Category Archives: poetry

From up here

The rugged air

like a country road

in a farmer’s pickup

kicking up red dust

 

Or in a boat

skimming on the tops

of chops

in the waves

 

The plane

also skipping

bouncing

on airy speed bumps

 

I’ve the sense

that I’m not flying

until I swallow

and the roar deepens

 

Down there

first the black snake

of a river

headless, tailess

 

Then the blanket

of bluish-white covering

and sailing

a cloudy sea

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My Talented Ears

While reading a poem

 

on an airplane

 

on the ground

 

 

flight attendant’s

 

hurried instructions

 

rules

 

that really don’t need saying

 

 

and a guy

 

in front of me

 

leaving a business message

 

by phone

 

 

in that abnormal voice

 

we all use

 

when not speaking

 

to any real people

 

except who really is listening

 

 

but that’s the point

 

that I’m listening

 

to my poet

 

not with ears

write

I should read poetry every day

it should inspire me to write

about little things I notice

or else unnoticed they would remain

 

 

and upon assigning words

they would become big and seen

like the little bird sitting on the railing

along a sidewalk, a railing of pipes

 

 

too big for his tiny feet to grasp

and mostly his body rested there

and as I approached, he did not fly

His black back so black it was steel blue

 

 

like a handgun or Superman’s hair

when he was in comic books

he flitted his wings as if jittering at my presence

but never set himself to flight

 

 

only the next day, there he sat again

and I wondered if perhaps he was hurt

and unable to escape, in case I was his predator

and if so, at whose mercy was he?

Good Friday

Poor Jesus.
He’s dead.
 
 
We brood, as if to endure the commemoration of it.
Can’t wait till Resurrection Sunday morning.
 
 
Death by death is destroyed
by remaining dead.
 
 
It can take life but once and no more.
 
 
Death is negated by itself,
and death is quiet because it’s dead.
 
 
There was a serenity in the quietness of his tomb that night.
 
 
The writhing approach of death arrived
and with it came quiet.
And it’s still quiet in there,
because what’s dead is dead,
including my right to myself.
 
 
The death I died with Jesus is forever
to whatever it was he died;
And the life he lives in me is forever
to whom he lives.
 
 
That me is unanimated, and can remain so.
His new life has a body to live in,
A dead one, animated only by what raised his.
 

redemption’s groan

I feel as the tree, the lion, the bird;

I groan for redemption, of this I have heard

in Romans; uniting all creatures in one,

at last to be freed by God’s only Son.

 

The tree waves and bends, but rooted it stays,

The lion sends out roars, not only for prey,

The bird chants its song, no words to declare

what all of us want, to see our God there.

trees and me

I, walking

seeing in trees

a balancing randomness

and symmetrically situated

 
 

They, standing

animating in breeze

a living orderliness

and commensurably exhilarated

 
 

We, living

bowing the knees

a joining devotedness

and perpetually interrelated

scurrying squirrels

I saw a squirrel

scurrying as squirrels do;

This time across a street, just in front of a Chevy.

 
 

I wondered if squirrels

ever did much scurrying

before Chevy’s became their natural predator?

 
 

Only predators, by definition, eat what they kill,

immediately after killing it, or, in some cases

while it is still alive.

 
 

But then what do Chevy’s kill,

but by brute force?

And should they, if not to eat?

 
 

I saw a squirrel

climbing where perhaps a forest used to be,

where now is a towering and randomly-shaped concrete wilderness.

 
 

Unclimbable, this, without the fences,

over which he and his mate scaled,

having determined to rummage through a cleverly-painted dumpster.

 
 

Thinking of foraging on our discarded and forgotten morsels,

not for oaken acorns, the ancient, twisting figures long since hewed

into showy dining tables on hardwood shiny floors,

 
 

Oaken altars where we feast on what we do not kill,

and sometimes we kill, by other predaceous words,

what we do not eat.

 
 

I saw a squirrel

and I thought of how nimbly and quickly

they indeed avoid by their sedulous scurrying.