It Was a Dream
It was a dream, she thought.
Pungent smells and bovine masses argued
with crowds of people in
She was overwhelmed.
It was where, India?
Perhaps New York on one
of those parades requiring large animals
with multiple stomachs. New Orleans
with streakers sporting gimcrack beads
in purple and green.
Her head turned, gaze meeting
an adam’s apple on the verge
of ululation; the face lost in glaring
sun, jealous and chary of detail.
She lost sight before the piercing
wail hit her ear, ringing
growing anger, fucking rage
although the cow
yakking on the burning
kismet swallowed even that.
She thought perhaps her dreams
grew too audacious for her
nights, given an inch
or mile. Whatever length
allotted to the penetrating
dearths of days lost to waking
inding of where she’d never been.
you can smell the rain fall here
long before it hits the ground
burnt dust and heat grumbles
in tumbled gusts
crisp leaves skitter in rusty
scratches across the sidewalk
saying the rain comescomes
the rain it comes.
they land in the pool. worse yet
the sauna to reconstitute
like bay in a soup of
chlorine and oleander
so the chemist comes
in a rueful murmur of alkali
saying the rain drumsdrums
the rain it drums
and the water drops
on a good day, hit the ground
before they vanish
in a genial puff of steam.
on the roof it drums
the air sticky in delight
saying the rain humshums
the rain it hums
we swim through the wind
to the porch and pull back
the door like a shower curtain
singing with the thrum
then it stops.
save for the brew
in the pool, you wonder if
there is rain in the desert
If I knew myself
what could I do?
If I could hear my voice
under the silence all around me
Would I reach out past
this limping faded day.
If I only, only knew.
If I could feel scorn
would it flense my frozen feelings?
I wasn’t torn
And tattered in my soul?
could I fly up through
those acid clouds again?
If I wasn’t so forlorn?
I’m tired of this fighting
with the inside of my mind.
I’m tripping over thoughts
and always flailing through my time
with all the people that I love
who now have left me far behind
I wonder if I’m nothing but a fool.
If I knew the words
with the power to redeem me
If I turned the key
of this cell of thought and fear
Would I leave this maze
and walk out scared and free?
If I only, only knew.
Cooking a Poem
I thought I’d cook up a poem today, but my bag of words
broke before the kettle and skittered across the floor;
bouncing off the moldings and sliding under the fridge.
Well, crap. No quiet clack of pintos or lentils here.
They hurt my feet with sharp lego consonants and a slip of marbled vowels.
All I can do is gather them up,
peppered with cat hair, dirt, and a mixed metaphor.
I guess the bottom of my mind could use sweeping.
No pottage for me tonight - just a carton of intellectual take-out,
and a secret love of dust bunnies
What a Strange Sort of Scalpel That Was
What a strange sort of scalpel that was.
Three words, four syllables, “Maybe we should.”
The little snap might have been only behind my ears,
so I didn’t realize ‘til later that I was waving
a stump. You would think that the answer to
“If I didn’t love you, I would have left already,”
might have carved out my heart; or liver, or tripes.
Something a little more romantic, or clichéd.
Anything but this prosaic, fumbled, one handed clutch
for my dropped feelings. And really, I’m doing
quite well. Sleeping at night, cheerful at work- but
I think I know now why people absently chafe
where they are amputated.
Brown is the colour of memory
from the sepia toned photos
hanging on the halls of my head
pumpkin spiced thanksgivings
cool wood floors
amber beads on soft wrinkled necks
sandlewood scent and sand itself
jangling in wind chime moments
tinting everything I see
the cinnamon skin from summer’s tan
the deep loam in the garden, same temperature
as the warm brown hands cupping it
having set aside the light bamboo tools
the leather creased with use and oil spotted
below the dusty armor
I lie on the boards of my grandmother’s house
and walk the parade of time
looking up and behind Toku’s picture seems
upside down with its domed glass and serious face
three or four generations wasn’t it?
my grandmother’s grandmother
with the strong eyes and tired hands faced
the kenpo mask across the butsadan
even now, I look at my jewelry and see chocolate tones
coconut beads, tortoise shell bracelets and combs
and flecked pine resin trapping time itself
it’s not that other colours aren’t seen
it’s that the mind’s mud is too deep.
Your Windows to the World
Your windows to the world
are one way glass
thickly framed with lashes,
reflections demure and shadowed
returning only what is
secure. It is safe to be
fenced by silicon. It keeps out heat,
and rain tears on cool, flat
panes- unable to leak in
or touch with storm.
Each moment with you
and I’m still alone.
The heavy lidding caps
all desire to pierce
the mystery. One move.
One step. One solitary waltz
with you in my arms.
If I pull away, will you realize
that you should have put it in
mirror side out?