Monthly Archives: August 2017

Sonnet #204

There is no stillness in the boats at rest
In dock, they rock to tides and winds
And out upon the water, moving, best
get the sea legs on, for standing still in
this swift boat means working harder
than if you sailed before the storm, look back
And pull the ropes and hold fast, sailor,
The man that stands in the center track
And touches nothing, helps no one, holds fast
How the hard sweat comes to him, how the slope
of waves knock hard until he falls — he never lasts
So busy, sailor, on the deck, pick a rope
And get to knotting, find the wind, assert the will
Easier to guide the ship than to pretend it’s still


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Sonnet #203

I’ve earned this face. At first, born with it, but
I’m older now and worn it in good.
Every bag, every bone, all I shouldn’t have and should
Is written in splotches, graying growths, wheel ruts
I’ve earned the callouses and the scars
When my body rests below the knife, the story
will be told in my healed wounds, of victory
Every ache in my joints, every late night star
I’ve counted at my labors, to the squint lines
Or the laughter of the crows, or the dog bites
And decaying leaves of winter’s white shine
upon my chest, let it come, I will not fight
against the tides, I embrace the simple story:
I’ve endured all of this. I will endure more.

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Sonnet #202

The seed never knows how deep the soil
Whether in a pot, or a rocky hill or a swamp
Whether crowded out, or drowned or stomped
Bloom where you land, they say, as if toil
to bloom means nothing, as if the work
The very hard work, of getting roots down
Of spreading leaves enough and floral crown
Is always possible, as if failure is a shirk

Put your boots on and go for a walk
Everywhere you step, you kill the young
These seeds are not to be blamed, don’t talk
to me of personal responsibility with your tongue
And stride like giants in horseshoes crushing stalks
Tell those seeds the truth: We eat them young.

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Sonnet #201

Know our false gods by false sacrifices made

Where we hold our guns against statistical safety

And drive long distances against future dead

And sacrifice money to dress new, live greatly

And sacrifice children on the alter of place

Where some get good, clean cities to thrive

And others are told to keep a submissive face

They’ll need to work hard with a smile to survive

Where butterflies die because they’re inconvenient

Where trees are chopped down for delicate grasses

And neither deaths mattered, all some achievement

Of white or brown balls, men walking, throwing passes

To sacrifice coral, to sacrifice glaciers, to sacrifice

And for what? We will all die, still, in a devouring life.

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