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Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Poem - Dancing in Plato's Cave

Lights from
adjoining rooms
cast a
shadow collage
on living
room walls,
                   my life,
a gray
          scale tableau.  

The men
in Plato's
cave have
one
       fire
casting shadows; 
                           I've many.

My form
on closed
blinds is
doubled and
overlaps, is
                  layered and
multiplied, is
closer to
whole and
complete, is
                   nearly one
                   and true
like my
self image.

I try
to push
my shades
                 together.  They
are not
solid as
they appear;
             the man          
             who leaves
             the cave
             learns this
             truth too. 

To make
a single
silhouette,
                I
must move
the lights
or stand
             in a
                    different place. 

If I want more
than a solid outline
of myself, my life,
I must dance around
the fire - throwing my
likeness on every wall.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Poem - Valentine's Morning 2013

Startled awake,
                         waking with a gasp
                                                       at 1:43 am,

to learn this is the
                           loneliest
                                        time of day.

What was I dreaming?

I want to be held.
                             My eyes refuse to close.
I need to be consoled. 
                                    My mind is racing.
I want to cry.

Can't I go back to sleep?
                                        Was I dreaming?

I miss you,
whom was there,
                           as I anticipate you,
                           whom will be here in the future.

In college I would get up
                                      at this time and walk;
it is this hour when the
                                  street lamp
                                                    is brightest.

A light snow is falling;
                                  a sparkle on the world that
reveals whether you
have been by my door.

I know you have;
                            I dream you will.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

When Do I Tell Them Our Story?

Two years
and eight months since
you left me, and

I realize
that someone meeting me
today might never know

you existed.
Except there is the
rings on a necklace

which chimes,
both engraved: "C+C 10-30-03." 
Also, in my house

(you never
got to see) your
name is on a

box that
I will never unpack. 
And the mail is

sometimes still
addressed to you.  My

dreams about
you are now more
precious, bizarre, and unreal. 

Worse, however,
is catching myself fidgeting,
still without a hand
                      to
                    hold.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0 

Sexual Disillusionment

He has the appropriate walk;
                his hips sway,
his torso leans back, and
                his legs swing
        in arcs
                      away from his center.
All to imply,
             "I've got a twelve-incher
         and two cantaloupes
        I'm dealing with here."

A passing stranger makes
(more than friendly?)
                         eye contact with him
for a fraction of a second
                           too long. 
                                      His fuse is lit.

Its good she is
there to talk him down;
she gives him the
rational arguments.

He keeps saying,
                 "It just isn't natural to want to stick your penis
         in a man's ass.  It's
          for making babies."

(Like he never jacked-off or stuck it in a woman for fun?) 

He keeps looking
back at the stranger,
a block away, to yell
vile things.  The stranger
can't hear him anymore. 

At the peak of anger,
                      he punches a lamp post. 
The cracking sound
                   echoes
                          down the street. 

The stranger
turns,
smiles, and
shakes his head. 

Mr. Big Dick sits on the curb,
holds his broken and bleeding
hand to his chest,
                   and cries.

She walks away
               knowing
                       everything she needs to.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0     

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Merely Wet

There is the
        line
between us, the
        line
that divides the saturated
        and
the merely wet sand.

Hot,
     let go of your hand,

     shirt in the sand,

                        dive in.

You watch from the
         safe side.
The tops of your toes
                  are
                      dry.

Out of the water,
         sand between
         my toes
and chaffing
         soft skin,
I find you guarding your
         line.

I hold you,
            I dry myself
                         on you.
And I laugh at you,
         now wet,
         now just
                  merely wet.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0    

Multifaceted Poem

Looking down                     on the earth                             from silver winged flight

at the cities                          filled with men,                        I decide to stay...

afar.  For I                          cannot begin to                        love myself.  They

won't appreciate me,           feel my pain -                          won't hurt me?

They reach slowly to-         my heart,                                 my existence that moves to-

ward the heavens.               I am pushed and                      scream

and it may take                   many lives                                for them to

hold enough of me to          get it right, to                            get me,

pull truth from words.         Find peace here and now.        Too late.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0    


Friday, February 08, 2013

50th Floor

Hallowed Ground
"On the ground
in Shady Pines
near your stone,
hillside, I sit
alone with you
in my mind."
On the floor
in a closet
on the 50th
floor, I sit
alone with you
in my mind.

I feel
the walls
falling around
me, and
I just
give up
and die.

On a cloud
in the sky
on the 8th
level, I sit
alone with you
in my mind.

I feel
the wind
blowing around
me, and
I fall
down through
the sky

On the ground
in Shady Pines
near your stone,
hillside, I sit
alone with you
in my mind.

I feel
the world
crumbling around
me; so,
I must
lay down
and cry.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0    

Early Morning

Good Morning 2013 Sun
"Light,
       the damnable enemy of lifelong love,
       crawls from ceiling to floor."

She rests on my bare chest,
calmed by slow breathing.

The fingers of her right hand
play lightly on me.

Head pillowed on my breast,
rising
       falling
               with my breath.

Her slow music draws me
deeper into night.

She looks up where my pillowed head rests
with such a contented smile.

Breathing slows and we venture as one
into memory’s perplexing playground. 
Tonight there is no world outside this room.

Light,
       the damnable enemy of lifelong love,
       crawls from ceiling to floor.

Newly warmed air is pushed upon lovers and
we
separate.

No more together. 

Each restored to one. 

But hearts beat in time, for a time.

The hours are filled with many choices
that conspire to keep lovers
together no more
than a
day’s night.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0    

Thursday, February 07, 2013

What We Know Today

Do Airplanes Have Tail Lights?
"When Icarus falls today
we ask if it
was a terrorist, which
mechanic screwed it up,
or when will they
ground those faulty planes."
     I.
The ancient Greeks
did not know
it gets colder
in the upper atmosphere;
the
air
gets
thin,
the
molecules
spread
out.

They were tied
to the earth,
sheep bleating around
them and horses
     helping turn
     the earth.

They looked at the
sun,
felt
it
burn
the backs of their eyes/
the backs of their bodies.

                   Afraid,
it was easier
to say they
                   should not do
what they
                   could not do.

     II.
We know the sun
is really imploding with
so much force that
we live off the
energy that travels farther
than we can imagine.

When Icarus falls today
we ask if it
was a terrorist, which
mechanic screwed it up,
or when will they
ground those faulty planes? 

We would not be
like the Greek farmer
looking at the sky,
at Daedalus, wondering when
he
   will
        get
            too
                close.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0    

Lonely Haiku Sequence

And All We Ever Learned Was Shadows On A Wall
"Life is the clump and
echo of solitary
feet in a dark hall"
A lone faithless man
surrounded by a life that
defies simple faith.

Demon of regret,
a lost wife lives in sunlit
rooms, safe in his mind.

The truth and virtue
of gravity creates the
whisper of slow feet.

Walking through a sea
of spirits, ready to fly,
his feet are held firm.

Seasons change him like
love, hate, or lust change a soul's
vibration, disposition.

Life is the clump and
echo of solitary
feet in a dark hall
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0   

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Snowprints

                  Oblong
                    pear
                    with
                  slender

                   point,

    waffle
    wafers,

rolling     treads,     and

serrated
          souls

blur together in a winter carpet,
curb to curb.

At the end of
the walk; the curb
overlooks a pond
unable to flow
through rusted teeth
clogged by rotting leaves.

                                       The prints reappear
                                       on the opposite shore.
                             Faces have drown and
                                       kissed feet in
                                       this sea of heavy souls,
                             as my cold lips now
                                       press against my feet.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0     

The Mother Of Certainty

In Mother's home
there will always
be a hot
kettle for tea
on the stove
(or iced tea
in the fridge),
a peanut butter
jar on the
table, and dishes
of baked goods.

It may be
unwise to take
comfort in certainty
when life is
so unsure. What
else drowns out
our death clock's
ticking, winding down?

Grief stricken and
wallowing Mom said,
"Now you have
only to do
what Carney wants.
You have to
figure out what
you really want." 
Wisdom mixed with
love, sadness, anticipation...

Mom's message is:
life is to
be enjoyed, beloved
are to be
held close, truth
is to be
accepted as a
vital first step,
choices are to
be doubted even
while moving on;
life is to
be lived so
it is always
worth being remembered.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0     

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Under Escher’s Sky

Cloud columns,
cumulus rows
to horizon.

                          Birds float
                                   with winds
                          under clouds.

            Creek water     
                                    mirrors fish,    
                                                           swimming lines.
Infinite observation.

            clouds repeat,

refuse to

            become birds/

floating fish.


                                    Cloud becomes

                     fish, fish

                                                            becomes bird
           
                     by exchange

                                                            as normal,
           
                                     all organic.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0    

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Last Time

Morning Moon 5/20/11
"The last time ever I saw your face,          
I thought the world would come to an end.
        And the days and nights that have come since then
        are unfair without you here, my love."
"I felt your heart so close to mine.    
And I know our joy would fill the earth,
And last till the end of time, my love."        
                                   -Ewan MacColl

Today I sought out our song and its memories. 
Ten years ago, I sang with Johnny Cash as a
living room duet, my arms wrapped 'round you. 
    Now I add: 
        The last time ever I saw your face,  
        I thought the world would come to an end.
        And the days and nights that have come since then
        are unfair without you here, my love.

MacColl did not sing of death's part in love. 
Perhaps it is too morbid for a love song?
You are too important to ignore any part of
    your story:
        The last time ever I spoke to you,
         I thought you told me, "It will be okay,"
         with only your eyes, since you could not speak.
         How cruel can life be, my love?
-----
complete lyrics for
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
by Ewan MacColl

The first time ever I saw your face,
I thought the sun rose in your eyes.
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave,
To the dark and the endless sky, my love.

And the first time ever I kissed your mouth,
I felt the earth move through my hands.
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command.

And the first time ever I lay with you,
I felt your heart so close to mine.
And I know our joy would fill the earth,
And last till the end of time, my love.

The first time ever I saw your face.
-----

The version that Colleen and I sang with was Johnny Cash's.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0     

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Colleen

            Colleen was the most unanticipated person
in my life.

Having given up on love years before,
    I had no hope of finding someone
        I didn't want to live without. 

            When she trained me for a summer job,
I had no idea that by the end of the season
            we would love each other. 

I often just wanted to watch her because
            she was so graceful and deliberate. 
I came to love her when I realized that
            most of her life was approached
            with that same style, dedication, and insight.

We promised each other at least 40 years;
I was luck to know her for eight years
            including four years, six months, and 19 days of marriage.

I felt like a failure when
I couldn't save her from the things
she feared;
            she was scared of bugs,
            loud noises,
            fire,
            and old men. 
Our TV wasn't turned off for years;
            she was so scared of the dark. 

            It is easy to love a person for her virtues;
I can honestly say I loved Colleen for her faults as well. 
            She would get so anxious
I just wanted to comfort and hold her
            but that only made her more upset.

Colleen never gave up on people. 
            She was friendly in the most stubborn way possible. 
            She greeted every person, every day. 
            If someone snubbed her, she made a point
            of being friendly to them until they cracked;
            sometimes this was just a warm smile, but she had changed someone.
People I wouldn't have given a second thought to,
            she saw the value in being kind to.
It wasn't a game or a matter of pride;
            she knew that everyone was worthy   
            of a kind word and a smile;
those who can't reciprocate need it even more.


I learned to appreciate travel because
            Colleen loved to travel. 
            She loved to drive, to have that control. 
            She loved to speed with Mellencamp or The Stones at full volume. 
We would both sing (scream) along. 
            The beat of the music encouraging her to go faster. 
I always felt safe with her at the wheel. 

After an insignificant tiff,
             she almost left
me at a gas station in South Dakota. 
            Because she believed I would have been better off without her;
I am glad she always waited for me. 

            Colleen didn't mind hurting, suffering, and sacrificing. 
            At times holding her hands hurt her. 
So many nights I feel asleep holding her hand.
            My love was honest unless it would hurt someone else; 
I never knew how much she hurt or for how long.

On a Saturday afternoon in May, the
doctors explained the situation: 
            An infection (and Colleen was always afraid of dying from an infection)
            they could not adequately treat had developed. 

Aren't I too young to make this decision? 
Aren't I too young to have to make it? 
Isn't the doctor
too young to know for sure? 
            "Will treatment cause her more pain?"

"Yes, it will cause her more pain;
though it might prolong her life slightly. 
She is too weak to respond well.
Colleen likely has brain damage." 

Yes, you will have to push a button every 15 minutes
            to help ease her pain,
you will have to tell her
            it is okay "to go" and
"I will be okay"
The last thing you hear her say(yell) will be
            "Oh, God make it stop!"

In a few days you will have to hold her close
            as her last breath is taken,
you will have to sit with
            her dead body to wait for her lifelong friend
            to come and say goodbye,
you will be haunted by all you have seen, you will often be alone now,
you will have to endure the "knowing"
glances of everyone who knows and the
"ignorant" remarks of those who don't,
you will sometimes find yourself wandering around your home looking for
            something you can never find,
you will die some day too but you will be
            far less afraid of death.

I still get up very early in the morning; but, I don't have
            Colleen to fret over
so I nervously check
the windows "just one more time" before I leave
            as if the cats or dog might have opened them. 
I get halfway to the car and rush back to
            make sure I really did lock the front door. 
At least, this is the excuse I give myself.  
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0     

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Rubbernecking

Mind The Orange Barrels
"The world became still
as I rolled past
the accident and the
music suspended to a
painful silence."
I blocked
an ambulance
from turning
left,
no sirens --
only lights

The world became still
as I rolled past
the accident and the
music suspended to a
painful silence.

This scene
reminds me
of us;

I'm drawn to you
like a car wreck
and vice-versa.  This
is easier.

We rubberneck
at each
other throughout
life. 

I keep a collection
of twisted pieces from
the wrecks,

shiny metal
on the
mantle, on
the wall,
and carried
as shrapnel.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0     

Friday, February 01, 2013

We Are Admired

Fly Me To The Moon
"On the battlefield, on
the playing field, the
dead have more to give.

Pick that man up,
dust him off, and
send him out again."

Your pain sensitizes me
for the day, already
a failure before breakfast.

We are admired for
pain we deny existence. 
Believing it does not
hurt, earns us medals.

Push past the wall;
play through the pain. 
Give voice to the
primal; scream it away.

On the battlefield, on
the playing field, the
dead have more to give.

Pick that man up,
dust him off, and
send him out again.

We do this every
day; it is an
old, old idea that
every step should ache.

And it gets older
every day.  Push past
the wall; play through
your pain.  Give voice
to the devil; yell
the pain away.  When 

your brain expires, the
flesh will decay, but
embedded in stone will
be gold-plate medals.

Push past the death;
play through the pain.
Give hurt your voice;
cry the pain away.
------

The Collected Chaff, v. 1.0