Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Beat
By the heat of night I walk with a computer in hand.
Its web pages stripped of hate.
Oh mercy,
I have a picture of a man
Taken with a camera I shot years ago,
It shines in a black and white with film made no more
Oh pity us all,
He was old; sat sideways in a chair;
his beard was white, his hair long and disheveled
a pet snake circled round his neck;
it was thick and tropical with a
tongue that slithered, like web pages of hate
Oh help me and you,
I scanned his image; uploaded it to my hand
This night I am infected by a snake's slithering tongue
Thru the night I warn of his devil tail:
Oh help us all, 
Is this the poison in our veins?
Most turn away,
What is the secret message in their heart?
Do they have the rhythm of love, or a rattler's fate?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The sun beams hot, brightness to the blue sky
It reflects off mirrored glass; held by steel shaped by tall men
The sun reflects off concrete sidewalks,
It blinds me

I got too much light in my eyes
The piercing sound of sirens, shifting waves go by
I can't hear
I got too much sound in my ears

Where is home?
I'm a man, but like a lost boy I can't see my way
Like a lost boy, I can't hear my mother's voice

The sun blinds my eyes
The sound of sirens, shifting waves go by
I wonder whose mother is crying
I wonder whose boy is dying

Pick up the sick
Pick up the wounded
Take them home?
Take them to a steel tower to die
Too much light in their eyes

The passing of years
I am blind
I am deaf
I try to grab my mother's hand
Take me home,
but I suffocate in the urban air
I imagine life expanding my lungs
I breath like a lasting stream
The shade of tall trees cooling me
I see my vision mother in Angel wings
She says you are somewhere
Home is the place you want to be

When night falls I go home,
I draw a bath and imagine that is where I am

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Slow Hands
"Hey, young friend!"

I made up my life as I went along...
Like free verse from page to page,
Like free jazz from a different age...

I made up my life as I went along...
To you, my young friend, do as you please...
If you want, Howl as a Beat poet under a winter's moon
Listen to Coltrane, close your eyes and transend his Crescent sound,
You'll feel free. But trust me, freedom without love is no freedom at all.
Love a life you can make up as you go along
You are young, you think you got time
But time fool's you, like fake gold in a desert mountain
Like slow hands on a clock,
Long time seduces you...
one decade drifts to another,
till forever sleep steals your eyes, swipes your last breath
Don't follow a plan,
Don't map out your life,
Sometimes you'll walk in blindness
Sometimes you'll listen in silence
There are days like a pale colour,
You'll want to give up,
But when you cool your feet in a clear stream,
you'll watch small fish touch your skin,
you'll curl your toes, nudge a smooth rock,
watch the muddy floor rise in a cloud and settle peaceful to the ground
You'll see once more
You'll hear again
Then you'll know you made up a life as you went along!!
Oh, rise up to yourself!!
No reason to fear that forever sleep; nor your last breath
See, you are like me, we made up a life as we went along...
Howl to that moon, my young friend!!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Shape and Colour
I've got a closet filled with old clothes.
And a leather suitcase stuffed with letters from women I met at sea.
Once I was a handsome sailor. I'd cross deep waters and land in wanting ports. A girl would love me, would plead to come aboard forever, for all our tomorrows together.
At night under the ocean's moon, alone I would sail away.
The Northern Cross was always my friend.
The Southern Cross was stormy weather.
I am old, a landlubber who only dreams the sea.
Years ago I could kiss their Spanish lips.
Now my short breath burns from rolled cigarettes.
My dry thirst whetted by cheap whiskey.
Like an ancient mariner, I got tales to tell, but the smiling senoritas can't hear.
I don't believe in no mystic.
I don't feel any muse can hear me.
I look in the mirror. The old clothes don't fit so well. They no longer have shape and colour, the style is long gone. And paper yellows over time.
Sail away' together to the Southern Cross in stormy weather.
I write a story:
Then I drink and weep for lost ships and women who wait no more for an old sailor's love.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Help Him to Fly
In the darkness of a city night, I remember him lying there.
Sick by dope,
Needle marks in his arms,
He tried to rise up, but fell back down.
The sidewalk was his homeless bed,
The cracks in the concrete, his unconsecrated church
Oh, those strangled veins, like human rope that frayed his breathing soul
I wondered if he would ever rise up,
Maybe flap his wings,
like an angel or a great bird
But he was sickened by dope,
and it would get colder soon,
The snow would be his blanket
The broken needles his tomb stone
Let us pray: Help me make a blood stained cross,
just don't touch the sharp edge
A cut, a drop of blood from man to man,
from person to person can be a deadly sin
Maybe, oh maybe, an angel or great bird will help him to fly...see himself from above.
Together perhaps we too can rise up! Rise up hereafter to see what warmth, in shelter, in loving arms? In the athiesim of time?
Let us pray: Help me make a blood stained cross.
Carry his needles. Untie his strangling veins
Put a coat under his fallen head
Another lay a coat as a blanket across his still breathing soul
Together we shiver. Together we feel cold
After time the Angel and Great Bird are here!!
Take him first, and then help us to fly!
In the darkness of a city night, I remember him lying there, and how in my morning dreams our lives took flight.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

I walked along Young St. when old hippies yearned openly for the music of Leary's pretended waves:
Some danced;
Some shook old beads betrayed by love;
Some carried grey plastic in their hair;
Others blinked weary eyes; with skin worn like rivulets of dried blood;
Others spoke acid words and sang songs of peace with strings of wind and symbols of drifting sand

We are only a few years apart, me and old hippy friends;
But these feet have never worn sandals;
Instead I walk with heavy army boots,
Not that I make a political stand
I seek peace, too
But thick souls are good for my gait
Strong leather takes time to break in,
But once they are shaped by your feet,
a walk is easy and free;

Please forgive me, when I say farewell;
It is now, and I have to walk in this unearthed home,
I have no roof over my head
Each cloud is my address,
Every blue sky is my ceiling
The sun is my neighbor
The brother moon is my friend

I got thick soles on my boots,
Heavy leather fits snugly on my feet
I have an old canvas backpack,
But no tin pot on my head.

Have I the spirit of a Johnny Appleseed?
Am I as wishful as a benefactor of a wandering heart should be?
I stand on a street corner, waiting for a Young light to change:
green to red, and yellow in between.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

In the early morning I drifted from your heart. As if I were grey smoke weaving free through clouds of fog.

I could hear you sleeping—gentle, peaceful; the rhythm of your lungs drawing as a lullaby. You told me once your father was an outlaw—he died in prison. But you never told me much more. Where he’d been. What he did. Only that he was always on the run. Maybe you masked you family hurt with kindness. Or maybe there was no hurt at all and kindness was what you are. That is why I left you in quiet; because I never knew for sure if you would turn back the clock.

I carried my canvas backpack and stepped slowly on the hard wood. I thought I could feel your sleeping breath as I softly closed the screen door. The autumn dawn was cool. A dew settled on the grass.  Soon your summer windows would need to close against the winter air, and I wouldn’t be there to place a ladder along your wall—but you had brothers; a male cousin to help.

As I walked along the roadway gravel I foresaw you awakening alone— your plaintive hand stroking the empty half of our bed.

I made it to the two lane black top that ran along your home. The country highway seemed to shimmer like a frozen creek--as if I could skate away on thin ice breaking behind my feet. I rested my heavy backpack against my right leg. My out stretched thumb lured a car.

An old Buick parked beside me. A large man with half a grin told me to get in. I sat with my heavy pack in the back seat.

“Where you headed to?” the man asked.

“Anywhere is OK.”

“Oh. Well I’m going to the city. It should take me a couple of hours. I can drop you off there.”

“That’ll be fine. I can catch a Greyhound bus out of town.”

The car lurched forward onto the highway. I caught my bag as it slid along the seat

“You from around here?” he asked.

“Born and raised.” I said.

“So why you leaving? None of my business, of course.”

“Me and my girl drifted apart.”

“Ah, I see. I was young once.”

I was going to ask if the car was stolen. But I saw the tag on his vest turned up against the back of his neck. I knew the fat man didn’t have what it takes to be a thief. That despite what he said about his youth, he never stole a woman's heart.

It was six a.m., and the fat man left me at the Greyhound station. As I shut the car door I thanked him over the sound of idling buses and belching clouds of diesel that made my eyes tear up and my throat burn.

The next bus to the coast would leave at seven a.m. The station was nearly empty expect for straggling travelers in country clothes--the worn dungarees--the worn steel toed boots. They had the heaviness of men who worked hard in the fields and smoked too much and drank too much and had fallen out of love with their wives and never really spoke to anyone about the emptiness of a life without dreams.

Were they why I was leaving you?

I watched an old Mexican janitor wash the floor with long, rhythmic strokes of a worn out mop. He whistled softly as he placed the mop in the bucket and squeezed its excess water. He looked like he once had tilled the soil. Like he bent over to pick cash crops for rich farmers who spoke of how their success came from ingenuity and hard work. Now the Mexican seemed too old to work the fields. Perhaps bitter but grateful he had a job cleaning bus station floors till he was too old to work at all. Till he could no longer purse his lips and whistle Spanish songs of a better life.

Maybe I was leaving you because of him.

I promised myself when I got to the coast I would write to you--maybe call you. Try somehow to ease your pain. You said your father died a prisoner. I wondered if he tried to break out. If he died falling from a prison gate.