The Child Said, Do You Like Rocks?

Have you ever held something small and alive in your hand?
Something small like a kitten or a puppy or a bird or a bug?
How does something little feel?child looking at rocks
How can something that small be alive?
Rocks can be small.
but  not much alive.
A piece of paper can be small
but it won’t wiggle much
Things like that might roll down a hill
or fall from a tree
or float on the breeze.
but they’re not warm.
unless you hold them in the sunshine
and they won’t lick you
or kiss you
or breathe on your cheek
With a piece of paper and a crayon you could draw a rock
and maybe it will touch you
but not like a turtle or a butterfly or even a chicken
not in a way you will want to touch back
not like a person
not like you

The Child Said, Do You Like Rocks?

Even If Disturbing

Less white than black in the dayairplane at sunset
streaks of your face over mountains
colored by sizzling reddish strands
blowing away from your eyes

shimmering in the lingering
loving in the lasting lonely
framing the easy harmony
in time with the leaning

Pain is there in the knowing
frustration in the feast
with sand lanes dancing
since you hold the sunset

If I were a gregarious pilot
I would fly without doubt
forever into that fading light
to find you in the dusk

perhaps an endless journey
but worth the taking
even if disturbing
in the same way you are

Even If Disturbing

All I Have Left

Fifty thousand times I have saidocean waves on a stormy day
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry
But like the ocean wave
That returns and returns again
Pounding the beach
Soothing the beach
Forgiving the beach
There seems to be
No difference
No difference at all
You remain cold
With lichen crackling at your feet
Even when I bring ocean breezes
Even when I bring the sun
Even when I’m ready to start a fire
You refuse, then refuse again
As if I was little more than a piece…
No, not just a useless piece but
a huge, whole overwhelming pile of rat infested, fly swollen, buzzard supporting trash
waiting for the clean-up crew
waiting for the truck
that will hold me and hug me and love me like I’ve never been loved before
to cart me away
away from you
and the misery you insist is my payment
my just deserts
my reward
and all my sorry’s
and didn’t mean to’s
and I’ll never do it again’s
mean no more than the next wave
or the last wave
or any surfer-riding, eight or nine or twelve foot wave
no more than the sand you walk on
or even the sand in your shoes
I didn’t want it to get to this point
But this is all I have left to say,
“              .                ”

All I Have Left

Etude # 3

Holding on without foolish fearsKirtland's Warbler singing
Without any semblance of panic
A warbler holding its own
Recalling the song and chorus

Even in the face of the hawk
Circling above searching
Perhaps the warbler is calling
Perhaps not giving a damn

Her tiny doe eyes glisten
With every tender note
A tune culled from heaven
Rewritten to bird life memory

She once spoke of the ocean
with colorful awe and joy there
and of a man on a sailing ship
Holding her heart and pulling

The thought made me seasick
Like hearing a screeching gull
tossing a dead fish into the air
like my heart still trying to beat

And I am like unto dead
Until woken with a pretty song
While watching a hawk circle
even as the warbler still sings.

Etude # 3

Raving Mad Traffic

Today he is loud and raucousChicago Traffic
and wondering if he feels it
because there are too many crazies
or merely because
there are too many

The morning sees him leave
with a paper bag filled
with two sandwiches
two candy bars
two cans of soda

Cautiously he eases into
a world of anger and irritation
a freeway to hither and hell.
An assortment on their way
leaving him groaning and cursing.

He likes to do the wave
and sing or hum along
to the squeals or honks
or sometimes an unknown radio
usually beating and blaring.

It’s absurd when people waiting on a light
breathing down the bumper in front
at times will roll a window down
to snarl and voice their opinion
that this world is theirs alone.

Then it happens
someone jams breaks for no reason
someone clips his bumper for no reason
someone is stupid for no reason
and he is cursing and ranting
for no reason
even though he knows
it is the only way to survive

because he often sees himself
weaving through the traffic
singing to the roar of engines
and the horns and the squeals of tires
accompanying the screams and curses
given that he alone is without a car.
Sometimes he’s naked
other times he’s not
and he may be crazy,
but he is delirious
and quite content.

Raving Mad Traffic