Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nine Days Left
An absurdly precise medical prediction
has left me, O’ Muse, only a novena of
days left to live. Sing through me Muse,
help me to perfect my days. Guide me
through the last of life, and grant me
a moment of simple joy in each day.
Day 9
"Boiling the Perfect Egg"
The white sphere cold in my palm,
the water raging in madness below,
is momentarily brought to its senses
by the plunge of a cold egg.
Three minutes and the magic
happens. Liquid turned solid,
a white corona surrounding
a solid, yellow sun. The shell
peels in great white chunks,
like tearing drywall from an old
house till the naked egg
lies quivering, yielding,
in my hand.
Day 8
"The Perfect Haircut"
“A number 2 all over,”
I tell the lady at Just-A-Cut.
She doesn’t know this will be
my Last-Just-A--Cut.
My baldness makes cutting
away what is already dead
an act possible to perfect,
its simplicity as beautiful
as the white, porcelain cup,
by the mirror before me,
in which rests
a black, plastic comb.

Day 7

"The Perfect Walk"

The moon behind me
my dog in front of me
no spider webs brush my face
no toads squish under my shoe
the pond thrums with secret life
a slight chill in the air
keeps the mosquitos
away and my dog and I
can walk for miles
and miles
and miles.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Shadows love to sing.
On still, moonless nights they
coalesce into choirs on
the steps of government buildings,
in the arched doorways of churches,
and the empty floors of parking garages.
They sing their hymns, their nearly
soundless vespers, sighing like the
wind through dead leaves, like distant waterfalls
only dogs and the mad can hear.

The sing for us, these shades of ours,
they see our days and know we need prayers.
Their chant is an invocation, as shadows know
a blessing for us is all they can ask
of the still, silent, space into which their
voices rise.

The new Novena prompt is "Where does your shadow go at night?"

I shall send my shadow
to watch over you at night.
From his ceiling perch he will
measure the metronome of
your breath, count the turns
your body makes under your
blankets, and monitor your
midnight mutterings for
murmurs of my name.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Hundreds of bees ignored
my presence today
as they roughed up
the tiny white flowers
on a bush.
Imagine what would happen
if a creature thousands of times
our size was suddenly looming
over a construction site or
office building.
Bees are single-minded creatures,
mind-on-their-jobs beings,
not panicked by a curious
colossus whose shadow
shades their work.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

"I hope I'm not imposing,"
I say to Nature, as birds
explode from the bush
In front of me,
as the heron pauses
in mid stride,
as the coots glide
to the other edge of the pond,
and the rabbits freeze in rhe
grass like garden statues.
I am an interloper here.
As I pass,
the heron lowers his foot,
the birds reclaim their perch,
the coots dive once again,
and the rabbits return
to their endless nibbling.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A White Guy Hearing Selena’s “Siempre Hace Frio” for the First Time

Two souls, one car, roll on a dark South Texas night.
We ride in silence, my eyes on the road,
her face bathed in her iPhone’s soft, blue light.
“Why don’t you speak Spanish?” while still looking at her phone.
How could I explain that my clumsy tongue,
shattered the Spanish against the walls of my mouth,
and turned a babbling brook of a language,
into a dark muddy puddle?
How could I explain the words batted like butterflies
 against my ears, refusing to land?

“Hey, listen to this!” A tap on the screen
and a voice filled the car.
If voices had color, this voice would be a
dark amber. If voices had shapes, this voice would
look like a dark, wild honeycomb.
It was full of the emptiness of anguish and loss.
I understood every word, even though I didn’t
know any word. The voice told me all. Someone
was gone, someone was lonely, someone was sad.
The voice transcended the language of men. I needed
no translator, no guidebook to navigate this land.
It was all clear.
The singer was teaching me a new language-

the language of love and loss.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The fog, made luminous by
a one-headlight moon, thickens
around the pond. I can taste it
as I walk. The fogs wet kisses moisten
my cheeks, and her wet fingers
leave traces of drops on my jacket.
My moonshadow walks in front
of me, more tentative, less definite,
than his daytime brother. He is shy
like a coyote caught in the sudden
flash of a porchlight, cautious like a mouse
exploring a darkened kitchen.

Moonshadow, sunshadow,
we all have shadows in our lives.
They walk with us in the sunlight,
They walk with us in the moonlight.
The only choice we have is to let
our shadow walk before us,
or to walk so that it is behind us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Glass and wire are always close to me now,
like the amulets and fetishes worn
by a tribal shaman my
discount store glasses
are always within my grasp.

On my bed stand, in my desk, around my neck
I reach for the seer stones, the Urim and Thummin,
I find in Dollar Generals and Family Dollars
that miraculously bring clarity to the
hieroglyphics written on the backs of medicine bottles,
the cuneiform directions on soup cans,
the runes of recipes on cracker boxes,
 and the faded imprints of credit card receipts.

It is the irony of aging,
the paradoxical evolution of life,
that finds my eyes fading
as the vision of my mind resolves,
clarifies and focuses. My younger self
could see the tracks of birds on the
the uppermost limbs of trees, but my
elder self is just starting to glimpse
what is really important.