Nothing New Created There

before your were born,
you were grown
from watermelon vines and
the flesh of beasts,
the fruits of the deeps,
you were formed
and nurtured,
from the grains of the soil,
from the soil itself –
how grand and impossible
these bodies,
on Earth since creation,
reassembling and devouring
all shapes,
all fleshes,
all skins.

Shakespeare, Elvis,
Socrates too,
Cao Cao,
the rest of the crew –
all had in common
some creeds, some beliefs,
they lived.
they died.
like us all,
it was brief.

lay down

Lay down the pen
and step outside,
nobody ever wrote
a great story without having lived
a great story –
no great poem is written
by hands unfeeling and unfelt –
even the tragedies,
(especially the tragedies)
may be burnt for warmth,
throw them in with the good times,
the bad,
burn it all
and hope for a pleasant spring.


how lovely to be a beginner
and know nothing of correctness,
how often the competent
see only the errors –
and our hands yearn
to work so free and stupid,
craft spasmous joys instead of
tormented terrors –

the words ill-chosen,
the plan is set
and only the mind decides it –
thrill or threat?


You cannot fathom how far you will retreat –
your guess will be wrong,
growing closer, then further as you flee
needing to be far from here and
having no home in sight –
you cannot know
where safety is,
you will run and run
until collapse, and then,
terror will tell:
“you not have run
far enough.”

childish things

always there is a last time
something was put away, left alone,
out of sight and mind and
leaving limited marks on being –
gone are small shoes and
tight knit caps,
given over to those that fit them,
yet we remember reading them,
and the book-bound dragons play idly in memory
as we muster for books on Good Topics,
on Adult Subjects,
on war and money and sex,
until these, too,
with tweed suits and last decade’s ties
are put away some last time.


Old enough to beat a tune
sweeter than a bludgeon;
young enough to be just,
or a quaint,
querulous curmudgeon –
the snow with its confetti crash
bends an eyelash, bowed to hell
the world is one year older
As am I,
and all is well.

Town Tracking

here a pair of large tracks
splay-footed, rough gait,
some big man lurching back from
bars –
and there, small shoes,
angled straight,
good form
spaced for a run,
maybe just cold for the hell of it –
and in this spot are many tracks,
sure-footed, limping,
converging like a deer-path
people coming, people going,
crunching snow and
leading right to
where they’re bedded down –
like fawns that have never known a hunt.


Hands, feet, wheels, doors,
all stuck fast,
clinging tight, just as we do –
there is nothing left to do but thaw,
read a book or skim,
call and send well-wishes
and be grateful
that now, here,
we may be so together
even while we’re alone.