I walked in the garden this morning
and the carrots were lifting their purple heads
from the earth and I picked the tender young herbs.
When I left, my hands had the scent of sweet basil and tomato leaves,
just like this paper that I write to you on.
There was a hummingbird in the garage, too,
and he stayed even though the door was wide open.
If he stopped, I could have covered him with the palm of my hand.
I looked in his black eyes.
It was a gift.
I wanted to collect these notes from my day,
because you are so far away.
Many pages, there are so many pages.
I am seventeen, again with my notebook and my headphones
writing everything down.
Can you hear the music?
Can you hear the sound of my footsteps
in the garden?
I know you are here because we are connected by this paper,
If I could sing them, I would, so you could hear
the rising and falling of my voice.
Some people need to open the train windows
so they can hear countries pass by--
from Budapest to Vienna
and once they arrive,
they stand in the middle of Saint Petersburg,
the bottoms of their shoes wet from the midnight rain
and they mutter I am finally, here.
Some people need to stand on the top of a hill,
goldenrod and milkweed at their ankles.
They are children again when they stand
in the same place they did at ten.
The wind has held their secrets in place,
everything is still.
I need to move along the edge of the Earth.
I need to share my words with you
because if I don't they will overflow
until I cannot carry them to my next destination.
I need to move along the edge of my life
and run my hand along the fence lines
that scallop up and down, smooth and rough.
It is all mixed up and beautiful.
I need your hand to move along the edge
of my words on this paper.
There's this tattoo I wish to get
if I ever get rid this fear
of making decisions.
It's this little girl, maybe seven years old or so
she's holding on to an aged dandelion by its neck.
Her eyes are closed and open to a whole other world -
she shoots a wish toward it
with every muscle in the body
that she doesn't know the names of yet.
The seeds are propelled across my back
and transform into the shooting stars they always dreamed they'd be.
on an otherwise empty beach
are a couple of teenagers
discovering themselves inside one another.
They kiss and tell no one.
The blanket promises to keep their secret
and the sand sneaks into places it knows it's unwelcome.
They are drunk on the passion of the moment.
She's lost in the stars
and wants to gently scoop those lights from the sky
seal them in a mason jar
and watch them do their cosmic dance around each other
to remind herself of how small she feels under them
and how amazing it felt to be everything and nothing at the same time.
She holds her breath, closing her eyes
sending up a wish in the music of young lust.
on my rightmost shoulder blade
There's an older man, looking down a wishing well
at the two young lover's play.
Smiling at his memories
which, like the ink, are fading.
A wish falls out his mouth and speeds down into the darkness
it bounces off the back of the boys head,
and is gobbled up by the greedy sand.
I kiss thy swollen lips
As I write this sullen tune
Thy body giving me hintful tips
You want me soon.
Thy takes my hand
And leads me astray
Over this empty land
I will forever stay.
Thy heart beats slow and steady
Waiting for you
The scent masculine and heady
My heart beats true.
Thy eyes big and green
Stares at me so deep
You look at thy heart left unseen
You ran away made me weep.
You found a new love
Broke thy heart
I look at the heavens above
You did not want my love from the start.
Thy heart was torn
You are gone
I was left alone forlorn
Now I sing my broken song.
I am stripped of my pride
Oh why did you leave?
Because of you I hide
I hide the cuts under my sleeve.
I feel thy life begin to fade
Upon that building I stand
This 'tis the monster you made
I fall gracefully over this land.
You broke thy mind
Sick I have become
'Tis you are so blind
You had your fun.
Looking up at the heavens above
I show so much remorse.
Why do I have to sing thy broken song
Of a love once long ago?
It's been so long
Why can't I let go?
The way you called me baby
You made me cry
I thought I was forever your lady
'Tis because of you I will die.
I thought I could love you
'Tis been way to long
I thought you'd be forever true
Now I sing my broken song
I asked my atoms, generously,
Might you not really rather be
Someone, something, some time, some place, not me?
Then back at once the answers flew:
What or who on earth are you?
Watchin' rusty freighters
Run the gamut of rock
& wave while grey gulls
Follow in their wake like
Exhaust from an old pick
Up truck the romance
Gains patina from the
Years of haulin' clumsy
Cargo thru the locks &
Docks & callous storms
Between one shore &
The next resemblin' a
Pod of retired whales'
In lazy migration under
One last autumn sun
Since you died I've been
Looking for your ghost in
Every late night shadow
Searching your presence
In every crooked picture
Every incongruous noise
You have become a rumor
In my psyche inserting a
New mythology amongst
The vampires & assorted
Fairy tales granting me
An uneasy peace with
Out any pretense
We ride in a car, not talking.
I'll reach over to touch your hand,
you'll take it, squeezing it with a smile.
Sometimes you will turn the
sound up on the radio.
We'll remember the first time
that tune was heard together.
We talk when needed.
We listen when silent.
It is in the quiet
that we love each other
Feel the chorus smell
of dirty hallways,
humming echoing voices
dying slowly behind rust colored shuttered doors.
Piss stained floors chant their ache
beneath broken feet shuffling away.
Soloists carry the tune far enough to find
a dime amid the shattered glass
on the street.
Somewhere a baby cries near enough
for someone to care, but who does
here in the siren of motherfuckers
luring others to the music of another
night's singing, to forget everything,
except the crackle spit melody
of a spoon touched by the flame.
Obsession dominates your thoughts
And persists upon your allegiance to it
Its wickedness swallows you up
And spits you out into your own sorrow
It shields your eyes from the truth
And commends you for your perception of it
It makes strangers become your intimate lovers
And you are in their eyes, their lover
Their fragile chastity complies
With the sanctity of love, and their
Vulnerability opens the gates to the
Mystery and malice of love
Love can impale you, but with that
Same sword, open the path of love before you
It takes you to the divine truth of love
And delivers you closer tho the heart of life
No, little bird, we cannot
We can't be friends anymore
Yesterday I lost a feather
And you took up a flight
Today I found the feather
And you take back a flight
No, little bird, we cannot
We can't be friends anymore.
I give you the freedom of the lawn,
and the mower, this thing you push
without regard to grass or garden.
Your instant god is the noise you make.
Its apostles are the trail you leave.
Up and down, across and back,
only the fence restrains you. But,
then again, your head's one yard,
a million fences, so you're used to such restraints.
But the joy is palpable.
You laugh when the daisy is beheaded.
You cheer the execution of some nameless weed.
Sarah's nervous that you'll lose a toe.
But you and I know,
that you have toes in such numbers.
You cut and cut.
You even cut the cuttings.
You'll mow until the gas runs out.
And then you'll push and push
until your arms tire.
No life to live but a job to do at least.
The little pond
is so still,
like a mirror, some say,
smooth as glass.
More like a shield of reflection,
guarding the heart of the water
from being disturbed
Shadows play on the water.
Clouds chase the sun.
Fishing lines bob limply
as waves slap curses at the shore
for ending their journey.
We talk of nothing,
watching the wind play
with water and land,
sky and light,
not caring if the fish quaking
in the tension of the lake near us
ever strike our neglected bait.
That fate is as far off as tomorrow.
In the sand, an abandoned footstep
shrinks in the sun.
An overcrowded boat
quests for the horizon.
It's motor chanting sea songs
to the waves,
Sipping park prohibited beer,
we watch the sun slowly lose its race
with the night,
dreaming of cheeseburgers
Certain scents kindle memory
Some haven't any name &
Some haven't any evidence
I recollect from childhood the
Pungent odor of coal burning
In my Grandmother's furnace
How I'd sit by the heating grate
Coloring in my coloring book
Trying to stay within the lines
Or putting together a 20 piece
Puzzle always missing the
20th piece & how I noticed
Even then the coal smelled of
Ghosts living in my Grand
Mother's attic ancient as the
Earth from which the black
Diamonds were extracted &
Flammable as the sudden
Realization of getting old
And so it goes...
"The story," as they say.
And do you ever wonder or ask,
"Just who the hell are they?"
I'm still trying to figure out
What elite group
"They" fall into...
"They" who slot and categorize
"They" who masquerade
And flaunt without shame.
Just who the hell are they?
"Let us draw the rules of engagement,
But not find the time to engage ourselves."
I the wall stand solid, unmoved, unwavering,
Not fazed by the nails you pounded in me,
In your desire to embellish,
The empty spaces of your vacuous life,
You adorn me with colorful things,
and lights that accent their presence,
I stand stoically, for all I see,
Are the dark backs of picture frames,
The dark frames that hold up these,
The accoutrements of your dull life.
Hanging cold, they serve only to collect dust.
I am the wall, solid in you time and space,
Spatially dividing and compartmentalizing you,
Limiting the freedom of open spaces,
I am cold in summer, colder in winter,
But I retain your warmth when you touch me,
I cherishingly support you when you lean on me.
I am the all seeing all hearing wall;
I have no ears, no eyes yet I see,
What you do in front and behind me,
I stand silently dividing,
Making secure your today and tomorrows,
From the vermin and the vagaries of this world.
Their buffeting winds do not shake me,
Nor the earth's dark groaning from below.
I stand solid, stolid, stoic, firm.
I hide you from the outside and the outside from you,
From the reality, which you visit and return,
To the comfort and safety we offer,
I am the wall solid, solid and stoic.