Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Stole Softly Love

I searched in vain for Love
since she did not search for me.
I prayed for her flame,
but lonely only warmed me.

Yearning deeply darkly for
the caress of her hand,
I swam within the hourglass
in the clutches of the sand.

The bell chimed.
The chimes rang.
The hands whirred in glee.
The pendulum would swing and
cut my heart,
A cascading sea.

In dismay I looked and saw
the future’s crushing weight,
of sweetness never tasted,
dangled before the grate.
My hands through the bars
could only feel the wind
of her precious wings as
Love passed by again.

As I sank within myself
in the blankness of despair,
to my side stole softly Love
and caught me unawares.

October 30, 1987

(Reposted from June 2016)

Posted in Poems

Staunton 87

In light of the recent events in Charlottesville, I offer the following poem/reflection from a protest I attended when the KKK held a recruitment drive in Staunton, VA in 1987. 

like a porous sore in the face
oozing white in this place

hoarse cries of hate are swallowed up
by the silent strands of
we shall overcome

tension
a taunt wire
anger stretches somewhere deep within
all of us
waiting for the snap
when our brother’s neck will be squished
pulp in our grasp

struggle to understand
this hate robed in white
with eyes of glittering coal
to burn

the hand of brotherhood is slapped away
while spit runs down the face
turning away to rage in peace

old woman
white frozen mind
you’d better look out for your own,
she rasps

within i reply,
old woman, i am
i am

Written after a protest against a KKK march in Staunton VA November 17, 1987

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

November Snow

Once again the day favors my writing.

The earth reposes beneath a blanket of white,
unmired save for the muddy tracks of
wandering footsteps.

Winter brings a crackle to the air and with snow
comes the playful twinkle in each eye.

And the stillness of the storm.

I walk within the quiet white,
brush of flake,
eyelash scrape,
and the silence
like a prayer breathed bright
smothers in the cold.

November 11, 1987

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Hand Withdrawn

As my eyes scan the words on page after page,
as they scream their bitter outrage,
I wonder what force possesses me,
the unseen hand clawing at my mine,
mind.

And the fear rises,
this terrible fear.

It is dangerous to dabble in the
questions of
uncertainty.

May 3, 1987

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Wild Land

In this wild land
where oak and ash abound
only they
hold curved sway
o’er this rocky ground.

Stone wall slides slowly by
along this winding road
the view breath taking and perfect
is all the eyes behold.

May 10, 1987

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Writer

Sometimes the cold creeps into my mind and
peaceful frost coats the gears within.
For a moment I am released from their ceaseless
spinning.

A light of clarity dawns and I can think
clearly again.
but it soon warms the gears to spin again
and my hand moves once more across the page.

May 10, 1987

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Passing

She climbs slowly,
heavily,
up from the empty
blackness
of the bathroom
downstairs
to return once again to her
warm
sleepy
bed.

As she passes his room she sees it all:
his shadow falls across the
empty
crumpled
sheets
of his bed and in the
yellow
light of the street lamp,
his bowed silhouette,
knees curled up to his chin,
arms gathered around,
his back to her as he
ponders in the
cool
night
air.

Each feels the other’s
presence
and in that
brief
moment
each longs to
share their thoughts,
the happenings of the
day.

But the moment
passes
and she continues
past
to her room and
sleep
while he remains on the roof
still
pondering.

May 7, 1987

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Scars

They linger on
and then begin to heal,
though still tender to the
touch.

Then when the storm is unleashed,
smashes once again upon their fragile skin,
they bleed,
healing lost in the oozing wet.

It takes a drought to dry them up again.

May 8, 1987