04 February 2008


tock-tick, tock-tick, tick, tick, tick
black of night
leaves the red electric numerals
graved upon the eyes

tea kettle waits patiently upon
the range for the ringing of the
bells....5:50, 6:00, 7:00....

blindslats yield, curtain-panels drawn
left and right, encroaching sun creeps
above the bridge to glint upon

the windshields dashing past
the funeral home
(whoosh, squeal, crash)

as smells of eggs and coffee
seep into the hallways--doors
open/close open/close open/close
and soles
slap slap slap upon the stairwell,
followed by

women leave traces of
scent behind, by the mailboxes,
while they, bag and box laden,
make their way to station,
school, or office on heels of
all descriptions

at mid-day the bells ring out
and we pause

at three there is the riot
of voices, color, movement,
unceasing, pulsing forward
as the tide

walking home: hand in hand,
flesh against flesh, our voices
piping up against the wind, twin
strands intertwining, knitted as
we once were....

the peace of bed, sheets the white of
bones and eggshells, dark locks
damp upon a forehead pushed
aside to give leave to the lips
to place their imprint there

to bed, again,
with tea and tablets to
urge the drowse of sleep
against the ringing of the bells,
tinny and obnoxious by turns,
these unwelcome heralds bleating,
breaking silent dark in twain

Sunday Dinner

oh yes, this green and
pleasant land, milk
and honey drenched,
away and away, beyond
the river, beyond
the band of railroad
tracks rusted over, the land
of soybeans, corn, and kale

where the ladle does not hit
the bottom of the pot,
beef to the heel on the
weekly joint, and all will be
in abundance (the chorus
repeats) all will be in

as the sun rises over thick-bladed
fields bordered by wood and stone
birdsong rises up to the blank blue,
a slate waiting for our writing

The View From the Monkey Bars

fat sparrows stab at
the jagged breadslice,
the heel of the loaf half-soaked
in a gravy of rainwater
puddling under the arches,
whitewashed, framing
this postage stamp of green
--hedgebordered, at the
center a fir, heavy-branched,
garlanded with
electric orbs in April

ah, and do we see
the lights dim--oh,
Burke, think well of
charges, and surcharges,
I charge you, reconsider
these attachments of
our income


rain pours down,
triple lights swing
as paper lanterns do,
almost weightless,
battered by the character of wind
that raises up
wreaths of leaves, smoothbrown,
thinveined, brittle-edged,
a rustling crown to
dip and edge away,
finally undone entirely,
sent their scattered way

as you puzzle out the traces of the
weird script sandblasted
off the blond bricks, so
many bars of gold, they
glimmer, mirage-like
as you perch on the monkey bars