One day the ceiling of heaven
Empyrean everywhere
Feathers spackled the air
And dead poets
Somersaulted down
Birds and words
Fell over themselves
Tumbled and jumbled
Twinned and conflated
Until even a discerning eye
Couldn’t dissect one
From the other
On that day men with
Guns and tanks
And silver-tongued snipers
Ran roughshod
Over the sky
Sonnets dropped
Like shot geese
Into a lake
Too far from shore
And there they sank
Sirens sounded then
A mighty roar
You’re better than this
It blared
But we weren’t
And we didn’t
Couldn’t or wouldn’t
And it didn’t matter anyway
The poets knew it
The birds knew it
The bullets and sparrows did too
Blank pages piled up
In a crumpled heap
And birds huddled on a wire
While the guano grew
Knee-deep, beneath them
And the sun baked it all
Into a hardened crust
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie
Four and twenty writers
Shot through the eye

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nothing to see here

all the broken people
and what can we do
I’ll pick a thread on my blouse
and you’ll sing out loud
look at the broken people
we should have a drink
who won the game tonight and
does my makeup look alright

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children scrabble in the dust
of Aleppo
seek shelter in the shadows
as if that could save them
from another shelling
their future underslung
dangling from the
belly of God
by a loose thread
and thinner hope
than that

Posted in Agony and Ecstacy, Bloodletting, Human Rights, Life, Poems, Poetry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Little Things







it isn’t dying i mind
it’s just that i
imagine when i do
i’ll never again
need to search
for the words to describe
just how that surface
of cracked prairie mud
baked hard in the sun
reminds me of my dad’s
weathered hands
or how a waving
field of barley
carries me home
you can’t dig a fingernail
into the furrowed bark
of a poplar
when you’re dead

are there
lichen-covered rocks
growing on a hillside
in the afterlife
do ladybugs transcend
can you hear
the crackle of
fall leaves
and will my
bones know
they’ve turned to dust
it isn’t dying i mind
it’s just that i imagine
when i do
those tumbleweeds
along the fence
might miss me

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not one plant
nor a single bird
not even a spider
cares about
your swagger

trees don’t bow
reeds won’t bend
roses don’t blush
so never mind
your swagger

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she blew in on a hurricane
a designing whirling dervish
she carved curves in concrete
bent buildings with her will
tore men from podiums
broke steadfast barriers and rules
she threw our cities into space
and dragged us headlong into the wilds
of her kaleidescopic mind
where it flew, our future as a flag

Rest in peace, Zaha Hadid

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swapping six

you can have your six parties
you can have your six business lunches
you can have your six makeup lessons
you can have your six tech fests
and when you’re done
you’ll find me
outside on the grass
tending to a beetle that
lost his way
in the urban crush and
you can tell me all about what
you’ve seen and done
and i’ll tell you about the beetle
and his six legs

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