r 21h

I dream of white
winds blowing,
like dogwood
petals, or snow.

This is the longest
I’ve been so close
to you on a sheet
of papered dreams.

Like you, death,
these poems
about you, come
as no surprise.

Close to the last page
between the covers,
still I think I’ll need
at least one other.

I hoped before
I could let you go,
before I hoped
the white winds blow.

r 5d

I do not know whose eyes perceive
my finite movement toward light.

Each letting go, a small cry,
each forward move my life's
migratory assurance of what
none of us can ever know.

The genetic certainty of cells
propels the forebrain
with its stumbling feet,
while a heartache of hope
wins each moment even
as it is lost to the next.

And we must accept
the impermanent flow
that is like air, necessary
and sacred; tears are not
the only salt of sorrow.

r 6d

I don't know what
the limits are
what impacts fragment
beyond repair, outside the web
of what there are words for,
murderous facts that leave mute
witnesses’ souls brittle
inside their chests,
as the thousandth child starves
somewhere in our inhumane
universe another star grows dark.

r Sep 11

To live a life in perspective
I’m told you need to define a horizon
line eye level to the viewer.

From my hill of years the view is fluid
as in watery, but also as in unpredictable.

On the sea’s face a wall of fog moves in
and out like histories remembered
and forgotten.

Sometimes silver striates the sea
with such a glitter of insight
I am bedazzled and cannot look.

Sometimes fogbank and ocean merge
with such blue-gray unity it seems
the horizon rises so that I stand on
the shore, dwarfed by a surf of knowledge
that pounds at my ignorance.

Sometimes the sea becomes invisible,
the white air a questioning emptiness,
a finger-touch of damp against the cheek.

r Sep 7

It was a slow rainy day
down at the Double Drop D
I was taking a smoke break
watching the weather on TV

The band on the jukebox was playing
an old favorite of mine
and the words the man was saying
took me back in time

Long as I remember
the rain been coming down,
Clouds of myst'ry pouring
confusion on the ground

The new girl, Irma, was dancing
I liked the way she spun around
like the storm that was advancing
while all the boys gathered 'round

Good men through the ages,
trying to find the sun;
and I wonder, still I wonder,
who'll stop the rain

When the song was over
and Irma gathered her clothes
I had to stroll over
and ask if she'd do one more

Heard the singers playing,
how we cheered for more
The crowd had rushed together,
trying to keep warm

She looked me in my eyes,
gave me a peck on the cheek
and said Boss, that ain't my style,
now be a good boy and buy this girl a drink

Still the rain kept pouring,
falling on my ears; and I wonder,
still I wonder, who'll stop the rain.

For Sjr1000.

*"Who'll Stop the Rain", John Fogerty, originally recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival for their 1970 album Cosmo's Factory.
r Sep 5

Some call him a dreamer
   quiet, sad and deeper
than water in a river
    after the floods come

    dark like the light
outside a widower's curtains
   when the moon hides
behind clouds gray as yesterday

and the day before
   and whatever sorrow
tomorrow or
  the night has in store.

r Sep 1

Tonight, outside the storm
rages while the silence
inside me is as deafening
as a drowning violin,
I am as lonely as a lost feather
floating on a wandering
wind, my thoughts as painful
as a heartache wondering
when the beating will end
and love has turned cold,
passion has left, and when
the wine is all drunk I'll become
the insatiable leviathan
sinking ship after lost ship,
the salmon who drank the river
dry, the sailor who swallowed
the sea, until my forgotten
lover's face is seen in each breath,
and crystals condense
on my heart and my hands,
and the night is as dark
as a stranger’s stark shadow.

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