Dancing their world like dappled ghosts
my shadows dissipated to chiaroscuros--
of moon yielded slowly
to dawns of warmer days
as frozen fields broke
from their fright
and shimmied forward
Then sunflowers, wheat
up to radiant dreams--
Unfolding seams of life
bloomed to flower
at first with hesitance,
at first in shade, and then into a frisson
of Light as she opened her wings
Only then I could hear
shining ripples of Time,
on her salty breath,
her silver terns swooping
as seconds ticked
into a glow
of glistening song.
From beyond the brume,
the horizon she swims, the mallard’s mate,
a wail for a call, brief,
before the wait
for her next plaint, shortened and hoarse
From around the cove she floats
into the evening lake, as its restive waves
batter the reeds, tawny and coarse
among the gray, the wind-tossed rocks.
She keens, still mourning--
Out into the wind she drifts,
her westward whines without hope,
amidst the singe of twilight,
slipping of sun, singing
its own vast and disappearing song
The Raccoon Ball
I watched it all day out the window
I’m sure of it, Mom.
It was sunny, no rain, no clouds.
I could see it for sure,
the gym next door,
all those inside rooms.
And there it was, the black
and round raccoon ball, pounding
one wall, then the next.
And they all kept crashing down
when that big old ball kept hitting
the doors, the windows, and building sides
after it swinged way up.
Boy mom, I could really see it.
Even furniture, Mom, smashed into pieces!
I saw a yellow truck
on the ground and a little man
working levers—two or three—.
And, oh yeah, I saw
a couple of long lines
close up to the sky, before
they ‘tached on that one last lever--
Really high, it was, I swear it,
before those long lines came down
and ‘tached again to the raccoon ball,
all big all black, which swinged
wider, stronger, wilder.
The rooms went to small pieces.
Doors cracked, too
tiny splinters of wood.
All more and more a wreck.
Sometimes, your voice catches me from
beyond and overhead, from your longing
love—I think of your timbre,
the tremolo and cords it strikes, reminiscent
always of starlings, their cantabile speech,
as they learned to sing— no, talk, to Mozart.
Was it he who learned
and copied their joyful trance or they
who conveyed back his sweet noise
to wrap him in a swoon of song
so sonorous that he composed concertos
so plangent that when he wrote his resplendent
Masses, he was able to catch an audience
in rapt and full attention, swoop
his listeners Into an evanescent murmuration
as dense and wide as the starlings,
when they disappear of a sudden
into their wild and mysterious flight?
And the sun speaks only
to trees, echoes off
turning leaves when they catch
bright whirls of wind--
while starlings, caramel brown,
sneak between blowing seeds
and ruckus of gilded, locust coins--
as squirrels patter on branches,
chase to nearby tips, then quick
hurl to hawthorns as if
in trespass by the sky,
all to catch the season’s spin
of pinwheel colors--
tangerine, burnished bronze,
as they fall
Up onto the rocky shore they washed,
small bodies between
delphinium blue and sparkling
breaking waves, which tumbled
from the Aegean water, the sky--
but no one new knew their names
Up onto the rocky shore they washed,
yellow life jackets that were only toys,
to be devices for flotation,
never promised to save lives--
no one knew whose lives, what names
Up on the rocky shore break more waves,
more small bodies without names,
no play in the summer sun,
no splashing in the salty sea.
No one knows their names.
Coda— At The Jetty
It was the haar of the sea
we heard— then the gulls,
their shiver, as they swooped
stealing the fog,
drawing it in and down
beyond the dusk, the damp,
the cage of cold--
and at the shore
the line of silver
pummeling the wind
and our now vacant souls.
No Moon Shadows
I can’t find your God
in the graves of my pain,
no moon shadows to pluck
nor steel stillness
of these sneaky weeks to come.
I can only feel
one long restive scream,
too many creaking fissures
in bones once rent
and no peace
or silence in my home.