Broken Glass and Bullet Holes

brokenglassandbulletholesblackandwhite

Inside these walls, fix them up,

build them up again, patch the holes

we’re leaking out everywhere,

seeping through the cracks, every piece of

us, of Us, running down the walls

flowing through the gutters, spilling

away from this place.  Here I hung

curtains of hope and invited the sun in,

but the sun has gone and the glass is

broken and so are we, so are we, and all

that was here is cracked from your words

turned inside out, this house we were,

and all our ghosts and angry walls

can’t contain broken glass and bullet holes.

We take it with us and move on.

Roots

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what once floated on lost

grew roots from the sky, and they

wrapped around clouds, painting them

luminous and full of harmony,

and the roots of found rained down

in gentle hold, showed the trees

how to stay the seasons, how to last

they spread and deepened, wove

through time, centuries of roots,

paths that crossed and crossed again

until it became one path that grew

and led us home

before we knew

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the places we gather

inside

how we hide

in between

the pieces of yesterday

and the rise of tomorrow

within

us, and through all time

we didn’t know but walked

empty

trying to hold water

up

with our hearts, and how

it rained down

rained down

on

us

before

we

knew

 

Us

Waiting For You

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The sailboat waited for the wind,

for the tide to rise, and the clouds

waited for the sun, while the trees waited

for rain.  The river waited for the moon

to tell its tidal tales, and the fish waited

for the river to flow their days.  And it was

quiet, and still, and I was waiting, too.

I was counting tides on the sailboat,

waiting for you.

Baggage Claim

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you’re on a plane but you are not coming home,

waiting in line, third for take-off, a life through

oval windows, and you’re off again, gaining air

losing ground, time spend moving around,

departures and arrivals, runways and wind direction,

climbing and descending, landing gear,

it’s just another day, another day I drink tea alone,

another day the sky claims home

Dishonorable

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Use all your tools

To crush her, to grind

her unrecognizable.

Show her what happens

when someone leaves

you, leaves YOU.

She’ll be sorry when

there’s nothing left

of her but

pieces

of

broken

Watch her crumble,

stomp on her, kick

what’s left, and then

call her a breakdown,

a total loss, a waste,

watch her fall

trying to save

the children,

holding them

up, keeping

their heads

just above

your angry

tide, while

you, you

laugh at

her struggle,

watch the waves

swallow them,

and whisper in your

tiny, monstrous voice,

“I win.”

Like A Joke

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You make a joke

You throw a joke

I am the joke

Can’t I take a joke

They laugh, they look

You smile, I within

I am the joke

What’s wrong, but

They know, I just

Can’t take a joke

I am the joke

It is me

And they laugh

At your jokes

They laugh at me

You grow like

A giant fed by

Their laughter, and

I shrink – tiny, tiny

Me, and that makes

An even better joke

So you say that, too

The laughs swallow

Me up, tiny me

disappears

Like

a

joke

Erosion

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She used to face the wind, steady

strength worn in straight lines and

sound steps. But harsh nights

and bitter words weathered her

core, washed away resolve,

beat down seasoned worth,

pieces fall away, she lets

them go, it’s all broken

anyway, layers of fall

lean and snap of

her, cruel words

grab, she’s only

a fragment of

what she was,

the rest of

her is

gone

let him pick no more

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don’t blossom here, flower,

close up, go back inside. don’t reach,

for your sun, don’t open your petals

wide.  don’t smile, or believe, or

speak your fuschia dreams.

he’ll pick you if you bloom just right,

grip you, rip you, wilt your hue,

until a lovelier one blooms, and he will

drop you. pick her. pick her. pick her.

you’ll be lying on the ground, with no

way to grow. wither. hold your blooms,

dear flower, let him pick no more.

all the ways

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all the ways I drown in silence

as lifeboats climb trees

the tidal pull, the listen for you

but wave after wave of mute breath

while your forests are alive with float

songs of save, so far away

sink, sink in salty quiet

none of your life lines reach

they play melodies in trees

and I struggle

wordless rip current

desolate sea

silences me

Simple

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He and she lived a simple life of years

in a house with shuttered windows

and a garden of roses by the back door.

But she was I and he was you and years were only

things that didn’t happen and things that did.

And the house was a palace and a prison

and an empty box, and it was all so complicated.

The windows were weary eyes that always

watched, and the door, the door was the keeper,

the releaser, the rectangle of know; behind there,

questions were born. And yellow roses grew out back,

but so did thorns, and we never knew which we would

collect.  Strings of together pulling, binds of tight,

and then invisible hands to reach down

and sweep away our tangled life.

We Talk

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We talk about the way you build wooden boats with your hands,
and the way the sun shines off the water when we canoe across the lake.
And we talk about the snow in the winter and the way the snowflakes fall in the quiet.
We talk about the way that you rode an elephant in Thailand along the side of a cliff,
and the elephant put one foot in front of the other so he kept on the trail,
and the way I went dogsledding in Alaska, felt the dogs pull and heard the trees whisper blue.
We talk about the summers of sun, sand and waves, and how we grew with salt water in our veins. And we talk of our smiles and our failures and the lessons we learned, tomorrow’s plans
and time that we hold in the palm of our hands. We talk until the coffee grows cold and the night grows wings, until the words have words no more, but our eyes keep talking.
We don’t talk about your aneurysm that might kill you tonight, or tomorrow, and we don’t talk about my brain tumor that’s growing as we speak.
We don’t talk about it.

empty spaces

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long ago he had gone
to the silence, though
she held time as if was
the hands that once
caressed her cheek
before the decay of days
the way his eyes never
fell upon her anymore
their journey away
had begun before the trees
wept and footsteps grew
farther in colder days
the surrender of years
until nothing remained
but the window watching
empty spaces

tell me again

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tell me again

what’s wrong with me.

I’ll pull up a chair,

like a child listening

to a bedtime story,

while you list all the ways

I will never be enough,

remind me why I am alone,

sing me my failures,

question my abilities,

paint my inferiority,

hum my inadequacy,

strum the notes of my wrongs,

then ask me

why

I don’t

believe

in

myself

anymore

Questions

How did she taste, when I was writing poems for you?

Was her bed warm, did you sing to her, too, while I waited

in silence for you?  Did you look behind or ahead or only

in her eyes?  Was the press of her flesh all you needed

to feel alive?  Were my words tossed aside like last weeks

trash, while you cherished her body, and I walked alone

outside? Did you wonder what it meant as you sighed in

release, the waves of torment you set on the seas?  Or do

you owe nothing to no one and your body is free?  Do you

realize that your body will never claim me?

Ending Up Alone

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“I will end up alone he says,” and in the silent pause,

so many doors close. She collects the know before the feel,

cancels the gray-haired couple, arm-in-arm,

rocking late days on the porch of music. Promises

to stay, believe, carry him to night, those are blown away,

stripped like maples’ autumn color, disappear like summer

days. Perhaps he chose alone to spare her in some way.

Though the layer of fallen leaves and torn up plans weighs

deeply through her bones, she carries pieces of him with her.

He will never be alone.

honesty

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secrets like a tree torn of leaves,

each one a truth untold, even

the desperate grip of branches

could not stop the fall. sun stares,

demands honesty, reveals deceit

in her glare. his wooden arms

are no match for her golden gaze,

so all of it falls, half-truths and lies,

and he becomes bare, only bony

fingers of regret, reaching out,

as if she would forgive. she covers

her eyes in clouds and turns away.

The Butterfly and the Hail Storm

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In the morning, while the sun knew
and I was time, she drifted to me.  Blue,
floating blue cascade shimmer, she came
to me with whispers of summer still.
Quieted by her dance, I stayed as she
settled upon me, smiled with her indigo
wings, round eyes and watched me
wonder her blue deep through me.
 
And then later, on the mountain, darkness
dropped, as it does with time, sky turning,
mirroring granite below. Rain pelted, soaked,
willed itself to hail. Morning forgotten,
I drew myself closed within the gray, startled
by bolts of lightning on nearby pines.  Hunched
down, arms around knees, head bowed, hurting.
I felt the wings on my back lose their flight.
 

The Hold of Time

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On the balcony, overlooking the sea, inside of time,

they drank their tea.  Blessed by orange and gold,

the sun set slowly, holding every moment,

hand in hand, a dream set on repeat.

 

Yesterday came and went, and the ticket remained

on the shelf.  She folded up the sunset with the tea,

inside the hands, palm lines underneath time.

Today is forever remembering tomorrow.

 

Rusty Locks

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Some

locks

don’t open

 even if you have the

key.

Life

may have been

too harsh, and

rain,

too many days,

will rust anyone

closed.

You can

climb over gates

but the

lock

will always

stay

rusted shut,

in time and for time,

and only he

will know

why.

Navy family

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He is a hero
so many stripes on his shoulders
and medals on his chest
salute
Commander, aviator, protector of the free,
danger, deployments, tours of duty,
then accolades, parades, promotions.
Back at home, we
crumbled
in silence, while he was gone.
No one noticed,
not even him.
memorial
days

Lessons

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On the Sun’s day, she called for a walk,

so I obliged, and listened to the birds of Spring.

They sang to each other, but left me out of their songs.

My steps were slow, while walking, to know.

And back in the woods, so far that I was alone,

they began to come, each at a different place

on my path:  those that I fear most –

the snakes.  They wound right to me, looked through

my eyes, never stopping – though I could not

move.  They each wore different clothes, but none

feared me;  they approached.  Stopped.

Spoke their silence.  Froze me in the leafy moment.

Seven times, seven snakes, seven silences,

each of them with something to say.