pain

I am so weary of the pain,
exhausted by the all too
evident progress of decay
that encompasses this
bitterly physical life.

The very sensual being
that I had once reveled in
has betrayed me, left me
to rot on jagged angry
and most sullied stones.

There are nights when
cringing in injury
I crawl into bed and beg
the gods for something
like a decent rest.

They laugh at me,
but then of course they do,
so true is the course of life
that pleasure must inevitably
give way to the inescapable.

I close my eyes and breathe,
and breathe again, listening
to patterns of pathetic
failure, organic structures
struggling to find peace.

whispers

I ask myself in fear
why it maun be harder noo
tae hear the whisper
in the leaves which
hae begun tae mind
me o’ scratching mice.

The color painted sae
prettily aboon the skies
defies the imaginative
longing it once inspired
in my younger eyes,
graying in the dusk.

The majesty o’ the bens,
the glorious glens
seem forever faded
in the waning sun
as winter settles its
cold claws o’er my world.

An’ love? Aye, e’en so.
Ablow my straining
heart appending points
o’ sorrow seethe seedingly
for attention, crying
for the hope tae believe.

shroud

this open face
once held clues
that spoke of longing
and mystery, yet
now intersected
by abhorrent lines
of petty time

she once stared
at this face
eager to smiling read
its suggestive
hopeful fullness,
demanding that he lay
beside her

but then
as the moon rose
to quiet caress
the night sky
she began to count
the lithesome stars
once again

and so
he closed his skin
around the truth
and sighed
into the sheets
like a shroud
of silence

I have seen

I have seen

the deepest red in gently folding
petals of a humble rose
not the one beside it which was more
than arrogant and unworthy
but that one, the little one
the quiet one
and it touched my heart and
made me long for love

I have seen

the most verdant greens stretching regally
and true across all of Cumbria
encircling Derwentwater
where swans splash while ignoring
the many curious visitors
who have come to honor Wordsworth
and revel in romantic verse and
glory in ever trembling song

I have seen

the truest blues bedeck the skies
over the bewitching redwoods
ranging over California’s mountains
standing proudly above the Pacific coast
looking down over Santa Cruz
and those vibrant sands and eternal waves
that ebb and flow and never seem to find
a reason to cease

and I have seen

the grayest of grays on solemn days
and felt inspired to be nothing
to do nothing
feeling naught but the bitterness of age
while listening to the mournful sounds
of a heart that once believed
only now to shudder in lonesome fear
just waiting, still waiting

oh yes, I have seen

Sunset over Derwentwater, Keswick, Cumbria

there is a snake

There is a snake that dwells within me
I imagine it to be more of a serpent
if only because the name seems more ominous

It slithers silently through my being
sinking its fangs into my gut my lungs my heart
thriving on the blood that slows in my veins

I speak to it from time to time
inquiring after its determined progress
knowing there is nothing I can do to stop it

In the cold of winter between hungry breaths
I ask a boon of my ravenous companion
but I do not think he is listening

So I sip another dram and close my eyes
wandering through the warmest places
my memory can manage to reconstruct

Which is asking quite a lot, I know
but winter being what it is and the serpent
ever hungry, all I can hope to do is ask

a life wholly fulfilled

oh weighty the years
that have borne my body
to once sullen earth
 
so weighty the moments
of desperate mourning
and insatiate madness
 
yet how sweetly now
time my heart engages
paging miraculous tales
 
and how lovingly now
my rising soul entangles
among vines of utmost joy
 
and all because of you
inspired, so deeply desired
wistfully wondrously you
 
singing songs of laughter
chanting hymns of love
pressing patterns peaceful
 
because of you, my love
the sun pirouettes above
the moon languorously lists
 
and i, emancipated at last
embrace the finest fullness
of a life wholly fulfilled

2015.05.26 Wychwood 023

an old man

it is only by time and
a very tired toleration
a collaborative insulation
that he dwells here now
insubstantially demeaned
observed without recognition

a much mellowed voice
rasping nicotine moans
and cottage cream eyes
wandering over soiled pages
leathered hands trembling
as he unfolds the map

“I done come f’om he’e”
he says with sad certainty
“this was ou’ home
my people f’om he’e
you ask anyone he’e now
they tell ya true—this was ou’ home

“my daddy he was a fa’mer
and his daddy befo’e him
it wasn’t the fi’e killed him
it was the land dragged him down
it was the land sucked him dry
sucked the life clean out o’ him

“so i done left, come out he’e
but this” he insists tapping the map
“this was ou’ home”
he closes his eyes
his sighs sinking ponderously
into the dusty earth

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Fleetwood Church in Culpeper County, Virginia