voices in flight (20170515)

consider the old saying
that every time a bell rings
an angel gets its wings

and think of all the times
you have heard a cash register chime
or the wall street stock exchange
or a fire alarm
or the low slow clangs of cowbells
as they are led to the slaughterhouse

what the hell are those angels making
their feathers out of
misery, greed, blood and fire?

i have always preferred birdsong
an earthly tune to be sure
unfettered yet surrounded by sky
even if it is all about territory
and sexual conquest
and where the best worms are

Poem 20160414b

i watch the rat as he eats
the fallen seed the birds have dropped
in this early dusk. this spring
evening as the sun retreats
i have no animosity for the furry mopped
rodent. he’s not stealing from the finches
and the sinking sun makes him a soft thing
who measures his days in inches


National Poetry Month
NaPoWriMo Day 14
San San Poem

Poem 20160102

still water
cut by boats
cut by the sun
shining like a knife
across the surface

still water
supporting floating gulls and cormorants
lazily chasing darting sandpipers
–somewhere out of sight
the bark of a seal

a dog shakes the winter water
from his coat
emerging from the sea
smiling as only a dog can smile
in this mix of warm sun
cold ocean and fresh air

Poem 20151117

the birds exercise their right
to be silent today
avoiding the feeders
and the yard in general
like an apocalypse
en media res
and i didn’t get the memo

the sky is so blue
what kind of blue
what word to replace blue
such a simple set of four letters

but none of the synonyms appeal
it’s blue blue blue
it’s clean-clear, almost white
it’s blue like a transparent
layer of skin that can be peeled back
revealing a host of sword-wielding angels

but are there any other kind?

even angels of mercy carry scalpels
in their tongues
and their words cut away the dead weight
the dying weight
paring you down so that you can fly
like them with hollow bones
silent mouths

you have the right to remain–

Poem 20151115

the moon is a crescent
a lopsided smile
that the clouds roll over
a diaphanous film
that hardly diminishes
its light

you ask then for protection
and i wonder
from what?

but then i remember the kind
of world we live in

i feel like i can’t even protect
the worms that we scoop off the sidewalk
after a rain and we toss them
back wriggling into the grass
so they won’t be stepped on
but nothing is stopping the birds

but maybe it’s enough to get them
back on the grass
and maybe the smile from the moon
isn’t a pasted on cheshire grin