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

So long ago

A poem written six years ago.

So long ago,
I got to know him well,
Always reaching, always looking
For a reason to keep living,

Even knowing
How alone we all are,
How he lived inside his head
Where no one could see the struggles,
No one could know how wrong they got it,
How, even he, in the end,
Gave up hoping for it
To change somehow,
Went from telling us how
To simply asking why.

Well, it’s a fair question, that.
Only, there can never be
An answer, no matter
How hard we stare
At the universe, demanding.

The universe only stares back,
Blankly.

Why had God forsaken him?

Why had he been so deluded
To think it would be different

From fear,
From loneliness,
From deception,
From illusion,
From cheap deliverance,
From intoxication,
From imagination?

Sitting and listening
To the sirens at night,
I imagine a million of them,
An endless stream of Jesuses
Asking the same question.

Why

Life in the coronaverse

On the coldest day of winter
In the year of ‘47
I came to Earth squealing
Already suspicious of so abrupt
A beginning

Naked and poorly formed
Smeared with placental essence
Squinting and stammering
Unwilling and unable to
Participate but certain it was
A requirement

Not so different, it seems,
After all the years of days on end
From the rest of it
And those moments of delusion
When I was convinced I swam well
While nearly drowning
In the swell of living

Seven decades and change have passed,
And now, in this venomous year
Of maladies viral and visceral
Someone, like some great umbilical impulse,
Has left food at my doorstep
As I sit kicking the walls, dreaming
Of a light at the tunnel’s end

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.