Monday, October 19, 2009

Short Poems from Shambhala Art Level III - June 2009

Islands in asphalt, tall grass hairs reaching
No sun today to warn them
One black crow a meager guardian.

Gutter shoals, nuts and bolts
detritus in every color of gray.
No hope for a picnic.

Three green doors, none of them leading home.
Opaque window only reflects back my face.
Fear rises inexplicable in my belly.

One black brushstroke over chipping paint chrysanthemums
burning orange where death used to be.
Garbage and fresh air vie for each nostril.

The grass grows greener over dogshit, clover.
I put my worn feet where children's used to be.
The tires, full of graffiti, hold me like my lover couldn’t.

Purple flowers
too small to notice.
How best to describe the sky?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The sea was talking to itself
all night, gray and full.
The dying bees swept out
by sunrise, all evidence
of the previous day erased.

Landlubber, auburn-haired wonder
bundled in wool, tide me over till
I can be here again. The sea, my friend
the sea, my death.

Fishermen wander, poles
outstretched, noses
to the wind. When will
I give up my wandering?
When my loneliness melts in the sea.

The sea is loneliness
the sea takes melancholy, gives back
driftwood, a tired bottle, worn
to a new thing, mute by its journey.
It no longer belongs to us, refuses
to tell us what it has seen.

I saw the sea first
when I was sixteen, fair-haired
barely out of depression, the doldrums
still clutching my painted boat. My toenails painted
the blue of mermaids. My heart already broken
by a hundred tiny things.

The sea does not touch Portland.
In the dark rain by our small, polluted
river, we stitch patches
over holes and grope the legs of our desolation.
But in the silver of moon, with grains of sand in my eyes
I tell myself I am independent, wise.

The sea is too big to be lost next to.
It will swallow me, keep me in its belly
of loneliness to polish till I’m dead
till its dreams become mine and my aloneness
is that of a sand dollar, a great white shark
a drowned man - so full he has nothing to say.