Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tools


These words,

differ little
from the crayon butts
that scribbled something
indecipherable,

the photographs
that tried
freezing reality,

the keys
that rose and fell
in stumbling arpeggios,

the scratch
of the strings
on my $20 guitar
when I was 13.

They were just
the tools
I had at the moment

to help
capture the parade,
and maybe
understand
that which may be
a cosmic
absurd joke
after all.

Still
while I love my tools,
I cannot forget
that after all
the songs,
poems, cartoons,
jokes,

my life is more than
these things.

My life is to be
a vessel
bringing
understanding,
compassion,
the overflowing chesed

from above
through me
out in all directions,
infinitely.

When I remember this
perspective,

I am properly
humbled

and happily accept
that I am a tool.

[For #OpenLinkNight at @dversepoets.com - my favorite place for poetry on the internet.]

Monday, April 29, 2013

Come the Flowers


From the cold

and dark season
every year
come the flowers.

I envy their
uncontested beauty,
their grandeur and attitude,
as they bloom
without restrain
or shame,
knowing they are
the most beautiful
in the world
for a time.

Those with
provocative splashes of
orange,
reds and purples
excite me most,

with full curves
and unrestrained,
mysterious
allure.

They attract every
living thing,
especially
monsters with
huge nostrils,

who want to possess,
consume,
and inadvertently
kill them.

Worship them
from afar,

and love them
on their own terms,

as the proof
of Divinity
that they are.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Emptying


I am emptying
myself

of all things comprising
myself

in an attempt to
be the most perfect
servant,

but I’ll never know
if I reach it

because
by then
I would have lost,
I should have lost

my name,
my personal pronouns,
myself.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

On Some Nights


He kisses her
goodnight
and on some nights
she kisses back.

He always tries
a second kiss,
to gauge her interest.

Most nights
her eyes are tired
and glazed over,

and he feels like he’s
kissing a dummy,

but more likely
it’s the
other way around.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cigar Meditation

I lean back
in the chair,
and light a cigar,
feeling a kinship
to my Spanish-speaking abuelito
and Groucho Marx.

Sucking in the smoke,

a joy, exotic and ephemeral,
like an amorphous nipple,
I let it slither out,
amusing myself
with its heavenward
curling gray path.

I take a sip
from the tumbler
of apple cider vinegar
and honey
over ice cubes
pretending it is a cocktail,
because even though
it too, is an acquired taste,
it doesn’t provide
the liberating
slippery feeling
of real booze.

I inhale,
then put the smoke down.

I sip,
then let the honegar slide slowly down.

I ponder the
future destination
of the sun
as it sinks
predictably
and dispassionately
over countless stories
that I’ll hear someday,
maybe.

This ritual
forces me to slow down,

to remember
that some things
remain unchangeable

and to accept them
as they are,
or waste your time trying.

I learned early on

you can’t smoke
a cigar quickly,

but then again,
why would you?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Masters (a sijo)


We buy the smartphones, unaware we are buying new masters.

The app store tempts our vanity with personalization.
Soon, we all are narcissists, looking in our handheld mirrors.

[Written for #formforall at dversepoets.com - a poetry lovefest online!]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Simple (Gracia, 1983)


1983 was

a simpler time,
and our love
was simple.

There were
no needless
complications.

No sex
(we were both
too scared),
we knew
we couldn’t
handle that.

Sitting with her
in the shade
at Hillcrest Park
on that May afternoon
was enough,
leaning on each other,
gazing at
an ever-receding
horizon.

Her laughter,
her chestnut brown hair
in the breeze,
her full, deep gaze
were all I needed.

It went by
so quickly.

Just as leaves
don’t fight
to stay
on their branches,
we didn’t fight
our inevitable
parting.

I think about her
every Spring,
thankful
that even our goodbye
was simple.

I’m sure
she wouldn’t
recognize me
today.

She knew me
before all the drama,
all the unnecessary
damage,
before all the
complications.

She loved me
when my heart was
simple.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Voice


I first heard the Voice
as it transported
my mother out of her
unfulfilling, suburban agenda,
lifting her above
the detritus,
to dream the
impossible, often necessary
dreams
that true gifts
truly inspire.
For a glided season
he entertained the world,
smiling on cue,
pelvis swiveling,
hitting every note,
raking in riches,
his prodigious talent
the stuff of legends,
susceptible to
inevitable caricature.
As the love of the masses
waned,
he toiled on,
near obscurity,
to some,
an artistic pariah,
but the true believers
knew he was
biding his time.
Decades passed
and he outlived his critics,
naysayers silent
as he assumed the throne
with long-denied grace.
His crown
is now a shock of white,
and he possesses the wisdom
of a life lived hard,
sometimes even squandered,
and he rules
with the passion of David
and the wisdom of Solomon,
holding scales
balancing praise and blame.
If you came late
to his kingdom,
just bow your head


and join me
as I listen to him
preach and prophesy
from the tower of Song.


[Posted for #openlinknight at dversepoets.com - come along and surf a poetry wave!]

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Longest Wait

Time brings
everything
at the same
steady pace,
as if life
were on a conveyer belt,

and I could see

10 am Saturday,
Pop’s memorial service
off in the distance,
sitting there,
just a day past his
viewing,
which I also
didn’t want.

It was
the longest wait
between his death
on Monday
until Saturday,
mostly because
I didn’t know
how it was
going to feel.

Eventually
Thursday,
Friday, then
Saturday came,

and before I knew it
the tributes were made,
the body was buried
and everyone was back
at my Mom’s house.

It too, had passed
right on by,
just like so
much of life
if you’re not
watching closely.

Now,
that his death is
years down
the conveyer belt,

I still miss him
and have the occasional,
merciful dream of him,

and understand
that I am now
only fourteen years into
the longest wait.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Prodigal Son's Father Speaks

My prodigal son
fears I won't
forgive his sins.

His brother thinks
I don't
see his sacrifice.

My favorite son
cares about
how I feel.

[written in Soupy Sales format - 25 words or less]

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dandelion Day


Everything I experience
plants a seed,

and I let time,
rain and sunshine,
fresh air

work their predictable
magic.

Some days
I am surprised
with overflowing,
abundant bouquets,

and some days,
I only see
fresh weeds,

and some days
there is no change,
nothing to harvest.

Judging by this
poem,

it’s a dandelion day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Click (Never Forget)


Click.

Look at all those bodies
in that pile,
they’re practically skeletons,
and watch this-
they just bulldoze them
into a giant grave,
those goddamned Nazis.

Click.

Watch when Ruby
steps in
to shoot Oswald.
Back up,
now freeze it -
look at that face.

Click.

This is video
of the last helicopters
leaving Saigon,
look at how they’re
holding on
trying to fly out of there.

Click.

You remember this one:
the famous video
of the second plane
hitting the Twin Towers,
and now listen 
to the panic.

Click.

This is Hurricane Katrina,
look at that poor guy
in a rowboat
with his handmade sign.

Click.

And this is
from last summer
in Aurora, Colorado.

Click.

And there’s
Hurricane Sandy.

Click.

And the
Sandy Hook massacre.

Click

And the Boston marathon.

Click.
Click.
Click.

I don’t have all these
sites bookmarked for
some perverse thrill.

I keep them
so I will
never forget.

Yeah, I know,

I sound desensitized,
but I’m not:

I’m just overwhelmed.

[Posted for #meetingthebar at http://dversepoets.com/2013/04/18/meeting-the-bar-the-unfathomable/ - come along and mourn with me.]