Veteran’s Day

A man at a podium with a widow’s peak
who only lies when he starts to speak
told us it was his great honor to be here,
and that, god willing, he’d be relected next year,
and he wants to thank the soldiers, and their sons,
who will take their place before this war is done,
and how peace is a mighty unpatriotic ideal:
Without war, we’d have no veterans,
and then the bugle squeals.

lemonade

you wish for lemons but
life won’t give you lemons,
life won’t even give you apples.
Life gives you rocks,
boulders too large to move, life gives you
stones and
asks you to chew them,
life gives you shit and
claims it’s a smoothie.
Life can’t be trusted,
not with lemons,
not with rocks,
not with anything important;
reject whatever life offers
in all its cruelty,
and build something kind
on your own time.

Autumn Frost

The flags of summer have all flown
And now are strewn about my home;
Begonias lay, all drabs and grays,
Suffering in degrading ways.

Some subtle portal called my own
Through which the sunshine stabbed and played
Is rayless, dark, with doom foretold
Of slush and sleet and snow and cold.

The season slips towards decline
With brakes stuttering in the slide;
Screeching shrilly,  joy-dead drunks
Hunker down and enjoy the ride.

Yet there are roots and dreaming trunks
Patiently waiting to revive.

I Miss You (terribly)

I miss you most terribly,
utterly, poorly, the worst
missing of a soul that a mind has ever hung.
I wish I could miss you better,
or more quietly, at least,
miss you with less certainty that I will see you again,
and when next we meet, I will miss you so ferociously
that, unsettled, you will flee,
and I will miss you even more terribly, then.

less than friend

I came for glory,
bloodied, storied,
wishing on what evils lurked in the sky;
I came for you.
I know.
It’s true,
I hoped you wouldn’t feel this reason why.

You held my head to the ground
like the most disloyal hound
and I am less than that,
less than friend, less than dust,
so small and savage in my hope that you
will turn, favorable, with eyes renewed
upon me, seeing at last
everything I want you to.

old flames

My love is ancient and
barely hanging on;
my relatives keep their brave faces,
my friendships sigh and speak of other things,
and all would rather if it died,
quietly in the night.
It doesn’t recognize the faces that come and go,
doesn’t grasp the subtleties of itself,
but by all measures it is still alive,
for my love is ancient and
barely hanging on.

where are you

Do you go to the old familiar places

Seeking the old familiar faces

Do you sip on smoke, devour drink,

Make yourself idiot enough to think

Of me, of us, of icicles in March,

Of starlight smearing across the sky

Scratches on the celestial arch,

Where are you? And, why?