Posts Tagged poetry

Daybreak

Two mangy dogs down by the Claverack Creek

Insist that, on early spring mornings,

County Road 25 belongs to canines,

Not cars, silence or jogging poets,

So each morning they come at me

 

In all their dirty, furry little anger,

Balancing their pace with their courage,

Until I turn and jump toward them, arms out,

The sudden star of an Off-Broadway musical,

A move any crackpot poet knew was coming.

 

I’m no man of headaches and this one took three days

To take off, lifting like a flock of geese,

Clucks and double clucks,

A retired steam locomotive on the Fourth of July,

The coughing and whispering of pressurized air.

 

My furry henchmen, having exchanged glances,

Steal away, bewildered, as many an audience.

Then, conquering the moment, I stand by the river

Where the other morning I stepped in

And swam against the current, moving and not moving.

 

Writing is what happens while you’re sleeping

And at daybreak, it all comes floating by —

Familiar voices, a missing paragraph, this poem.

All the poet has to do is the living, the loving,

The exhilarating loneliness of typing.

, , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Sunset Park

It took me years
To start dreaming in dollars
Which I do, at six forty-five,
As the clock radio goes off

Announcing that the Dow is up
So I get up as well
And ride my bike to Sunset Park,
Past Green-Wood Cemetery

Where, last week, our landlord buried
His old brother, a man I’ve never met
But who used to live in this house,
A life as real to me as fiction.

The October sun penetrating
Feather-shaped leaves of oak trees
Makes it look like early spring
Which, in a way, it is.

Young people sing of broken hearts
Later, you marvel at the generosity
You since birth have carried
In the vaults of your chest.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Moon

And while everyone on Earth
Looked to the Moon
For their own shadow
I stood on the Moon
As our fragile little Earth
Covered the Sun,
Praying, wondering
What on earth we have done.

, , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Homework

Love left for another continent
And for weeks, the notebooks have been piling up
On the kitchen table.

Outside the window,
At seven-thirty, the cardinal sings his tune
To remind the world, I assume

That breakfast is overdue.
I’m reading the ABC of Achebe, Bukowski, Camus
Dotting down, in red and blue, sequences of particular musicality.

At sunset, the first glass of wine is exquisite
The second is the name on the label
After that, it’s like doing someone else’s homework.

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Twelve Bar Blues

Feed the cat
Feed the birds
Glance at poem
Change a word
 
Boil some water
Grind some beans
Brush your teeth
By all means
 
Turn the dial
Morning news
Lover’s kiss
Twelve bar blues

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Pop

God created corn
Then man created popcorn

God created the eye
Then man created Popeye

God created music
Then man created pop music

Then God gave up
And man created a pop-up God

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Swimmingly

Here, where the surface
Cuts everything in mercurial halves,
I look at life
From both sides, now

Clouds drifting by
The sun on the water
Drawing my shadow on the ocean bed
Ink of sand, salvaged from Plato’s pen

Frail, flickering, down there
In the chicken wire of reflections
But my, how my arms are still strong
Like the legs of a young woman

Dancing, I who never danced
Hustling, I who never hustled
As if they were the only arms
In the food chain.

, , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment