I am still alive

Mystical memories tremble this heart
imparting moments of will that once filled
me with impassioned zeal to live, to love.

I believed then, with near perfect certainty,
believed in the veracity of my hopes,
trusted in the capacity of this me
to be as good, as grand even
as my ambitions had painted me
in my own thoughts, long since faded.

But the memories are there still,
only greyed and frayed somewhat,
torn by the incessant tumult
within a soul that could never
quite be sure it even existed.

I know people who compose lists
that lyrically lead them from one bright aim
to the next, inspired by the very abundance
of their most meaningful dreams.

In the dark of the night alone
I carve my moribund dreams
into the very flesh that drips
over my dubious ill-intended soul.

Which is how I know
that I am still alive.

eminently useful

what am I to you anyway
after all that has happened,
as your much wounded heart
moves unerringly beyond
the pale domain of this me

oh, certainly I have my uses still
although even I must admit
there is nothing compelling,
nothing at all attractive
in the domesticity I embody

and what woman would desire
such a man who tends
to the every necessary yet
utterly unexciting tasks,
the this and thats of a home?

wait, don’t sit there, please
I have yet to wipe down the table,
and perhaps we could talk more
after I finish the dishes since
I don’t want to interrupt you

what was I saying? just then?
oh, nothing much really
never anything of consequence
if truth be boldly told, but then
at least I am eminently useful

don’t you think?

It’s going to be magic

I must have been falling asleep
right there in the chair
as my weans continued to play
as passionately as they do
at that so delightful age.

“You know,” my 4-year-old son
said in response to something
from my wee girl that I hadn’t heard.
“It’s just that Daddy’s a bit old
and broken. Like his car.”

My boy fiddled and fudged
with a piece of paper
creating God only knows what,
so of course I had to ask,
“What are you doing there, lad?”

He stopped what he was doing
just for a moment, it seemed,
just long enough to glance
reassuringly at me in the mirror
with that oh so charming smile of his.

“Don’t worry,” he said,
“it’s going to be magic.”

Cooper, my wee clever man

absent words

why have you abandoned me
my once constant companions
who had teased my keen imagination
frolicking in the lush gardens of my mind

i recall so well the days my thoughts
were awash with exhilarating concepts
eagerly analyzing exotic words
playfully pondering stimulating sounds

when with tantalizing enthusiasm
i swept you all up in virtual arms
like the soft new fallen snow
but like the snow you melted away
to become vague uninspiring memories

and where are you all now
my oh so fickle faithless friends
whose mind do you sweetly inhabit
whose desires now do you stir
urging only others on to greatness

why sits this sluggish mind so agonizingly still
bereft of even a single meager word
worth the speaking, clinging
bit by bit by bit to the meatier
more venerable thoughts of others

i once was a creator, a builder
an artisan of words and ideas
relishing the warmth of my own inventions.
now i read, i listen, quietly i reside

the taste of laughter

i wish i knew more than this,
more than the listless dribblings
that fall from my memorizing tongue

ceaselessly turning pages
composed by knowledgeable others
whose certainties transpose my doubts

i would have seen more,
gleaned more from the engagings
of life’s merry makings and sheddings

i would have played gleefully
without a care for the cold haunting,
the distracting dissatisfactions of others

and i would stop wallowing
tearfully swallowing the pills of regret,
which is why the now is for me and for us

you see, at this moment i
tremble at the sight of you smiling
again, my dear love, and i am exultant

years may have swept away
my receding needs and pleases
leaving empty regard for times unheld

but i so very am—i am still
beyond the graying yesteryears
and despite them all, i know the taste of laughter

2017.02.25 SLC.Fam 001

silently knowing

this field whithers
with bitter embers
scorched by an avid sun

bare drops descend
upon these drying lips
tipped with thirsty groans

colors quite languish
for anguished want
of your infrequent touch

too naively perhaps i
tenuous cling to your
barely spoken branches

brushing the scales
from my dusty eyes
breathing so slowly

there is even now
an unmistakable scent
in the heaving air

the harsh musky odor
of phallic dessication
and carrion wings

Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point, Utah

dust

the besmeared merchant sighs
his dilapidated stall shivering
even from the weight of the dust
that covers his trivial wares

useless all but for one piece
one timelessly treasured vase
facelessly reminiscent, recalling
nana’s gentle hands folding the clay

never would he have chosen
but for the direst of needs to place
her final work beneath the sun
shunned by one patron after another

a screaming child races past
a cloud of dust clinging to his heels
which kick at the angry world
with zealous determination

behind the child, lost in his clowd
an elderly woman growls, teeters
blindly rubbing her stinging eyes
as her hip collides with the stall

down it falls, beautiful in despair
down it falls, crashing to the earth
smashing a heart that had nothing
left to hope for beyond simply this

he does not scream, does not yell
does not tear at what remains
of the bedraggled gray mess strung
limply over his sweaty crown

his jowly countenance drips sorrow
into the dust of his finality
his skin cracks across brittle bones
enthroning a once proud man

as a naïve prince of fools

rising

in this too i confess
is a world familiar
in these branches
bare and desiccated

in this shriveled wood
as in the brittle hearts
of the living and the dying
is an honest expression

in the days to come
and the years gone by
reside the unquestionable
integrity of divinity

the spirit of the world
in infinite expansion
must also experience
the weight of contraction

with one mighty swing
of his enchanted club
the great dagda brought low
all of nine hail men

and with the handle
he returned them all
once more to life
for in the fall is there

a rising

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