False idylls

Ah, we say, what a life!
and yet …

We are the heirs of discontent
we carry all colors among us
to their inevitable conclusion

Our eyes are rising swiftly
under an aging sun

What nourished our forebears
we find merely annoying
All those Bible Prophets mute
as sacks of sand

To build dikes against
a flood which never comes
and yet …

here we stand
precisely in their footpads

A minor quartet

The Art of Dreaming I
1. Close your eyes
2. Remember

The Art of Dreaming II
1. Trust your eyes
2. Surrender

The Art of Dreaming III
1. Damn your eyes
2. Carry on

The Art of Dreaming IV
1. Open your eyes
2. Forgive

Who

The morning grew clear toward mid-day,
no clouds, just a west wind
to stir your memory.

How you thought truth was in you,
how you swore allegiance to companionship,
how you lived in the night
and passed judgment on the light,

a light you rejected, a payback,
a settling, a comeuppance,

how you failed to notice , even then,
that you hadn’t the status to be rejected,
how you slowly saw, slowly, grudgingly,
that rejection was neither of you nor for you,
and how little it mattered.

Later, you try to start over,
still wearing the skin you were born in,
all those scars the only evidence.

Sky and water

Water and sky indecisive,
light flitting around corners,
thunder mumbling curses,
a low energy kind of day

I recall a day exactly
like this, so long ago,
when we walked between the drops
to the 10th Street Pool Hall

to lay our fortunes down
on the Steepleton tables,
greener than any pasture,
leather pockets yawning.

Entire lives were spent
and measured in racks of nine;
I still hear the clack
between the thunder claps.

In the end, we walked out the door
pockets empty, hearts full,
into the long shadows
of the waiting sullen universe.