Saving the Kirtland

This is how it begins –
Flip lip lip-lip-tiptip-CHIDIP.
Intensify with vocal chords
that sweeten the ears
of that choosy ground nester
and a woman with binoculars
around her neck.

He perches on top of the world –
a little distant
but close enough to hear and see
and amaze the jack pines
that surround him.

Yes he can fly when I
merely walk.
His wings dart upon air
while I stumble along
paths and roadways,
some taken, some neglected.

We have different diets,
alternate breath,
chords that mesh with noise
from myself, ringing
from his beak.
Perhaps we vary by a molecule
or two.
Our DNA hedges on
iceberg or leaf.
We are life itself –
no coincidence from
where we came.

Swing of life
you exceed the circulation of branches.
When we save the Kirtland
we save ourselves.

6/2017

Blue

My blue is mute.
It sends anonymous postcards
through shivering knees,
hoarse lips.
Fancies whimsical parade
this showcase.
Only depth perception
acknowledges its existence.

Water

It is 60 percent of everything.
Living that is.
Each molecule needs it, breathes it,
dies
without it.

What comes easily is taken
for granted.
The sun rising,
the moon setting,
the earth spinning.

My clothes are clean.
This machine turns
and scrubs and toils
so I don’t have to.
Not so for the native lady
who walks from town to river
and spends her day not reading.

What comes easily is taken for granted.

My hands are washed
by a spigot that is never
dry.
This energy grinds on
and the cooking and cleaning
and eating and bathing
take up no time at all.
What comes easily
is taken for granted.

What we take for granted
Can be lost.
It is finite and precious
and life itself.
Walk against the tide
my son and it pushes you
back to where you started from.

6/2017

This nation of immigrants

In the hallowed halls of Washington
the quintessential American
traitor once was called.
That little war with Spain based
on lies about the Maine –
no Twain did not approve.

Aliens and sedition – we all from
this unceasing law
each immigrant from old
clobbered were yes –
by freedom’s bell.

the Irish from a famine soaked land fled –
resume the chant
“go home go home
you are not wanted here.”

The Jew from central Europe
did return from whence he came
to hangman’s noose –
he was not saved.
“Too many” we cried
We cannot let this boat
set at liberty’s pier.

Poor or bedraggled
Syrian or beaten
so not us
and yet so true.
Each new citizen
was never approved
whether language or hue
each difference we chew at –
Phew!

Cruelty you bend the spine,
avarice you break the heart,
beget conflict everlasting
while humanity departs.

6/2017

Make him go away

Make him go away!
This deep blue mourning
drags down the lids
of these frozen eyes.

Sweep it under – gone
like the geese of fall
no more to fly –
arrow formation.

Take my roses
for your own – steal them
leave the thorns be –
hind to sweat my blood.

Red river rushing
the stones and sand swept
away build else-
where – land to slumber.

1980s

The tired American

I rephrase broken sentences,
sentences gluing time –
from once we came
our sisters’ cry was heard
and then benign that tumor born
was cast aside.

These days incumbent overlord –
returns with smile – beguiles.
The facade that ceased to trick
while infusing bloody venom –
it streams downward mighty thinking –
Germinal revised.

The worm is eating the rested rind –
careworn mother resigns her life
to nothing tempered nothing saved –
it breaks the heart,
it bends the spine,
sublimity denied.

Hand to mouth is how we live
and mouth to hand refrain,
no need for explanation is
how the homeless range.
Poverty excised – that moral war,
we lost it long ago.

5/2017

Language and games

Language and games

 

‘War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.’ George Orwell

 

Over time these words of ours

lose their meaning.

Something bad is good

while an entitlement isn’t earned.

 

It is avarice that seeps like a leech,

bleeding each letter –

their corpses are dry.

Lifeless and useless they become

as a mockingbird

taunts while flying by.

 

All below the bird is still.

These meanings play

games and on more than

one occasion –

this language of man

turns lifeless

In the barren land –

money soaked, it is heartless.

 

Fewer words, more or less –

the founders framed us,

refining to suit

a game of concert.

If we don’t remember

how it is done in meter –

then we can pick up embers

and die from

the wit of it.

 

Alas these alternative facts

embolden the brainless;

that droopy and dying flower –

emblem of this age of endless lies.

 

4/2017

My country lies in the cradle rocking

My country lies in the cradle rocking,
knocking at my door you come-
with a bat that is ready to swing
you bring this inning home.

Integrity lies on the willow waiting,
baiting at my line to bring
a fisher’s hook my eye to catch-
watch it bleed and sing.

The lonely rendered jack a boot,
hooting owl, a nightly ghost-
swoops the sparrow from his nest
and all the rest is quickly toast.

My country lies in the cradle rocking,
knocking at my door you came-
jingoist called me honey-
the sparrow’s impending doom.

4/2017

i once wrote yellow

i once wrote yellow
a spring of
daffodils and roses
swam towards me
a garden of childhood delights

only blue spills out of this pen
now
winter is closing in on these
once red lips
i live off charcoal and whale fat
i keep my veins sour,
unapparent
i don’t want them to burst

11/21/1980