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lest the best go to waste

~for the Grande Dame of Port Hardy~

this breathing fire, a coronating sense of mortality, internally
stronger than ever before, though unaffected, no visible signage,
his invisible labored breathing, the torn fabric of easy gone mentality,
yet so corrupted, his interiors polluted, his crying-out-loud goes

unheard, the sheltering alone in his head, which now is stretched,
way past the point of no return ever, this new strand of side-virus,
of dreary sameness, familiar but reimagined as an atmospheric cancer,
the urgency by which his olive oil words, from pitcher poured, astounds

no subterfuge, he’s made his Great-Escape, to the sheltering island,
his refuge, part redoubt, jagged coastlines a hardening shell, no access
until you declare fealty to the Ferry Captains, who let you board for a princely $2 bucks, if you meet their unstandards, upstanding, healthy?

to the old cottage where we have summered forty year more, The requested Crew assemblage by early dawn (no ****),  for animals unencumbered by time-stealing watches, animal mutual truce declared, mottled multiplying rabbits, squirrels who know not any fear, orange breasted robins, **** deer, mollusks, rainbow trout, osprey, cat-sized cawing crows, and the watchers, the sea-it-all gulls

even the Canadian geese send a scout, in the poet’s nook we are formed, nervous not for their safety, but worried for mine, a Memorial Day meeting very traditional, atmospheric condition cool-cloudy-overcast, party sunny a bold-faced forecasters lie-trick, for an island *******-bonding gloom, a glomming gray weight tamps the air down

Friends! My Audience for New Poets! (their honorific, now over-a-decade old): The Gods have tweeted, this year may not have a next, no Jerusalem for your human acquaintances, the luxurious slowdown of island life, infected by a new urgency, explaining the known and the unknowns facing the human interlopers

Where’s Shelter?**

a refrain, a greeting,  we have sung together, so many times, self-satisfied, fore we knew well, knew anew, we had the answer, here, here, though to life’s cycle we are not immunized, but now your human admirers face agents of death, by invisibility masked, giving us no pause, so we, all, write now, must forward on to:

live/write our best, lest, our partnership be for naught, always between us truce of mutual consent, a natural love of all living things
Late afternoon, tween twilight but before the dusk
in time for afternoon prayers, ******* followed by
the evening service, The Name reached out unto me
to touch my face, wake me from a lifelong slowing slumber.

My man! My good man, I’ve been numbering those days,
you will have no disagreement that you’re quite the closer,
close by, the chapter finale of our story, your living, a well
thumbed novella, enjoyed by many, and a favorite o’mine.

Do not restless rustle, no busing bustle, the Set Table^ cleared,
tabulations done, the sums and dividend distributed, in sync,
your words well distributed, remainders to be dearly shared, saved,
showings of great love, valleys of feeling, these your humble attire.

Look how easy the (our) words come, the fluids of a man for which
we have been long patient be awaiting, the company all in readiness,
for confession and days of permanent new creation, fast beginnings,
think on it, to be called child once more, how glorious this unknown!

Dimensions recorded, measurements tailor-taken, silk tuxedo deep bleu,
luxe, a hint of violet, here-presented, patent, the leather for blue suede
winged dancing shoes no airport dare ask you remove, before they beg you, say, save grace, just once, pronounce The Name, the one of Seventy!

To walk, talk, rhyme and theorize, to forget and memorize, refreshing,
knowing nothing lasts, except things that last forever, last never,
yet decisions need completion, choices, ordering songs you’ve loved best, replete all sorrowed pains, uplifting prayers, hallelujah hymns, last rites..

You, a world to us, a microcosm of a triathlon life, juggling the many, last of a lineage who could^^ pray, making rain, reading poetry to angels, giving comforting absolution for making storms, plagues, tidal waves, volcanoes, concentration camps, death marches, stillborn children, incurable sadness.

Quick when the curtain calls, listen close for the cue, toe the mark,
take position, hands upward joined, eyes down, ahead are fearless words,
a soliloquy lasting hundreds of years, balances aligned, only now you  needed, to make mercy allocations, putting paid next to all my periods, all in place, properly positioned, now comes an  evening song.

then to commence the writing of only love poetry forevermore.

Sabbath May 23
woke from a half-nap, while listening to music heard a certain song, then wrote in a single sitting of thirty minutes

^ Shulchan Aruch
  May 20 Where Shelter
she said:
you are a man knowing cruel, knowing hard,
with strangest soft skin, a funny way of talking,
lick my face with your words so I’ll learn,
to be tough and tender too, this I want, wanted

he replied:
life gave me splinters, broken from rough edges,
left under my exterior to fester, blister, and scar,
life licked my face, taught me mean, and the words
that came with that, were sand papered on my skin

she answered:
I’m not blind, I can feel, smell your contradictories,
want your antibodies in my blood, survival skills,
to be what I am not, and keep too, what I’ve got, to
be infected and protected, knowing words defensive

he listened:
what you desire, is the health that comes after,
after what you don’t understand, until you’ve
loved, lost, been beaten down so that getting up is
miraculous, this unteachable, this licking by words

she insisted:
your arrhythmic rhymes, skinflint perspectives,
this is what I ask, what I need, what you can give,
what is in your possess, what you need to unburden,
making me better for making you lessened

he wept:
and said nothing.

for nothing taught appreciating silence and that,
was the beginning,
of what she wanted,
of what he did not,
of what he gives reluctantly

Wed May 20
Isle of Mind
the health (MIND|BODY)

the body is atrophying,
rising from the bed is an
exercise in handholds,
and wall grabbing, no falling failure

my whispers in the bed
of imminent death go
unheard as somewhat
desired, but not entirely, unsure, unsure

the blood don’t circulate
fast enough, streams slow
to sad songs Pandora has
accumulated and plays on, and on, and on


mind run by rivulets, fear floes,
courage-drowned, easy stuff
impossible, hard, beyond pale,
drowning in self-disgust and, hopeless

every deadline passes, dying,
easygoing no screaming, the
minimal, hard, beyond the pale,
the poetry is untraceable, untranslatable

the easy out is steps away,
illusions are illusory, delusions,
are stories you tell for amusement,
dreams are practice runs, for the long run

the poem words die on the vine,
scorned silence, best is past,
appropriate ignominy ****** iced,
so it goes, no minyan for the funeral, no ten
the anonymous who keep us fed,
allowing us to stay in shelter, hide in bed,
while they masked and gloved,
go about keeping us safe and living

with no glory, the invisible,
the shelf stockers,
the wipe-downers,
of our collective spaces,
disinfecting when we
are home in our heads, while
their families worry~wait

we are the indebted,
so our collective can prosper,
no one calls them heroes,
but we would be at greatest, fatalist risk,
if not for the burdens they accept,
for they deliver

so I when I ask nowadays, where is shelter,
the answer is, it is on the way, it is in their hands,
being delivered!
in NYC we are able to survive only because of this army
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