NaPoWriMo / NaPoREADMo — Day 12 — Rondeau, on attention

Rondeau, on attention

My attention spans this bridge.  This
gap is a whole in my head, is 
a hole in my hands where I hold
my world together, just an old
vacancy between my stasis

and my change.  This thing that I twist
and twiddle with is still, a list
of paper chasing after folds.
My attention

spans more and less than I am.  This 
space is a place that hides the kiss
of time, hides it in every hole
and makes me time’s churlish cuckold,
held captive by all that has missed
my attention.

That old shell

That old shell of a Chevy 				
in the field down by the creek 			
became our base, our fortress,			
our refuge and our shelter.				

In all those days of story 
and eventuality		 		
even innocence placed its 
lost loves where we met, shyly, 
so long ago.  
		        We trysted, 
we parted, came together 
and parted gently again.						

We grew there.  We grew up there.			
We grew roots in our minds and 
hearts there that dig and search the 
soil there still, search for meaning, 
twine into leaning loves and 
tilted, quizzical glances,			
looks that say, “Maybe….again.” 									


And now the grass grows up through 
the floorboards.  Rust falls to dust 
the earth in a halo all 
around.  The blood of the place 
runs into the soil—our blood, 
our time, our labors of growth, 
the things we do and did that 
can not be counted as work 
and cannot be priced, all those 
lessons lost with the rust, leeched 
into the soil, washed from us 
like the sweat from our bodies,
like the mud from our bare feet 

when we ran like animals
through the field and through the creek. 


The rain patters on the roof, 
singing us softly into 
the night and we sleep.  When dawn 
comes there are bare drips from the 
roof onto the old rearview 
mirror.  They roll around the 
edge to curl under and fall 
down and splash on the dashboard 
where we put the candles the 
night before.  And we come back 
to this place, to this comfort.

I come here and you are there 
before me, that look on your 
face that says, “God, you're silly! 
Silly for coming back…..but, 
here I am again, waiting.”


Time and time, and—
God!  How it hurts 
to watch it go, 
to feel it lose 
its grip on you.


This space remains.  This space is 
never the same.  This space is 
never the same shape. It will 
not fit us anymore.  



Our lives are six kinds of dust.
There is too much that must

be done before a thousand 
something elses can and

will be done and we'll be 
done when we are dead.  We

won't be done until we're
old and then?  The sheer

weight of it all will fall
from us like lights from small

cities of the mind gone
the way of the false dawn,

drawn from the bones of our
nights, from the final hour

of this short day’s lost seam,
this longest of night’s dream.

Blue Rondeau, revised

...with Rondelet epigraph...

A revision of this piece, 
written in early December, on the death of Dave Brubeck.  
Looking at this a while back, I realized that I completely 
missed a line in the rondeau form 
and finally got around to fixing it.


You made meter
analytic and yet profound.	
You made meter
part of sound that then grew sweeter.
Then you took jazz and capped and gowned
it, and with all you found around
you, made meter.


You made meter a household word
we all hung onto like a bird.
We all wanted to be that free.
You made it possible to see
deeper into rhythms now heard
every day, all around us, spurred
deeper delvings into our world
of pattern and texture.  For me,	
you made meter
a thing that I could touch, that stirred
in me a poet, though much blurred 
by time and fickle memory.
I am now still, able to see, 
now surfacing, how disinterred,
you make meter.

Moon Bones


There is a fall in
to dark, felt in the bone, a 
loss of heat, a slow 

tilting away and 
cyclical spin into space,
a shy, unnoticed 

turning of blue and 
green to grey.  They say that the 
light goes out of it 

as if the light leaves 
of its own accord, a wan 
A-chord in the wood.

There is a word in the dark
where no moon is heard...


There I read of the spoon-fed dead, how their 
zen amounted to zed, surmounted by 
spires built to go higher until their fires 

flew in the sky and spied and tried twisting 
their wrists in the bonds they had become so 
fond of, that they loved even though reviled 

and shoved away and held sway over the 
fray and stayed none the less where their sun-born 
lies could not see through the tresses but blessed 

the butcher and the barber none the more let 
them near with their knives and their shears while tears 
came and the rending of garments began

the beating of chests and the mustering 
bluster and pounding of hearts into dust


...and you looked at me 
with your moon-bone eyes and I 
saw to the hearts of 

the stars felt solar 
wind in the spars and lines of 
age on my primal 

face knew the breeze with 
the skein of seven seas knees 
climbing millennia 

to the crow’s nest and
finally resting raced to 
the crest of the day

and rubbed galaxies 
from the corners of my eyes. 

Two haiku sonnets and a...pseudo-sonnet?