Huron Cemetery Poems VIII

May 15th, 2018

Unknown

Bits of broken tombstone surround the tree of life, jagged little reminders that all monuments someday crack and crumble.

A speck-like spider falls from the tree of life onto my pale hand. Before it has a chance to find its own way home, I send it to the land of wet grasses on a gust of self-generated wind. I have never cared for spiders, however minuscule.

I count no less than twenty shards of gravestone and wonder if the tree of life is to blame. The tree of life, grown so large from all the now-quiet bodies if hovers over while under the bone-infested ground, the roots of life seek water.

I spy no faces upon the tree of life’s cracked and ornery skin. I only spy black ants and sick-yellow lichens.

Are the faces then underground with the roots or perhaps higher up on the trunk, well above eye-level, spied only by wandering drones or a telescoping eye from a nearby window? Are the faces then in the branches, obscured by oblique leaves?

Perhaps the tree of life has no faces at all…

Perhaps the tree of life is just a dis-envisaged voice repeating so slowly, “So happy now you’ve gone.”

And what then for us still left to hear?

What new lessons do we have to share?

Huron Cemetery Poems VIII

The Good Life Smells Just Like Gobstoppers

On the ground before you
sits a box sealed tight.
The box represents your mind.

Don’t get the wrong idea
about this metaphor. This is
not about thinking outside the box.

At least, not in the common
sense of that beleaguered phrase.
Instead, simply watch the box.

That action proves noteworthy for
you can watch the box from outside the box,
which forces you to ask,

“Who is it that’s watching my mind?”

My daughter enters the room
bearing candy and a smile.

The last time I wrote of her
she was seven. Now she’s ten.

The multi-colored candy spills
from its box like rainbow hailstones.

She reads the words above
and she tells me not to worry.

Then she leaves the room
to go play The Sims downstairs.

The Good Life Smells Just Like Gobstoppers

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Our Problem (After Wallace Stevens)

I
After one hundred twenty-two dead schoolchildren,
The only changing thing
Is that no things have changed.

II
They are of one mind,
Like a target
In which there is one silhouette.

III
Our bullets whistle in the winter winds.
What small shells do they leave behind.

IV
A man and his God
Are one.
A man and and his God and his gun
Are one.

V
We do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of tension
Or the beauty of release,
The hands before pleading
Or just after.

VI
Caskets line the green lawn
While we defend barbarism.
The shadow of the law
Wavers to and fro.
The intent
Of the shadow
Is our infinite cause.

VII
O thin leaders of mortal men,
Why do you believe in possibility?
Do you not see how the base
Are swayed by the whims
Of the stories that surround them?

VIII
They speak the savior’s tongue
In unstoppable, rapid-fire rhythms;
But we see, now,
That the devil is involved
In everything they do.

IX
We bury the bodies out of sight.
We mark their memories
With one of many grey stones.

X
In the face of reason
Like a banshee’s scream,
The green bonds of fraternity
Keep us all muffled, weeping.

XI
We ride across America
In a silent ambulance.
Once, a fear shook us,
In that we took
The shadow of the law
As immutable.

XII
The tide is rising.
The dead are rising.

XIII
It was all over the evening news.
We were dying
And we were going to die.
Another active shooter leaves
His mother’s loving arms.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Our Problem (After Wallace Stevens)

Madness, Oh! This Glorious Sadness That Brought Us to Our Knees

it was a brittle broken bell
it was some bold and boiling blood

the gaunt grey-suited man thumps his chest three thunderous times
three times in time with the brittle bell’s insistent chime
the third times the third time he beats his chest so hard
that he transcends the trap of time to talk with angels from afar

they carry broken brittle bells
they feed on boiling bold sweet blood
they feed on lost grey-suited men
they carry fury forged in hell

the brittle broken bell cried once more upon the altar
cried three tears for understanding
then three more for crimes withstanding
and then and only then did its tinny telling falter

he was a gaunt grey-suited man
he was ahead of everyone

Madness, Oh! This Glorious Sadness That Brought Us to Our Knees

A Doxology For The 9 To 5

The future holds the future
And the past repeats the past
And what’s happening now happens forever
And my heart only flutters every time I blink my eyes
And fetch a glitched-out glimpse
Of an eternal office building
Where we’ve sat in grey-walled graves
Speaking spells of acronyms
That make some ones a million dollars
That make some ones more unlike us
That make some ones forget
That the future holds the future
And that the past repeats the past
And that it all occurs forever
And that amen means so be it
And so we say amen to that

A Doxology For The 9 To 5

Provided the Light Returns

The blue winds blow the black moon past a newly dying sun
And the finer lights of daynight show the ruining’s begun

You’ve witnessed with your feeble eyes grand sights not meant to see
And you’ve conjured with your meager minds frights from which to flee

No, it ain’t too hard to read the signs that say our time is through
And it ain’t too sad to say goodbye to what was me ‘n you

For that blue wind blew a black moon over yonder dying sun
Oh those blue winds and those black moons, good Lord, what have we done?

Provided the Light Returns