a life lived in shade

What shadow is cast by the light of love?
and what people live in it,
unlit and beyond reach with
eyes rimed by darkness?

What worth is a life lived in shade,
hoping for a break in the sky,
aching for the hurts of adjustment?

What object can block the light of love?
some foul demon with
wings that span the sum of sky,
or is it merely the heart?

scraps and thrifts

these are the scraps and thrifts of us
given softness and comfort
by prior use;
these are the rare finds
carelessly lost, the
choice picks in the bin-bottoms,
these are the memories
we’ve rediscovered, memories
we’ve built from
old wood and bent screws, and
still it is livable,
still it is lovable,
still it is sturdy and
still it is.
these are the scraps and thrifts of us
gently disassembled, inexpertly
renewed into something precious;
something that will never be cast away.

The First Man To Die At The Alamo

The first man to die at the Alamo
has no idea if his battle was won,
or ceased in a draw.
to have had the briefest glimpse of
love or glory or
any other terrible thing
is the best;
to have seen it, dimly,
half-formed as a dozen dismal creatures
(perhaps a bat, perhaps a horse,
perhaps a lion)
and then snatched away,
and have no idea if it was won,
or lost,
or ceased in a draw.

Love In Multitudes

There is love that you welcome in and
reheat the coffee for, and
love that flies in through an open door and
builds a nest in the upper corners of the room.
There is love that stings when you find it clinging to
your sleeve, and
love that smells as fresh and sweet as the second snowfall.
there is love you chase away with a broom,
and love you sit on your lap and pet until it purrs,
love you cannot name and
love as vast and cryptic as a carving in a British hillside,
love we all know and love known by few,
all valid, always valid,
the love we pat on the back as it vomits and
the love we watch sunsets with,
love as thin and concentrated as the point of a needle and
love that spreads through your arm like medicine,
and love that pounds inside your head like flu.
There is love that sounds like music and love that
sounds like pots being knocked from the top shelf,
love that watches you undress and
love you undress yourself,
Surely there is love,
Surely there is love,
Surely, there is love in you.

Time Travel

If I could go back,
I’d have met you sooner.
Kept your fingers from being caught in the cruel pistons of the world.
Suffered the same locker-lined hallways,
Danced through the bleakness of youth.

Maybe then you’d have been there when I needed it,
But, more probably, you’d still leave,
And I’d just be-
And you’d just be-
A myth told in a hundred years,
Whispered to someone in love
With edges sharpened by time.

Valentine’s Day 2/14/19

To you:
men, women,
inbetween and uncharted,
dwelling alone on the day of lovers
thinking of a misshapen thing, wet and
wretched in the deepest crevasse of the past,
with a feeling of revulsion – a twinge of longing,
hoping for an impossible message or a long-late call…

know that the day was long although
the night is longer, and the dawn is brightest
when the cool air of the morning does not chill,
but fills tired limbs with vigor; the spearmint tingle
of slow-spreading realization, like a lost sailor,
far removed from the drowning dozens,
watching ships come in
from the horizon.

That (National Poetry Month Day 13)

coy glance, that
brush of hands, that
electric moment, that
spreading smile.

casual yawn – that
ol’ move – that
arm draped over
her shoulder.

sideways look
(you know the one), that
hammering heart, that
eccentric joy, that
chorus swell, that
starlit night, that
sense of wonder, that
soothing light.

movement closer, that
tiny distance that
bridges bodies, that
brings together, that
energy mingling, that
dance of eyes, that
sweet release, that
first kiss.

The Unbeloved Night

The streets are all deserted, the star-light glimmers bleak,
This night has been perverted by a love grown faint and weak.
On trails I wander softly and await the joy I’m due
And though it haunts me awfully: I will not come home to you.

The moon is high and hated while our sorrow paints the night,
The future I’ve created now a monstrous thing of fright.
Past minutes stretch to hours, and thinner yet to years
Through the dimness that devours I see lifetimes fade to tears.

All the love I have not given, the lies I have not told,
Are nails too quickly driven through the marrow of my soul.
Now these shadows have grown stronger for the light I left with you,
And though the night grows longer I know dawn is coming too.