Back into our hands again, you are
not thinking of us, or yourself, or how
we might forget to know you
as more than just a few words
for a womans body found in a mass grave,
as we call you the remains of the first vampire
and consider the brick
lodged between your jaws to stopper
fear and disease. Donna Signora,
so small and hard a chip of ghost
days and silence, what undemanding offices
might sway us not to stare at
how no clots of earth are needed
to hold the ornaments of your teeth in place
there there there to notice
that the damp is no longer your concern,
that you will not starve to death, that you are not
weeping over your return to this?
I ask, not out of sorrow.
El Dia de los DifuntosEl Día de los DifuntosEl Dia de los Difuntos6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I could say the clouds were silent,
hushed in close against the skirt
of Volcán de Agua. I could say
they had passed over the market
stones without setting a shadow
down among the candied fruits
and marigolds gathered there for this
day of the dead. Focusing like this
how the sky lingers uninterrupting,
as sweet squash and cups of chicha
spill across the square, announcing
the burning I might see two men
there, stripped and beaten by the crowd,
listening to the mouth of a gas can
sing of errors and heavy promises:
never to avoid the rough battles,
ever to defend land and home,
always to burn, to be burning;
and feel the heat of people
pressed against people,
smoke rising on the wind
kite tails climbing
from the graveyard into heaven
on this day of the dying.
She Will Be NearShe Will Be Near6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
She Will Be Near
But Unseen behind her Curtain
Isnt that like a book?
Caught just so between lark song and
The taste of Unblushing
Words awakening on her Breath
A startled square of glass
Unready for the Torch of dusk,
Quick to change the subject
She will watch the Coachmans approach
By not watching at all
Her weight confiding in the sash;
The Stars moving in pairs.
to Emily Dickinson
Of A Scottish GhostOf a Scottish GhostOf A Scottish Ghost6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
What can be asked of one worlds omens
caught ghosting a breach in the stones
of another worlds walls Is food as important
as heaven? Will truth heal an uncertain heart?
Who might you have watched dying? Who are you
watching live? Is there anything that goes
without saying as we inch closer
to understanding perhaps?
ScarpScarpScarp6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
after LAquila, words
stumble through becoming
unfit to describe
what they describe as
a quake as debris
and aftershocks as grief
crust in LAquila is a pair of horses
grazing a rolling pasture
epicenter is a stack of plates
rescued from her restaurant
as it collapsed upon itself
magnitude is the day
we hear that all will dig until
we are certain there is nobody
left alive. In LAquila
tectonics means rescue
workers are scooping
through rubble by hand
to pull a 98-year-old woman
from the fissure where she waits
passing her time knitting
like the rest of LAquila
TestimonyTestimonyTestimony6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It is not so much what I saw
as what was there
inside the shadow of the wall
the second time I turned
to look, lungs burning the breath
of the chase that carried me
up the alley in pursuit of those men
the two hoodlums who, failing
to steal the weathered Mazda,
ducked suddenly into the dusk
of a waiting mango tree.
Demanding as it was,
I was with him every step;
the older of the two I mean
every cord of muscle
he unwound in flight
flexed in me; every rock
he ground under his shoe
pressed hard under mine,
until there came the moment
for my eyes to adjust,
and in the change of light
the man was gone.
It was as clear as that,
as clear as the goat
who dipped his mouth slowly
and took to the grass, ears angled
forward to gather my sound.
He could see there was no reason
to run further, just as I
could see the man reflected
in his yellow eyes.
It was just that way;
it is that way now.
It is no different at all
than what I see here
in the goat, kneeling
beside that pil
All That's MissingAll Thats MissingAll That's Missing5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I would ask her, where is it known
better than in the hollows of dying
cherry trees, what can be as good
as gone to not have returned to us
too quickly what has been lifted as we
moved lightly through crowds in a park,
as we spoke, distracted by friends?
She might say, what can grow
as sweet on time as things unreturned,
a blue leather wallet, all its photos and I.D.,
twenty-seven years and more gone
almost never found and the promise
they hold that you are already waiting
where youd hoped someday to return?
Incident on a BridgeIncident on a BridgeIncident on a Bridge6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
after Donald Justice
There because I was unsure
where else to bear my loss,
I stopped at Haizhu bridge
where many unsteady hands have given
every hope and sorrow to gravity.
And there I climbed out to wait,
bankrupt and listening to the river
cussing, the breath of the crowd
below. And the day was long
on the beams before I saw
the familiar stranger standing
hooded in his shadow
black lips, black teeth, watching
among the passers-by, his eyes
hard as bone. His blade
brushed each back that pushed
past him as traffic thickened
in the alleys of Guangzhou.
And I knew him by this his spine
unbent and the angle of his arms the air
a sudden zest of chrysanthemums.
Sir, apart from any threatening
gesture, I'd guessed the appointment
he meant to keep with me,
even as his eyes left mine
and I followed them, turning
to look over my shoulder
which is how I first caught
sight of the shoeless man
approaching in his t-shirt, his hand
The Hungry SeasonThe Hungry SeasonThe Hungry Season6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The next season will be the hungry season.
Moses M. Kolinmore
A stem, a leaf, a stem,
a stem again,
and the army of our bodies
hanging from the branches
of the Dahoma trees.
We come to this as moths
on Saharan winds
with no malice but the wings
direction, our caterpillar mouths,
our waiting numbers
cocooned in dirt. We are
aching and glutted
but hungry still, even as
we strip the canopy bare of leaves
and foul each river black
with waste below us
our gruesome chatter asking,
as we fall into the dirt
to reshape what we are,
can you imagine the hunger?
But of course you can; of course,
you hunger the same as we.
Ad AstraAd AstraAd Astra6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
There is what saves us.
There is what takes us.
We are saved when the cab
Drivers rush to see
his soccer match gets us
to the airport early.
We are taken when the cab
Drivers rush to see
his soccer match gets us
to the airport early.
We are taken because the surgeon
Wants to bump Tasharas
knee surgery up two weeks.
We are saved because the surgeon
Wants to bump Tasharas
knee surgery up two weeks.
We are saved when
There are two seats
left on the 7:12 commuter
flight to Dallas/Fort Worth.
We are saved,
Even though Henrys boys are ill,
because grandma will take the kids
for the next three days.
There arent any reservations
Under the name Rajiv Dixit
booked for this flight.
The traffic is terrible; it takes
Forever to find a parking space
in this damn garage.
There are two seats
Left on the 7:12 commuter
flight to Dallas/Fort Worth.
The shuttle to the airport is late
Arriving. The shuttle to the airport
is right on time. I ache
To see you again
SnowflakeSnowflakeSnowflake6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I have heard snowflakes
are made by their fall,
each an icy whit unsamed
by eddies taking it unhurried
across tumbling distance
enough to pass from there
to here. Each astral arm opened
by what drives it for a while,
they take to themselves
unfamiliar vapors and glide,
making ready to be held
when at last theres Earth to touch.
Opposition MovementOpposition MovementOpposition Movement5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Sister, your face is dark.
How is your face made dark
when the great garden of the sun
is still fragrant with fragrances
so unmade for Halva and tea? Sister,
you are asleep. What has taken you
into your sleep and that third world
of waiting outside the wall of heaven?
Sister, will we be what you are now
when staggering we stagger,
a hand to our breast when we burn,
sorrowing with pain
as we fall from these streets
and the thorns of opposition, our feet
no longer scouring the heavy stones
at our feet? Sister, a banquet of clay and dust
waits to be eaten, silent with the silence
a puddle spreading beneath your back,
the sky above. But not only; not just.
May your feet carry you, Sister,
safely to safety, away from weeping
and the echoes of friends
wailing their grief to aid your family
that they might find their comfort
in giving comfort to the wailing.
The Calling of Sal MaurielloThe Calling of Sal Mauriello5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The Calling of Sal Mauriello
Every truth of Renaissance geometry
is there, as in a scene by Caravaggio
the boy descends from his apartment window
through five stories of air, a woman screams
as her hand jumps free of its shawl, pointing
with wild urgency, the barber follows
the line of light glowing atop her arm
to the moment where he begins
sprinting, his coat half in hand. The three
connected, each to the others, under buildings
brushed by a wash of copper light
slanting past the unguarded
casements, calm and unhurried in its effort
to join the restless street, watching life change
without apology, choiring it on
into hands that will never forget
the weight they've held as gold.
All to Make a SongAll to Make a Song5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
All to Make a Song
Penelope, my eyes will close soon again
and the finespun threads of this day
will, like the others all, also end
unwoven by your able hands
a full distaff of plunging seas
and rich ringed fields of wheat
shuttled uncomplaining into the shroud of your dark
night-looming. As you will it; what use
can come of tears.
But Penelope, not just threads
the flush upon my breast and I dared hopes
of knowing this world by heart, as gray-eyed
Aegyptius holds the shores and alleys of your
dear Ithaca (never has he hid or held back
anything). Wound in a weft of great spurs
and black poplar, Id sported to meet with my own eyes
all Ive heard from other fields that only
now, my voice failing like a shade
too long-spoken at the blood trough,
do I recall every knot of all I meant to tell you
sooner and more
MineMineMine5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It happens all the time and so it is happening now, only this time for me, and so these are mine. Because I would like all of them, all of what Im about to share really, to be mine to become mine or remain mine whichever it is thats most correct. I say this as best I know how, with clarity the foremost concern, so that my mind and my title to its product is made plain and all by the action of my own hand mine own hand. I wish to make this a matter of public record, one in which all can see my purpose and intention. I wish for no accidents of communication when speaking with this world. I wish for no conflict,
now or later. No. So its this then; this is for keeps and I should think both plans and priorities could be adjusted accordingly from here out, alright? Hold on though; nobody get indignant or anything just yet, because I dont want the whole play for myself. That should be the first point; that should be what I emphasize the most,
What Makes A Good EndWhat Makes A Good EndWhat Makes A Good End5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Two old shoes flaking mud on the kitchen floor.
A handful of peaches growing wise on the rack. I will have
just set down the knife and stepped from that room
into this one, where the light is a good deal
better. The back wall of the house, still unpatched,
will want paint, but I will be crunching almonds,
having set aside something I was not
quite ready to take on a moment longer.
My head turning to the windows, looking
out back two weak boards
complaining over every brush of wind.
The sound will remind me
of how some leaves are neither green
nor red this time of year.
The paper will fall open; I will not
close my eyes. I will not think
about why; I will not wonder
Of A TrollOf a TrollOf A Troll5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
No one crying out Heaven
help us, the hag is come again
her head tucked under her arm
as hunger tears at the empty
threads of an old sack pitched
across my shoulder. No good
blood trembling as my feet crush
the unflinching moss and I step
out from choking glooms to find
my sisters have become stone
frozen in sunlight. No kings son
eager to chase the golden bird
cross swale and pulpy mere,
cold in linden shadows leaning
long outside my door. Nobody
seeking the wolfs word of caution:
you must beware your brother
when you meet him,
when he tells you to set aside
your apple and your horse
there is life unending to be found
at the inn. And I tell you
you must know the worst
is this: disappearing from memory
like a child down the throat of a troll.
ArtificeArtificeArtifice6 years ago in Scraps More Like This
"Theres no art to find the minds construction in the face."
Its not that crows
and orioles might take us
all; not that they will
set upon us in terrible clouds,
ripping into our carpentry
until brood and queen lay ruined
all because the drones
who guard this hive are stingless.
Its not that Im quick
to throw off the last of my time
when still some gathering is left
for me. Its not any of that.
The drones way does not fail
so that I must lift myself
yellow-masked into his life,
leaving others to live my own.
Neither deception nor insight,
there is only this:
under the sky and its fever
(and what is there but sky
and fever for these few
busy weeks) everything is
a task necessary and needed:
cells to clean, comb to build
the dead to be removed.
As ever, there is just
what must be done.
If the world were only flowers
but of course not. So, if
the drones mild face is
too easily read
Up aboveUp above5 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
birds in the tree, in the rain,
in the night
across a field
of moving clouds
Below the horizon,
the ocean moon
With each gust,
the chatter of leaves:
What about a cold night
makes these lines
so hard to finish?
a March day
a glance at me
sparrows take flight
my pen falls
Between fence posts
the spider's web
of sparrows bathing
in evening sun
Encouraged by rain,
broken by rain
With each branch
the sapling birch grows
taller than me
A glooming sky
gathers against hills
close as yesterday
Patchy sky ab
Nowhere ElseNowhere else to be; untroubledNowhere Else5 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
leaves shaking the sun.
Witch BottleWitch Bottle6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
To lift that bottle now,
hearing the pins and bent nails
rattle in their bitter wash,
is to shake his hand
come out at last from under
what held him
to feel his measure of that
at work between trips
to the butcher and the bank
as it wore his tongue
rough with accounting
broken panes of glass,
absent things, the gate
hanging not as he left it.
Its weight commends him
on the defense he buried
in keeping with tradition, perhaps
beneath his hearth a while,
then beside his door
instead, hidden and unbroken
that bulb of earth filled
heavy as salt with mean
things waste, nails, glass,
clippings of what used to grow
and what would grow back
putting his whole life in,
tipping it upside-down,
pricking his unrest with what
lasts longest after all
some fingernails, a knot of hair,
a strip of leather
cut to the shape of a heart.
Your Body, at a DistanceYour Body, at a Distance6 years ago in Scraps More Like This
Your Body, at a Distance
Fertile Mother of the Timna Valley
Carved into your stone,
Your feet are enormous with splendor
Massive roots for quaking legs
Four times your bodys length
And every inch shaking with the
Wraiths of birth, but holding
Holding, though all your lines
(Narrowing from foot to crown)
Claim that you are falling
Away from us, head-first into stone
The thick of your fingers and toes
Carved as if scraping to catch an edge
That cannot hold so stark a body,
So proud a womb. Goddess Giver
Giving, worn smooth by rasp and use,
Your voice is a chorus of lithic silence
Inside that womb of secrets
Where you watch generations pass into desert
A faceless stamp upon unbroken stone
Grasping the antonym of Mother.
Winter Haiku WriMo 2009Winter Haiku WriMo 20096 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
Moonsliver, mewling at distant stars
whose cat are you tonight?
Maple branches worm through morning fog
without sun, without shadows.
Chains caroling above empty swings;
my winter blood slows.
Spider in the bath,
Im not here to end your lonely day.
My window locked tight
in slips the winter moon.
Lips pressed against air
this memory of the present.
Garden stones dark with rain
why am I not so quiet?
a poem fills with sawdust.
Her tail curls above piled leaves
a question beginning.
Skirting the morning headlines
raccoon steps in frost.
Hail at the window,
knocking, but not to enter.
Passing a dog lying in the street
how far away home is.
A break in the clouds
branches leap into the sun.
Where does rain touch down
in such a wind?
Rain prattles in the drainpipe
awake at 3:00 a.m.
Rounding the bend,
rails turn in
Sixteen Dead in JuarezSixteen Dead in JuarezSixteen Dead in Juarez5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
We can't talk. We can't
talk now. Now,
like the living, we are
dead in Juarez
unsolved as the grave
streets that turned us
indoors until, hidden
inside, the hiding ended
with the blood we were.
It seems a mistake, false
information, a confusion
of something; they could not want
anyone like us. Who can see
why they might they did
not know our hands as we left
them, dark and plain, beside
bullet holes in a wall.
What is this smell in the air?
Where is the world
where the world is?
Why is this? We can't
Stars of JasmineI.Stars of Jasmine5 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
Stars of jasmine
each unlike her, whatever
I may think.
above a mower's thrum
my ear itching.
No moon tonight.
The freeway whispers
Closing the book
is easier now.
nesting under the carpet.
How hard such work is.
Now that I have tomatoes,
dark spots on the basil.
During the rain
the tallest bamboo
had fallen; quiet.
a spider vibrates