When did cause usurp beauty?
And why didn’t we break the backs
And revolt against those who wagged their
Heads and shouted defiantly?
We allowed our children full license to
Redefine the indefinable.
We glutted their ego and starved ourselves.
We walk about now, paper thin and smiling
When we should be armed against such evil.

My Love

When I left you were young, ambitious and resolved – your passion when happening about me, to me, through me was already a memory.
A sin, and not, for I loved, love you.
I read, while away from you,
The passionate books of the 19th century and letters from him to her, not meant for me.
He later was accused of killing her…
Perhaps that was better than the way you have killed me, over and over again.
Now you are old and look all your years, my love.
I have aged better, though I have aged some.
No, I do not brag, nor do I crow, I simply see the worry in your eyes as I approach.
How is it that we both feel my want? Old and tired both but I know your touch would be warm oil upon my skin, your kiss a world alone, shutting out noise and ignorance.
When I left, you were young, I’ve returned to a better lover and a world at last our own.

The Rose

it will not die, the rose upon the table.
i found it among the stony graveyard abandoned
by man. The dead there, generations ago, no one
remembers, but too there, a red, red rose that grows in
the corner all alone.
No marker explains the thorny bush that burns
with red blooming roses most days of spring
Moses must have seen something similar within
the bush he encountered and i hope without sounding
sacrilegious that when I often went to this long
abandon graveyard I felt the quiet awe of something
Some may scoff, how could the dust of ages ago be anything
but the shuddering reminder of sin and despairing? Not so.
For there was something unbeaten with the dead, stony, place
that would hold such blooming beauty.
And I would go, often to contemplate the irony of so beautiful
a thorny, tangled, thing blooming for the dead when
the best of cultivators could not replicate for any king
in all the lands such a thing.
But i could not forebear after some time, to leave the blooms
for the night and the nameless there. One would not be missed
i was sure – just one wild bloom, crimson and cold to the
touch in velvet satisfaction.
So in clumsy leather clogs I trod upon the bones that
the very roots touched and plucked the fairest of the roses
for that day and took it home to contemplate.
I regretted the impulse almost immediately for in my hand it looked
forlorn and empty of purpose. I belabored myself for my thoughtless
action but took the bloom home and placed it in a vase that belonged
to my mother.
I started to congratulate myself as the bloom’s scent filled my
small room and the redness of the petals seemed to vibrate brighter
as the night approached.
As it did the same, the next and the next and the next day.
The petals did not fade nor did the scent of the rose dissipate.
i returned to the graveyard and surveyed the ground – the rose bush
had grown as a storm grows angry and dark. The blooms looked crimson red
and dark as blood and it seemed as if overnight the
thorns had grown long and dreadful.
i backed away afraid to turn my back upon it, and felt certain that
i could never return to the place that i had offended.
The scent of the rose has greeted me every day for a year and still it
sits insipid as the day I placed it in my mother’s vase. The scent
and the color do not fade and I find it hard to eat or to breathe around it.
The rose will not die
as do i.

Time and Women

a square wooden table – hewn but smoothed with use.
she covers it with a hand woven cloth her mother wove, when
she herself was young.
The pitcher, thick white and darkened along the hair line
cracks is good only now for the flowers she finds
along the creek in spring and summer.
Flowers her grandmother showed her and pointed out.
She places the pitcher upon the table, upon the cloth.
The curtains are new, fashioned from a dress too
thread bear to wear but gathered in pleats and hung
to challenge the sun and brighten the room.
She learned to sew from hardly nothing from her mother.
The books are few; the Bible, the poetry no one knew.
Sonnets by a master long dust that she read to the women in the room.
The journal, written upon each page and pages added
from labels and wrappings and pouches of paper holding
Nothing is wasted here and the world here is at peace.
She writes, she reads and sows seed.
the square wooden table, hewn long ago and smoothed with use
and iron hard with time and women.


Brittle, arid and iron to the taste
Shudder and cringe along the
Edge of the wind.
I see the prey crumble in the
Talons of the eagle and I hear
The moan of the wounded north.
The snap and buzz of insect wings
Is all the night brings
The wolf roams the night one and many
Blood replaces the river bed’s dissipate
Son pull their vision skyward, lift their chins
Blind their eyes with their own desire
They seek only visions and so go as
The bear and wolf settle in cool, dark places
Waiting for the eagle to block the sun
Wings expanded talons facing the blinded.

Let Me Go

No not dead – no I do not feel dead.
How could I?
I breathe, I walk, I have no idea of death.
Except by what I see; death marked upon the forehead
Of those who stiffly stay within their coffins.
No note is rendered after their last breath:
This is what death is.
No I feel numb and so encumbered
By the concern on everyone’s face.
I feel their urgency, their impatience.
Come now, come now, it’s time to
Be moving on.
Seems odd.
Seems odd, indeed that the older
I become those around me know what is best for me.
When all I really need is silence and submergence
Deep down into my grief
So as to rush up resurrected
Resurrected into music, the sound of
Voices singing hallelujah so as to drown out the chatter of
Let go, let me go
Wait for the miracle.

My Job Days (prophet, not occupation)

The servant of God – Job.

The Life of the servant restored –

The curse lifted,

His life after his trials, blessed.

But did he never have a dark moment after?

Did he wake in the middle of the night

Remembering the silence of his friends

And then their accusations?

Did he feel the heat and ease of his wife’s body

Next to him and then remember her words,

“Turn and Die”?

These are my Job days.

Twenty-first century Job days.

The intolerant man at the library,

My frightened son,

A new passion encumbered by suspicion

Neither one of us deserves.

Is the outstretched hand just another prison?

These are my Job days,

The memory lesson days.

God has arrived and the whirlwind subsided.

The graves have sunk to level ground

The children play not far afield.

I smile, I laugh, I learn and teach,

But wonder did Job ever stop to pause, as I do,

Over bright meadows, golden harvest, and

Soft cold winter nights, colder now somehow.

Did Job long for the soft touch of rest and repose and

Stare into darkness instead?

Did he scrape the scars of the sores God allowed?

Does the servant never cower now?

These are my Job days.

Old enough to let go, endure the ache of regret

But not quite old enough to forget.

God’s quiet voice echoes in my head.

He always answers with a question.

His favorite, “Were you there?”

For my life, yes I was there.

And like Job, no human touch, no smile or kind expression means sincere connection.

Every man for himself, every fresh looking whore too,

Every child, every demanding parent, every well meaning

Friend sinks to memory, a crashing memory of sickness, disease

Catastrophe, the blank stare of despondency,

During these Job days.

As pencil scrapes paper and cadence settles in

I’m hiding in my car, cold feet, aching hands.

No leaves on the trees a beautiful blue sky

People go by.

Did Job have these days?

Did Job remember his own cry for justice?

Did the memory of his own staunch defense

And belief in his innocence weary and slacken his mind?

What does restored mean?

That we’ve learned well to handle the emotions and

Trials of catastrophe, disease, death –

Yet a slighted touch, a cross word, a moment’s silence

Too long between lovers,

Crashes the sky and breaks the heart.

These are the scars that remain

And the servant’s heart has yet to be restored.

These are my Job days.

We hope for layers, we don't always receive from hope.


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