Poetry Archives I-J-K

In Other (than) Words

My poems don’t want to be written today

They want to be covered with rhinestones
lace
silk flowers
frilled and embellished and paired
with the perfect shoes

They want to be put in jars
sliced
spiced
preserved and labeled and opened
on an out-of-season evening

They want to be dug up
and rearranged
and sweated through

The stories I have to create
today
don’t want to be written down
 
 
Internetting in haiku

inflammatory
words on Patrick Stewart’s face
facts do not matter
 
 
In the Court of the Songbirds

Atropos in the court of the songbirds
her shears sentence without judgment
leaving a blue green broken blur
neck snapped and wings denying
futile motion etched an imperfect circle
last desperate effort at my feet
to lift itself from where it would die
as its kin sang overhead

Dictate of Lachesis crossing time
that was the day it would be drawn
to the shining tempt of its own reflection
and on that day I would be there
witness in the court of the songbirds
to a thing I could comfort but not save
would never know but to pass
gently to death’s hand from my own

In sunlight and sorrow I fought against
the thing I wished to not understand
that Clotho could not be renounced as careless
her work not shoddy or distracted
her single thread binding soul to flesh
would never be broken before its time
and if at its end its kin still sing
its measure will be honored well

Drawn back to another time
another day in the court of the songbirds
where seemingly reasonless justice was done
where another thing would not be saved
where another thread had found its end
passed to death’s hand from beneath my own
and though he was not of their kind
they sang for him when I could not

Reflected in the now glassy eyes
of the tiny feathered thing in my hand
were all the moments I could not hold
all the things that would fly beyond my sight
as I wished to still sense the wrongness of it
wished to believe the Fates had lied
but knowing deeper than my voice could carry
what simply must and would be done

A witness then to scroll and shears
to single threads that would entwine
would weave and coil and feel as one
I moved beyond the shadow of Atropos
back into the light where I still belonged
that single step feeling a thousand miles
from the place I had kept myself too long
back to the call of the songbirds

(in loving memory of Alan
July 23, 1945 ~ May 19, 2001)
 
 
In Your Pocket

Carry me with you
a coin in your pocket
tender of a forgotten realm
warm against your leg
I would curl
devalued and unseen
occasional brush of your hand
wiping away tears and blood
from the teeth of my company
in this darkened place
cuts from the keys
you throw in beside me
for doors you choose to open
 
 
I   Wish I Were What She Thinks I Am

There is a space
on the floor
where the sunshine falls
when I open the door
at 9 in the morning
and the sound
of the blinds being drawn back
is followed by
the sound of four feet
emerging from the blankets
and the darkness
of the laundry room
with a pause in the hall
for a stretch and a shake
before making her way
to that space on the floor
where she will sprawl
belly up to the sunshine
eyes closed
but ears ever alert
for that damn UPS man
and there she’ll stay
until 10
when the sunshine moves
and it’s time to get on with things
like breakfast
and there are days
when the sun doesn’t come
when I open the door
and draw back the blinds
and nothing falls
on that space on the floor
and she looks at me
with confusion
followed by certainty
that if I just close the door
and open it again
I’ll bring the sunshine back
because that’s what I do
as the Bringer of Breakfast and Sun
and I have no way to explain
that sometimes my powers
are limited
to just getting out of bed
 
 
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