Sonnet #206

“I don’t know which wave to poem,” he said
“There are so many words coming, all the time
I must be careful where I position this rhyme
I must not speak ill of the living or the dead
Because no one likes negativity, unless veiled
In innuendo of perspicuity, and I can’t be too smart
so I shouldn’t have said perspicuity, or claim high art
And If I claim low art, alone, they’ll think I failed
I must speak only in feelings and cautiously,
lest I turn off all these tides, those going and coming.”
That is what he said, and I told him this about poeming:
“Pick your waters and choose standing stones bravely
If you don’t swim to make waves and to push
The waves will swim over you like a rush.”

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sonnet #205

The family viewed from afar is uncertain
it reminds me of the train cars
Looking through the glass at other cars
How the jostling makes nauseas reactions
For the motion sick, how the two cars
Bounce around independent of each other
On the same tracks, and we gaze over
At the other car and it feels wrong from afar
It is hard to say if they are jumping tracks
If they are falling into each other while stumbling
Or tripping from the push upon their backs
We are not supposed to judge while witnessing
We are not supposed to judge. We don’t lack
For confusions, enough, to find any failing
We like, any reason, we don’t cross the crack.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sonnet #200

Bring out all the bones of princes, presidents,
and celebrities, and put them in glass boxes
Along the Washington Mall, where the residents
Can throw a quarter into a variety of jukeboxes
And dance among the ruins of who we were
Sing until the sun, the moon, until the blood
runs down the ears and quarters run dry
Remember this was once a kingdom before the flood
The waters will rise, the bones will sigh
And all the street sleepers wash to sea
Some will swim and some will sink
Where their last organized gasp of beauty
leaves so few encasements to cross the drink

A ball will drop from on high, a cheering crowd
The parades among the dead, the dream shared loud

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sonnet #199

Consider the African sand of the Sahara
How it blows across the sea and spreads
Across the sands of Mexico, all the dead
Bones of Egyptian Slaves, the salt of their
Brow, trapped in sand, swirling up above
And over, the dust of lions and ancient trees
And how the desert spreads, even now, we see
The encroaching of death, the wasteland, love
Lost in dunes, desert sand storms; the locusts
Traveled over oceans, in their swarm,
To islands across the ocean, swarm
On water, drown and eat the drowning, trust
The destiny of movement, the flood of doom
And send these drops and drabs of death, and soon

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sonnet #198

Good be not kind, though some would think it so
Consider all the brides who lost their oil
They ran late to wake the merchant and blow
their lamps back to life, upon return to native soil
The door was shut — the heavenly host proclaimed
I know you not, though hours back there was home
I know you not, you used to be a guest and remained
all day, you thought you belonged; No one
let you have a little oil – nor helped with your mess
These good, holy heavens, locked you out to atone
For such tiny sins — a fizzled fist of fire, late, a dusty dress

Shed tears if you like, all lost relations feel like stones
Thumb home in the dark and forget those who convicted
at their miserly feast —
       Prefer, instead, the kindly wicked.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sonnet #197

The bad trees are cut down, thrown into fire,
For the fruit is no good. The fig tree that fails
is cursed by the lord, withers and dies. All liars,
All thieves, all men who profit from what ails
the world, will be cut down. God will cut you down,
who grows thorns and spits thorns and bitter,
bitter words, words that harm, hate sewn
with a taste; God will cut you down. Better
be making the good fruit. However, the worst medicine
tastes sweet, I think, while the bitter purge heals
We live in a kitchen of sugar and adrenaline
The fruits are too chemical, so wash all your peels.
And what is good is not always what is sweet
What is good will hurt, bleed out, cure surfeit.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized