oh, what of the clouds building over Mt. Evans…
here at the light on County Line at Quebec
the sky is clear
the sun is etching new lines ’round my eyes
and for this thirty seconds
nothing in the world is off kilter
…oh, quit your honking!
This is the truth I have come to know:
people are not dead until they are dead,
and maybe not then.
You cannot talk over them, pretend they are not there.
You cannot plan without them, assume they don’t care.
They are here! They are here, and fully aware.
So quiet the panic as best as you can,
sit down, shut up, take hold of their hand.
Just at this moment it is not about you.
Cry if you must, wail and weep,
but sit there, and listen, and live in the moment,
while they are here living with you.
How can it be?
How can it be
that that thin, thin body
can hold four liters of fluid?
Four liters of fluid!
There is no room!
Certainly there is no room…
You see, it is not just the liver that petrifies,
but also the hearts of those watching,
praying for that one miracle,
one is all that is needed,
before his body
is too weak
Blast this gift
It calls me from the living room
Spread out in bits and pieces
Initially heaped and piled
Now beginning to fall in place
Driving me mad
Usurping my time
It grabs me on my way to the coffee maker
Pulls my eyes to that notched edge I sought for hours last evening
It was right there
How could I have missed it
This does not match the image on the box
Its colors trick the eye
Changing nobs to points
Clouds to puddles
Depending on light and shadows
From back windows
And pole lamps
It feeds my foibles
Finally total satisfaction at tearing it completely apart
And sending it to the next junkie
Drove up I-70 to Georgetown
where I lived in ’85
the air was crisp,
the shops were filled,
the hills were still alive.
I shuffled through Ophelia’s
craved bone china white and blue
old books loved
toys well played
and dragon puppets, new.
The Shoppe Internationale
beckoned as of old…
Bright blue glass trimmed with gold.
Crossed the street to use the lew
in the warm and toasty library,
of sailor’s yarns,
and others made me tarry.
Drove back ‘longside the deep cold lake,
thinking of thirty years past…
but, does no good
to think too much,
can bring you down too fast.
So just there, ’round ’bout Downieville,
I turned off the frontage road
and joined the traffic
put down my punishing load.
Turned on the great new stereo
in my great new true blue Mini,
turned up the tunes
and sang along,
Made it home with smiles a plenty.
No, Christina Rossetti (1830 -1894), I cannot agree
that life so dark and heavy every day must be.
It cannot be so —
No! No! and No!
If I thought your grim words were true,
deeply cutting, killing, through and through,
I would force my last breath to loudly employ
my lungs to expunge every ounce of pure joy
into a shrill, startling scream to God’s highest Heaven
for angels to gather the honey, flour, and leaven…
all sweetness, all goodness, everything light,
refashioning the world to wondrous and bright;
replacing all calloused, scarred, torn hearts
with sweet sugared, tasty, delicate tarts,
and insisting each person consume their fair share,
’til only loud laughter and love dwell there.
(after a lunch of Turkey Tetrazzini and fifteen minutes reading Christina Rosetti’s (1830 -1894) Goblin Market and Other Poems…I tire of misery and mouldering death on these bright days of Fall, 2016)
He is driving now,
Huffing at his mother as he stomps back in the house for whatever it was he forgot.
I cannot resist asking his mother, as I walk by, if he is the famous artist who at the age of five or six sold his oil paintings of trees from their porch one hot summer- gloppy, green leaves, thick, brown trunks and rigid, yellow rays of sunlight squeezed on the canvass- my favorite hanging to this day in my basement amidst other treasures.
That has been a while, she chuckles, pulling on her sunglasses as she smiles, looking back.
Just when did he grow up?
She is tall now,
And winning pageants with her dazzling smile, mile long legs, and elegant demeanor.
I bring out my pictures of her with pigtails and no teeth, recalling how we would sit on my porch having tea parties while waving at her mother from across the street; and how she just knew her daddy would love a silly little dried beef glass with stars around the top she took from the cupboard, wrapped with paper and ribbon, then ran home to give it him.
Her mother laughs remembering how she “yoved yipstick” at age three, and the color “lello.”
When did she grow up?
And how is it we have not changed?
Did you feel it, handsome, young runner calling good morning as you floated over the path through the open space in this glorious morning sun?
Did you notice, laughing couple nodding hello as you shuffled along the gravel walk?
And you, focused, sweating, racing woman, never losing a beat, yet still finding breath for a fast “morning!” How about you? Were you aware?
I plugged in as you passed.
I swallowed your smiles,
inhaled the air you exhaled,
stepped into the power vibrating in your footprints,
merged with your joie de vivre,
and thanked God for the power in community.
Blasted purple eye!
I meant only to arrive,
not fly up the steps