There is a film
on continuous replay
where I see you sleeping
frozen by too many choices
a concrete wall
of too many emotions
oh so right
There is a film on
where I see you sleeping
For weeks the list floats in my head
But it's fuzzy and not easily read
The checkmarks won't stick
The clock does its tick
And that book, was it one he just read?
Do they have the same number of things?
Accidental sib gift-slighting stings
A ball of lights haunts me
It isn't the best tree
The manger is missing a king!
Oh cookies, please please bake yourself
This Santa's feeling more like an elf
Here, you wear the hat
And the pillow for fat
The suit with the fake ermine pelt
A deep breath and now i feel better
A movie, a beer and a sweater
The day it will come
What's done is what's done
This giver's done being a fretter
(Saint Petersburg, 1905)
Adagio: The Palace Square.
Cold and quiet the crowd of cellos
gathers like snow in the clouds,
menace of timpani rumble,
an earthquake beneath the square,
a call of brass from some distant place.
Allegro: The Ninth of January.
A restlessness of burning violins,
a swirling blizzard, a sudden riot
of snare drums like gunfire,
timpani horses thunder,
to the march and clash of gleaming brass,
a panic of piccolos and woodwinds.
Adagio: Eternal Memory
A bent mother searches among the thump of drums
in the quiet dark of deserted streets,
picks through remnants of shattered violas,
crushed bass clarinets and trampled flutes
for her son, the harpist, who lies frozen,
stretched over the splintered carcass
of his wrecked and ruined instrument.
Adagio non troppo: Tocsins
Tocsins toll in the churches,
a call in resilient G minor,
call to a future of violent trumpets,
trombones, cymbals of power, tubular bells,
celesta and strings but, for now,
the music is tacet in the square.
Symphony No. 11, OP 103 D. Shostakovich
If you speak to me,
Please understand this:
You have no right to know who I am.
Anything you have to say to me is
Meant for a girl you once knew.
I am not her.
I am not the ashes, heap of ashes,
You left in your wake. I am not
The tears you once wiped from my eyes,
I am not the ones you once cried.
I am not the one who made you
What you are. I am not the fire
At your tongue. I am not the trophy
You once won.
I am not the pretty broken thing,
Busted bird with a busted wing,
I am not the one who held the
Words you said. I did not share your bed.
I am not your veiled, weeping sun, and I
Am not your laughing half-moon. Yes,
We're gone. We ended too soon, but frankly
I'm not here to swoon over you.
I am not your lover, though I loved you so,
I am the winter and I am the snow,
Beautiful and cold, I am the place you're still
Stuck; intrepid soles sinking into mud.
You may have killed me, lover mine,
But I stand here breathing, one of a kind,
And, darling, I'm back for your blood.
do not fall in love with me
if you don't want to be broken.
i am a glass-shattering rain
my eyes are the eyes of a storm,
yours are transparent windowpanes.
when i am done with you
you will understand why hurricanes
and people share the same names.
Layers of fog
a gauze bandage
covering a wound of swamp
shallow bowl of cat tail
long hollow stems
of snake grass like
miniature shafts of bamboo.
Frogs, snakes, muskrat
brought to drink
by a nervous mother,
alert, ears twitching
lifts one leg carefully
lowering it down again
into sucking soft ooze
of mucky bottom
hunching its long body
peering into unmoving water.
How different from the miles
downstream where Henry Ford
imprisoned the dark water
behind his concrete dam
to power a factory no longer there.
He seemed just another drunk
on a stool at the end of the bar
every night until closing time.
Once he was a pilot.
There is a photo of him
on the wing of a P-36
that he didn’t get off the ground
at Pearl Harbor.
He did a little carpentry after that,
spent little time with his delicate wife
and their three sturdy sons.
He tended a small garden and watched
as life slowly dried like dew.
Sweetwater Sirens call from the black
Their winter gumbo in need of my head
With its old man's mental allspice
My secret recipe
when the winds of whim & woe
threaten to whip and lay waste
our weathered, winnowed vessel;
as emotional electrical storms erupt
emitting intermittent lightning strikes,
causing men and women alike to scurry home
to society’s cerebral shelters;
i am an anchor that tethers;
in a sea of scienter and temporal tempests
threatening to toss us to and fro at high tide,
against cragged, unforgiveable coral;
which, would we make its’ acquaintance,
would spell the end
of all we love, hope and hold true,
in other words - we’d die.
i plumb the depths.
rusty, crusted and stolid,
i am an anchor;
long may i anc.