Monday, November 30, 2009

Something escaped from the closet today.

Snapshot: picture Mel Brooks,
Yoda, and Ebenezer Scrooge
rolled into one old man.
One time a man took me from the street
and gave me home, gave me warm, gave me light.
But a souvenir from ’Nam
ate his family, his little boy, a little girl
their loving mother.
Today at the V.A. I saw this gnarled troll
waiting for his medications
eyes all predatory, same Portuguese nose,
old stale menace his mouth.
Some things are best left buried,
better left put away, out of sight
and out of mind, locked in a cage.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday night and the wine is almost gone.
Sound of buses on the street below my window,
people going somewhere, returning from somewhere,
staring at their faces reflected in the dirty bus window,
making lists, forming speeches, framing apologies.
All the things that make us human;
communication, regret, envy,
are the things that keep us apart.
I send my thoughts out and ask
for nothing but acknowledgement,
an admission of inclusion,
a need to know I belong.
But I am a poet.
What was I thinking.
The voices of the night are mine.
I stare into the eye of the moon
and read omens there.
The darkness is mine,
has always been…
I gave up the light for understanding.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

poem from work


Kid gets in my cab,
headphones on,
thousand-yard stare,
saliva-coated chin.
Four people walk him
to the cab door and leave.
My eye never leaves the mirror.
He sits and rocks a little,
hums softly.
I think he is his own universe.
There are strange stars
in his sky.
He revolves around himself
silent and stately.
I am nothing here.
Maybe a small moon
casting inconsequential light.

In my family when a son killed his first buck
he was given a shot of deer blood to honor the animal’s spirit.
I drank mine at sixteen.
Since then every Autumn I would gather
gun and ammo, camo and blaze orange,
knife, tag and flask of whiskey.
This year I am fifty two years old on my
thirty sixth hunt, and yesterday I sat in a blind
and got lost in the wind and the leaves,
the sound of the branches and shouts of blue jays.
Lost and elevated by that beauty…
Movement in the draw below me…
Slowly, nose first, wary eyed,
a buck emerged.
Modest six points, ears tattered
and nose scarred, deep bull chest
brown, black and grizzled grey.
An old warrior, sire to many a fine fawn, I’d bet.
Now, I’ve shot a buck or two in my time,
I am no twitchy fingered youth shooting at shadows.
He was in my sights, dead to right, mine.
I could pull the trigger.
I didn’t. Coughing softly,
I granted him his life.
He tensed, raised his tail, bounded away,
and I was glad to see him go.
Later, when I saw the old king gutted and tied to a trailer
I wept, broke down my gun, and will hunt no more.