The ThawSpring slipped into my bed
one night last week,
with a giggle, and a peroxide perm,
and too much eye-shadow.
Not my type at all,
you'd think, but the next day
I woke up with warm feet
ready for dancing.
I've thought it through so often
(after all, there is so little
else to do in this gray land)
wondering what it was
that made him turn. He'd
never doubted, up till then,
his music or himself.
Who was it that he didn't trust?
Hades, surely, easy answer -
such a simple jest to send
him walking out unfollowed
cheated, but not knowing
Or did it suddenly occur to him
in those last steps, that after all
he'd never asked me?
Spoke to Charon, yes, at length,
and sung to Cerberus, but never
said to me, "My love, will you
come with me back into the light?"
And I have wondered, here, so often,
what I might have said. "It's kind
of you to care so much, to miss me so,
but understand - the scene was played,
the adder struck. How can I now
exhume my life, annul my death,
and make it all to do again?" Would I
have felt so then, so fresh
from life, and him? Could he have felt
in those last steps, the doubt
I had not raised?
No matter. It is done.
I have so often fingered through
the moments, they are wearing
flat and thin. Even his eyes,
in that last look, when, turning,
he beheld me, saw his error, saw
his fate: even those eyes
are losing power to move me.
Soon, now, I'll go
to the third river,
to the drink of sweet forgetting,
to whatever waits beyond;
and when I take that road, I know
I won't look back.
Mt. Ranier, Almost
there's lots of rocks
and ice up there, glaciers
sitting on simmering mud
that will sweep us all
into the Sound someday.
This is something else again,
from the late-summer heat-haze:
the ghost of a mountain,
by an urban raccoon
napping under a dumpster,
dreaming of the good old places,
where nothing went "bang" or "vroom"
and the fish leaped out of the streams
right into your mouth.
(thanks to Jeffery)
Waiting for the Visigoths
Rome didn't fall in a day, you know!
Oh no, it went down slow. So slow
I bet they never even
Saw the cracks.
The hollow legions kick butt in the circus,
Distracting the masses from just how far
The stale bread doesn't go
And the Ceasars, up there fiddling away:
Songs about new world orders and
a bridge to the future.
I don't listen to them anymore.
I'm straining my ears for distant hoofbeats,
Tommorow drawing a bead
On our crumbling walls.
Maybe I'll even leave
The gates ajar.
I was never so mad in my life!
I can't even have my own funeral -
In you both jump
Staking your claims
At the top of your lungs
Duking it out
As to who loved me more.
Don't talk to me about love!
Where was either of yours
When I needed it?
All caught up
In your Kingdoms and Colleges
Plotting your schemes.
So go on, get on with it.
Dish out your poisons,
Fall on your blades.
But try to remember
My brother, my father
Prince and King and Queen -
I was the one who loved all of you,
And it wasn't enough to save anyone,
Least of all me.
Awakening of a Night-Owl
Crawling from a cotton mine I come,
Protesting, groaning, covering my eyes,
To find the day too far advanced. My numb,
Still-weary brain thinks it too soon to rise.
I have seen the morning turn the sky pearl gray,
Before the first dawn colors start to show,
And having talked or worked the night away,
I finally to my darkened chamber go.
My nature's clock is so contrary set,
At noontime, when the working day's half run,
At last I yawn and stretch, all dreams forget,
At length unbar my window to the sun.
If you seek brilliance, wit, or wisdom here,
Ask me at midnight, when my head is clear.
Novembering (Nov 1998)
This dark, uncertain season
My thoughts are drawn
To sharp edges, fine lines:
icelike glass shards over a puddle,Anything that will ct the clouds,
whip-thin branches, bare to the winds,
the razor-blade waiting inside the apple
Peel back the fog -
If it takes my face
With it, so be it.
As riotous autumn decays
Into grays and duns,
I wait for the punch line,
Hoping it stings.
Why I Always Cut Through the Park (Nov 1998)
Three things demonstrate
The bat on the baseball,
The child in the fountain,
The dog running after the squirrel.
and a haiku for good measure
cold races madly
up the concrete corridors:
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