aye…There’s the Rub

thyme and rosemary ground to powder
add fresh minced garlic
taken from new cloves
fresh salt and pepper
ground with pestle and mortar
add all to a small pan with olive oil
heat slowly until sweet tangy fragrance of the herbs
blend with the pungent aroma of the garlic
dissolving in oil until a heavenly aroma fills the room

encouraging sleep and perhaps a dream

how do you know anything?
about the present created from images 
shaped by emotions and experience
or the future a synthesis 
of shredded images and the magic of desire
like standing on a cliff
with one foot barely on the edge
and the other out in space

where to live here or there
stay or go
is leaving new friends sadder
than watching old friends get sick
evoking end of life panic
trying to know is like
being buffeted by strong winds
standing on the top rung of a tall ladder
holding a card reading the words 
the statement on the other side of this card is false
then turning the card over reading
the statement on the other side of this card is true

in the wind 
the ladder sways precariously

the beast has been undressed 
by the rhetoric 
of blaring trumpets
exposed to the world 

it’s underbelly covered with rotting scales of hate 
for the stranger the widow the child
the fetid smell of fear and angst  
fill the void between desire and reality

civility and the golden rule
truths long imagined as self-evident
exposed as smoke 
by the crowds cheering the trumpeters 

bestiam ex inferno

strong and unrelenting
from the north and west
behind the waves
     whipping them higher
     sending them faster 
to slam against the shore
proclaiming inhospitable nature of the day 
    flags standing at attention 
    burgees flying straight in celebration 
giving direction

spawned bubbles sea foam 
atop grey green surf 
capillary waves and ripples charge
fast to the beach then running out
     disappearing in the sand 
     under the feet of seagulls 
waiting for errant morsels 

heavy with ocean spray
     and sand
draped in winter’s icy chill
relentlessly challenging the beach
and those who walk
     to turn and flee 
grabbing hats 
snagging loose jackets 
long scarves sailing 
hands jammed deep into pockets
     walking backwards in defense
     against the stinging freezing sand and spray 
     back tracking up the beach
thinking about the inner peace 
and wild storms