Uneasy lies the head

We ring the years in and out
like good paying customers
flashing credit cards

old year gone, be sure to
activate the new,
the last one spent ragged
as a frayed umbilical cord,

bells and carols gone
wasted and unused,
discarded with a shrug.

Remember when we had
never heard of Wuhan?

A face, tall

a face, tall, engaging
flickers in and out
of consciousness
strong and fragile
here and gone,
all the years and minutes
piled up against the door,
a window not open,
just cracked, the strain
too much

for a poor sparrow of a man
to peck at like some lonely
grass filled afternoon
misted edgewise into memory
out of reach, out of reach

these years have brought me here
I can’t say it’s much to look at
but here I am, regretting
nothing and everything at once

and still…
that face

Traces

Sometimes I follow ancient
trailing wrinkles, vague traces
of paths untaken, no use
to anyone now
after all the promises
have spilled out through
careless whim, unforeseen
swirls of hope and fury
all hung up to dry without regard
to logic or poetry

The crones of darkness linger
beneath a pointed finger, no singer,
but a low murmur, a thin skulking
wink of a man

Sometimes I sit in an empty room
with a bell and ring it,
trying to pinpoint the moment
it stops its waning tone.

That’s how a life is

A sky, unbroken

I sit under the unbroken sky
baby blue, no jet trails
and think of other days
so like this, a longing ago
when everything was alive
with wonder, when the sun

meant promise and possibility.
Under the unbroken sky, I sit
pining for the occasional cloud,
wishing up, as they say, a storm,
a world in my head
awaiting its cue.

Awakening

To say my father loved Jesus
is as wrong as saying he feared him.
To him, Jesus was a landlord,
a creditor, someone owed a debt,
which, left unpaid, would end in pain,

not only justified but welcomed,
insisted upon, and in the great
tradition of the spawn of Yahweh,
pass on to children and their children,
the unwanted and unearned burden of birthright.

Good morning, says the baptist, and
slaps you on the butt. It’s time
to be fitted for your chains.