Tag Archives: death

NIGHT DRAWS NEAR, BROTHER ASS

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Night draws near, brother ass
pale sister moon ascends the dark

brother wind makes a chill pass
from long ago and far away
where Francis dogs still bark—

they echo sorry old beliefs
that make you lesser than
a thing that’s called a soul.

As if some merciless sneak thief
has stripped you of your rigmarole

stolen all your oomph for dreams
of grasping the elusive carrot
and your fear of prodding stick

you slow a bit now, and seem weary
though you stubbornly as ever climb
the slope of each day, brick by brick.

You’ve been a good and faithful
servant— more than I can say

for parts that think and speak.
Yours is an understanding deeper
than all hope and pray. Are we perhaps

at last in sempiternal unison about
the moment that must come?  Then
let’s together bray..and bray…and bray!
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night-draws-near-brother-ass

NOW IS THE FALL

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Lenders continue to love their usurious way of falling
while grubbers hover above a penurious way of falling.

An ill wind blows at the lady’s presumptive tiara;
how it cackles upon her perjurious way of falling.

“I laid me down with a will,” R. L. Stevenson wrote;
Dylan Thomas raved a fume-furious way of falling.

A comedown is sometimes called a comeuppance but
my tuppence deems that a spurious way of falling.

A warning to those who topple off ladders: bracing
to save yourself is a most injurious way of falling.

When fish die, they turn upside-down and rise
in the water; this is their curious way of falling.

I dream I leap into heaped colors of newfallen leaves
fingers crossed for a windup luxurious way of falling.
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now-is-the-fall

IN THE SHALLOWS

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Long thoughts linger in the shallows,
lollygag along the beach
where the tidal waters whisper
lisp and slur their primal speech

where the ebbing wavelets licking
cling a moment to the land
spit their spume, leave little riddles
and blanched shells that suck the sand

edges shift in fickle fractals,
zig damp earth with zags of brine…
though on strolls here in the shallows
bare feet seem to toe a line

as if taunting trekker troopers
swooping seagulls squawk and yell
why is every footstep schlepping
its old burden… parallel?

One quick glance over a shoulder,
the horizon’s still out there…
oh, to lightly walk on water
or to gull-glide through the air

perpendicular to margins
on imaginary paths
of green beckoning blue sparkles
above dreadful depths of wrath…

still I turn now, stop in stillness
water clear, ground safe below,
standing easy in the shallows
staring where I dare not go…

there’s a staying thing that anchors
to the habits, terror strong,
stronger than the heart’s desiring
though desire lives deep and long.
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IN THE SHALLOWS

LAST CAT’S CONUNDRUM

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Where did everybody go, do you suppose?
I thought I had them counted, every nose
going about its business everyday—
dog in the grass, cats in their litter tray;
now eat, now sleep—precise punctilios.

It started when one of the ones who wear the clothes
left us, went wherever someone goes
who never comes again. That’s when I began to say
where did they go?

Later on, my brother cat lay down and froze
in a forever sleep.  There was such weeping; flows
of tears like rivers. Then, oh, no! The dog fell prey
to that inscrutable. I feel as if I’m yesterday,
trying to know, waiting for my eyes to close—
where did everybody go?
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LAST CAT CONUNDRUM

LOVE’S NOT TIME’S FOOL

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(We’ve just had Memorial Day, here in the USA, when we especially commemorate those who have died fighting our wars, and we place flowers, as well, on the graves of all of our deceased loved ones.)

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The wheel turns once again to this:
the image of your going
that appalling, horrid yesterday.
Old wounds stir beneath their scars
memories of anguish, fear, and disarray–
the sudden darkness
of your life’s closing parenthesis.

Yet anniversaries are not required
for our in memoriam
let those who think so
take their yearly flowers to your grave.
They’ll soon forget again. They do not know
the way you visit constantly
as earth, the air, the water, …fire…

as reminding, unseen amulet,
as the in-dwelling, the abruptly
disappearing dream at dawn,
the little pause over a cup at noon,
the lengthening shadow on the lawn—
in the gut-pull of gravity,
split-second, as each sinking sun is set.

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LOVE’S NOT TIME’S FOOL

THE SNOW WILL MAKE NO NOISE

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The snow will make no noise, but clasp the ground in silence,
slowly muffling, snuffing-out, all but the sound of silence.

A blood moon will rise beyond the last wisps of withered wheat
and deepening chills of wind blow circles around the silence.

Old uncle at the festivities, mostly a piece of history, still
he will hear a calliope, watch a merry-go-round in silence.

Sometimes the songs my mother never sang to me
drift on the blown flurries over her stony mound of silence.

So many poems have simply died for a lack of sounding;
are locked, like the terminal years of Ezra Pound, in silence.

What cannot be said, once and for all, howls dreadfully
like a two-headed dog that continues to hound the silence.

It was too early, earlier, and now it’s become too late
to fix what broke or rewind the clocks unwound by silence.

See how kindness is kin to snow in the darkness—
flakes floating down to a stately, dumbfounded silence.
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THE SNOW WILL MAKE NO NOISE

The slight interfering noise towards the end of the audio was contributed by my dog, Chloë , who was nearby, lying on her back with her paws in the air, wriggling and panting with joy.

MAPLE YELLOW, MAPLE RED

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Maple yellow, maple red, I see
the killing splendor of your canopy
outside my window as I lie abed
gathering this morning’s go-ahead,
whispering this small apostrophe—

how gracefully you ride time’s tyranny
and know exactly how to be a tree,
rubrics never read, sermons unsaid,
maple yellow, maple red.

Soon you will die, to some degree,
turn prickly gray as colors flee;
but you’ll grow back the brights you shed.
This time next year, I may be dead
while you, most likely once again, may be
maple yellow, maple red.
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MAPLE YELLOW, MAPLE RED