Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sonnet #236

Believe in darkness, for in shadows truths reveal
The shape of shadows, the way the room traverses
Where the foot breaks on wood and remembered curses
How the forest of the night is holy in how it feels:
Terrifying. An all-consuming shadow, all jagged places
Rapacious. Believe in darkness, for darkness walks
Behind you. You cannot see the steps, but talk
Into the darkness, whisper, beg for mercy, race
if you dare, but the faster run the faster trip
The harder fall: Believe in darkness where the holy
Stalks behind you, in the rising hairs, the slip
Where hidden boundaries and subtle, slowly
grasping, paths of vegetation and lost steps
Each footfall made in hope, each prayer made truly

Monday, March 5, 2018

Sonnet #235

We bloom at night when nothing but moths
are pouring from the shadows, our perfume
calls all their tongues to dip into our womb
Where we hold ground and make, our worth
Is measured in the memories of souls
Where bent by us, the moon's refraction,
With the gesture of our palms,concatenations
of our scents, intoxicate all strolls
with echoes in the air, our silent songs,
This scent of flowers shining from the bark
Where petals hidden pale and focused strong
 to call the moths of midnight, they embark
in dreamlight off their hard cocoons, but not for long
We feed these shadow countries, cool and stark

Friday, February 23, 2018

Sonnet #234

To sing of miracles, let us sing the spiders' song
This misty early spring, rains crystallize the webs
the architecture glistens like a crystal silk and strong
so strong to hold the weight of water; how did
these tiny minds build up to this from Darwin's years?
Surrounded by such miracles we can't even stop
to enjoy in all this rain, I sing of tiny spiders
how small their arms, how small their lot
Inventing in the corners of the world their dazzling
Made for no one, beauty for no sake at all
Despite eight eyes, they never admire the puzzling
shapes and countershapes that form their whole
The tremor in the web beneath their feet
is all they know, a tense vibrato of life and defeat

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sonnet #233

For years, they've heard us all complain
About those kids, how they are doing things wrong
How they do not know anything, their songs
are not even music, and they're lazy and complain

We have told them they are ruined by trophies
They do not deserve, in skills they'll never master
Better than anyone that came before, We're the faster
We're the ones who know things, our stories

Are the best stories, we tell truths to them
and they ought to listen because we accept the dust
of how things are, we know, we are powerless, then
We say, nothing ever changes: If things get hard, all must

They've seen us howl, seen how we will not save them
It seems, now, instead, they have decided to save us

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sonnet #232

Would you sacrifice your life for gas
station burritos? Someone did. They bled
with all their friends and lovers dead
And carved into pieces, saran-wrapped, passed
into machines; also every bean contained
the possibility of flowers, the hope of mothers
Every kernel, stalk of green, all other
pieces of this tepid slab had holiness

This is why to make food poorly is a sin:
Oh, Life! What did these beautiful ones die for?
If we must kill to live, let us honor those done in
Who gave their children for our children, nor
should we allow the hungers quotidian
to permit us to forget how death's head roars

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sonnet #231

As I live, I hide these nests inside my hair
Where songs are born, slip out, take wing
I try to say the growths are merely things
Long lost, leftovers of childhood. ignore the singing.

As I live and work, just mind gradiations,
Foraging patterns, all that stuff that spirits do
With all of us, passing through their iterations
As if they never stopped to hatch and grow anew

But autumn comes, and I see my leaves descend
And I, uncaring who may know or see
What's been hidden until the wind rends
loose these dying papers, scattered leaves

These nests I hold, here, all of them are mine
I lift them up; I protect; the birds return in time

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sonnet #230

Everything we see and everything we touch
Began as a dream in somebody's head
All tools are imagined, all laws come from beds
where dreamers rise to wake their world as such

All the dreamers I know live out on the edge
They tread water in dreams, burn all their wax
They work twice as long, pay twice the tax
Every time the bills come due, all bets must have hedge

The state of the union where dreamers are poor
The state of the union where dreamers work late
The state of the union where delusions of grandeur
Are met with terror and mockery, hate
The state of the union where making art and poetry
Means fool's uselessness, merit so hungry

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Truth About Microwaves

This is very simple, the new spying we do
Say you build microwaves. Every office has one.
Every kitchen. People tell the truth in kitchens.
Kitchens are honest.
Say you build microwaves.
You put a GPS in the microwave.
You put a small microphone in it.
You sit in some distant cubicle, under a bunker, and search out
You must be very careful how you do it
If you are caught, it could be a problem for you
But, still --

You turn on the microwave.

Say you are the country that builds all the microwaves
Your mountains are stripped to the bedrock for the building of them
Your rivers are the rivers of mercury
Your people live in cots, die in cots
They wear full-body suits with goggles for eyes
while they work
they work a long time

you turn on their microwaves

It doesn't have to be microwaves
They build everything

At night, the technocrats sit up and listen to the world that exists
outside their factories
Where people have time to cook in their kitchens
Where people talk about their day, tell the truth about it
 And you get to hear what it's like
In offices where people have time to talk while they eat
In all the places that don't build the microwaves
And people tell each other the truth

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sonnet #229

Who owns the poem and knows what it means —
Who writes the questions on the test —
Who chooses what is good and what is best —
And understands the truth inside the lean?
Oh star crossed letters, I do not know
Why ever would I stop to explain
When what I know is written plain
And never made much sense to me, so
Work it out upon a word, these little steps
Into the hills, walking round the mountains
Where the bird songs should be kept
And rainstorms come — Oh, star crossed mountains
Every step is lost and lost, inept
Others say what footprints planted claim

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sonnet #228

At first, when we find life on other planets
We will ooh and aah and protect their wild
Better than we ever cherished our own child
This will not last, and then we will man it
This other world, we will choose to keep it kill
As it suits our plans, at first lip service to peace
the gingerly process of planting our flags and trees
Just a little, just to try, just to study, just this hill
For a while we will restrain ourselves
Then, in time, the lines between the worlds
Gets blurry, we take what’s there we sell
We push the wild into gardens, walled
Then wilderness of worlds will hurt each other
Where the escape of visitors spreads on either

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sonnet #227

oh my pigeon heart where will you fly

When eggshell-colored skin cracks open bleeds
And shakes, and surgeons come for all they need
And my pigeon heart will leave me to die
And carry on a pulse in another’s chest
Will it be a monster or a man, will they love
One another as I have loved you, and move
Together when the dancing starts, try their best
Will the pigeon heart be soothed? And how long?
How many caverns can carry a heart, someday,
 will organs pass down like a children’s song
Learned at cradles, returned to cradles to play
Another round, hearts passing down where wrongs
In air collect, but my pigeon heart is strong — it stays

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sonnet #226

We are so careless with our wild and precious world
We live as if the size of us is endless horizons
As if there will always be another mountain
Another valley, another lake, new boys and girls
As joyful, as safe, as fulfilled and fulfilling
As if progress is measured by the gravity
of money, how it seems to magnetize more money
into heaping imaginary mountains unending
As if the imaginary mountain is greater than
The one that is blown apart, all waters polluted
We cannot eat the imaginary mountain
We cannot live beside these forests denuded
We cannot promise that there will be life again
So broadly this poem, beat it hard, prosecute it

Monday, January 1, 2018

Sonnet #225

I took my prayers to the oldest tree
And blew them up into the branches bare
In some few weeks I hope they sprout in green
When seasons turn, but I know what grows is rare
The winter branches catch what ghosts they can
But most will drift into the clouds, and this is grey
All those low, bleak winter clouds, all plans
That have been lost, dreams that escaped this day
I took my prayers as well to Balcones Fault
Where the crevice in the rocks cuts deep
Old Gods inside the earth with wounds of salt
Will they accept what clouds will weep
All lost prayers become the green eventually
Just give it time, an earth, a sky, you’ll see.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ten Birds

Mary, Queen of Sorrows, came
To see my garden green
I showed Her all the flowers where
They dropped as frost cut clean

I showed Her all the fruit that fell
Where tumbled on the grass
And trampled earth in mud will stain
The boots of all who pass

We set a tea set in the field
And served Her as She pleased
We poured sweet earth washed watery
And sliced this pie of me

A crust of mud, a crackling kiln
A dry, sandblasted pie:
Limestone-pocked the filthy seal
we cracked to ten birds fly

A pigeon for my beating heart
Red cardinal for my soul
Two grackles there for my great fears
One is grey and one is gold

House sparrow for the work I've made
A mockingbird for anger
A scrub jay blue for all lost things
Dear chickadee for laughter

The titmouse for my courage
To be tiny takes the brave
Black vulture for the meat of me
No flesh is ever saved

Ten birds' flight before the Queen
Each freedom chips at ivory
They scratched Her eyes and battered ears
And shattered statuary

We buried Mary, Holy Queen,
In a frostburned barrow
We hope someday She'll rise again
When birds return to harrow