I, who have known you,
now only meet a stranger
who pulls layers over the child
trying her feet in shoes overlarge.
A bitter essence has been mixed in,
stirred and absorbed into her flesh.
Her eyes and touch hold
a sliver of ice, a dagger
poorly concealed — for me.
a smiling photograph
recalls tender days
and a green friendship
that like the snowdrop
was most beloved
after a hard frost
alone, I find the oceanic feeling
which philosophers long rhapsodized of
like quicksilver swallowed and sunk
a heavy stone within me
that thins to blood and courses fire;
to be is to realize
Touch of silver in moonlit space
Cobwebs, darkness, lines to trace
Ages that have worn you well
And lingered in places where they dwell
Smell of parchment worn and thin
Moisture, dryness, and moist again
Rends you till joints ache and refuse
The simplicity of a once youthful move
Yet, warmed by fire and cooled by ice
Fingers that have tempered nice
For touches both sure and gentle
Along thin shoulders just to settle
In camaraderie and love, born of the fear
We hadn’t expressed ourselves to those dear
For we all, travelers, will move on from here.
Spahr Plops and I were having a conversation about my poem, “Sink or Swim,” and he mentioned he would have focused on a different aspect of the imagery. I suggested he write his own poem exploring that and he did not disappoint!
Your attention please.
This is NOT going to be an ode to Books.
In Books, I mean all books in General
That Writers mistakenly wax poetically about
As if they were one big happy family.
Let me tell you now —
Writers are prejudiced people
And happy families without drama
You wouldn’t read that, now would you?
So among the Books, we have our biases and our darlings
That nasty one that reminds us of our childhood bully
The one we never got over (so we find someone just like them)
And the monster that we make the sign of evil against —
Warding off WRITER’S BLOCK happens more often than you think.
We also pay lip-service to the CLASSICS
Because the CLASSICS are the literary Intelligentsia
And if we disagreed we would be branded stupid
Because only dumb illiterates revolt against the Intelligentsia
And the Freemasons, but that’s another story.
Some of us don’t even like to read very much
But we write leaps better when we do
So we brainwash ourselves into loving every tome, encyclopedia, and treatise.
The greatest of us learn to embrace the YELLOW PAGES.
It’s an ongoing effort, so we sometimes say these things aloud.
(To better hear ourselves. Because we have EGOS, although we pretend we don’t.)
It’s always a lark when our readers believe us.
cities wet after rain
and a pain that bruises
gently on touch