Drive, a haiku sonnet





There is a robin 
singing in a tree somewhere,
telling the world he

is looking for a 
mate. A robin sings in a 
tree somewhere, telling 

the world he has found 
a mate. The tree somewhere is 
a tulip in the 

neighbor's front yard. Spring 
has come. We drive by the same 
people, sleeping in

bags on the sidewalk, waiting 
for the world to warm.










(Been a little minute since I wrote one of these...)

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A beautiful boat




That's what we had, maybe. 
One day before our faces.
Now, this is where we are.
Trying on well-fitting boots.

We bought them.  The book.
The line.  The sinking thoughts.  
Them too, we bought.  “Fuck the 
farm, we bought the boat!” 

The oars and the ocean too. 
And then we threw them all 
in.  Chopped the little ones 
for our chum and threw them

in too. I can see them now, 
our pieces, moving up from 
the dark like bright fish. Our 
beautiful boat is eating us.







This poem first appeared on my friend Jeremy Nathan Marks' project, 
Poetry of the Resistance.


Between Beginnings

This very moment, as you take in a breath 
to speak the next line or just to whisper it 
or just to sigh a little, a girl is letting out all 
of the breath in her lungs for the very last 
time as the building around her collapses.

A man who is really just a boy is
holding his breath without realizing it 
because he cannot grasp the fear that 
he feels as he starts to pull the trigger.

He has no words for what he feels
and she has no time to make words.

And me? I am still 
breathing in.





(I wish, on this day, to remind myself that what was for us an extreme punctuation to 
our otherwise and comparatively serene lives is in fact a fact of life--yearly, monthly, 
weekly, daily--the substance of the narrative--for so many people in so many places.)

(This is, in a sense, a follow-up to this post, many years on)

This poem first appeared on my friend Jeremy Nathan Marks' project,
Poetry of the Resistance.



Child of the past of the father of the future

I see you there 
on the other side
of forty-seven,

waiting for me
like a father,
like a child,

looking up,
looking back,
waiting for me

to catch up,
to start making
sense of what I see.

Well, stop.
I won’t do it.
I can’t do it.

This is why I 
do what I do
and you know it.

So stop. Stop waiting.
Stop wasting both
of our times.

I’ll get there 
when I get there
or maybe I won’t.

You’ll just have to 
wait and see or
wait and not see.

It’s all the same to me.
I don’t care anymore.
I will do what I do.






  

Chipping at the ice



It is like I am chipping softly at the ice, a little bit at a time, trying to get to 
the clear water underneath, but the ice is thick and I can only chip a little bit 
at a time and every little bit that I chip fills up with water and when, the next 
morning, I come back to try to make more progress, all the cracks and crevices 
I have chipped, all the progress I have made, all those fissures have filled up with 
water in the night and refrozen, becoming once again just more ice. In some 
cases it seems the seams have somehow become even stronger, harder, more
intransigent and resistant to my efforts to break through to the water beneath.

I know that there are fish down there. I have seen flashes of them on occasions
when I have managed to make the ice thin enough to see to where the sun penetrates
into the depths and I know that if I could get through then I might capture one
of those fish and make a meal or a trophy or at least I might have a solid, silver
moving thing for a moment in my hands, painfully cold but brilliant and gleaming.







Other Mother’s MonDay…

 

I wrote this for my wife, the beautiful mother 
of my beautiful daughter, but I offer it up.
 
A Mother's Day poem for all the nurturers.


Mystery


This is the mother’s month, 
the month of the morning 
of the year when the earth 
begins its cycle song. 

Here is the mother’s milk
where we always knew 
it was, where we leave it 
as we found it, as it found 

our mouths without looking, 
as it gave what could only 
be given, being what could 
only be once, though it is 

again and again beginning. 
Here is the new-turned leaf, face 
to the sun, brilliant in the warmth, 
lobes spread wide to catch the day. 

Here is the heart of the wood, 
where would will only find will, 
where only heart can know 
heart, be still and still be.