Remembrances on the pines

A few steps upwards,
the lake was very still and
rain had just passed, leaving
remembrances on the pines

nearby some rustling
leftover leaves from the fall
but no voices or movement
besides ours, a quiet thrill

greater than the sum
of spring rain and empty boats,
scanning acres of rock left behind
after a forgotten upheaval

long ago in a familiar pattern,
where lines cross and disappear
the way rain falls into flowers and hair
and small smiles, and they all grow.

Castanets, unglued

Today was room enough
to move and eat too many toffees,
waiting for the rush that never came
but instead pleasantly surprised
by a warmth creeping over me
and behind me pushing me into
a sunny afternoon, like a busker’s spring.

I think I’d be lost on Second Avenue
if let myself see all the things he wrote:
fire-eaters, acres of glass, marshmallows,
lips, and funeral homes, as well as things
I see: flags, men rushing redundantly, birds,
hands, and church spires on Second Street.

How we look is not exactly soul or sorrow
but tired with a bit of curiosity built in.
There is a smile echoed in words pressed
together like wet leaves, never to part.
I reluctantly greet spring, as maybe I am
allowed to bloom a little. If I can shimmy,
maybe the rest of me will come apart too.

Back to the garden

In between breaths –
that’s how fast it happens –
a quiet announcement, an omen
a sniffle leading to an avalanche
like some damn butterfly
lost halfway across the world

graffiti making light of death
of battling demons manufactured
by boredom and plastics

a 40-year-old song resurrected
just as contentment was settling in
with no regrets and less of the blues

In between a thought and a hard place
where we are drawn like the 99
waiting for the one, waiting for a reveal
or maybe a return to wonder we knew
briefly before concrete covered the garden
and like the idiots we are, happy for grace

Undefined at the zoo

I watched the penguins and giraffes
and wondered if they had any sense
of place or anticipation.
I often feel I am awaiting something.
There was no one around- it felt like
I had stepped into a H. G. Wells novel
where all the people were gone
except the elderly ticket taker at the gate
who was not sure of the day
but smiled and wished me well.
I smelled Kools and saw the full ashtray
outside the gift shop but the only noise
came from a pair of ravens nearby.
The lynx was nonplussed.
There were trucks running somewhere
and fresh lumber in a pile near the emus.
I walked for what seemed like hours
but it was half the time I thought
when I checked. I was hungry so I ate
a sandwich by the lake. The swans were
somewhere warmer. The bison grunted into
the mud and grass. I was… oddly content.
A little stretch of road, some woods,
the smell of the first spring bulbs opening,
and I was ok with being grey and undefined.

As the storm breaks

The afternoon light did that
thing where out of my periphery
there was a flash and a glance of the face
I keep imagining as near as I could wish

the way one sees lightning
in an early summer storm
from far away,
not quite in sync with thunder;

maybe that’s when the planes
of existence float closely together
or maybe it’s my own tectonics –
memory and fantasy shifting

in such a way that I can feel
breath and laughter and whiskers
as easily as the quiet way
he makes my heart crack open.

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