Cold

Day drags into night
light still peaking in
through the window

dark cold thoughts
settle like icicles
hanging on gutters

you wouldn’t know
that it’s summer
and the air is easy

droplets don’t hit
snow on impact
nor frozen asphalt

they evaporate to
dusk that settles
comfortably, slowly

my mind shuts tight
brain freeze sting
I can’t hold it.

Wolf Lamb

Eastern pasture rises gently
meeting sun before cloud cover;
grazing weed and wildflower,
he’s not immediately known.


On haunches, tongue grazing cold springs,
his ear raises toward her industry;
do you ever tire of the hill
and miss the rustling sounds of wood?


The wood always stands stoically
as the field’s guarded radius,
shadows tempt any innocence
to enter its willful darkness.


But I do not live among trees,
I’ve not the taste for pine needles,
nor the canopy of towering
oaks protecting mossed ground from light.


The wolf continued his query
to draw the lamb into his game,
distorting his true intention
to only engage her for sport.


His fierce fangs would not tear her flesh
to feed the incessant desire
left lately by the last lamb’s bleed
that had failed to satisfy him.


He was anticipating next,
honing his seductive technique
that would distract whoever saw
nothing in the advances he made.


This lamb saw under the fur coat
wanting to pull the heart from it,
to savor adrenalized beats
of an animal not her own.


She pulled the coat over her quick,
touched the neck at the jugular
and pulled his skin across her wool,
his blood filling the spring that drowned.

Pause

Larry’s Dad died last week
before the tour started;
now he has gone back out
on the road banging skins;
I think he is the age
when it seems parents die.


Not too remarkable:
a lifetime comes and goes-
we don’t always recall
the last time together;
rolled up in emotion,
rolling in memory fog.


But it will come sometime,
it isn’t far away
in a distant moment
I’m not quite ready for;
better not sit and wait,
it may just get me too.

Walnut Spring

The wind is neither bold, nor demure
as it moves across the first days of May,
after storms have ripped savagely and
the first Spring tulip-blooms fade away.
It is Spring, he whispers, pulling on me
to follow him scrambling up the steep path,
where under the budding walnut tree
the great swells of ground cover its roots.
Noses cold, we huddle close together,
our breath mingling with the pollen dust
that alights the winds of forever
with its promise of transcendent hours.
Were we here until tomorrow’s day break,
or for as long as the first leaf’s show takes.

The Living

Missed grandma’s funeral,
busy with this and that and
sure no one could stand in.

But I took care to spend
time looking into her blue
and cloudless view of life.

We’d sit for hours on circle,
her dementia forgetting what
was already said minutes before.

And I’m glad to have bought a ticket
for the carousel of her living
than to visit her in repose that wasn’t.

Better to see ‘em alive than dead,
a lifeless mannequin lies
with a disconnected soul, deaf
to the heart’s beating transistor.

Empty Slots



Pushing dirty pennies in pussy slots-
stool sitting perched upon sandless dry docks
isn’t the sort of game I saw for him. 
As a creature of conversation, strange
no one speaks as kittens fly on the wheels
and encouraging trays of drinks pass by
nameless, faceless bodies bent over cards,
coming together only to get lost;
silent strangers spend the night together.

Thousands of cents could fall to the carpet,
could rattle in pockets next to house keys,
yet the winnings are not enviable.
The wheel rolls around again and again,
human interaction of thought and light
lost in the din of bells, a ship of fools.

Transitioning

The sun casts
lavender shadows,
farmers’ fields
lie in wait
at winter’s end,
crocuses and
daffodils scream
through snow-
soaked earth.

Quiet repose-
dry mouth’d
incarcerated mind,
petites fleurs
sprinkle across
the soft lawn
of her gown,
silvery wisps
crown her head-
eyes like his,
he cannot take
sick from her.

Spring day
as light as dark,
transitioning
life lived death-
decades ahead,
more mother
than sister,
her slip
into the night
will hold whispers
of loved ones
firmly rooted
in soil, still.