Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sonnet #53

For days it rained, the dragon flower pushed
out from the vine, a swelling dress of feathers
Fire tinged the edges, red and yellow, better
watch it grow, the bloom will burst all rushed.
It only sings an evening, bursting tresses
Scenting out a perfume for the night moths
The long tongues of petal, stamen, wroth
at us for daring dragon blooms with our caresses
The fleeting beauty of the dragon, one night
It sinks and rots away and swells the egg

The mayflies come in spring and fly three nights
They spent so much of life trapped dirt and beg
To swim into the sky to chase the light
And fall a burned out husk, a shell, a peg

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sonnet #52

How strange it must be to be a citrus tree
So far from the mountains of Korea and China
Where they say the species came to be
The trees don't hold to a mecca or medina
They don't pass stories down, face east
And remember the hills, the community,
There are no immigrant stories, no beasts
That haunt their mythologies, just seeds
That know enough to grow, they grip the ground
And wherever they land, they lack familiars
The song of the flower, the roots spreading mounds
All known companions sought, unfound, no conciliars
No single prophet risen to speak of mountains
lost trees awake in orchard rows like muted islands

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sonnet #51

The Word of God is silence, can you hear it?

It is the hum of blood, a windless day, a buzz
below the threshold of the ear, because
all the movement and the heat, how we sit
on the back porch, listen as the late summer
sun that's beating down the trees and bodies
All of it's a shivering echo of a threnody
Sung when every piece of star was smaller
Than the eyes that search out for the source;
After that word spoken, what need for prophets
There are flowers in the fields, blood laughters, 
songs in twilight among all gardens, and what of it?
Can't silence also have a volume rising hoarse
these ripples of a silent shout, strain to hear it?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sonnet #50

In the morning, I look myself in the mirror,

Brush the night grime from my teeth and gums,
I lean in close enough to see my eyes clearer,
without my glasses on. As close as I come,
As blind as I am, I could smell his breath
if he had any. Feel grateful for each gray hair
I came to my graying honestly, no wealth
came to me, but my health is fine, my stare
into my own eyes reminds me I am not
dead, I am not pretty, I am an echo of the mighty
whose birthright was to stand, but I am not
mighty. I am father's face, my mother's eyes
Let me see this man I am, let me call him out
Each morning accept myself enough, a daily rout 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sonnet #49

I only have so many f***s to give,
So hurry up and gather what you may
I'm completely out, as well, of s***s to give
There's flying f***s  backordered, but they will stay
in shipment for some time. My f***s come slow,
And in the mean time, these my final f***s
On shelves, in jars, and places you well know,
fair few are left so come and gather quickly
From these, my f***s remaining; I insist
You do not linger browsing thickly
When every moment is an opportunity lost
To gather up my f***s, as many as you can stow
Make your selections of my f***s, and f***ing go

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sonnet #48

The vine is a parasite of light
It climbs across above and over all
It places weight on victims blocking sight
Carry me brother i am sore sprawled
The tendrils thicken turn and quicken
Brother I thank you now my serpent tongues
Hold fast and tight and squeeze my stalk thickens
By your aid, we are better together, our bones
Belong as one, and all the glory that I build
Is upon this giant's shoulder, by no intent
My leaves and roots do what they will
I am so thirsty, brother, until seed is spent
Stout oak, swift hackberry, proud pecan trees
Patiently waiting for the rot of limb and leaves

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sonnet #47

The first that lives forever will be not me

or you, or any one of homo sapien
We try things out in rodents, monkeys
There will be immortal capuchin
Ten thousand years from now the dog
Will pass down, in families, bleary-eyed
Forgetful creature, living in a fog
of smells familiar, memories all keyed
unto the dawn of time, no truth spun
Which memory is real, a bowl of food
A bowl of water, a field in which to run
Friends, all vaguely known, a boy that's good
Ten thousand years, or more, the rat
The dog, the monkeys and apes, the cat

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sonnet #46

I never wonder where the rain will fall

When the clouds gather, there is rain
There's space between one drop; the stain
of water on the ground will splash to all.
Of course there's space between the drops
Some places struck, some not, the mist of it
Will miss some minute specks of silt
Along the wall, but when the rain stops
It's hard to tell where one drop fell upon a wall
When the rain comes, we all get wet, all
Even with the umbrellas, galoshes, no props
will keep the cloud of spattering. Even now,
I feel the humid steam upon the windows

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sonnet #45

Because poets never sing of butchering I don't
Know the way to carve a deer safely,
Pull out its guts and organs, break the joints
I don't know how to collect the blood humanely
When the pig is slaughtered, poets don't sing
Of stuffing geese with grain and a funnel
Until the moment the liver is about to cringe
We learn of the garden in poems, of heaven and hell
The only slaughtering in Odysseus was sacrifice
How to feed blood to ghosts. The rest was war
And kingdom management, and curses and vice:
There was an orchard, though, how to plant one, for
a river runs through it, there are little hills for trees
A gentle slope, runnels for dunging and flowers for bees

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sonnet #44

The birds will eat all seeds and fruit
They will because they're hungry, there.
They eat the insects, too. Hunger suits
them, all that energy expended in a hover
We put the nets over the grapes and berries
They dive into the crevices. We hang foil
to shine at them, old CDs, for glaring
light to scare them, put up scarecrow owls...

I cannot blame them, though, their hunger
is the curse that haunts us all, and fear
will drive us all to stones. When younger
they looked to endless blue, drear
emptiness devouring, screaming needs and wants
Grown birds push back the empty sky with cantos

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sonnet #43

Water, water, everywhere, and all of it to drink
The miracles of modern science, water
Is a wonder. Turn the spigot in the sink
Clean water comes, on command, what better
miracle is there in desert plains like this
Cities dig deep wells, send long pipes
We build dams, erect industrial processes
So that water comes, and we can snipe
about the cost, if we want to, but
we must never forget we're griping
a social miracle: it could dry up
It could turn orange and rust as piping
rusts in industrial waste, clogs up like treacle,
Work together, earn these everyday miracles.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sonnet #42

I don't believe a person can be born again

The trees can. Take a clipping, dip in hormone
Place in soil, soon the roots descend
The leaves push through, the tree, reborn,
Is ready to rise above the fields anew
Anywhere new. Underground the roots
Recognize themself, mine together through
each other, rise one soul, two shoots

You cannot yet take fingers of flesh
Place them in a womb, expect new life
No false watery grave, no ceremonial mesh
No battlefield or epiphanic strife

We remain our old selves, harder, scarred;
With some survival, maybe riper for the churchyard 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sonnet #41

We do not know the ecosystems at our door

We only know the story that we see, there
Suburbia, a nice, safe place, clean yards, fear
exists here, though. The ants, the cats, the gore
of the hunt: We live in a forest, we just decide 
the trees and shrubs that pull the creatures to us
Our lost pets go wild, our poisons clear wide
swathes of niches ripe for colonization, abide
all you want picking at inches tall of grass
By night, the cats will hunt, the rats will run
The ants will build their fortresses in loosened soil
The birds pass through, the squirrels, possums,
coyotes, deer, all the marginal things will toil
Another meal from sidewalks. They come.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sonnet #40

A fledgling bird had fallen in the garden
Exhausted in the heat, uncertain wings
Ecstatic flock of grackles shouted things
Hideous encouragement for their child, then
the dog noticed, ran over barking, sniffing
She did not kill, just sniff, "What is that"
What is that?" and I pulled her back at
once, the frightened, weary, bleary fledgling
Raced into the lavender. Keep calling dogs
Away, away, keep calling dogs away, away
Rest a moment, the grackle synagogue
Will wait to lead you home when ready
They have come to help, a hundred strong
From the powerlines, shouting your salvation: Fly