Monthly Archives: August 2014

Ghostlings

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Dancing with the dead, they say
Must be some kind of sin
To call them back from heaven’s grace
Into this world of woe
Let them rest in blesséd peace
Far from the toil and strife
But in the air the ghostlings swirl
Touched not by mortal ills
While breathless mothers, tearless dads
Beg gypsy bands, “Play on.”

Fire Dance

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The slice and shift of jagged lives
All falling on the ground
The chattering solemn hiss of knives
From little sheaths outbound
The bitter broken dreams of wives
Die, writhing, without sound
The trampled hopes of afterlives
Heaped up into a mound

And in an instant’s shattering light
Revealed for all to see
The stumbling march all through the night
From windward to the lee
The tangled twisted truth of right
Of what ‘had oughta be’
The breathless restless soul of might
Which lacks the will to flee

From wriggling whispering gunshot roofs
Same days, same nights, same soul
With dangling distant absent proofs
Race screaming from the goal
Banning mystic danced reproofs
That cannot play the role
While all about them, bulletproof,
Lightning strikes remake them whole.

Clockwork Heart

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I wish I had a clockwork heart
She said to me
Gears and springs and shiny things
To make it go
Teeth and wheels and tiny screws
For tick tick tock
And if it’s wrong, it’s ever wrong
A little oil
And all the wrongs turn into rights
So time can run
Never lonely walk the afternoon
No hurt and break
No bleed and die a beggar’s death
Is that not so?
A lovely shiny clockwork heart
I asked of her
Precision in its perfect ways
Swap tick for pain
Whirring counting teeth you’d take for joy
A turn of screw
And brass to hide humanity?
Exactly that.
I break my chest. Here then, child, take mine.

Origami

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Lines and creases story on
A fold, a turn, a fold again
A life in words, hope in pleats,
My father, insists, expenses
Sweater, cheek and chin
A tale unread, a man, a boy
Reduced to shape and color-blobs,
Taking wing once more
A thousand cranes in one small dream.