Tainted Well

It’s the only water in town but
there’s a man down there
still drowning,
bloated larger than the darkness
eyes canceled from the skull;
and so many drink it daily
never knowing, never knowing,
there’s a sickness in the water
and we may dredge the flesh up someday
but we will surely not be saved.

Vague Vagaries

Someone somewhere is
seeking something from somebody,
something terrible, something precious,
someone somewhere will do horrible things
to obtain this something,
they will damn themselves and others,
they will denounce all configurations of god,
someone somewhere is
taking drastic action,
is buying supplies and making a plan,
someone somewhere is
training daily and
is convinced of their righteousness,
and is ready, is willing,
is aiming for hell.

The Man Who Will Remember Everything

The man who will remember everything sits
quietly at a desk
memorizing names of birds and bees and shrubs and trees
and our best recollection of our first and last dates,
he will remember the color of your hair and
the diaries of every soldier who died in the Eighty Year’s War,
the man who will remember everything sits
quietly at a desk,
his brain aches from the knowing,
but he must know, he must remember,
to give meaning to the life
and death of this world
it must be remembered.

Whales In Each Puddle

Light does not end, it escapes,
bouncing from you and moving
onward, somewhere,
carrying the image along
skyscrapers on pebbles and
whales in each puddle,
all of us condensed
in pinprick notation
and sent out, out,
hopefully to be seen
in some distant somewhere
by some strange something.

Springtime in Akron, Ohio

The sky is beautiful today,
even in Akron,
the sunlight feeds petunias and
scours the pavement.
I see weeds here, there,
broad-leafed and long-necked,
poking their heads out from under long shadows,
reminding us they are kin to flowers,
cousins to trees.

Becoming The Past

No ancient vow
no biblical thou,
some missing medieval meter
from the language of the now,
our ‘u up?’ and our ‘lol’
unworthy of the line;
and in some fearsome future
these, too, are of a time.

Too Much Light

brown chairs inside a room

Too much light in the eyes
too much shine on the fields
see it all shrivel beneath us
until we can see no more, no more,
nothing left to grasp,
no miracles to behold
only light in the eyes,
light in the mouth –
burning down the throat
through the shade of organs
sparking out these pale-pink gears
leaving shadows on the walls,
lovers on couches, children playing,
only shadows on the walls.

Some Assembly Required

One less bolt than ordered,
and the chassis is upside down –
the wheels are locked in place and
some cuts were too shallow,
some too deep,
and still it functions –
incorrectly, sure, but it functions,
and I would say
it turned out fine.

To Grieve

How can she laugh now,
or nervously stutter,
how can she make dinner or
walk the dog –
How can she function, anyhow,
how can she do anything but
weep quiet, wail loud,
wait in dark rooms for
the dead to cease lingering –
Shouldn’t she perform a little better,
let us really know she’s grieving,
for don’t we know that mourning
is more important than living?

Innate Freedoms

The caged bird is free to sing,
the prisoner is free to dream,
ah, such freedom we have,
dreaming and singing and starving,
free to work,
free to be defrauded, free to be beaten,
free to pay and free to die,
we love us our freedom
an ideal so holy it requires
the most brutal maintenance.