March left like a lamb
summer started without a second of spring
cold-windy, to hot-humid in the blink of a hummingbird’s eye,
paradise for resting bugs,
leaves, and buds, July flowers announcing
their annual appearance
never ready, warmer clothes crowding closets
summer stuff waiting in the garage, nowhere to go
first warm weekend scrambling to open plastic boxes
looking for cotton, and bugs
quick hurry, unpack the cool fabrics
recycle the boxes, pack up the warm
no warning for heat, except experience
this happens every year, about this time
only the day/date changes
but foresight would suggest
an exchange

before the lamb is roasted

Before the time of moon and tides

giants walked the steaming swamps
and shadows followed
whether by sunlight, moon
or darkness
before the time of men and after
just beyond the boundary,
at the mystical edge, between the worlds
behind the trees, and the boulders in the river
ethereal phantoms appear  briefly
then slip away rushing before the light,
reminders of those that wait in the night
huddled in caves, sitting next to fire
chanting the shaman’s dreams

giving the illusion of protection

Two gnarled witches

like old oaks, bent and twisted
from years of carrying their magic
from carrying themselves
convinced of their control
were taken by their magic,
as magic does,
convinces some to come and play
first seducing   then taking prisoners
Two young trees
slightly bent but not yet stooped
watch the old trees, and desire the power they see
and in practicing that power
have no  defense
against the coming storm
Certain of their authority
move freely in the world, unarmed
believing in their invulnerability,
Magic will give lessons,
About its supremacy
Over, those who indulge
By failing in a moment
To shield, protect
And empower
Proving it has the power
letting the supplicants feel the pain of their actions
while the old trees wring their branches, and point twigs in despair
the first seduction of magic

ego

through the  picture window a skeleton-like parking structure blocked most of outside
above the car warehouse in a margin of window– a crystal-cloudless- blue sky
capped a hospital wing—lot of windows with drapes drawn against the sun–
patient rooms or offices who knows?
perhaps a parallel waiting room with people heading the other direction?
fifty-or so souls filled the chairs against walls and in the rows in-between
first people  to arrive, sat closest to the desk, families, friends,  talked
and   children,  bored with Fox looked at the sunlight squirmed in their chairs
wanting to be free running outside spreading their wings soaring through the small trees
new birds learning their song, learning to fly
a few patients gazed out at the  trees, just now giving birth to early buds
or gazed, really, into their inner world—their sanctuary
private, no families or friends, no Fox, only others with the same song sitting silently, lost inside
but cat-like ears tuned to the poly-phonemic tones in their name waiting for the signal to return
names spoken meant appointment or lab, perhaps answers to fear bound questions
busy waiting room,  usual Tuesday morning
regulars know without asking whether you are kidney or liver
newcomers endlessly think the question,  “kidney or liver?” when they look at others
mostly they are kidneys, first time attendees
the old-timers glance at them quickly returning to their solitude or family
the newest arrivals constantly look around,  avoiding  eye contact
wives, girlfriends, mothers, talking incessantly the room hums
a million unseen bees fill the otherwise silent void
a name is called too softly to lift passed the bees wing sounds
no one moves, but everyone looks, until the name is called again
loud enough this time for two to get up—same first name—and blush
trying to be polite in their personal nervousness their too soon end-of-life inner thoughts
both arrive at the counter and one returns looking at the floor
desperate for news they don’t understand, “ Dr. How long do I have ?”
the answer comes in bio-chemistry-speak, labs, tests, results, shots, pills and kindness
the sun moves across the sky making the windows mirrors obscuring the building across the way
the waiting room empties slowly, when a name the soul moves, livers go left, kidneys go right
relief at the decision, action, movement, threads of birdsong from long ago

lift leaden arms, moving leaden legs












excited flyers

first timers       businessmen    missionaries
waiting for     adventures        three hours of boredom           going home
the room fills up slowly
passengers gather
killing time looking out the windows   planes on the runway
beyond the planes and their tenders
the jungle flourishes
surrounding     the  concrete  and   the   asphalt
an authentic  war is taking place
the airport hacking          machetes swinging cutting back  
in the night  vines  creeping back        giant palms inching closer
the jungle will win in the end             it is only taking back
vines will eat the runway  
trees will crush the concrete
the birds will come back first
excited            like first time flyers   

they are already gathering       in the  bushes 

where is the wind? I need a friend to listen

then spread my heated words to distant lands
to not offend those who caused my anguish
where is the wind? whispering in my ear
on a sunny day, in a flower filled meadow
watching the clouds float by, without a thought
where is the wind? To make the bamboo dance
against the windows, and build mounds in the corners of my mind,
like heaps of words waiting to be written
where is the wind? to blow out the stale air filled with rumination
the wind from the north, fresh air, will clean out dusty corners
and fill them again with different words

When a colony of gulls come ashore
Settling on the beach, tucked up, facing the seas
a storm is coming
When an owl sits on the roof of a house for three days
And a host of sparrows gather in the trees and bushes ‘round the house
a death is coming
when a single crow bothers you
landing near you, hopping after you
a message is coming
there are many messengers in the world
all with warnings and salutations, telling the traveler
a transformation is coming
at night around the fire the storyteller relates
the history of travelers and  birds
a lesson is coming
in the morning the sky is red
the gulls come ashore, and settle facing north
a cold wind is coming
waking at first light see the owl circling the camp
high in the sky at first, then gliding lower, looking for a place to land
a change is coming
men gather the horses, woman take down the tents
elders pack the tools of living, pack the horses
a new camp is coming
the sky says what, the birds say where
the elders pack without a sound, babies aren’t crying
a resolve is coming
horses all packed men sit and talk hunched near the remnants of  the fire
hiding their faces from the owl, watching the direction the crow flew from
a direction is coming
the men mount horses, mothers hoist babies to their backs
the travelers are ready, and follow as the crow flies south

a journey is coming

There is no balance in life

the brain works diligently to create images
that give substance to the perceptual fabrication
thus providing pictures of continuity
called reality
trees appear to be growing in a stand
but each a singularity, simply growing
where the seed fell
not in contrived proximity, not similars together in group
just trees
life does not continue  in an unbroken  line
but disruptions are overlooked for the good image
do not break the flow,  perceive good continuation
rather than separate events, always connected
 no fate
curves with gaps appear to be complete circles
the missing piece irrelevant
to the perception of closure
symmetry must be maintained
many spaces
what does the world really look like?
Is it a chaotic place, that when perceived
would make men mad?
and in that madness experience hallucinations
of completeness

and symmetry?

furrows tilled, in straight lines, regular rows
seeds planted long ago
harvested and planted again, and harvested again
until the soil pleaded for a rest
then less planting for 40 years
until the plow was taken up again,
sixty years had passed since the last weeds were pulled
old weeds hung on  with a vengeance
embedded , hard to pull
internalized by the soil
they had become the nature of the ground
stiff, recalcitrant, unyielding, unchanging, unforgiving
but 40 years have gone by  in this field,
old weeds served to bridge the gaps between the furrows
now  time alone,  and not disuse, did fade them out of mind, forgotten
furrows encountered cannot be crossed
but a warning,  take care, remember if possible
that forgetting clears ground without selection, taking the useful and not
what  once flourished will be no more,  gone without pattern or connection
when most are forgotten, the ground breaks
barren patches must be filled,
to cross the furrows , to get from here to there
to be able to turn faces towards  the sun
see that elevator door, the door is closed
point and press,  point and press
to no avail,  the door will not budge no matter how many times 
a car key is pointed at the elevator