Poems

Ought to be

It would be folly to consider myself
where I ought to be, as if ‘ought’
could glow in your hand
like half-eaten candy thawing
memories under open clouds.

What hubris man to divine
import from earth-bound particles
bouncing among people walking
heads down, the center of it all.

Heavenly bodies revolve
around some other lantern
the same as me, sticky fingers
sweeter from the journey.

Lightness

The moonlight sang that song
we can’t remember, invisible wings
cascading through the valiant wind
as the stairs insist
on climbing up.
Up.

Up where time remains an afterthought,
or hangs on the moonlight
nearly in the future. Time always comes,
playing metronome while weightless,
feigning lightness
to ease the ascent.

Rest

The colorless tale revealed
the thunder within the traveler,
lost among thoughts of another drab day
absent the echoing light
normally demanding something
approaching the end.

Rest — or the appearance
of cloudy dreams lifting him
above
the gray skies
underfoot — is and end
itself and to him,
thundering only a little longer.

Clouded future

Time was an afterthought
as the clouds called us to attention,
demanding we acknowledge
through misty eyes
or other fog-soaked facilities
the half-eaten candy of a pastoral dream
where rolling grasses trampled
through an otherwise quiet afternoon.

The half-hidden sun
implored us to come outside,
though we misunderstood
as he went in circles for days,
refusing to get to the point,
so we sat inside, anticipation dawning
with dew-drenched ideas of misadventures
masked by another day’s ascent.

Brilliant arc

That memory we used to share
comes asking for blueberries when I close
my eyes. I see a kaleidoscope.
Purple juice carries more than it thought
when pinched between fingers that just a moment ago
looked white.

You tried to ruin me but I know
tomorrow jumps two ways. A shooting star tells the tale
for only a moment, extinguished on descent,
though its arc burns red against the black
as if the contrast should surprise us.
The fire reveals the fruit.

Sarcastic shoes

Sneezes can be sneaky and
on particularly
warm nights when fireflies dot the horizon
like sarcastic shoes
leaving prints on white carpet,

the clock kills time
as tick (time
obscured in shadow or yellow dust)
tocs (keeping its own time)
slice through secondary thoughts.

Insects feel ephemeral
(though I hope
they feel nothing) as sarcastic shoes
envelop then in shadow,
interrupting time’s deliberate walk.

This tree

This tree wraps the sky in its arms, a promise
of salvation buried beneath bark
as leaves peak at the surface, buoyed
by the world’s pledge of protection
softly cooing on the wind.

The breeze dissolves as all things must
into an atmosphere of unmoving refuse
where changing winds turn away
against the backdrop of cows laying still
under the too-slow warming sun.

And still this tree shivers looking ahead,
optimism scrubbing bark clean of dirt
and other residue otherwise clouding its defense, 
stronger in the effort while grasping
at the heavens, uncertain as they are.

Through the thorns

We search for a scarlet rosebud,
grabbing past the dreary thorns —
hidden but hopeful — pricking us
on our pursuit of that perfect bloom
sprouting defiantly for us.

The fire reveals the fruit but
illuminates scars — some we’d hoped
to hide with half-eaten candy —
not realizing that the bigger the room
the more places for serpents to hide.

I feel fortune’s poke in this, propelling us
on a treasure hunt where X
misses the mark sometimes while
our best highwater pants
keep our shins delightfully dry.

Survive the ice

Morning arrived with an icy slap
of good intentions — a cheeky
red reminder to weather another day.

Will the unwritten tourist hasten
to the conclusion, twenty-four unlived
chapters cut for time?

Or will she hold the day close and enjoy
whatever blows in with the chill, knowing
we cannot choose the story but relish the book?

The sun illuminates
what night tries to hide — a colorless tale
cannot survive long.
Survive long.


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