Saturday, March 29, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Perfect Imperfection

For me
You are a perfect early summer day
Sky the steel blue of a morpho butterfly wing
Clouds so puffy they might have been stolen from the edge of a mirror in one of those ceramic Christmas village displays
The wind whispering just loud enough
The sun still only investigating around the edges 
The flowers knowing no trepidation or shyness or discrimination
At all and
All of it
Moving
Flowing
Touching
You aren't a postcard 
Or even a BBC documentary narrated by David Attenborough
You are the real thing
With
Ants
Ticks
Dirt 
Disease and 
Birds and
Deforestation
All there
Under that blue sky and
Those white clouds
Just like 
Me

The Response Is In The Context

Rain in the forecast
As I dust snow off of buds
A smile on my face

Extant Responsibility

The time to strip naked and run through the forest
Chasing imaginary deer and
Irish elk
Is
When you see more than
Ruminants
Extinct or extant
More than plants with elongated stems or trunks supporting photosynthetic leaves or branches at some distance above the ground
My advice would be to act quickly
Before
You are trapped by
Ticks
Houses peppered with windows
Sexual predators and
Insurance Co-pays and
Unfortunately
Before you can drive yourself to the woods



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Which are you?

Philadelphia
Chicago
Detroit
New York
London
San Francisco
Oakland
Ann Arbor
Madison
Tired
Busy
Foreign
Adorable
Religious
Gay
Which are which and
Which are you

Bus Ride

It is unseasonably cold outside
So i suppose I should be happy to be
Head counted and
On the yellow bus
Lunch bag next to me on the seat
The world bouncing by outside my window
But
I can't help wondering whether
It would be any easier now
To pull the arrows together
Drop the window and
Stick my head out


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sweet Dreams

Head on my shoulder
Hand on my chest
She's asleep
Me
I'm in a dream

Friday, March 21, 2014

Waking Up To Love

To love a blank canvas
Is
To love an ideal
To love a canvas
That has been robbed of possibility and promise
By your own brush strokes
Is
To love that look
You get in the morning
Over top of a steaming cup of coffee and
An egg trapped between two sides of an English muffin from
Someone
Who has already heard your dreams and
Your excuses



The Tenaciousness of Spring

plastic gloves, two pairs
and gardening gloves, one pair
dirt still under nails

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Getting Over Auntie Em

Ribbon cuttings are great
When they are playing out in your mind's eye
Sweat on brow
Nails in mouth
Hammer in hand
Done with your turn
As Auntie Em
Way way off Broadway
Now starring
At the Globe
As the Wife of Bath
In the performance that will earn you a turn
On the silver screen
As the queen
Any queen
Sword in hand
Ready to
Cut that ribbon
Yearning
To be forced
To start all over again



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Growing Backwards

Growing
Backwards
Into
The
Ground
It's what it feels like I might be fated to do
If I was a flower
A Daisy
Immune to drought and pest and errant boot
Yet
Dazzlingly unable
To understand
The age old cues
Trickling down to it
From time immemorial

I hate it when dogs try to predict the weather

There is a script for growing flowers and
It works
Rain or shine
Most of the time
As long as you and
The flower and
The soil and
The bugs and 
The kids and
The neighborhood dogs
All know your roles and
As long as one of those neighborhood dogs
Doesn't decide that it feels like a drought is in the air and
It might as well tear around in the garden bed
In a mad bit of 
Hardwired
Improvisation

Monday, March 17, 2014

questions in late winter

now it is too cold
later it will be too warm
when is it just right

sNOw

Too much of anything is
Too much
Try playing Ella Fitzgerald during every waking hour for a week and
You'll be begging for something
Anything
Else
Miles Davis
Buddy Guy
Debbie Gibson
Anything
Which is
Why
Right now
I'd take ninety degrees with
Ninety percent humidity
Or even
A good cold rain

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'll Give You My Huddled Masses

Choices
Are like
The huddled masses
They are impossible to avoid
Good to have around and
Frequently romanticized
But
Truth be told
Easier
When someone else takes them

Friday, March 14, 2014

Optimism

cold winds can come and
go along with ice and snow
Spring will still come though

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Of Spring, Last Gasps, and Inevitability

The old storm windows
Rattled all night in the cold wind
Driving us out and
Onto the futon in the study
I'm not sure where Spring was driven to
But tonight we are back in our bed and
Those original sliders are
Silently frosted over and
I am attempted to write in the frost
A reminder
To the winter wind
On this the eighteenth day of March
That we won the Battle of the Bulge

My Stuffed Turtle

He's green
He's white
He's got stuffing inside
He's fuzzy and furry and
Warm through the night
His shell is not hard
His legs don't pull in
So he really knows
The places we've been
For he's seen them himself
First with two beady eyes
Then when love picked one off
Just one did suffice
To soak it all up
As he's carried around
Fraying foot pads
Dangling two feet from the ground
In the car
In the wagon
Perched on my bike
In the library
At the beach
On a long hike
Out in the yard
Down by Grandma's pool
At the museum
Even learning at school
He's white and
He's green and
Whenever I'm seen
It's a good bet
One unlikely to fail
That sticking out from under my arm
You will always spy a little green tail

By Wyeth and Dad

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

of Swords and Plowshares

I wonder
If my son
Was trying to turns swords into plowshares
When he chucked his Nerf sword out of his second story window and
Into the backyard
Where I was taking down a small tree
One branch at a time
You might think he was simply trying to transform his nap into
Something more exciting
After all
He later proclaimed it his
"Most exciting nap ever" but
I was doing more than turning up the soil
When I used my shovel and my mattock
To probe the dirt right around the stump
Before turning in for the night
Which is why
Tomorrow during nap
I'll be on guard for "excitement" and
Transformational change



Monday, March 10, 2014

Drawing a Blank

A special note
That's what is printed at the top
Blank lines laying heavily underneath
Waiting
Expectantly
For you to give birth to something ...
Special
To fill them
To release them
To complete them
Which is why
Sitting
In the middle of my desk
Right now
In the very position it has always been
Like a bristlecone pine
In the middle of a Christmas tree farm
Is
A Special note


March 10th

returning with loot
leaving shoes in the garage
we have sprung ahead

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Midnight Feeding

Midnight feeding
For the cat and
Me
The cat has chicken and liver
I have toast and butter
In the office
In front of my computer
Where I contemplate an empty computer screen and
Lick crumbs off my fingers
Some crumbs
Seeming
Perhaps
More filling
Meatier
Than others

Friday, March 07, 2014

Moving

For sale 
Walls
Windows
Doors
Floors
Ceilings 
Wood
Steel
Copper
PVC
Glass
Carpet
Lead 
Asbestos
Concrete
Asphalt
Trees
Shrubs
Flowers
Dirt
Wanted
Most of the above
Especially 
Dirt

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

first warm day in march

Snow melts in the sun
Coats, hats, and gloves disappear
Memories grow short

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Do It Yourself Doublestuff

Take two sandwich cookies
Ease each one apart
Carefully coaxing the cream to stay only on one cookie
If either operation is unsuccessful
Consume the evidence of failure and
Begin again at the beginning
Make sure you have poured yourself a glass of milk
Cow, goat, soy, coconut, rice, or almond are all fine choices
But you will need something before you continue and
Continue you must
By selecting the cookies you have extracted from the cream and
Making them disappear
Next
Turn your attention to the cream lined cookies that remain
Hold one in each hand
Cream sides facing one another
Line them up and
Slowly close the distance between them
Mating the cream fillings
So that they seamlessly
If only briefly
Join as one
Set them
It
On the table and
Admire the perfection
The handcrafting
Then
While still in the moment
Deliberately
And
Without rushing
Bring an end to the cookies
And
Then the milk
And
Then
Finally
The moment

Monday, March 03, 2014

Heroism

Green
Round
Dimpled
Small
Numerous
Piled in a white porcelain  teacup with a blue accent line a quarter inch from the top
Steam still rising
As if there was tea inside
Ignored nonetheless
Intentionally
I place them closer and
Engage
In a long and rancorous debate
Joined from opposite sides of the yellow, white, green, and blue flowered tablecloth and
Ending in
The depositing of two of the dimpled green balls into the mouth
With jaw set
Eyes squinted
Grimace painted on
Not the stuff of ballads or
Twenty four hour emergency news coverage
Perhaps
But
If it looks like a pea and
Tastes like a pea
It must be a pea


Sunday, March 02, 2014

Ensure

Was she yet sixty years old
When her 1998 Chevy Malibu came off the assembly line in Wilmington
Did she buy it new
Or did she buy it later
When she surely must have been over sixty
This is what I am thinking about now
Hours later
In the moment
I was all about the empty ensure bottle
The one she picked up off the ground
On her way into the grocery store
Apparently on the chance that it might be full
Flinging it down when she realized it was empty
As a homeless man might have dealt with a cigarette butt that proved to have too little tobacco left to be useful
I wonder what flavor she was hoping for
Mixed fruit
Vanilla
Classic tobacco
Silvermist metallic
If I was forced to drive a 1998 Chevy Malibu I would have gone with dark torreador metallic
If I was imprisoned in Guantanamo and on a hunger strike
I would have wanted to be force fed with butter pecan
If I was a bum
I'd hope for half smoked menthol
I say
At forty
From my office
With a 2002 medium blue metallic Park Avenue parked in the driveway
That I bought a few years after it rolled off the assembly line in Hamtramck
Chewing on the draw strings of my sweat shirt
My long straggly hair falling down into my eyes
An almost empty glass of soy milk next to me
Calling on me to extract the last few drops
Assuring me
That no one is up to see me lick the last few drops off of the side of the glass and
Hold that and
My car
Against me





Saturday, March 01, 2014

The Least of These

The least of these
Hidden in the shadows
Awaiting death
Fearing life
In the land of just and right now
Regaled by words
Promises
Threats
Fears
and
Love of self
Rights
Us
No sir
Not the necessities of life
Not in our interest
Not in our homes
Not in our freedom
Not in our kingdom’s inheritance
Not now
Death will deliver thee
For He is better
We are selfish sinners
All of us created equally in that way
I will take what is mine
Leaving the least of it for
The least of these
The least of us