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Apr 14 · 22
σῶσόν με
RV Apr 14
There are no words
for pain like
this

Like Peter on the sea
I cry
save me

What I hate in others
is what I detest most in
myself

I reach but
the cold water
is ready and

it offers
escape
Mar 2019 · 75
small things
RV Mar 2019
the bounce of your ponytail
as you turn your head
to look at something
small
is visible from where I sit
in my car and
wait on the light
the smallest things
an earring
the corner of your mouth
one breath
are more real
than all the passing car shapes
stop lights and radio sounds
I feel you
small solid cool and real
beneath the soles of sense
pebbles in a creek bed
under all passing, passing
Nov 2018 · 95
o domine
RV Nov 2018
o domine
*** in miratione
quae opera fecisti censeam
conspicio
montes et tempestates
potentiam divinam ubique
tum anima te laudat carmine
quam magnus es! quam magnus es!
tum anima te laudat carmine
quam magnus es! quam magnus es!
Translation.  "O Store Gud," via English.
Nov 2018 · 78
o tempestas
RV Nov 2018
o tempestas
ira caeli
moles ingens nihili
te pervertis
ubi aestas
aerum pulsat calide
nunc appares
vorax nubes
tenebrarum columna
tum evanes
tam occulte
quam intrasti resonans
Kind of an experiment with parody.  Wrote it during a tornado lock down, had the tune of "O Fortuna" (Orff) in my head.
Jul 2018 · 102
I'll be
RV Jul 2018
your salix for dreaming
under fagus for swinging
on platanus for shading
beneath juniperus for grieving
about quercus for remembering
with liriodendron for reaching
above prunus for sweetening
up pinus for smelling
around ilex for hiding
behind acer for uplifting
your heart
tree
RV Jul 2018
Wash
                                                  "I will"
Change your underwear
                                                  "I have"
Be grateful
                                                  "I am"
OK, then
I love you
                                                  "I love you, too"
Jul 2018 · 238
III
RV Jul 2018
III
Three gifts thou mad'st me
a lullaby
a jungle gym
brothers

Three I repaid thee
a warning to stop walking before you fell headlong over a cliff
a ride to David's graduation
grandchildren

Three ills I bear thee
I was born a Blue Devil
John got away with everything
you didn't take us to Disney World

Three which now share we
a name
sore knees
memories

Three debts I owe thee
Robert the Rose Horse
A million questions, answered and unanswered
An invitation to sing at chapel

By three I know thee
father
brother
friend
Jun 2018 · 189
Ave atque vale
RV Jun 2018
Farewell June
June, adieu
cicada whispers
swaying pines
clear blue skies
and mountains of clouds

unending solitude
"Cannonball!"
patchwork quilt
of imagination
hero's quest
'neath sycamores

tree-lined avenues
carve terraced tunnels
through homeward hills
asphalt voyages
past nodding corn
and ice cream (beat)

All my Junes
line up like aunts
and uncles - eyes
upon me as
I sail away
RV Feb 2018
And I passed people on the highway
in front of a pile of their belongings
spilled upon the shoulder
from a bloated pickup bed
At church someone told the tale
and added
that motorists honked at the owners
when they tried to walk back to where the spill began
and collect their mattress love seat
lamp shade stuffed giraffe
"like they ain't already got enough problems"
one sagely concluded

And when I walked by
no one honked at the arm leg
kidney ear patella
fourth metatarsal shattered soul
ejected at high speed
as I fell apart
parts dropped like breadcrumbs
too something to stop and pick them up
No one gaped
no one braked
I suppose no one was inconvenienced
by my disintegration

Some days I'd rather be a problem
four tires facing up
rolled over in a ditch
beyond the mangled guard rail
honking cars audience to my broadcast indignation
desperation
loneliness
regret
I'd rather be a byword some days
as kind church ladies tut-tutted over my predicament
and shushed the busy, impatient drivers
Yeah -- like I ain't already got enough problems
Right?  See?
Feb 2018 · 80
communio sanctorum
RV Feb 2018
let us gather
blessed broken
people seated
closing ranks
around the table
over sounds and
smells of plenty
arm ourselves
with forks and
smiles and silence

let us pray
for those invited
those who come to
spite the invited
those who come in
spite of the invited

let us pour and
taste the wine of
kinship cultivated
vows kept and broken
words weighed and found
wanting seconds
pass the potatoes
let's eat
let
us
let us
Feb 2018 · 133
deviated septum
RV Feb 2018
did you know you snore?
of course not
you're dreaming of
birthday parties and
kitties and imagined
primal terrors too fuzzy
to do you real harm

your breathing is just
a bit too fast to rock me
to sleep, the rasp and whistle
of air through tiny nostrils
just irregular enough to
bring me back to
the room, the night,
the day we just had,
the trip your mom is on,
the pain in my knee
the long arc of your life
the rush of my days
spilling like coffee beans
from a rent sack

will there be a night when
I don't hear you
will my senses stop
reminding me that you are
breathing
somewhere
I hope
you
keep breathing
I need you to
keep breathing
Oct 2017 · 104
Trochees
RV Oct 2017
he the wayland
on the morrow
fry the fish head
fetching sorrow
spilling coffee
water closet
magic muffin
easy does it
mark the doorjamb
twenty minutes
spellbound silence
random spinnets
fifty-second
gully washer
**** the ******
mustard slosher
rabbit puddle
prancing pony
slap me sideways
steve maloney
etude
apologies to steve, if he exists
Oct 2017 · 118
Dies Irae
RV Oct 2017
When they lay my body in the ground
I want a tree to spread her roots above me
within and around me
I want the atoms I've borrowed
to sail away as bits of pollen
to visit all the places I've walked
or seen or dreamt of
lying beneath a tree on a summer day
or watching trunks pass on long rides

I want to creep slowly through heartwood
until the day comes
for our limbs to be split
and sent aloft
as a bonfire
on a starlit night
Oct 2017 · 222
Windows
RV Oct 2017
Shining square apostle
stands in silent salut-
ation scans the path the west-
ward pilgrims pass ev-
ery morning I
see and draw
comfort

Good morning
Is it good?

Well, I know it's
morning at
least I can see sunlight re-
flecting on his gold-
en many eyed
face framed by my wind-
shield like burnished brass a light-
house above a quotidian
sea


I nod and accept her
benedict-
ory expression as
hands reach through the wind-
ow exchange bills for coins
and cursory good-
morning
and thank-
you
and I am
sent on the
way

Am I sent?

Well, I know I
am at least
I pass this
place I see this
face I recognize my-
self in familiar
scenes through
glass placed or
sent either
way I find to-
day I am
here
Oct 2017 · 125
consignment
RV Oct 2017
I wish I'd saved my best for you
Uncomplaining queen of my heart
There was a time

You deserve something less
wide bent noisy broken
Adonis no not quite that
but supple
firm and fresh

You bought as is
No returns
Never asked around whose
***** I'd been girt

Still I wish
it was you'd done the wearing
off the sparkle out the elastic
That every crease
was a day of your life

Sweet lady
Bargain hunter
Thrift store baby
What you get
Is all I've got
not
What you deserved
I'm what you bought
Hope you like it
*smile
Oct 2017 · 97
exult
RV Oct 2017
exaltation
sugar maple
ignited by slanting
rays of autumn sunlight
ember stars
cast upward in
static eruption
against expansive
steel blue sky
my five o'clock prayer
holy moment in
thronging traffic
et exultavit
anima mea
in autumn trees
acer saccharum
god's haphazard generosity
on an insipid
october afternoon

— The End —