Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Progress

Anachronistic embolism
     in the eyes of
           all the blind.
We hold the times
           unkind.

Rich nostalgic symbolism
      in the sighs of
            all the dead.
We hold the words
            unsaid.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wet Bird

Hail, fair robin - we are gladly met
though your feather-clothes are sopping wet
from all this rain that is falling yet -
so hurry along to home.

Why stand you there with curious eye
getting pelted with water, refusing to fly?
Must you wait until your wings are dry
before you hurry along to home?

No, you can't come with me inside
although the door is open wide.
I care not how much you chide
this is not your home.

Now the rain has stopped, or can't you see?
You can therefore lay off staring at me.
Shake the water from your wings and be
hurrying along to home.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I suppose

I suppose that someday
it will come to pass
that even sunlight
will be considered crass.
"Because," they will moan,
"it is much too bright
and we are rather
content with night."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kirby finally succumbs and visits a psychiatrist


Taking a deep breath, Kirby began to describe to the doctor
all of the intense anxieties he had been having lately:
"I was peeling an orange to eat and discovered that
underneath the rind it was actually a green apple
with flesh that was soft, like uncooked dough.
Inside the core, instead of seeds, there were little
golden badger teeth which fell off onto the floor
and wriggled around like fly-larvae until they found
the crevices in the hardwood. Soon, budding red
leaf-shoots grew up out of the floor and filled
the kitchen with pretty orange and purple pansies
as big as my face. The flowers opened gloomy eyes
and requested a late breakfast of fresh chicken-hearts.
I opened the refrigerator door, startling an old badger
who was eating oranges and looking for his teeth. I turned
around and saw that the hungry flower-faces were now framed
with hair and beards of yellow flames which danced wildly
in the winds stirred up by all of the mouse-mosquitoes flying in
through the kitchen window. I grabbed a fly-swatter and..."
"Okay Kirby, I think I've heard enough," Dr. Hutchens said mildly.
"I'm going to call in a prescription for you that will help with all this."
That was what he said anyway. What Kirby took away, though, was
that the good doctor was going to send out an exterminator that day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Elsie Hawkins

Elsie was a little girl who happened to grow old.
Her pale blue eyes retained the same sparkle
they had when, back in her school-days in Wiltfordshire,
she would chase the boys over some feigned outrage
and, upon catching them, would kiss them until they turned crimson.

The wrinkles that now covered her face would pose a difficulty
to all but the most astute cartographer.
They had a tendency to become little overflowing river valleys
when, upon her hearing old Billy Cotton songs on the phonograph,
her eyes would release quiet tears over remembered joys.

When approached by her little great-grandchildren,
she would smile a summer’s worth of sunshine
and clasp each one around the face with her crooked hands.
Nearly singing she would say: “Oh Robert [or Sara or Peter or Caroline],
Granny Elsie loves you so so much!”

She would hug them each until they started to squirm
and then bequeath a peppermint a piece
before they all tumbled away laughing.
She would gaze off in their direction with a lingering smile
long after they had disappeared elsewhere in the house.

beautiful and bittersweet

beautiful and bittersweet
good folk I will never meet
passing by me in the street
at the brightness of high noon

such good fortune slipped away
the sun set on another day
no gilded hope could make it stay
at the brightness of high noon

head on pillow in the night
blankets wrapped around me tight
in dreams I walk in golden light
at the brightness of high noon

Friday, May 11, 2012

Alexey Leonov

Cosmonaut buoyant
in the womb of space,
caressed by darkness
and warm solar kisses,
tethered to his Voskhod,
the most attentive of mothers,
while the luminous world below
throbs with life and awaits,
with gentle and open arms,
the newborn child.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When first we met

[From The Recollections of John William Llewellyn, c. 1933]

When first we met, you were selling
bunches of wildflowers along
the dusty Manchester Road. I felt
something akin to sanctifying grace
in the bright felicity of your smile.
You and your little sisters were asking
a ha'penny for your bouquets, and when
I placed five pence in your pretty hand,
you drew a quick breath and looked at me
with confused delight. The giggles of your sisters
as they passed around the coins was like
a tree full of sparrows in the dewy morning.
You thanked me more with your eyes than with
your whispered words. You then looked down
at your boots which were stirring the dust.
Your mother called from down the way
and laughing you all hurried, hand in hand
and with white dresses fluttering, to show
her your small fortune. You waved back to me
and smiled. Tipping my hat, I resumed
my own travel, carrying away the little bunch
of daisies and bluebells, cowslips
and cornflowers, tied up with a green ribbon,
that is still sitting here on my bureau-table
these twenty-five weary years later.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fossils

Many of the older graves here
are marked with serene
and stone-winged maidens
who gaze out upon springtime
swelling in the great Necropolis,
lovely fossilized Muses
who, though grimly mute,
never fail to inspire.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

cab ride in the rain

a brilliant and teary-eyed
mingling of passing city lights
shimmers in muted shifting auras
through the backseat passenger windows,
where blurry buildings weep together
and streaks of watery crimson-flames
meet sleepy cerulean waterfalls
that slip across crystalline lenses
to escape the bleary neon night