Tag Archives: september

From the prayer of forgetting

receipt

From the prayer of forgetting

1
The shapes at the water’s edge
They are not your memories

They are the clothes of the drowned. Forgotten
Because they are no longer needed.

2
After a long walk through life you were tired.
You paused, hand on knee, to rest. It took

A little longer than you thought to catch
Your breath and the trees had been bulldozed

And the spiders had covered you with the silk
Of memory. I came with a single dream’s knife

And cut a slit so you could back out. Later the city
Builders saw the shape standing alone

Like a magnificent cocoon, covered
It with stone and called it a church.

3
Your soul comes to you
Like bees finding their hive

Assembling into shapes almost
Making sense to your eye

Defined by a sweetness it will never taste
And a sting it will not survive.

4
The onomatopoeia of forgot,
Regret. They sound like things

That almost are but aren’t
Solid enough to take steps

Or kneel on stone in prayer.

5
I invalidated a receipt once
By writing a poem on it.

No further exchange was
Necessary or authorized.

Like a cowbird I laid that egg
in the nest of your eyes

And you have raised it
Into something that flies

Away from you, recognizing
Neither of us as its maker.

Cicada shell

Cicada shell

Elephants tiptoe time’s twisting invitation.
They know a full footprint there means to forget.

As you drew them into being and forgot them.
As the shadow of a word is its own weird requirement.

The stuff of days is what’s available
In the air, the chimney swifts of thought

Where inside night’s mortared column each
clings to the smallest difference of surface.

I scramble across air’s planes to get
Particles closer to you

Like emptiness I’m thick with longing
And thin in grip

Six lines for an early September front porch, for maple, bird and twilight

Six lines on an early September front porch, for maple, bird and twilight

sep 8

The maples are still green. I can hear the Canada geese
Sloughing below vision. Noisy in the west, where clouds break

Against the invisible shoreline of the livable world.
Their calls drift east, first in a foam of chaos then spreading

Like a wave disperses, one voice eddying out, diminishing
Then rising again, with a single repeated wish, good luck, good luck.

September moon song

September moon song

sepmoon

The mist blows across the moon
And makes the low sound of time

That you hear in your bones and eye-sockets,
That old houses hear. The floor boards

Remember when they were part of something bigger
But when they sing to the moon it sounds

Flat, like uncertain foot-falls in a dark hallway.
The screech owl in the backyard

Is like someone who laughs before they have told
The joke and then had no reason to tell it.

And the two voices talking about a dream
One had, up at maple leaf level; they fade

And drift, like a moon across a window pane,
Or the impression on the grass of a possum’s pink feet.

September 30 [Book of October]

September 30

We know what the year’s worth
Like we know a coin from its size in our palm.

The month’s full moon. A gumball in a gumball machine.
And once in awhile, two slip out at once

Into your hands. When did the fall’s first
Cold night become a harbinger for a life

Shifting seasons? I look out there:
Not a leaf has left me. Still, if what’s ahead

Is more than loose change, you’re going
To have to get a lot closer to keep

Us both warm with what’s coming.

Looking Backward Across an Early September Day

Looking Backward Across an Early September Day

Geese evacuate beneath the moon’s thin retraction
Trees are whispering their new addresses to each other

and now the houses breathe without coughing
I shrug free and share the sigh of open windows

In the blue morning the sky’s a cut-out
key unlocking summer’s heavy stockade

When the world was upside down
you fell into my arms and I woke

Driving Through A Small Town Full of Churches on a Friday Around Dusk

Driving Through A Small Town Full of Churches on a Friday Around Dusk

 

The buildings vibrate like an old color
postcard whose message has faded

time lifting the letters off the back
one dark bit after the other

which now gather wordless on the horizon
rising without a message to take back

the sky which for a moment shows red
through the church steeples with no bells