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The Other Writer’s Strike

The poets are on strike
they refuse to heed their muse
or to feed their fickle fuse  
for beauty’s sake

the poets are on strike for beauty’s sake
they hope their absence
leaves a hunger in its wake
for brilliance and pause

the poets are on strike for brilliance and pause
they demand fair trade
of global proportions
to be paid with ears and hearts

the poets are on strike for ears and hearts -
the price their unions demand -
so stained and bloodied papers land
and lay scattered, left too soon

the poets are on strike and lay scattered,
left too soon for beauty’s sake, for
brilliance and pause, left too soon
to be paid with ears and hearts
 


 
Adrift

In the surreality of this passage,
adrift in the most cliched dingy I ever did see,
I search for my lost oar.
Sloshing waves wack my carriage broadside,
tip the balance of my mind.
I am so hungry for salt,
and thirsty for love,
delirium has set in.
The delicious distraction of you,
like a seagull miles from shore,
or a fish jumping into my lap,
beckons and tortures like a mirage.
Is that an island, or a swell?
Was that a bird, or a cloud?
I am burning. Inside and out.
My parched lips kiss the wind until
they crack and bleed. I might end up
drinking this ocean by mistake.
I could end up with not even this boat to rock.
I could find out it has been a desert all along,
not an ocean,
and the dry sand of realization could choke me.
And what about you?
Are you the bird, the boat, the ocean or the sand?
Or something else? The devil? A god? A wish?
Even if I find my oar, where will I go?
North may be south.
I don’t recognize these stars anymore.
And the whales have left me.
 
Some Tree

Somewhere
there is some tree
where I might rest.

It might be
high on a hill
twisting its arms
to the sun;
pushing its roots
beneath the golden grasses;
or perhaps
in a cool forest glen,
as old as Jesus,
as tall as the sky,
or higher,
as fingers of fog
rush by like angels.

Somewhere
there is some tree
where I might rest.

With magic blooming branches
and concentric rings of time,
some tree
will touch your heart.
And you might rest a hand
upon its trunk, pausing
on your path.
It might be
in your backyard
with a rope swing
and memories of daisy chains,
a weeping willow,
and a robins egg.
It won’t matter
where, when, why, or what.
It will just be,
and you will feel me there
with you.

Somewhere
there is some tree
where I might rest.

It might be
some tree in an orchard,
one in a row of hundreds,
ripe with fruit
waiting for the pickers,
or standing in dried leaves
waiting for the wind.
Some tree
with a heart carved in its side
by long-lost lovers who kissed there.
Some tree
where a little boy climbed
imagining adventure.
Some tree
alone on an island point
facing rain and salt.

Somewhere
there is some tree
where I might rest.

Some tree
somewhere
can be ours.

 
Hold This Poem

I have pressed my lips against this page,
kissing what you now hold here...

The ink on paper, like a night sky in reverse,
a small galaxy.

Each letter, an onyx star,
humming with potential amidst the void.

Each word, offering a gravity so simple,
I smile.

Each line, a supernova of possibility, bursting out,
falling in.

A constant rebirthing of dark and light -
life.

I have pressed this page against my breast,
surrendering my wild rhythm to this space.

Hold this poem to your heart and feel me expanding,
with you,

infinitely.
Nature and the Apple Tree
(the truth about Adam and Eve)


If she could climb him she would,
rubbing bark and blossom,
she’d grip and rise.

She is everything; she is nothing,
a nymph, a whim, a theme -
a tender breeze against his limb.

Far away her tides tease other shores
and creatures praise her name;
she is so busy revolving.

Yet here, she holds him hard, rooted in her soil.
Lets her ivy wind his trunk…her winged sparrows
dip and dive his leafy green.

Deep into the night she stitches stars to his mantle
to keep him there
between heaven and earth.

Entrenched in need, he relies
on her tempestuous ways;
he can only control how the light touches her…

amidst her humid buzzing heat of summer suns,
beneath her cricket-chorused indigo veil of evening moons,
he uses the gifts he has:

a talent for shade,
sweet red fruit,
and more…

He knows how to spill bees and fireflies.
His seed sustains her long cold winters.
He endures, arms held high, offering and asking.

But without hand, thigh, nape or lip,
his yearning eludes her ache…
suspends his ripening… and hurricanes her heart.

They will live like this forever.
She swirling her skirts around him, he trying to hold her.
If they only knew…

She is the hum of insects
deep inside him
vibrating his soul.

She is the wind
howling in the night
breaking branches.

She is the lightning storm’s
electric frenzy
stabbing the heart of him.

She is the fire
that sparks and takes
and makes her mark.

She is even the rain
that extinguishes some things -
gentle drops now,

kissing his sweet apples.
 

 

Blackberries

Blackberries are all around me
and it isn’t even August yet.
I see them; I want them.
I reach and reach and reach,
but can’t touch.
And my tongue tastes air,
tries to lick the salt from clouds,
tries to curl around
the silent conversations we have
inside my head.
I want to kiss the berries ripe.
I imagine feeding you this fruit.
I crave the supple sweetness  
of surrender. The yearning blinds me.
I can’t hear my own voice.
I have to stop and remember how to breathe.
What ecstasy flows from this fruit?
I back up to find my balance
before I hurt myself. And for now,
it’s all beyond my grasp.
Each night I count the blackberries
within my brambled heart.
I lean into this thorny hedge.
The dark interior of this tangle
demands time. Demands consideration.
Understand me. Understand this.
Blackberries will ripen no matter what.
Fill with a sugar sweeter than lust.
Eventually they slip right off,
a consequence of the season’s passing.
Until then, the blackberries hang heavy
beneath the stars. They swell
with pure intention. In the dark
I feel my way to the gleaning.



 

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