Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Prayer to the Rekindler

Rekindle the fire
when disbelief douses
with a fluid coldness.
Gather a handful of sparks
to ignite dry kindling.
The foundry flames,
a white-hot sun
liquefies the gold
and to the fiery surface
the dross buoyant.
The imperfections
melt away, the sins
the flaws are red hot
cleansed, remolded
a second chance
rekindled by fire.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Quiet At Daybreak…

this alphabetic monk
practices the silence of ink.
The notebook page
attempts collaboration
between author and alive.
A captured hymn -
A whispered wisdom -
A blessing from God’s lips,
like the lift of wind
moves the decorated
paper kite,

String Arrangement for Occasional Cornfield

The violin and viola
Took the melody
Ripped straight out of
Americana’s songbook.
The cello laid out the borders
Like the view of Midwest farms
From an airplane;
Deep, green, early cornfields.
The double bass
Took the heartbeat
As if Illinois, Iowa,
Michigan, Wisconsin
Is the driving engine
Of the entire nation.
The quartet’s rhythm
Drove strong
Like a four day road trip
Thru the center of eternity.

Through This Forest

On a Sunday morning
Like a sojourner
I blaze a brand new path
Across my brain’s synapse
With the reading of a poetry book
Black ink letters
On a white page landscape
I travel thru this forest
And come out changed
From beast to angel

A Small Part of Anatomy

I find it humbling
And puzzling
That a body part
Less then one foot
Can wreak daily havoc
Over ambition
Over art
Over spirit’s growth
And nothing else
Matters but satisfaction
Of flesh
Of lust
Of putting pen to paper

Curious Light Divining Rod

Under the canopy of tree leaves
Sunlight sifts downward
Like Christmas decorations
Stirring in my emotions
Like a sacred presence
Like an animal sermon
Like divining wonder

Musician’s Muse

On my morning walk
Through a Midwestern wood
I heard other worldly sounds
In my everyday ears
Orchestral fancies, a chorus ethereal
And a sylvan ensemble rehearsing earthen hymns
Composed on a parchment of breath and heartbeats
My spirit became a listening device
And my entire life an instrument


“I took the apple, you take the egg, please”
said the woman
as if the world were being born anew.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Just In Time For Easter 2006

Two Saturdays Before Easter Sunday

Seven a.m. grease stain
breakfast in a white wax paper bag
appearing like late night cable psychic’s prediction
sandwiched in between tasteless infomercials
Solitary donut
obediently sits sweetly beside
along for the ride,
on the passenger side
faux leather car seat.
An insanely tall sized dark roasted,
gymnastically balanced
between driver’s legs.
Slowly cooling like a secret,
warming ones groin
gas station coffee
like remembering a surprise, crack of dawn
lovemaking between wife and husband.

Roadway traffic as thin as ghost town rumors,
1991 automobile motoring to a Saturday destination
as smoothly as a perfectly written sentence.
Verb moving noun through a show and tell setting.
Most of today’s town folk still indoors
practicing early morning sleep dreaming.

Outside, keeping me company
grateful birds in new bud tree top perches
are allowed without fear
of dozing bedroom pets
to freely compose the jazz
of this fresh squeezed soundtrack…part Mingus – part Miles – part Jehovah praise.

Magically I imagine this happens for an audience of one,
my fat ego believing a spell cast solely for myself.
An uplifting choral music sung, as an April warm weather hymn.
Two lane country road giddy, traveling above the speed limit
I turn the car stereo down to silent,
making an attempt to memorize the melodies.
A symphony to cleanse a cares-of-the-world stricken soul,
like the mercy act of forgiveness.
Feeding me as a mother Robin feeds her hatchling,
bite-sized morsels of courage, of grace.
Enough pure food to face an undeserved bright clear day gift,
like an eloquently wrapped birthday present,
my very own divinely stitched quilted comfort,
spring first casual
come out to play, weekend day.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Crow Seeking Passage

crow seeking passage
into portals of dreaming
night sky, a man's mind

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Walt Whitman, Astronomy and the Broken Hearted

Walt Whitman, Astronomy and the Broken Hearted

Another fact like being born, dying and falling in love
is the fact that you will have your heart broken.
That’s just what humans do
love and break hearts.
As many billions of ways there is to get a heart broken
there is a trillion ways to attempt to mend one.

1) There is beer and booze, I know, they only muddy the waters.

2) There is television overdose, I know, I have the image
of a TV remote emblazoned on my eyeballs.

3) There is the self sacrifice of throwing your soul into
the arms of world religions, I know, though wiser
and a tad bit more at peace, I still sniffed after love’s behind.

There are only two stories that I know firsthand
of redemption from the dreaded broken heart.
Two stories that have been successful at salving
the wounded organ.

One was learned from Walt Whitman
that alone I can celebrate myself!

– And the other is that he threw his entire
humanity into an ongoing relationship
with the night sky and her heavenly bodies.

Possibly these two reasons
are what may have made their
broken hearts whole again

…and oh yes…

just maybe the very real fact
that they both found great women
worth their weight in gold and diamonds.

Matinee Prices

Full On Life at Matinee Prices

A half priced ticket to a cinema daydream
Popcorn and a cool drink
Thrown in for good measure
And holding the hand of your best girl
Playing like it’s the first date
Even thought we’re six years married.
No better deal then good love at matinee prices.
Except maybe the promise of forever
At bottom basement cost
Without selling your soul.

The Night Without Stars

The Night Without Stars

The night without stars
must be a crime
in some celestial court.
For a thud gray clouded sky
to veil such artistry
is a mockery to wonder.
To block out the Milky Way,
Orion’s Belt and winking Venus
is to close the gate on Eden’s Garden,

Why I Read A Poem

Being a poet, and here’s the shocker…I read a lot of poetry! Like others may read the daily news journals, or a favorite author's newest novel, I devour poems. I go to poems for the news from the ever-wonder filled universe, to connect to other human beings. I go to view life from the angle of Louises Gluck, Robert Bly, Ted Kooser, Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry and Lisel Mueller. Of course Ray Bradbury, Dan Chaon, Tennessee Williams and other fine short fiction writers color my world. Yet nothing compares to “having the top of my head torn off” by a poem. Last night before bed I was reading from “Risking Everything 110 poems of Love and Revelation edited by Roger Housden” and came across these lines from T.S. Eliot’s We Shall Not Cease:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

For me that is one reason I need poetry, it is like the refresh button on my computer. What is found in poems refreshes my awareness which has been deadened and dulled by the repeated waves of the mundane monotonies of life on earth. The unecesary necessaries of the day-to-day that weigh us down like stones in our pockets. Poetry for me is the kiss in the center of a bad dream, is the answered prayer in the middle of the struggle. Poetry’s power is to help me “know the place for the first time” however many millions of times I have visited there. “There” being the ability for me to observe another person expression of happiness or suffering as if it were my own, or to feel the presence of the natural world all around, knowing that I am a part of this living force. Not a god ruling above it. I can feel the whimsy of a child’s mind seeing existence anew. I can learn to crack the code of the invisible, which is what real life is all about. The invisible of love, faith, spirit, goodness, imagination and the river flow of eternity that flows under this brief bridge of flesh in which we daily stand. So please try it once, read a poem or a few and sand blast the veneer of a sluggish mind content on sleep walking through another vanilla day.