Reunion

After hours of fitful turning,
Georgie fell to sleeping,
The rasping cough too strenuous
The light too ambiguous,
His eyelids too large to will open

In his dream,
All that ever was and all that shall be
Converged on him, and he saw the limitless
And held it close to his heart

He saw the child’s Christmas, one with
Rubble-strewn streets and bomb-laced
Windows, the spanking cry of new-born
Wrinkled joy, one with tear-washed dead lips
Of a life, spent and discarded, brushed aside

He saw the stars, new and old, explode eternally,
Worlds awash with life and others bereft of it
And tiny, forlorn pulses in ancient crevices,
Which would have been long forgotten
Had anyone ever known of them.

He could see them all, and all seemed dear,
The sublime and the petty,
The ecstasy and the torment,
Down to the final finalness, indistinguishable
From the beginning

Even down to the last corner of the vastness,
Down to the last lonely planet
Where Georgie lay on the gurney,
The sheet pulled over his unblinking face.

Closing credits

I used to picture myself on that horse
that rides from sunset to sunset,
leaving nothing behind but long shadows

the dream that makes of loneliness
a virtue and of love a dull ache
to cleanse the heart of wistfulness.

Me and Shane. While they’re resting in peace
we’re saddling our horses, checking our
provisions, eyes glazed wide open,

while they’re calling out we’re receding
into the distance, over the rise.
They never see us looking back, blinking

into the new sunrise at our backs

Reflections on a park bench in autumn

Time is winning this game,
score tied, one to infinity,
the last stop on this old trolley line
looms ahead, witless, wanton.

It’s cold, let’s face it, but
I can’t help loving the slatted
sunlight, the already tattered leaves
flinging themselves underfoot.

I may be hopelessly anchored
here in this silty backwater
astride these gifts of algae
given long ago,

but I am surely more than just a worm
through time. I sink, I swim, all a-whim,
the winds washing the stained earth.
Still, there are fates involved, I’m told.

Dreams, like phantoms, peer out
from under sheaves of light.
Live with ghosts, and before long,
you begin to feel thin yourself.

A sparrow lands at my feet.
All I can do is stare dumbly.
“I’m so sorry,” sighs the breeze,
“May I do it again?”

In spite of rain

In spite of rain tumbling toward sleet,
the street half-hearted and gray
with envy of clouds, which take
their opportunity to jettison

sweet dying light,
the sun unhidden briefly, quickly,
and hustled back before any expectation
of warm rebuttal of fall can set in,

I know the trees live still,
though barren of celebration,,
I know beneath the crust that grass
and flowers grow, unheard, unseen,

I wonder at the thinness of sparrows
and the strength of their fires
on days like this that drive the mice,
beloved of field and furrow, indoors

to nibble in resignation
at the edges of mortality.

Lazarus

And Martha said to Jesus,
‘So how long is this resurrection thing
good for?’
‘Hard to say,’ Jesus said.’
‘Why?’

Martha poured him
another glass of wine.

‘It’s just that he won’t stop
talking about it,
how he’s your favorite,
how you don’t raise just anyone
from the dead.’

Jesus drained his glass,
reached for the bottle.

‘I might be able to get him a job
in Cyprus.’