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.

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.

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.

Reflections in space

Standing in the mirror
she failed to divine
the scope
of a universe just above
the horizon. Unseen
within herself,
distracted by visions
of reflected glory, her dreams
begged for sunlight.

The astronaut neglected
to recognize the gravity
of the situation,
but with luck she will
seize the opportunity
another daybreak illuminates, light
bounding among
the star-point hopes
lost among the dark.

Colors can be different

Colors are not frozen, shyly hiding
In the shadows while hinting at
a deeper shade. Colors can be different
colors, attacking us with their brilliance
or assaulting us through blue dreams
that search for softer complexion,
a complexity of consciousness.

Color may dance in musical hues
of pixelated pigment only I can hear,
telling stories too bold for black and white.
A brutal world craves absolutes, leaving us
to unearth our own meaning where we may.
A colorless tale has no heart. Let it go.
We will find warmth in tinctured breaths.

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.

A tree in winter

The tree stretches like a snowflake,
a white quilt whispering winter along
evergreen branches, lulling day
to sleep while cold quiet announces
the end of another year.

The tree earns another ring, thankful
for moderation in all things living
and dead. Moments of profound insight
from regular cycles leave a peaceful chill
in the air, holding me close, shivering
in the still afternoon sun.

In the end we still look to what comes
next, hushed faces in the setting sun
bracing against the cold, aware
somehow the light will return.

The in between

I revel in the in between, the moments
that cling to my swiftly failing memory
like a sock from the dryer that refuses to unhand
my shirt — something electric to embrace
the shocking windfall overtaking me.

I feel fortune’s stroke in this,
a lamp post spotlighting those moments —
unforgettable dots on a map
they blur past scurrying to the flashier dots,
leaving the in between her to us.

Elemental swing

I marvel at my son, this winded child,
boasting about hitting the baseball.
“Did you see that?” he shouts,
breath escaping in gasps, jubilant fireworks
celebrating a victory for the ages.

I see it. The pride in his face — a lion
reveling over a gazelle that will feed
her entire family — sustains us,
nourishment neither of us knew we needed
but is now elemental to our survival.

We watch the pomp, sharing in
the ostentatious delight only a child
revels in. He’ll stumble — superheroes
sometimes step on their capes — but
swing again, confident in any winds.