hogtied (20170914)

tie me at the wrists
and then make sure
to secure my thumbs

primates are handicapped
without the use
of their hands

it’s for your own good
after all, and this time
don’t give me a safety word

or better yet
gag me–i don’t mind
as long as i can breathe

it’s all fun and games
until someone collapses
a lung or has a stroke

of course this is just
a metaphor
we don’t even have rope

sunset with insect (20161016)

the mantis
caught in my flashlight beam
gold and long as a finger

always our habit
to move everything to safety
–worms after the rain
or a leaking sprinkler
–spiders in the tub
–even yelling at the squirrels
/my mortal enemies/
tarrying in the street

i put my hand down
on the swidewalk
he needs a nudge but crawls onto
the meaty part of my index finger

this elicits a response
from a walker
heading in the other direction
they’re good luck, he says
and i’ve heard it’s illegal to kill them

i find a bush
hard to tell what it is
in the dark
and offer him his escape

he wraps himself around me
like a promise ring
maybe he likes the warmth
or he’s tired of all that walking
or maybe he’s just lonely

but i coax him off
onto the relative safety of the plant

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