic, only

A need to find a place

 

Where they can feel safe.

Behind them, a dust cloud

Drags at their feet, like

 

Tangled strands of kelp

In the shallows of  the sea.

A woman in a wheelchair,

 

At the end of her endurance,

Cries softly to herself.

A man leans down

 

And offers to help, but

She waves him away.

He is ash gray.

A Beautiful Lie (Written September 25, 2013)

A Beautiful Lie

 

While the tide keeps going out

And the mud flats grow wide

And the fog, like the footfall

 

Of a vaporous mountain, rolls

Into the mouth of the bay, the tall

Man, rising up out of the water,

 

Approaches the circle of revelers

Gathered around his daughter

As around a fire. For years

 

She’s been on the run, and now,

If he sees her at all, it is with tears

In his eyes, an ache in his heart

 

And no joy. What comfort can he

Find in her return? To him,

It feels like a beautiful lie.

As Real, As Solid (Written September 24, 2013)

As Real, As Solid

 

I wanted to get the tears

Out of the way and act

As I always do with you,

 

As if nothing from those

Early days, before we met,

Remains. As if nothing,

 

Not a shadow, plays

Across the fields and

The trees that surround

 

And protect this house

That we call home, where

We’ve found just enough

 

Of what we feel, what

We think, what we believe,

To become as real, as

 

Solid, as anything that has

Gone before. But sometimes,

When I least expect it,

 

I hear her name, the door

Opens, and I step out,

Into the void.