Absurdity (Hour 24)

And now, my frail skelton of a spirit, 
withering in the endless waves of entertaining stimulus,
overfed to the point of nutrient deficiency, 
all sick with the modern cuisine of popularizing ignorance.

How much has changed? Came and went?
Are the feelings of each human heart truly so similar?

What wondering is there then? 
What tragic pondering would make sense of all this? 
What delicate orchestrator oversees such a sad dance?

Breaking the tiny parade for small flames 
that fizzle out in the mass void.
What of our pain! Pain!
Just tiny sparks dying in the endless night.

On the Black Hill (Hour 23)

On the black hill where the prarie grasses 
and small trees converge into one impenetrable shadow, 
from which all that is of the earth unfolds forth, 

down through the valleys and secret hollows, 
that breathing titan of darkness, 
whose outline is just barely seen 

formed against the fallen sky, 
where purple teeth shine out 
from the deep caverns above.

There, upon this midnight place of stilled dreaming, 
where starlight's radiance imprisons my slipping retreat, 
that waning fire of my paternal seat.

The majestic virility of universalkingdoms
held breathless against the timeless sea
She sleeps in an aging dawn of becoming. 

Outlasting the swift brightness of Jupiters might.
In his most silent chamber, 
in the most private corridor of his mind, 

he feels the foundation weaken, 
the breaker wall fallen cold, crumbling.
As she swells, expands, engulfs the mountain 

no longer proud. 
helpless to a deeper cycle 
buried in the rising waves.

A Poem to Wake Myself Up (Hour 22)

A swelling reservoir of insignificant bustling, 
the roaring byproduct of crowded masses, 
shapeless faces, eyes that count lights, 
eyes and mouths speaking, so many talking, 
breathing, wasting themselves all over the surface.

Death by automobile, 
gasping like malfunctioning robotic fish, 
mouth agape in the thin hot air. 
Bloody divers unleashed from his abdomen.

Death by diet, by pills, 
by isolation in a crowd of unconnected persons. 
Masks and decadence. 
Images paraded above life dying within. 
Unaware of the slipping veil, 
too consumed to feel the soul's departing 
bit by horrible bit.

Swathes and swathes of people. 
Names and places, 
but the crowd is nameless, 
all people taking up space, 
what disconnect has led us here? 
What disenchantment eats at my own heart?

The rush to sell and buy. 

Thriving measured by consumerism. 
The chase and competition all around. 
To live and die for turning that great wheel. 
All standing on the backs of some, 
to lick the boots of others. 
No ones back is weightless. 
No ones tongue is clean.

We deserve our cancers. 
We deserve our failing hearts. 
We deserve the strangualating cholesterol, 
chemical sterility. But our children dont.

The children deserve something better.

Prairie Kingsnake (Hour 21)

The transformation bridge,
rippled shadow set low
to grounding curves of a gravel road. 

Sleek, earth-smoothed face,
a muddy arrow point,
striped lips that fold around the mouth. 

Glistening sunlight refracted 
upon each scale, 
talking plated armor,

feather sockets, 
scraped away to pliable shingles
of ground hardened skin.

Diamond studded rope of light,
Sun-setting night prowler,
river-whipping earth mover,
blood warm hunter of the early evening.

Walking at Night (Hour 20)

Steps creep closer to an awaiting death,
Pale-faced ghost laugh,
Entering an unknown tunnel beneath the land
Head is dreaming on the far bank of the river

City traffic sleeps in the cradle of the moon
Entering awake, the land of midnight’s intention
Suspended serpents dream an alerting fear.
Women and children out of reach.

Heart jostled by a silent magician,
The crowning sun emerges from behind grey towers
The yellow king prays with red tears
A white rose waves on a black field

Selfie Filters (Hour 19)

Your body's story slips 
from behind the words you want me to see.

The folds of skin pulled tight, 
angled in the hand held mirror camera lens, 
transparent as the plastic screen saver you project.

Your body's story is a nest of hornets 
burrowed in the hollow tree behind the pond.

Your art betrays you, 
like school children who cant keep a secret, 
each crimped curl, each curve of mascara, 
every striped line that accentuates the center of your figure,
All are wailing birds of night, 
crying for companionship in the dark.

Your body's story is a scavenger 
that rides the high cross winds, 
carrion eater soaring like an eagle.

I look for your hidden blemishes, 
shaming jewels whose crown can never be undone, 
the real treasures that reveal you, 
the imperfect nose ridge, 
the wilting petals of your cleavage, 
gravity's touch not so obvious 
when you pose with your arms above your head.

Your body's story is the trampled ground in early spring, 
snow thawed earth, crevices, and sediment 
sliding  into creeks and ponds.

The story of your body is the truth of your beauty, 
yet someone taught you not to lead with it. 
To hide it until you can trust them not to hurt you with it. 
As if anyone could hurt you more than you.

I Live (Hour 18)

I live in the past years trodden down to memory,
images scattered amongst feelings 
that left off somewhere I never got to finish.
In the rain on the cars
and the shoes on the pavement, 
In music that spells out my bones 
like a familiar expletive. 

Where the church bells hang silent, 
suspended in their lonely towers,
lost beacons of reverence, 
casting down their ancient shadows. 

I live where the people shuffle like insects
scampering to higher ground, 
fleeing the flooding waterways 
that cut through our valley. 

I live In the old springs,
I lived when the paint was new, 
when people still talked out on the sidewalks
and the ginkgo trees reeked of cat urine 
when you passed directly under them, 
and the soup kitchen stayed open 
until after sunset. 

I live in the trampled white blossoms 
and cigarette butts. 
In the movie rental store, 
and the back alley that connected 
to the Irish bar. 
The grease of the fryers 
and the stench of open sewer grates flushed with rainwater. 

City blood is high in iron, 
the metals we inherit by breath and step
Cast anchors of the past that hold heavy to the heart.

Petals Unfolding (Hour 17)

A hand reaches to feel the solidity of life beneath it. 
The granite anchor of presence, promise, 
dependable occupancy. 
the awakening flower unfurls, 
a body breathes deep as the dress falls, 
to embrace warmth, widow and widower, 
touching a song inside one another, 
to feel cells thriving beneath our lips, 
a swelling river pouring forth, 
an appreciation of deep energy, 
the romantic corpse of our paralysis, garlanded, 
in a circle of candles, 
on the altar of guilty survivors. 

How sweet is breath!
How lovely the warmth of skin!
How bitter the only offering we can give.
But the heart remembers
The mind pulls through the center
Petals falling
Surrendering to life again.

Bone Ash (Hour 16)

Everyone has a couch, 
a newspaper, a talking face 
in the television, friendly bottles, 
some crutch to take the edge off.
Everything is catharsis.

But the fires only come 
in moments we can't account for. 
Compulsive desires, 
Irrational attraction, 
fennel stalks concealing 
stolen pieces of the sun.

I say play with them, 
be burned, let others burn.
No one gets out alive. 
Dwindle to embers.
Gradually combust.

Softer Dangers ( Hour 15)

Quieter enjoyments promised in a simple friendship, 
softer dangers that might leave you hungry, 
too afraid to not be on that imagined stage, 
for fear of missing something that might never return.

To yield from the fiery starblast, 
thousand-armed thunderclouds, 
booming fierceness, 
a fight that holds my curious, dreamer-eyes awake.

I should have said yes to your extended hand. 
Played at life from round dining room tables,
behind locked doors, 
with security at a phone call distance.

Should have stayed safe from darkened streets, 
stripping eyes that never saw me, 
but saw only movements living in the lamplight alley.

Should have said yes to a hidden tomorrow,
gifted, preserved, outlasting the hormonal rush to die all at once, 
rather than slowly losing myself in the years that came.

The book is closed, 
time is an old window that only stares out over the ocean. 
waves ripple where memory blurs, 
not many changes back then, 
I can only say yes to how I see it now.
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