another old, old story of love – inspired by p. glass

after holding hands in moonlight
after silence so profound
we start to measure love
by counting grains of sand
teaspoons of ocean waters

when love flows over us
filling every pore
like existence desperate to continue
all the way to eternity
in one moment,
how could we not make love?

what else can we do?
keep it in?
let it fester?
hide it?
shame it?

when the last teaspoon
of ocean water
rolls down your breast
when the last star completes
a constellation on your hips,
how could we not make love?

love does not need be made
in that moment,
love is all there is
one touch, one kiss,
two souls flow into one another

like rivers into the sea
embracing the earth
filling every gap
with fervent

Image: The Lovers Painting – The Lovers by Pal Szinyei Merse


Porcelain Doll-man

Tonight, I write about how sometimes we have to shatter everything to find the pieces that matter most.

I see myself in a picture,
Looking far away, looking removed,
And I want to run away from everything
They asked me to do,

or just sledge-
hammer the flawed porcelain doll-man
standing on the stage singing words
so well he doesn’t realize, like Monkee’s,
they are genuine words of other people who
need me in make-up to don the costume hung
in the closet of life’s green room
and speak for them.

I see myself in a picture,
Looking far away, looking removed,
And I begin to make up something to believe
I pin something on my sleeve to seem genuine

a medal, a badge,
some rank indicator of success that pins
me to a thing greater than me, sitting behind
in the green room showered, un-costumed,
flipping two quarters, one for each eye,
while the porcelain cracks
expose a seam the spirit can
slip through and haunt the crowd.

I see myself in a picture,
Looking far away, removed,
And I mistake myself for a stranger
Under these stage lights

fading the doll’s clothes,
I strip.
I strip the old man’s blindfold
so he can see where he walked,
ambling casually among strangers with gin
and tonic in hand, numbing them
with his meaningless wit
protected, protecting, protect.

I see myself in a picture,
far away, removed
And pick up the frame and feel its weight in
my throwing hand

hearing the voice,
that Monkee voice echo back
from the audience, laughing
and jump out naked on stage
mistaken for a stranger
by my own friends
hoping that my angel didn’t
give up watching over me

I see myself in a picture
I look far away, I am removed.
It falls to the stage as fast
As the porcelain doll, shattering.

Up, Up, Up Into His Sky

I wake, having forgotten to look up
To see how god shapes his story for us
If only we had the cypher to the clouds.

I ask the trees, having watched Him longer,
If they have a code, they say, “no man,
Made up our own, more fun that way.”

I smile and move along to speak with birds
They all laugh together, “silly man, always
Thinking God does everything for you.”

I smile and look past them at the blue
Wanting to unlock the dictionary, and name
Every corner of the sky in between clouds.

Just then the birds’ silence stills me
To these pieces of universe we surmise
Are ours to discover and name.

Names that will be forgotten
Once their meaning dies and with us,
Drift up, up, up into His sky.

Image: Sky 2, Creator’s Celebration by Roxanne Dyer

Standing Inside the Continents’ Drift

This morning, the rains practice their rhythms on the skylights
That had let the day inside all night long, but somehow a dream
Found me.  Now with the rains I practice my craft of singing
Words over emotions and memories as they fall down to earth
Looking for a puddle to gather and be stomped in by a child
Who wants to see what mud splatters will say, dried on the wall.

The dream that found me had been sitting like a solitary soul
Somewhere on the broken landscape inside Thingvellir Rift
When the playful child god inhabited my solemn grey frame
And taught me how to play again with my children. Hiding
In a cave that stank of piss, lurking like a tiny monster to scare
The first youth who dared walk past my home, unsuspecting.

Too late, they had become suspecting of their playful father
Recalled from Tiger Wrestles and indoor basement camping
And out-seeked the hider. Before they became aware of fatigue
Sitting alone inside the stench of my own piss, I walked out.
This was not the dream. From behind the rift wall, a tectonic
Movement occurred inside, pulled apart 2 centimeters a year.

In the gap the ocean had filled, glacial melt so clear yet so cold
You could see the bottom 46 feet down, it looked like a hand
Could reach inside to pick the lucky coins now a part of earth’s
Slow history. Someday, tell the story of how God’s patient rip
Tore open the flesh so called perfect gods hid behind, aware
The fissures in the facade were cracking like broken porcelain.

In seconds, though, God wrapped his hand around my heart
Began to squeeze so hard to make me stop and listen to Him.
Look out across my broken landscapes, Son, and see beauty:
Each crack in the earth, the sharp uneven rocks, every weed
Awaits your naked feet. Be brave. I unbuttoned the costume
Seeing in front of me the first rock that looked stable enough.  

‘He introduced me to the Sun, forgetting we’d already met’

He introduced me to the Sun, forgetting we’d already met
Year ago when we’d lie together on the hill our front.
We’d dance in the rain, we’d grab hold of the rope swing
Toss ourselves into the river, tumbling down, laughing.

Now he acts like I haven’t been waiting in the back
Loosening my grip on him, raised on the promise he’d
Bring me back out into the light before I wasted away
Like an illusion, now I am under the pressure, cracking.

I wade into the water trying to baptize my new day
He said to me, “You were the only one. I was going to waste
Without you. If we do not runaway, straight into nothing,
Stand in the wake of our pain, it will all break down.”

With respect to The War on Drugs’ Under the Pressure written by Adam Granduciel

Lovers Rubato

Without words, navigate me home, heart.
Use fingers on ivory and detail the trail
Each pebble, each tree, each flower, each pedal
Some days, words seem so unnecessary
Moments, more so, when forever stays not long enough
With you, finding myself already home.

Flightless Bird, Dancing

He dances like a flightless bird
Imitating his aviator friends.
Is he crazy,
Or the last sane one?

When he meets the ground,
His mouth hidden from view,
Are the tears sad ones
Or the kind joy drops?

Resistant to conformity,
He must be defiant
With an inhuman rigor
To preserve his dance.

He thinks flightless birds
Are the ones
Who evolved
Into saner beings.

Serendipitous Credit to Iron and Wine for “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” from the Catching Fireflies playlist.

A Balloon Let Go

The balloon our sorrows filled
like helium floating upward
we held earthbound too long.
I looked at you and with eyes
swimming into one another’s
heart. The wordless answer
spoke by opening its hand
giving the sorrows flight
until they burst like the sun
rising on our horizon
whose orange melts
across the darkness
allowing the deep blue
meaningfulness of day
to arrive
to stick our hands into
to find the star
to light the remaining days
like an umbrella of softness,
under, we hold one other close
when the rain falls as
little drops of inspiration
drawing us closer and closer
until we melt into one
flash of lightning
at last, released.