Buried

We buried our despair in the shade of the pine tree,
holding hands as we turned our backs
on those needling thoughts left in the dark.

The hulking ogre took root, waiting
to spring on us when we tried to take cover
beneath the canopy of stars
stretched too tightly that cool night.

A possum or some other unanticipated visitor
disturbed the tranquility, clawing at the dirt
until the ogre — always lurking as we
were distracted by routine — jumped out

to terrorize us once more
while we scrambled for a shovel
or another plot of land.

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.

Discolored past

The rocks mark the ground
between prospering weeds enriched
by the warmth of a sun surging overhead,
encircling those of us interred
on a planet whose
percussive heartbeat rocks me to sleep.

I sense the presence of wildflowers,
of ants scurrying together in the dirt,
of life — too bountiful to count or name —
thriving in the darkness or
at least out of sight —
I dare not note a difference in perspective.

Photos remain after we pass on
a gentle breeze that thoughtlessly turns
blacks to sepia, discoloring too many memories
otherwise cruelly lost
in darkness
even though the sun shines tomorrow.

Chill

As I leap into middle age
(knuckles white)
I wonder if the greatest adventure
is merely to breathe
(snow meets altruistic land)

In a world spinning its wheels,
(frigid morning scrubs icy)
the eager sound can’t whine for change,
stale taste of winter
(skin burning with the chill)

The calendar will jump to Spring
(teeth rattle loose)
anticipation blooming every dewy night
I snore away
(gray hair wind-blown)

Who will?

Who will hear our prayer,
echoing through the empty air
that divides us, an appeal
to something unseen and unseeable,
our invocation lost among nothing?

Who will hear our psalm,
the choir humbly beseeched
by a chorus reverberating with thanks
in its every deliverance before
the entreating congregation?

Who will answer our pleas,
voices searching for seraphic blessing
while some celestial body
of spiritual vitality circles —
words bouncing in the void?

My memory (to come)

My murky memory extrapolates the smoke,
pixelated recollections somewhere in the cache
that clears itself (a grasp slackens)
as I hasten to replace lost echoes
with reminiscences to come,
not forgotten among the ash,
rising if we dare stretch hereafter.

The future — always fuzzy like sleep
that won’t rub out of our eyes — changes
every time we look at it, as we push forward
carrying the momentum of those better angels
urging us to grow our own wings
and launch ourselves to join those
refusing to leave progress to others.

Time will tell what tales we create,
Proceeding only where we dare.