Every Hour


The fading light of tired days
shadows across the bar

the weight of its settle
lightened by the wait for

someone else who finds
life in random words

put together.

The calendar tells us when
to turn the clock back

an extra hour of sleep comes
and frost returns in light that

sets off a mindless pattern
forgotten by the solstice’s

absence of day time.

The quiet of leaf-less trees
tornado through my ear

listening for the soft tread
of a welcomed footstep

that has not fallen in line
with standard time

nor me.

Where I found life in dusk’s
half-light before

I find that human nature
does not follow Time’s

ability to return to the same
point every year, every day,

every hour.

Leave

A lonely leaf lies
left behind by a shoe
that has tramped it
in across the threshold.


I peek through glass
holding my breath
hopeful to capture the
ground covered gold.


All of the life that
summer trees exhibit
crash so carelessly down
into textured puddles
that crunch underfoot
to end up alone on
the step to my door.


If only it would have
held on for a day more
or even a week so
that I could take time
to absorb its transition.


But it is done. Though
trees bound back to
live after the fall,
I imagine that this,
between us, is left for
the broom and bin.

personne

breeze bathes
sounds caress
first lines come
disappear

dust settles
after heart
hangs sign
do not disturb

words bury
six, seven,
twenty deep
corpse pile

impermeable
silent clay
quick sand
expression

I am no one

Ukrainian Man Dead

The block’s sentinel
molded to a plastic chair
affixed to a slab balcony

knowing nothing, seeing all,
like the Queen’s Life Guard,
he didn't ruffle or speak.

Blue and gold
did not adorn his post,
but his tongue was thick.

Through the blister and ice
of Midwestern seasons,
his surface smoothed.

The ambulance came late,
his body returned to earth,
his soul to Carpathia.

Now she sits
molded to a plastic chair
in this new Ukraine.

BirdSong

Light flirts with the sky
lowering itself into night


bird songs play through
a shade open to cool air


suspended, time is free
much of it still to spend


but the hour on the clock
betrays, set to early rise


tempted to stay conscious  
birds find summer nests


the rhythm of last warbles
lullaby to send me off.

Thick

thick from early sunrise to late sunset
the long day is simply summer’s start

slipped in a white lawn night gown
I lie on the divan deep in delicious want

the cotton swirls around expanse of hip
rounded breasts peek out of pintucking

and lace that crowns each delicately
splattered freckle that has kissed sun

while I wriggle and writhe in absence
of a friendly hand that could release

the long days of neglect built over time
and a heart that is trapped in a cage

little hopes project his image in fantasy
for any inattention paid in shared time

he tinkers and smiths words to disguise
his true heart’s intent for fear of exposure

his energy gnaws at a connection rat-like
careless of the voltage it unleashes

I am gullible and do not see the scene for
I trust what has been told to me before

too deep in the intensity of my own need
I am thick to the pain surreptitiously revealed

I examine the read with the guidance of tags
tricked by his obvious slight of hand metaphor


Evening Song

the shade rises
in the evening letting in afternoon’s easiest light filtering rays sepia toned know what the day has been the sun is not ready to set entirely it rests on the sill comfortably listening to evensong tertia, sexta, nona the hours in June flirting with dusk sight unfailing lines run through battles won and lost time fades slowly the distant drop supported by years still to come in evening everlast

Fingerling

Wicker baskets
full of fancy spuds
on busy weekends
at farmers’ markets
tempt tasters.

Russian banana:
firm textured;
Purple Peruvian:
mealy fleshed;
Red thumbed:
pretty plate.

Roast’d, saute’d, boil’d,
butter’d, salt’d, pepper’d;
maybe a little virgin
olive oil and fresh garlic.

Pomme de terre-
apple of the earth,
seeing it on display,
imagining you in life,
I pick the one I want
a la dente.





Mother's Spring


On a rainy morning
she blinks slowly-
tears collecting in the corner
of her eye spilling out
over the slick asphalt
my tires roll across.

In daylight colored gray,
her soft green leaves
fluff in the wind
that will tear down
fleshy red tulip petals
previewed last week.

The rain will go away
but not before the
lay of the land is
surveyed, dug up,
and entrance’d by
the mighty gale force
that she often wields
with a strong steady,
sometimes sleepy yawn.

Out to Sea


A wave hits
from behind
and pulls me
into the surf.

Salt tears sweep
my cheeks-
my hands
cover my eyes,
pull them
across my face
like a dead sea mask.

I want to tell him
that I love him,
but the undertow
takes him out.

The Mantle Clock


The mantle clock has raced ahead twenty minutes,
it insists on living faster than me tic toc tic toc’ing.
Here in stuck, I wonder what happens in the time
warp that sits between me and the walnut wood.

If I had twenty minutes,
I’d sort through the mail,
or wash the kitchen floor,
or put away the laundry.

Instead, papers aren't graded,
dishes aren't in the way,
books are happy alone,
and the couch is lonely.

The mantle clock has raced ahead twenty minutes,
it is tic toc tic toc’ing faster than I imagined when
it came from the Netherlands where it lived before,
maybe it’s the time change that has it off-kilter.

But I’m soothed by the
knock of pendulum, and
the click that indicates
that chords will be struck.

Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc,
the sound has moved in,
settled amongst my things,
waiting for me to catch up.

The mantle clock has raced ahead twenty minutes,
it has left me in the dust that covers the floor,
its solemness the requiem for the minutes I lost 
since the day five ago that I last wound it up.

Thread


I stuck my hand
in his jacketed armpit:
shirted, t-shirted, still-
I was in.


Desire twines
every thought,
tender tendrils,
circling climb.

His pit was warm,
somewhat surprising,
his response to
physical such that
would suggest cool.

What was I doing
there with sirens
and a net he’d
find a hole in.

I pulled my hand out
clutching fibers
from its woolen vice
reluctantly curling
into a tight coil-
left weaving
thread together.