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...)
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.
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
(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.
I see you there
on the other side
waiting for me
like a father,
like a child,
waiting for me
to catch up,
to start making
sense of what I see.
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.
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.
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.
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.