The Sun Comes Up On Gardens

The sun comes up on gardens
and broken bodies,
it shines and brightens,
even on wrack and ruin,
on dissembled fathers and
deconstructed sons, the sun comes up
and shines on gray flowers, rent
towers, on dainty, bloody hands,
poking through the rubble, reaching –
the sun comes up on gardens,
filled with abandoned shells,
the sun comes up and greets
mortar teams brewing coffee, the sun
comes up, the sun comes up
on gardens

a fool’s gold is still gold

Oh Fool, oh sweet Fool,
what right have you to be so full
and light, to think in such bright and silly
tunes, to feel your feet
seep through the floorboards and sip gently
at the groundwater?

Oh Fool, oh sweet Fool,
your song is sung in scrambled eggs,
in leisurely walks, in the green of
new-formed leaves and the hefty talk of blossoms,
with petals reaching up to suck in the sun,
the stars, the sky, and songs,
and songs!

Oh Fool, sweet, sweet Fool,
don’t ever let the singing go to silence,
go carrying that tune, for
some things when dropped are spilled and soiled
Oh, Fool, my sweet Fool,
don’t ever believe this world isn’t yours,
and don’t ever quiet yourself for others.

bled out

the world will wound you somewhere,
someway;
a bullet in the thorax or
steel jaws smiling around your shin – Yes,
the world will wound you somehow,
someday;
the world will watch and wait for signs of
a wither or a wilt,
blood in the snow or
a limp in your gait, yes,
the world will watch and wait,
while you worry yourself wretched,
Oh, have I wasted another winter?
Oh, will I win at this pace?
while the world watches,
wondering at your wounds

babyteeth

I am young, it is dark,
and my teeth are not so sharp,
I have thoughts,
bordering on dreams,
of the day when I will grow
new, tall, solid steel,
thinking of men in that childish way –
unfeeling skyscrapers,
craggy cliffs climbing above the waves –
and I have dreams bordering on belief,
that my blood, flesh, the meat of me,
will boil up and all the old bones
will float out to be
hidden under pillows,
replaced by quarters and dimes,
nickels and nightmare

The Hired Hand of Justice

And I know what you know, kid:
three-fifty a week ain’t worth dying over,
and if Justice needs a helping hand, hell,
she should put in a worthy bid
like everyone else.

So let’s you and me just ease down the pistols, kid,
we can talk numbers just fine,
three-fifty-seven, magnum, faster ‘an a whip, hell,
I’ll buy yer’ dinner, and a lil’ something
extra for your time.

And I know, I know, I’m a bad man, kid,
for shooting the man who shot my brother,
now, granted,
my brother shot his wife, hell,
and plenty of other folks, but listen, kid,
if I shoot you dead, or –
Hell, if I shoot you in the leg and the sawbones
saws through the scraps of remnant –
Is it gonna be worth that three-fifty a week?

So let’s just slide these pistols down, kid,
real slow-like, and don’t make any fast mov-

The Discovery of an Edible Berry

Some were bitter and some were bold,
some red and luscious as
dangerous lips;
some blue as bruises;
others, battered by
careless claws,
warned you away with
wicked thorns.

Some brought blood foaming through your teeth;
some wrenched and stabbed in your stomach
and some, still, would swell your flesh and
leave you crying out in the night.

But, still, there are some out there
that pop and flood over your tongue,
with juice as sweet as drunkenness;
some that linger in your mind,
some that stay at your fingertips,
your lips, forever,
and reward a long,
long search.

moths

the stars eclipsed by the
flutter of paper wings, the
smell of burning ichor.

they come out at night,
at night, every night,
spreading dust and dread and
dying, dying,
a brigade charging at the light,
for some sick and sour craving.

heaps and heaps of them,
littering the streets and
choking the city, possessed
of unresisted urges,
the thirst for light, their desire
to shortcut this night
no matter the path

small destinies

there are children that must be born and
children born to bear them;
There are harvests that must be brought in and
seeds destined for shallow graves.
There are berries in deep forests, red and
bright, berries that will
never be eaten and never
go to seed;
there is destiny in all of it,
every puddle and every pine cone,
suffused and suffering
by destiny.

care in excise

there’s nothing so dangerous as deletion,
removal, excise, nothing so
worrisome,
so irreversible,
“always take care with the saw,”
they’d say,
“measure twice, cut once”,
they’d say,
but still, how thrilling to
cut, cut, cut away,
how delightful to
dig all the roses up with the weeds and
hurtle, half-dreamed and half-formed,
down long, lone highways.