Thursday, July 31, 2014

Here, Now

He's in a wheelchair, bundled,
shoes with generous tread that
will go unused, and his voice
is slurred, as if coming from
a shell, the edges rounded off,
the sea's soft sibilance, and
I hear it resonate through
the chair's metal frame, as
he sweet-talks the willowy
rec therapist. Next, I feel
his weight, lean into the
handles to push him through
the parking lot, where he sees
the building's exterior for the
first time, and together,
we feel the spring breeze,
life again, blossoming trees.
Then we sit on a bench, eye level,
the familiar cadence of conversation
with his blue eyes bright, recalling
years of stories, each one opening
like a bud, new again--
and today is a seed opening,
another beginning, one that
will come to me, spirit willing,
a perennial memory, some spring
--or winter—far from now,
as sure as the warm air
and sun here, now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Re-creation

The room in which
I teach exists, surely,
but I'm miles from it,
even further in my mind,
as my bicycle's overlapping
circles of wheels, cranks
and gears turn smoothly
in the July sun. Later,
I'll enjoy the sounds of
wood and wire as I
play guitar out back.
As I ride, I think of how
every pedal stroke, every
strum or pluck marks some
incremental reset and
recovery from the
endurance activity
that is teaching, and I
add one little hyphen
and find that recreation
is re-creation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Enough to Move Worlds

gravity and attraction are
enough to move worlds
silently through the void
purely physics atoms
doing what they do
because we have
to call it something
energy and matter
each is also the other
there are things beyond our
knowing as it should be
even light only reaches so far
the tiny slivers we see are
fragments of something
bigger like how a kiss in the dark
sends up sparks like fireworks
behind closed eyes and
warmth floods in dust of
stars taken shape summoned
up from primordial ooze
eons of living things saying
YES and the light behind
your eyes is the same energy
occult and charged deep in
the coils of the heart becoming
and willing itself out

Monday, July 28, 2014

Here, Not Here

Part of me is orbiting far out,
waves and vibrations playing
some cosmic chord--
another part is locked in tight, buried deep
and dark, some rare element in my heart
or elsewhere, something I know
by heart, by feel only, something
I'm guarding very carefully.
Two aspects of the same thing,
shaped by pressure and space.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Untitled Tanka

I crave a northbound
road to unhaunted landscapes,
worries left behind,
to where a soft wind rises
over and quiets my mind.

Relics

The highway sign flashes
caution caution caution
and pavement is ripped,
coming up in chunks,
vehicles funneled tightly,
as I return to my childhood
home, and signs in my mind
flash as well. I reminisce in
the fading daylight on the
porch where Dad sat in
his last days, as summer
now wanes slightly. Next
day, Mom and I cart off
a truckload to auction, high chairs
and other relics of someone
I was and somehow still am,
an emptying house, another type of
season ending, the parting out
of things, outward effects of
life lived well, but not always
easily. We leave our lot behind,
knowing we carry other things
burnished with the wind and
water of age, carry them in us,
shining more brightly than
any polished antique.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Prisoner and Jailer

While you are the prisoner
in your cramped, damp cell,
you are also the warden, the jailer,
the one with the keys hanging close,
their sweet music reaching in
past your own locks, the sound of
what if, of freedom, of YES.