Late October

Late October in Philadelphia—

red leaves playing a broken song
& the breeze sighs a hollow tune
the nights are growing ever long
cast under each yellow harvest moon

sleeping folks with tired eyes
study each color in dying hues
towers scrape the rusted sky
& my mind drifts free to thoughts of you

recalling fondly fireside scenes
with talk as light as rising smoke
vivid as every new urban dream
that any foolish lover has ever spoke

with the birth of each shortened day
every foolish lovedream must find its end
still the shoveled bushels of my mind say
that autumn will find this city again

PASSION

I. GOLGATHA

caught, Lord,
there’s no escape

place of a skull—
this hill from where
my help comes

caught, Lord,
there’s no escape

dragging the weight
of all humankind
on your beaten shoulders

caught, Lord,
there’s no escape

remember me
when you reach golgatha
& always thereafter

caught, Lord,
there’s no escape
(no escape)

II. CRUCIFIXUS

That huge cross in the night…

Quiet mutterings across the crowd
& forgiveness from the cross
Even among thieves—criminals—
paradise awaits, claiming its own
The eyes of marble, once Jerusalem-fixed,
behold your mother

“Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?”

This well spring of living water is dry
& thirst abounds
The Word speaks triumph
while alone, nearly finished, on the tree
Darkness prevails & evil remains
the spirit of Christ now heavy stained

…quivers gently with its dying god

III. STREPITUS

Savior, who
tore the curtain, I’ve
realized the weight of your cross,
everlasting life.
Please mark me one of yours
in paradise
tomorrow as you rise.

Until then, a
Soldier of the cross

Portrait of a Lady in Blue

Your faint smile—curved lips of plumb hues—growing fainter
            Demonstrates distant beloved fond memories
            All that you are, have been, & want to be is in your own hand
            Take me there with you—show me your fragile life
 Chiseled jaw continuing clear up to the most questioning eyes & careful ears
            Your dress slips away, though each insecurity holds on
            I have loved all of you time & again, through every blindfold
            Take me there with you (again once more)
Independent muscular figure that haunts each & every dream with lust
            When I have called your name, you have not heard me
            And in your quest of fulfillment, your moon has waned
            Take me there with you—where the gods sleep

upon waking

upon waking
i realized that it was all a dream
that same foreign dream
which every 20-something has
drowning in their new adulthood

what a simple, sweet dream
that of love&life (loss too)
one of those long, wide dreams
that run straight into the dawn
each unique, yet expressing
the same basic need

when it was all over
i smiled—knowing that
next time i can adventure
into the same (different) dream
and perhaps smile again
upon waking

Dancing

You can tell who a person is (their sole existence in this world) by how they dance

See directly into the light of their soul through these movements

Childish dreams & juvenile worth with diamonds on the souls of their shoes

Sophisticated swing with comfortable company—got the world on a string

& beaten-down jagged stomping to the race is on

Each movement different & each telling its own tale of life&love in itself

I have learned

I have learned to conquer

sorrow with a smile

& anger with a laugh

 

Autumn settles in

on this lifechapter

Bringing its sullen hues

of death(betrayal)

 

Yet my lifebook

is not complete

Still being written,

I smile & laugh

 

Many leaves have fallen

& still more are dying

But I myself am alive,

laughing(hysterical) at death

 

I have learned to conquer

sorrow with a smile

& anger with a laugh

morning on the big sandy river

The mountains weep thin wet tears every morning
crying for the memory of nostalgia—
soup beans & cornbread
tincan targets
momma’s grand ole opry listenin’

This true hillbilly nostalgia
captures each new generation as the last
with lunchpail talk
& old time, regular baptist, religion

“Looks like heaven,
all that fog liftin’ off the river”

Heaven is home here
& all the children know
Jesus loves ‘em
(momma told me so)

Coal soot stains this innocence
with the black death
yet that fiddle cornbread
& tent revival fervor
this is (“has been a long while”)
our home

blue

everybody wears blue

in the summer

yet you wore red

& when autumn rolled in

on a heavy rain cloud

that red linen dress

matched its bitter hues

& i was left to beg

running around crooning

anthems in your scarlet

imagination

while you strode

with long confident legs

aside each falling leaf

towards the new blue

horizon

The poet falls silent

Fallen for a third time

The poet falls silent

At the foot of his own cross

(Carried with fear & trembling) 

 

The poet falls silent

After a lifetime of speaking

Incredibly slow with fear

Hog-tied and twisted into joy

 

There was joy

But even so not enough

To captivate the hearts&minds

Of anyone with ears to listen

 

The poet falls

Silent  

Insomnia

Cloaked in the thick

Spring Fog ——

this island latenightsways

in the cold Atlantic

(246am)


I myself am hungover

yet still haven’t slept

just as all the rest

(comforted minds)

stale beer memories

sleep&dream


And from my lonely

Drunkhousetop, to my surprise

Brahms op. 83 swells —

for you, in (silent)

gratitude


Mark me, Good Lord of my sleep,

God of the raging coast,

one of your saved ones

cast away, ever drunk as I might be,

on this great wink of

Eternity

where even the stars bend

towards your laugh

HOT TEA

The gulf of mexico lets out

a loud “YELP” & it hangs

in the thick warm air

like a question

 

I could spend all my spent

in southern mississippi  & still

never wanna leave— 

          HOT TEA, 

               a titty sack,

                    all-you-can-eat

 

That time after dusk

when the sky is a deep backlit

blue (simmering) 

wanders easily through

 

At night the whole damn world

SHINES—flashes bright red— 

 & dances in wild tilt-a-whirl color

          them old boys

               on 38th

                    never miss a beat

 

This same song goes on&on&on:

haze-filled, fucked-up, carried-on

 & with all its sweaty dancing

alive

 

Returning Late

When evening has fallen

     hard and weighted

     across this small town

And Main Street silent

     except for a few trucks

     along the state highway

When the air grows damp

     and wraps its whispy fingers

     around my cold bare skin

I stand in the middle of the road

     ponder the day and night alike

     and watch— 

 

the old yellow farmhouse, 

window panes with chipping paint

and birds nest in the space

     just above the front porch

(rocking chairs sway in the night breeze) 

 

the ancient black oak, 

a giant towering slightly to the right

and threatening mother

     with the same regular nightmares

(branches stiff and stubbornly unmoved) 

 

the great wide open sky,

filled with brightest watching stars

keeping their glowing vigil

     constant across this small place

(down on my home)