Thursday, August 30, 2012

(Random, Capricious)

(Random, Capricious)

I like to think I'd save him
If I could start again,
But there he was,
All fat body
And stringlike legs,
Scrambling up the tub,
Frantic to escape.
And there was a moment
When I could have stopped it all.

Turn the knob and gently scoop him up.

Instead, I cupped my hands,
Like that.
And poured as a libation,
So he became a heap of swirling legs.
So small. So small.
So meaningless to me.

Is God, I sometimes wonder,
In spite of all that I believe,
Like that?
Pouring down on those of us scrambling for purchase,
Unlucky enough to find ourselves
In the (random) wrong place
At exactly the (capricious) wrong time?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where Lost Things Go

Where Lost Things Go

From a distance,
It seems sudden.
In close up,
Not so much.
It's the things
You hardly notice.
Keys. Pillows on a bed.
A date passed by
To wherever lost things go.
Tell me, does it trouble?
Must you run
To keep ahead?
Instead, I watch your peaceful sleep,
With arms crossed on your chest,
And, "Lost?" I think.
Not lost, no. Not really.
Just gone where lost things go.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Obscurum per Obscurius

Obscurum per Obscurius
"the obscure by means of the more obscure"

It seems to me you need a concept
so obscure no one will admit
when they don't get it.
Take the woman who sits
embroidering beneath a roof of shears.
Patrons speak in reverential tones--
Clotho, with Atropos above, says one
to his companions.
Or maybe she's Penelope,
biding time till dark.
The artist, bent above her task,
serenely moves her needle in and out,
creating something white on white
that only she can see.
But maybe that's what art is:
a woman, seeming unawares,
stitching threads that mean only
what she wants for them to mean.
Every morning, in the darkness of my room,
I bend above these keys, hoping
to create anything at all,
stitching thoughts with whatever
makes this ink that is not ink
on this page (that's not a page,
but place card of invention).
Every day -- my nod to the obscure
before I move away, leaving home for work,
scissoring my hands before my face
to stop the unseen thread of a web
before it catches me.
She must have sewn in darkness all alone.
It makes me wonder, why do we call it art
only when we have to try too hard?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Almost Heaven

Almost Heaven

Leave me on the hill,
for I have seen the
great waves heave and fall,
pulling all beneath their salty grasp.
Let the briney deep
keep her crusted treasure
whose sightless eyes she hides.

The earth abides.

The rising hills
thrill me with their call.
All that I am belongs
in the song of wind
on tree and leaf.
Grief does not bear
with me there.

When I am dead,
I pray you, softly
lay my head upon
the piney floor in sight
of heaven's door.

Or what's a mountain for?

Location:West Virginia

Saturday, August 4, 2012

In My Place

In my place
Upon the worn path
With the tall trees
That lead to the lake,
I feel the heat lift.