Coltrane and Rainy Days

Cursor blinking on the page

unfinished labor of money, not love

while lost in a moment of Coltrane

always back to those honeymoon days

where it was cool and rainy outside,

cool and warm inside, barefoot in blankets and books

philosophical political purposeful conversations,

nights filled with red wine, the soft twinkle of

patio lights surrounded by passionate minds and

laughter, the burning of more than just candles

between us.   Another time before children,

before the fast-forward of life and cymbals

banging, before beds were strictly for sleeping,

before bright lights.  Maybe it was only a moment

or something we saw in a movie once

where Uma Thurman played me, and Brian

Greenberg, the light skinned Jewish version

of the brown and beautiful you,

but without the conflict.

Lost in the lazy piano and hot-blooded

trumpet, I can see those artist hands

of yours against my white arm

resting on the slow breaths of your chest.

Music drawn to a sad close,

I hear it– flashing cursor, pinging email,

stacks of paper.

But this day; this life,

was meant for so much more.

Glazed in esteem beside the white parchment

black pen and blank journal
like the red wheelbarrow
on which so much depends

keeper of dreams
delicate wrapper of the future
and the past

a field of flowers clouded
with darkness and shadows
a battlefield of mistakes

defeated by knowledge and
gratitude for lessons learned
seeds of regrowth

black pen and blank journal
let your secrets escape
to shine their light

on a world bereft of poetry
flowing through the veins of society
and fill its soul once more

Gratitude

Pale peonies are open

as were my arms to the sky in winter

in a field, in a twirl, as the snow brushed autumn

from my face, leaving fresh pink cheeks, a sign

of something that blooms in winter.

During these moments of silence and peace,

I find gratitude.  A poem taped to the wall

of my heart, the peonies, the snow,

a call from a friend

from long ago.

When Elvis Died

When Elvis died in the seventies, too soon for some, my mother wore a t-shirt, “Elvis Lives” bedazzled in rainbow sparkle across her shapely chest all I knew was that this angel was sent down for me unaware of her life outside of motherhood. I watched her in the day. screamed for her at night, longed for even the scent of her on my weekends away. It may have been Elvis then that had her heart or someone taller and darker, but I don’t think it was me coming into adolescence, learning how to be. Elvis did live through that faithful decade in the rooms of our house, in the shag carpets, and green velvets. Blue suede shoes danced the darkness from our lives. It was the seventies sound of Elvis dying, leaving us behind but keeping the soul of my family alive.

Swing

All the treasures in childhood
like sparklers on Fourth of July

sparking memories of campfires and
bullet pops to pass the summers by

Tucked in by Hans Christian Andersen
sweet dreams in a yellow canopy bed

Flying with Peter Pan and pixie dust;
cartwheels, back flips, standing on our heads

Boat races in the pebbled park stream
baseball games and matchbox cars

filled our days with other lands of pretend
until the sky was filled with stars

Snapshots of our nostalgic youth
flown quickly by on a butterfly wing

None of them quite as special as you and me
smiling and swaying on the old oak’s tire swing

Scientific Method of a Kiss

1 – Ask a question
His lips are moving, but what is he saying?

2 – Form a hypothesis
He is talking about work, but his lips are mouthing love.

3—Conduct an experiment
Smile back. Let go of doubt.  Release inhibition.

4—Analyze results
A second date.  Attraction. Lips and hearts magnetic. Explosion.

5—Make a conclusion
This kiss, resulting in explosion, confirms hypothesis.

We are in love.  Have been since ask a question.

Splendid

Alone on a morning walk
splashed in a rose watercolor dawn

Together in the forest
under a clear sky raining glitter

Watching these babies
freshly bathed and sleeping

Oh—what a splendid life

Lies We Tell Ourselves

she was honest from the start
she could only handle so much

when results were in
her hand writing over and over them

the only solution was to wail and
begin lying—to everyone she knew

if anyone ever imagined the worst
of those paper bags in the clinics

they need not worry, for the bags
are filled with lies

those we tell ourselves and others
especially our children

whose death is a truth and sorrow
leaving us like an abandoned chrysalis

frail, transparent, with a hole we’ll never fill
only the spirit of a blue butterfly

escaping with the lie

Things No One Should Ever Say

I confess:
I want to be a poet
a writer
someone who writes poems
for a good part of her day
who attends workshops
who starts a writer’s group
who publishes
who is known in poetry circles
I confess:
I am not just doing this for me
I am doing it for you
for everyone
and not only that, but
I want you to like it
maybe even love it
quote it
memorize it
read it
at your grandmother’s funeral
I want it to soak into your skin
and bones, and melt into your
marrow so it is forever
part of me now part of you

Where No Living Thing Should Grow

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
                       ~Shakespeare

in blurred mirages rising from the desert floor
where no human should see herself reflected
seasons do not come and go
as they could not bear to follow her there
where no living thing should grow

autumn refused to pack up the leaves
who could blame her
when brown is the only color this land knows
it rolls in on nuclear clouds
choking our dry throats and hearts

nor could winter survive
year round summer rays attacking any snowflake
who dares attempt to hold tight to parched ground
he too chose to stay where powerful blusters can
not be weakened by mercury rising

spring, such an accommodating fair haired friend
rather than say no outright, she teases
with a few weeks of bloom and blue
only to rush home quickly to greener pastures
leaving little notice she once blossomed here

we brace ourselves and take cover
for the raging wrath of hellfire burst forth
summer nearly six months of the year
still beating us with its heat stick in October
trick-or-treating in shorts and bare shoulders

missing the seasons is more than a lack
of something from yesteryear
it is a soulless march of walking dead
over scorched earth seeking to wash away their sins
in color, leaves, rain, and snow