Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Wait

Patiently.  Snow falls like
leaves, a pattern, a prediction,
a memory.  Snow banks are
a visit to what I saw so many
years ago, a different person,
a different history.  Do you
remember coal tumbling into
basements, tar like gum
bubbling on summer streets,
the dancing, the dancing time
of death and dreams?  A
pattern is woven, a thread is
carefully placed like charcoal
on a snowman’s face, when
you drive the choice between
sorrow and a smile.  Oh, we
think of time tumbling out
of our hands like air, or water,
like something so insubstantial
that not even the vacuum
between now and then can
contain it, but time is nothing
more than a reservoir for
our dreams.  What if, if only,
when the day arrives, I can
so clearly see my body dancing
in the heart of life’s maelstrom.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A Highway of Stones

Near summer, near the gutters
bounding tense streets, near
the separation between tires
and asphalt.  Always near,
like breath on a window in
winter, when suddenly the
invisible becomes visible for
just a moment, just an emotion
bounding along, girl, skirt
swirling and sunshine and all
the various dreams which so
carelessly leak from motion,
from history’s weight, rainfall,
from Arlington Cemetery, from
one war piled onto the next,
from where I was when.  And
no memories are good, just one
ending after another, sprinkled
with the pepper of new fears.

Don’t ask me where I was when
the first man walked on the moon,
nor when Martin Luther King was
shot, though I stood on the steps
of the Lincoln monument and
imagined the dream.  Don’t expect
me to remember each change,
each reverberation the mind makes
to accommodate jumping from one
reality to the next.  I’m still reading
a letter I received in 1970, from a
Georgian whom I worked with on
a tobacco farm near Drumbo,
Ontario and how his only choice
seemed to be enlisting, or waiting
to be drafted into the infrastructure
for another calculated shift in history.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


In the eye of the imagination,
it exists and is daily recreated,
like the filaments of weather
which straddle your vision’s
movement from limb to hawk,
to flight, to feathers entwined
with air and descending snow,
tickertape, a lazy brush across
whiteboard.  In your mind,
every snow-covered shape exists,
yet doesn’t.  No, not like on
a sunlit day in fading August, when
the world is a weary love
affair, too intimate, too
stark, too arid and too withered.
Better this snowstorm and
this faded world — indistinct,
with everything possible, even
this perfection the mind envisions.