Monday, May 24, 2010

Sound Cages.

Serenade sung through a chain link fence.
Timid and tamed, hung and framed,
Locked and guarded, cruelly regarded.
Serenade sung so forced and tense.

Symphony played in a theater on fire.
Frenzied and worried, hastened and hurried,
Relentlessly razed in an overbearing blaze.
Symphony played in its funeral pyre.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Axis Travellers.

Snow globe turning like a storm in a hand
Over contoured fingers like a boulder on land.
Interior cyclical waves slide like tides on wet sand,
And we're carried in a vessel cradled at sea.
Each creeping wave that crawls up the walls
Changes rythm and speed as it rises and falls,
And we're caught in a snow globe of perpetual squalls
But cradled and safe and sleeping we'll be.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


And a second one, just because I like it:

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Familiar Call.

I heard the sound of my name
Drawn from the body of a scouring-rush.
Blooming from its frayed mouth
Was the head of a sunflower
With petals curling,
Slices of shade and dusty yellow.
A call played for my ears
A call that curved from the tip of each waving petal
Sung in a language without words.
Warm promises
Made by the trust of familiarity.
The neck of my mind's creation,
Feigning lifelessness,
All the while blowing notes and tender characters.
Rustling within rows in a field of dance partners.
A symphony for one,
All played by the wind;
A hundred flutes and a sunflower trumpet.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

East Irving Street.

On East Irving Street
He lived in an attic.
A beige chair by the window
A brown bed by the door.
On East Irving Street
He paced on the hardwood
With his hands in his pockets,
And his feet on the floor.

In the chair by the window
His elbow on the sill
He watched the commotion,
From atop his perch.
In the chair by the window
Hands still and eyes scanning
He watched the old bus stop
Between the cafe and church.

A couple dressed like stoplights
Moved like his imagination
Through a red and green world,
Wearing that same red and green.
A couple dressed like stoplights
They sparkled like Christmas
In a hardware store dore
In childhood's loveliest dream.

A bright young man
Wore a pinstripe sportscoat,
As sharp as anyone could be
With his shirt buttoned down.
A bright young man
He saw his ride coming.
He caught the bus with a leash,
And followed it down town.

That dull beige man
Watched the bus as it left
Watched the taxis and towncars
As the sun stopped the show.
That dull beige man
Left the chair by the window
When the night emptied the sidewalks
And the spectacle below.

On East Irving Street
He lived in an attic.
A beige chair by the window
A brown bed by the door.
On East Irving Street
He paced on the hardwood
With his hands in his pockets
And his feet on the floor.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Chop one, chop two
No red, black or blue.
Peel off translucent skin
And examine all the flesh within.

Chop, chop, the victim dies
As tears drip from your eyes.
Though you'll never be scorned for it,
The onion forces you to mourn for it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Poem For Shifting Skies.

Today's poem is the "title poem" for this blog, so to speak.

One Thousand New Mornings.

Skyscrapers reaching to stop the light
Only make a single strip of night.
And with the steady journey of the sun,
The strip moves on,
And the thousandth new morning has begun.

A getaway car driven by the dark before dawn
While the dew is cooked right off the lawn.
You can hear the sun's lullabies and battle cries,
Songs for the battle of morning,
And the glorious songs for shifting skies.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Knuckles in the Sand.

     There's a patch of sand like a waning moon around one side of the pond. The pond's just within earshot of the manor, and about half a mile of open field away from the tree line. It's an oasis of cool on the hottest Georgia days, with a roof of maple and dogwood, providing all-day shade. The white boys have a small wooden boat that they'd play with for hours, but I never had the nerve to touch it. I'm not even allowed to be there, but sometimes at night I sneak over to listen to the almost-silent water.
     The first time I ever went there was when I was just learning to talk. I was plenty old enough to understand that I was absolutely not allowed to be there, but the cries of joy from the boys drew me there, and I was powerless against my imagination. It was daytime, and I wandered over while the boys were playing some kind of boat war game. There was a sign nailed up on one of the maples, it probably said something like "Niggers Keep Out", but I don't know how they expected any of us to know how to read it.
     I stood and stared for about five minutes before the boys noticed me. They jumped up in the boat like animals frightened into shock. After a moment they dove into the water, scrambled to shore, and ran back to the manor. I didn't think to run, so I just kept staring. The daylight sparkled in patches on the water. The disturbed boat rocked back and forth, sending ripples from one end of the pond to the other. I had never seen something so inviting. I knew then that something so welcoming couldn't posssibly be available to me, so I stood still, simply appreciating it from a distance. The birds sounded more joyous, the trees were taller, and the grass was proud and soft.
     There was a corner of my "home" where I slept that was MY place. It was where I kept MY clothes and MY old shoes (and that was it). I had a corner, but I was amazed that those boys were able to say things like MY pond, MY trees, MY soft grass. I had a corner, but they had a manor. They were beautiful trees, but they would never be mine. The water wasn't mine; I couldn't touch it, I couldn't even look at it. Brown hands aren't meant for owning, they're meant for working. That seems now like a very difficult thing for a boy that young to have to realize. The corner and the clothes weren't really mine... I just used them.
     I woke from my thoughts at the sound of a gun firing into the air. It was the clean father of the clean boys, and I was just a dirty little kid intruding on their clean pond. I ran.
     Now it's nighttime, and I'm looking out on that same water, now mostly still. On the opposite side of the pond there's a frog, and I can hear his jumps and his calls. I have to be quieter than that frog, and move even less. If the father comes out now, it won't be the air he'll shoot. I'm too old now to be cut any slack. There's nothing I enjoy more than soaking in the lazy peace in this oasis. Enjoyment is a privilege not given to me, so I take it in the dark. I take the moment to slip away, to sit like a hiding, exiled king in that patch by the water. There are chains over my head, and I sit by the pond with my knuckles in the sand.