Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bum Ticker

“Cold hands
warm heart”
you smiled and said
as your fingers
wound in mine

watching as
the east
turned red
across the Norfolk
Southern line

A year ago
or was it
(my memory -
it’s useless)

a camp beside
the Little
a boneyard of

Never been one
to split
my scraps or butts
or mission bread

never gave much
to it
or asked what swam
inside your head

I could’ve been
a lot
of things
(or so I often
told you)

but that
was just
my ramblings,
a bill of goods
I sold you

The ties are choked
with weeds
and haws,
the rails are rough
and rusted;

(my hands
are always
cold because
my stupid heart
is busted.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Her leaves are late;
she likes to sleep
through early spring.
Her dreams are deep.

Ample arms
that offer rest
to minstrels coming
home to nest;

chirping, chatting
where they’ve been
and wondrous things.
She listens in.

Gathering her
strength with haste;
the time is short
with none to waste.

Toiling when
the days are long;
her work is joy.
Her roots are strong.

Soon her tenants
start to stir
and one by one
take leave of her

as breezes turn
to winds that blow.
The others clutch
while she lets go.

First frost finds her
fast asleep.
It’s how she soars.
Her dreams are deep.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Et All

I don’t remember asking for
a poor man’s life
of labor or
ever being offered
any other numbered door.

The world can shift into reverse
and purest things
become perverse -
I suppose,
all things considered,
something always could be worse.

If I don’t work then I don’t eat
my shoes are falling
off my feet
sick of rice and beans
but can’t afford the price of meat.

No shackles ever bound my wrist
I don’t have
an oncologist -
I suppose,
all things considered,
I’ve been fairly fortune-kissed.

Sinking deeper into debt
piling up
some more regret -
fair to say I can’t complain
but it hasn’t stopped me yet.

Hurling through the atmosphere
the astronauts
drink freeze dried beer –
I suppose,
all things considered,
that I’m better off down here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Serrano y Lima

She is slicing limes
in the kitchen

as July becomes a baptism
of sweat
down my back
and my neck
and my arms

kneeling to pull up
the iron-willed weeds
stealing the shade
of the rosebushes

I have ignored them too long
and they are confident
in the depth
and reach
of their roots

She is slicing limes
in the kitchen

I’ve abandoned the trowel
the spade
stooped and
with dry fingers
in quiet dust
in a quiet

and the pepper of earth
in my nostrils
reminds me
and the slick drops
sliding from my temple
remind me
and the way they bead
and sink
on thirsty ground
reminds me

She is slicing limes
in the kitchen
in a thin dress

My progress is slow
my weedpile
to the dandilions
to the crabgrass
to the sighing

It is mostly leaves
and stems
and very little
of anything
and I wipe a wet face
with a damp shirt

She has stopped
slicing limes
in the kitchen
in her thin dress
as her eyes
as she sways

her hair knotted loosely
off her shoulders
as a gypsy guitar
sings low
from another room
as my hands spread
across her belly

Her finger
is the tang of lime
on my lips
as July drinks the juice
from the cutting board
as July baptizes us
in the kitchen
down our backs

as dandelions
and rosebushes