ON BIG PINE KEY:   QUARANTINED WITH WORDS

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     My words,

They’ve marched in on dreams,

Printed conversations with those

Who’ve mastered their form

They’ve fallen from my tongue in hailstorms –

WTFs after reading NYT’s homepage

     Today, I am stuck at the intersection of

“If only” and “Where to now?”

30 minutes ago, over coffee and sunrise

I knew where I was going

 Now, not so much

     We walk the dog

I look for the cardinal who had

Been singing his bright red song

For weeks now

He’s gone – beating the lockdown

Finding a mate who loves his music

     But I am still here

Quarantined in paradise

Wrestling with each letter

Clanging demands

Words; unheard cries

Unraveling the earth

Before it dies

 

 

THE RICH GET RICHER

Flickr
A wall Street-off Scott Lynch/Flickr

I hear the Rich are happy now

     Millions are left uninsured

     Their congressional pawns lie straight-faced

     Tax money saved and secured

 

How much do Rich need to satisfy

     How far can their zeros extend

     Common decency should prove the check

     When so many have so little to spend

Ask, they’ll say: we worked hard for our money

     We deserve every fruit of the earth

     They’ll explain to us, meritocracy

     Forget criminal inheritance, and birth

They’re rich because we like their stuff

     As greed smiles behind our backs

     Their small Christmas bonus implies

     We can buy those boots but not those straps

The Rich assuage guilt with philanthropy

     Tattooing their hearts with no blame

     As the poor kneel to pray for cures

     For diseases bearing only their names

CIRCUS FAMILIAR

I’ve come to accept the spectacle

The morning face that stares back at me in the mirror

Large pores packed with night-sweats and frustration

There’s lots to do but nothing to say

That will ease the guilt of not doing

Most likely I’ll clean my keyboard

remove the fingerprints

angry smudges that dappled my screen with hope.

I’ll open the Times app before adjusting a pillow behind my aging back

I’ll sip some tea as I consider the tilt of the screen and font size

I’ll search for good news as if

I’ve not already thrust my chin up to the edge of humanity

To improve my view of its destruction.

CIRCUS FAMILIAR

  Gwen glad pty  I’ve come to accept the spectacle

The morning face that stares back at me in the mirror

Large pores packed with night-sweats and frustration

There’s lots to do but nothing to say

That will ease the guilt of not doing

Most likely I’ll clean my keyboard

       remove the fingerprints

       angry smudges that dappled my screen with hope

I’ll open the Times app before adjusting a pillow behind my aging back

I’ll sip some tea as I consider the tilt of the screen and font size

I’ll search for good news as if

I’ve not already thrust my chin up to the edge of humanity

To improve my view of its destruction

Flunking Retire -ment

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I have flunked that good, after life

Leaving desk, chalk, and youth sublime

Eight years and a clarion light

Continues to call me to dine

~

With character filled texts and chairs

I return to a chalkless life

Anxious, faded elegance dares

To drag my dreams to “that good night”

~

Dreams die hard desire remains

I answer the call to return

Restoring dream’s dust to grain

Desires continue to burn

~

Teaching is now a brand new flight

Where time and love is now outsourced

Knowledge now comes in bits and bytes

Pass, fail with a little remorse

~

Virtual reality reigns

As 21st Century fun

As if being “real” needs explain

Over needs for real wisdom

~

So I am back to spread my grains

Of wisdom and where I found

Meanings to life ‘long side the brain

Which the “Road less traveled” is bound

 

 

 

The Exultation is in the Knowing

rot+Birds+Murmurate

The hardest thing about writing

Used to be rejection but now

It is the crazy aftermath

Of question marks that appear

After I’ve left all my

Answers on the page

It becomes not a matter of quality

Or quantity but a matter of why;

Why does outside acceptance matter?

Part of me sees the old metaphysical ploy

I’ll get it once I don’t want it.

Can I walk into that room and

Switch off the light of desire?

Is writing simply a vehicle

In which to drive my persona

Stopping occasionally to mop

My sweat-filled brow and rest

My silly soul dedicated to

The business of ego?

Is that it?

MEMORY: A Necessary Struggle

 BPK sunset

Yesterday my husband put the app *Shazam on my cell phone

(*A method of identifying music simply by holding the phone

Up to a speaker to catch the song’s lyrics)

I left the room defeated and purposeless

Something else for which my brain does not have to work

There are days taken up in battle with forgetfulness

Days that end in celebration of memory’s grace

Now, what will I do

To replace that struggle

With a memory reticent

Holding on to those

Blessings only

To let go

In the upwelling of silence

In rooms wallpapered with lyrics that sing

The long fable of my youth

YEAR’S END

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On my daily walks I am beyond

The inexorable reach of headlines

Months ago I left Facebook and

Made a cheap vow to ignore the gridlock

In our sorrowful culture

 

But the screams and charges sneak through

Like the guilt of a favorite character

Who comes face to face with her own complicity;

When grief came – seeping in

Around the edges of her being –

The openings she is unable to conceal  

 

Today, in my rented depression,

Grief dressed for battle and screaming

Hatred and death in the streets

Overshadows that

Overworked and overlooked

Emotion — love.

Loving one another should be so easy, right? 

Wrong.

Our hearts remain an

Unprofitable wilderness;

Barren, drought-stricken stretches

Of leather bent on

Destroying that which we

Cannot control

 

We all are simply the people we’d like to think we are –

We measure our goodness by what we

Don’t do

Like

Where we don’t

Go

Who we don’t

Include

 

And we fight inscrutable, defensive battles

All in service to the ego

Making us

Mechanical

Flavorless people

Unable to acknowledge

The alchemy of delusion

GO THERE!

%22A View in Piagentina (Una veduta in Piagentina) 1863

We live so long – hopefully long enough

To know life is enough

All we should want

The rest is fearing
The opinions of others

We are old enough to resist
The urge

Know there is great pleasure in GO!
It is not the There
But the trip

The memories will come years later (if at all)
With its uneven ruler
To defend life’s
Crooked calculus