The Specter


Maybe he’s a listener

but probably

not to these words.

 

Perhaps he can see

the thousands

of fingers

pinched

around many

writing implements

to defend, destroy, defy

his very name.

 

But for no longer standing,

he’s a better dam

now than ever before.

 

Holding in all those dreams

to not fall

on barren land

but only

irrigate the crops

worth saving

and sometimes

that’s the whole plain

and sometimes

a single

dandelion.

 

There is no waste.

 

And in leisure

play in the pool

And in school

take the swimming lesson

 

And in old age

wade out a few feet

for memories’

sake.

 

The specter above and below

and certainly before

knows,

guides and forgives

with wit

and a phrase

turned just such a way

for all folk

because sometimes

there’s a certain accent

that sells

a joke better

and pulls tears

down

to the wells

of the cheeks.

 

(For Langston Hughes)

How Long


How Long

How long does a memory last?

Not in terms of years moving toward Alzheimer’s

But the duration.

It’s shorter than experience

itself, right?

A second, minute, hour,

how quick

through the mind

does it travel,

grow from seed

to fallen petals?

Is there a start

at all?

Do the triggers

shoot straight to the middle?

To the in the midst of?

And are endings failed

before coda,

conclusion,

possibly climax too?

What if “there is no final victory nor total defeat?”                                                           (Adonis – Grave For NY)

In Today’s


In Today’s

In today’s cane,

the gods

are watching

eyes

 

before rum or molasses

can come

 

those hands down south

and further down

through scattered

islands

get ready as

no signals are given up

before a revolution

comes

 

in patois, pidgin, espanol

 

for liberation

from half-steps

and under-developed

love.

Some Other Honor


pedestal for moment

given

pulpit

ear constructed

in patient eagerness

deserving risen monument

built in/to

alabaster/porcelain

form

lips, bit

/open   –   intent

on question

but awaiting what is

soon-to-come

 

is worth whatever sculpture

the mind’s architects, scholars

can engineer in a name.

 

no tiaras   –   petty crowns to send

professionals further above

but

most certainly –

some other

honor