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my father was an angry man
who fumed with godlike fury when
someone like me had other plans
that constituted mortal sin
or less than steady revenue,
yet kneeled beside my bed when doubt
had displaced subtly all i knew,
trained substance of the altar vow--
as if this constant crossworld death
could be persuaded to relent,
could be defeated, sparing breath,
or carved out blue as light gets bent--
a son the perfect sacrifice,
as wine is poured and bread is sliced
Bobby Copeland Dec 2022
sometimes this overwhelming joy
brings earth in sight of paradise,
the anxious mind that would destroy
such ecstasy with ill advice
stilled in its ancient chattering
of good & evil understood,
imposed as bitter reckoning
beneath the stone where moses stood.
at other times the mourner's song
has wormed its way inside my head,
an occupation loud & long,
as if it pushed itself instead
of beauty, love and holiness,
insistent with its emptiness.
Bobby Copeland Oct 2022
dance in bright daylight
dance in the dark winter night
dance, time disappears
Bobby Copeland Oct 2022
good pitching beat good hitting
on summer nights when Gibson took the mound
and my heart listened
cotton blanket kicked aside
through one earpiece
plugged in a plastic green transistor
radio, letting in
the world
one pitch at a time
Bobby Copeland Oct 2022
no need for conversation here
chet baker on the stereo
reminds me of the words we share
when time has no place else to go
immobile as a broken clock
still on the wall a bird inside
long separated from the flock
not knowing where to find a ride.
the need to flip the record soon
Inspires me to lay down my pen
move through the crescent-lighted moon
and drop the needle once again
then listen to the falling man
bend summer into one last stand.
Bobby Copeland Oct 2022
sun slanting as the trail begins
a first rate region of the mind
this month of bringing harvest in,
of leaving summer days behind
occurs to me not unlikely
that the dog outside is a real
dog, tugging at the leash of she
who must be obeyed as the deal,
a shepherd mix and woman soft
of skin, dark hair, white leather shoes--
a third my age just old enough
to buy a cigarette & *****,
as if the magdalene had come
again and this world is my home
Bobby Copeland Oct 2022
if love is in your heart tonight
you'll find my foolish,
                                          failing speech
descending with the falling night,
approaching what cannot be reached
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