Friday, September 27, 2013

autumn in oil

 A Small Autumn Still Life

Last evenings walk through a picture of town -
Careful to keep to the harrowed strokes
Mindful of losing our way in unresolved scumble  -
there’d been a brush with skinning paint
How else to explain morning coat sleeves
laden as honey bee legs?
Sixth past Main, a good chunk of Fourth defaced in a leisurely smear
reds and golds woven into the warp and weft
violet night bled into smudged highlights of wet pavement –
Remember you broadcast a hand toward that break in the clouds? –
tatting the hard margins of a full moon
pillow beaded with creamy light
a few luminous grains still clinging to your face.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Can't Get It Out Of My Head

Red Rubber Ball

A cure or the way forward
through thorny negotiations
a plan to feed the multitudes bob
in the moat that rings my fortress of sleep. 

I stagger over the drawbridge
to the land where dreams go to die
by a thousand cuts from the first
keen rays of dawn and steal a glimpse

back like Lot’s yearning wife only to see
them all turn to salt before my eyes
save for the pop song Red Rubber Ball
The Cyrkle’s one big hit, summer ‘66. 

I drink my coffee gazing out
on the feeders to a biblical plague
of Farfisa organ under three part
harmony.  A cardinal averts his eyes

while I mouth the words, cursed, helpless:
“now I know you’re not the only starfish
in the sea, if I never see your face
again it’s all the same to me something

something the morning sun is shining
like a red rubber ball.”, a simile
that still holds up after all these years
three minutes and a hook that endure. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Life's too short


You know how I hate to complain

this weather
my neck
 your habit of

making that dry hinge sound
in the back of your throat.

Knowledge, like the source of the Nile or

          a redwood seed
                   first fallen flake on the slope
                             the offhand flick of a fin

has a way of setting into motion
the next moment followed by another.  

Time, unerring as a perfect game

          rounding on us, contours
revealed beneath a boat
                             that plies a sea of music

slips away, sure as vows exchanged
on a windy beach, but who’s complaining?



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Alone in the gallery

Picture Window

The living room where I sit silent
ambered deep within the friendly grip
of this easy chair, inhales and exhales
in waltz time, wonders for a moment if
this, this, is really living, entertains
dreams of Versailles, perhaps the Hall of Mirrors
secretly thrills to garish Rococo
abandon but falls into despair
over time’s passing, mocked by the quartet
of corners that won't ever be turned
until the big easy chair pipes up
in a Bing Crosby baritone hung
with Spanish moss, slathered in Tupelo
honey.  “Take a load off B-B-Bub,
enjoy the view”, arms open wide
on the framed picture window, a simple
landscape rendered in evening’s muted
colors, near abstract representation
of houses and yards of neighbors
across the street, a foreground trope of children's
chalk drawing unspooling down the sidewalk.
We sit in awe, a silent trio
until we’re joined by a fourth, the drum
table stitching a soft tattoo of sleep.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Don't Touch My Junk

Bending Light

The junk drawer stacks eye level
where I drink my morning coffee
the stainless pull an easy reach
with my free hand.  Paws shingle
in baleful prayer, brown eyes
shoulder a tented brow, the dog
steeps at my feet in ethnographic studies. 
A Master Lock, indifferent
to a bag of loose keys
freebooter screws and their suitor
tools, a Philips and two flat heads
pair of needle nose rounding out
a handyman’s quartet, all of it shot through
with the unraveled mind of baling twine
I can’t recall never having been entwined
or the reason I bought it in the first place.   
Blame it on the coffee, but with a little rooting
some minor adjustment and twine
encoded with a series of knots
a handy gizmo for the bending of light
sits waiting for trials, ready to extrude
the first molten rays of morning.
A golden light with give, it yields
with a squeak when run through the maze
burning my hand when I heft it to cool
smoking on the table, driving off the dog
a radiant tiara to wear 
with your pilled pink bathrobe.