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.

Dark Age Ahead (Written September 23, 2013)

Dark Age Ahead

 

Nobody understood what was happening.

What sounded like the whistle

Of a train, on the other side of town,

 

Grew more and more faint,

Then we heard footsteps coming down

The back stairway, and a man’s voice

 

Raised in anger. An article

In the paper said there was a choice

Of fresh produce at the market,

 

But shipments of meat had been blocked.

Oranges were in short supply. Target

Populations could come to the Coliseum,

 

Though nothing was guaranteed.

Specimens were on display at the museum,

Stuffed and mounted, suitable for viewing.

Will It Sell? (Written September 22, 2013)

Will It Sell?

 

Is that all you’ve got to say?

Rarely have I seen you at such

A loss for words. Is it something

 

About the way I told the story

That bothers you, that doesn’t ring

True? Well listen, I’m not averse

 

To taking some other point of view,

Yours for example, there could be worse

Fates, though I can’t think

 

Of any at the moment. I’d have to get

Inside your skin, and let myself sink

Into the mush that is your mind,

 

With its obsession with markets,

Awards, first splashes, that kind

Of thing. Will it sell? Fuck

 

That, I’d rather do it myself,

The alternative being to suck

At the public tit, that’s a bit much.

Jumper (Written September 21, 2013)

Jumper

 

What if something makes her want

To jump? A movie that haunts her,

About the way cattle are slaughtered,

 

Or a friend (she thought) who habitually

Cuts her off in mid-sentence,

Or the long, sleepless nights that fail

 

To heal the cuts and bruises

Of the still longer days, or the sense

That she has nothing left to say,

 

That even though she was once

The brightest of them all, now

She is duller and weaker, useless,

 

Worse than useless, like an old car

With a rusted-out body,

And an engine that won’t run.

It’s a Game (Written September 20, 2013)

It’s a Game

 

Thick, gray clouds all day,

But no rain. The young couple

Next door in a heated exchange.

 

Then they are gone, and the street

Is quiet again, though still within range

Of the usual disturbances: cars and trucks

 

On the road above, the heat pump

At number eighty, the way the wind sucks

At the chimes on the back porch,

 

The lonely cedar waxwing that wails

The live-long day, the scorched

Pot that sets off the smoke alarm,

 

The plane to Montreal, high overhead,

That drowns out, with no harm

Done, the sound of my own breathing,

 

The clock that ticks ticks ticks

And keeps me on edge, because

Both hands are the same

 

And I can’t tell if it’s ten past twelve

Or two o’clock on the dot. It’s a game

That only those can play who are supple.

Little Bird (Written September 19, 2013)

Little Bird

 

Why do you go on crying,

Little green-bellied bird?

Are you calling for your mate,

 

Or are you one of the newly

Hatched, unsure of your fate,

Feeling lost and alone,

 

Wondering where everyone has gone,

While you cling to the only home

You’ve ever known? Tiny head,

 

So full of purpose, with never

A second thought, instead

Of such fidelity, why not, I suggest,

 

Take flight, venture forth,

Go as far as you can, digest

The new reality, and have no fear.