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Outside

What about this butterfly,
hovering just outside
my window,
quietly scratching nectar
from an otherwise tranquil
goldenrod?

What order abounds
while vibrant wings drum,
beating back air,
shivering antennae
recently born, absorb
the serenity of another
summer day, newly tranquil,
nature’s repose?

What glamour transforms
the inching caterpillar,
ambling to
metamorphosis, quaking
bravely to destiny,
emerging improved, firm
from an otherwise tranquil
slumber?

What life occurs, unheard
harmony fluttering,
revived in sunlight,
revealing the joy
of a pedestrian world
breathing beyond my reach,
viewed
through aperture?

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Mark of time

The clock prefers
a polite tree,
stretching
over time,
one more

ring with each
revolution,
content, marked
for the trouble.

The corridor reads
all mundane nameplates,
lusting
over time,
the future

unspooled before it
like ribbon,
slowly marking
time’s dance.

The flame pretends
it cares, ice
tickling
wax, alive
only now

indifferent to
ephemera,
acerbic mark
in time.

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Television news

I don’t bother with the news
on television, where heads talk over
each other, no one listening nor
changing minds. A platform for despicable people
to “both sides” an issue, even
those where merit, truth, meaning dissolve
into deafening static, noise for its own sake.

I thought this would have changed
after 2016, this desire
to give equal time to unequal opinions, equal
time to lies.
So many other things have devolved
unequivocally. This morning a government official
said on camera the Statue of Liberty, a monument
who welcomes immigrants to the American Dream
should only invite
people who can stand on their own
two feet. My ancestors invaded before
her flame was lit, conquerors but white. Of course
that matters, giving rise to, supporting, and benefiting
from a system designed to burn, a fire warming some,
destroying others. From the ashes, civilization
more equal, but tilted still, for some.

Perhaps rather than change we have reached the end,
brought now through years of complacency
or compliance, distracting us as we change
the channel.

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Clouds

The world has turned and left me spinning
time is thinning

and I am alive. I long to live
in the clouds, my mind
a head of me
among the billowing blanket of puffy cumulus,

a misty mystic world, delicate and wet
hinting at gray but not turning,
only pulpy white.

But mostly the soft outline of anticipation
traces my thoughts
down
not among the clouds but
here where

thin whisps of moonlight spin
a web in windows obscuring – or
delaying – the world
where I go round.

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Shell

I’ll not wake up, no,
swimming here in this conch shell
of a life, shadows tickling my ear,
playing house while the real
world assumes it’s won.

I’ll not confront it, no,
kicking up the remains of reality
swept under expensive furniture
when we could afford the luxury
of not caring.

I’ll remain in my head,
enveloped by this conch shell,
closed to those sounds desperate
to encroach, honking displeasure
at deaf eyes shut.

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Round

The moon goes round the earth, tilted
but not for me. Storms come in
one cloud
at a time as people
float in and out of my life, flotsam passing
out of sight.

Living in the nots we are but leaves
falling aimlessly, 
so leave the dirt
       behind as the earth tilts towards
another winter, another spring
out of nowhere.

We are all but visitors, sojourning
through where we think
we ought to reside
sometimes thinking forward, often
looking backward.

Or perhaps we are visions, soldiering
as we can, knowing
the world ends
when we’re dead and yet
clinging to the gift of possible.

Sometimes there is no deeper meaning and
a rose is just a flower.
        So we petal through 
wondering what it all matters,
even if we are just matter.

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