RSS

Category Archives: Poetry

The names of the dead were hushed at Kings Buffet.

It is one year since the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool in South Florida. While we wish it could have been the last, already, there have been others.

The students, the citizens, of March for our Lives have been criticized for eclipsing the names of the people who died, but, as David Hogg said, while he understands that, they are working to make sure there comes a time when there are no more people who die this way, so their deaths will not have been for nothing. They are working tirelessly to make sure sure this becomes a reality.

In the meantime, so many. So many I can’t recall them all. Columbine was not the first. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Marjory Stoneman Douglas. And the next one.

The names of the dead were hushed at Kings Buffet.

From the single TV,
High in the corner
Above the frozen soft-serve machine,
The steam table full of sesame chicken,
Broccoli and tofu,
Happy family,
On the screen
A man in a suit behind
A lectern answers questions
And announces
Now,
He will read the names of the dead.

Above the clinking plates he
Solemnly, slowly reads through
The taps of forks
The first name
Slips his lips
And, then, the music swells
From harp, guquin, violin and flute
But it was just that someone
Turned up the volume
From the wall-speakers above the salad bar
So the names continue to drop
To the sound of Mandarin and music
So the names continue to fall
To the sound of the ice and soda machine
And I can not hear them,
Didn’t know them,
Will not even know their names.

There seems little to do.
Eat my fish and think,
How I am, here, now.

In the last classroom
Twenty-one students were saved by their professor
Who used his body to bar the door
Before the shooter shot him through.
A holocaust survivor,
He had died before and for less.
It is good to know why you lived.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 13, 2019 in Culture, Poetry, Social

 

Tags: , , ,

You Almost Died

Today several times
You almost died
Without even knowing it
Disaster nearly struck

On your way to or from
There was the car
You didn’t see
Swerving around you
Recklessly

On the street were
Myriad near misses
And close calls as
You went about

Running errands
Among the people
You turned your head
Just before the cough
That would have

Laid you low
Along with the multiple
Diseases looking to latch
Onto to you and
The carrier who stayed home

Because she felt too ill
To go out or
The man who chose to
Leave the gun

In the case or
Took it out
Only on himself
Instead of the world
And you were

Unaware of all but
One you did notice that
Left you shaking
And whispering thanks.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 31, 2019 in Poetry, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

Masks

I buried your masks
Today, in the warm sun,
In the shade of the oaks,
Where one day
There will be laughter,
Where the squirrels play,
Where the woodpecker nests,
Where the songbirds drop seeds.
First the gauze and plaster mold
That rested against your face,
Then the plaster decorated
As though you were a queen.

Now that there is a house
I am safe in,
I can stay in, and
No one can make me leave,
I can bury them.

A deep hole and a kiss
Longer than expected—
The contour of your lips,
A pause, a deep breath—
And no words.
There is nothing left to say.
Everything said
Has been said before.

I had thought to bury them
Under the plumeria,
Though you always loved trees
Far more than flowers.

But I might plant some flowers anyway.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 21, 2018 in Family, Poetry

 

Tags: , , , ,

Something Holy

I heard the jingling of a collar last night. Throughout the house, the tag against tag. I could hear them jangling from the denim in the cadence of her jaunt, side to side, side to side.

I looked outside. No dog. Certainly none inside. Back to bed, then, the jingling toward the room, side of the bed, stopped.  I slept well.

I can’t remember when she left. A year? Two? But I remember her eyes. And the sound of her heart.  As well as I remember her gutteral moan and her whistle. The rhythm of her step. How her face fit perfectly in the curve under my knee when she leaned into me. And how she looked at me when I knew she wanted it over.  Her eyes, if they had been human, could not have made them more holy. img_20160707_10240101

Something Holy

I’ll find something holy in this.
In the blood and the vomit,
The urine and sad almond eyes.
Bodies come from the Earth,
And these are of the body.
So I will find something holy in this.

I will find something holy in the
Seizures, tetany, drugs,
The cost in dollars and sense.
In time, I’ll find something holy in this.

I will find something holy in the
Far-off stare, in the long breaths,
In the scent of wheat because
She always smelled like wheat
And was the color of golden bread
And, certainly, there is something holy in that.

I’ll find something holy in the last breath,
The closing of the eyes that won’t reopen,
The beat that slows, stops,
Leaves memory. And certainly,
There is something holy in that.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Family, Poetry

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Object Permanence

There is a story you’d tell,
winter evenings,
of parents with linked hands,
a chain down the steep iced-hill,
a wall held on to
by the children going to school.
One by one, each making
his or her way, over the ice,
parent to parent, top to bottom,
slippery to safe, home to school.
And when the day was done,
back again, hand over hand,
climbing the hill,
school to home again,
in the safety of
parent to parent to parent.

When school was cancelled,
sledding from the top of the
snowy street to the bottom
where the traffic sped passed
with no idea to stop
and you’d say
how did we survive our childhood.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Poetry

 

Tags: , , , ,

I think I Am, Maybe

I think, maybe,
I’m made of fog,
settled overnight,
In the dark,
Seems solid
From afar, look,
Walk through it.
There is no substance.
It dissipates into
Air, the sun rises,
There is nothing there.

Do you remember fogs?

Or a ghost, maybe,
An accumulation.
An aggregate of
Used tos, weres
I remembers,
Definitions,
Suppositions,
And faint ideas.
Walk through it.
There is no substance.
It dissipates into
Nothing, the sun rises,
There is nothing there.

When no one is around,
Who notices a ghost?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 26, 2018 in Poetry, psychology, Suicide

 

Tags: , , ,

I can Hear the Angles

I can hear the angels
Sing songs only the angels
Sing songs of being
Neither here nor there
Angels and those
Close to death
Sing songs often sweetly
Sing songs below hearing
For all those
Neither here nor there
Hearing the songs of
Angels and those
Near to being angels
Sing songs I hear
Everywhere.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 20, 2017 in philosophy, Poetry, psychology, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: