Thursday, September 30, 2010

Equality (Poet's Prompt)
There was the time I saw a fight
A soldier hit a sailor with a beer glass
The sailor went down, got up bloody
Rammed a bar stool against the soldier's ribs
The grunt dropped to one knee in a groan
On shaky legs they stood eye-to-eye and threw off-balance punches
They knocked each other out
A minute later the swabbie starts moaning for his mother
I finished a beer and drank another at a bar named the One Lucky
The fight starts all over again

SC: I wrote this many weeks ago. People judge each other as enemies in many different ways: race, gender, religion, place of origin. Soldiers and sailors do it, too. Because of the different uniforms they wear.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Once I lost everything I knew
A giant wind blew my mind in two
Then I was free; No longer a prisoner of what I was told to be
Sometimes I dream of a giant wind, to lose the things I know
The Night
I am the poet
I am the Square Corner
On a dark night, the air too cold; I'll lend you a bright light
Maybe, maybe it'll warm your soul, see you through the blackness
I'll lend you all I can,
leave behind that past, leave far that old, old world
This sameness as new, it scares me, too
I am the Poet,
I am the Square Corner who will struggle for you against the night

Monday, September 27, 2010

I am stranded along an Old City's scape
Like a clock against a crumbling wall
Time suspended
Red bricks falling, falling: Twenty stories high, each a tale of its own,
From this edge I see cold breath rising
chilly night, chins tucked deep against the wind,
urban gait under neon eyes: I am suspended, stranded, alone: the clock hands turn
The old city cries in siren sounds: I shout in helpless tongue
Unheard, heralded to no one
I stand high against a crumbling wall, red bricks of time fall dangerous
The sun rises, but the Old City walks like desperate men: alone they wander under neon eyes

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shoreline (Poet's Pantry)
I am a road noir
Alone at night I drive
An old Rambler rumbles,
one light burned, the other lit dimly
Things my eyes see, my skin feels:
the gutted gas stations;
the dead inside diners;
the vacant motels;
those roadside cat houses with flesh eaten whores, hurt of body and soul
At day's light I'll touch a bleary coast,
So my hope rises to a life anew
but black oil turns to black smoke
The Rambler rumbles slowly to an earthly stop
The radio on plays an old preacher's song:
God to the Running One. This Promised Land is meant for you and me.

SC: A poem I wrote a number of month's ago, before I knew about Poet's United. Like the last poem it closes with a Preacher's Song. Something more compelling than a coincidence? I wonder.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Remember(Poet's United Prompt)
I once knew a man who walked from town to town
His bindle stick as old as time
His boots as worn as his desert skin
People say he spoke little,
he only listened to the demon voice inside his head
Then on a cold clear night he lay tired beneath God's wanting eyes
Under a thin blanket, its edges frayed, the man as time slept past morning's light
They buried him in the black, rich ground;
his bindle stick made into a cross
his old brown boots marking the grave
In huddled prayer, The Preacher of Dusty Roads remembered an ancient verse: Home at Last

SC: This isn't a memory of any one person I know. But is a composite of those homeless in the world who are governed by their mental illness. The poem is dedicated to them

Saturday, September 11, 2010

When I fall into an imaginary state,
I think thoughts of freedom, like a lungs first breath
my time on earth wanders,
my mind wonders, too,
sometimes this heart's dream is gracious and anew, a slave as me no more

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oak I
I step out from the shade of an old oak tree
The sun burns hot, the grass is brown, the earth parched,
In the distance a lonely ditch awaits
Canteen water I pour over my arms and see my tanned skin glisten
Early morning start, a day's work ahead
I step back under the shade, lean against the tree like a worn shovel
I'll let the boss fire me

Oak II
I stood under the shade of an old oak tree
An old shovel breathed in rhythmic time
I do this to stay free, he said
Once I was afraid, mostly of myself.
So I meditate. Praise the tree above

What do you fear now? I asked
The Roots buried deep underground
I slipped away from the ancient shade, and understood more about this wandering me
I opened a weathered wooden door
Old words were found in disarray
Like a carpenter I'll build a poem someday, I thought years ago
Yes, I will. Maybe under a cloudy sky. Or when I stroll into a sunset
The party's over
The loud music is playing too low
White lights have turned softly into a tired glow
One by one they leave, alone into a weary night
We'll do it again, I forgot to say. Soon I hope
I scratch my head and go to sleep

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We got up late morning,
made breakfast together on a hot stove
The black coffee tasted fine: no sugar nor sweet cream
I scratched Willy Nelson's old vinyl song,
She went back to bed and slept some more
I heard the tired music one last time, took a final turn, and walked quiet out her door

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Summer Days
When we were boys, we played baseball
Boston baseball
Kelly Field under a noon sun, narrow eyes under young ball caps
Followers in dreams, the light of Fenway on far summer nights,
Yastrzemski as God, bat held so high
Congliaro's arm delivered us home
Boston baseball were the days of our youth
They are gone now as I grow weary
But new boys play under young ball caps, I am sure
Prayerful someday to a long summer dream
I drive aroun'
in a bad part of town
I look for the broken:
men living low
women falling behind
hearts beating alone under a baleful moon
drowned in alcohol spirits they cling somehow,
to life with wooden desires
My window down
I save them with an old car radio
When a poet is weary,
His writing stops
He sleeps
Like a broken soldier on a bed of verse
On poetic sheets of lost desire
To the last elegy of olden words, he's worn down to a fine repose
The rancour goes
The tumult ends
Weariness weighs the tired eyes
The poet sleeps for a worldly while
The writing ceases, but time will tell