Friday, July 22, 2016
Cycle of Shadow
That shadow, like me, just a cloud
trying to slip over Lizard Head Pass
and ride the slide into Telluride.
Minerals veined like bright bruises
trace a history’s unfortunate luck
where others pummeled into rock,
then slumped into the dark green trees.
See how those patches of snow, remnants
from winter, still dapple the highest peaks?
Once they were clouds too.
Now my backpack strains to be let down.
I’ll rest and see if this cloud makes it.
Friday, July 15, 2016
Only memory remains here,
a painted cross, a spray of flowers
in case the soul is hitchhiking
beside the road where it came
hard against traffic merging
from a different world,
one where we have so little regulation,
where the rest stops are lightyears apart,
the journey encompassing everything.
Eventually we all lose control,
dart across the line separating
fact from imagination.
Let each fatality be marked
like a pin in a map
along the rugged terrain of a heart.
Friday, July 8, 2016
Friday, July 1, 2016
for Bill Dewey
I was not consciously present,
my body slumped against the passenger door,
trying to remember where you said you'd gone
in the flick of a high beam.
Your grip on the wheel softened,
the car drifted toward
the trees then the centerline.
Headlights coming from the opposite direction.
Something woke me,
maybe a flash, a subliminal tug,
maybe my mother singing her psalms of caution
from a cathedral deep inside me.
It must have been a religious experience,
an epiphany, but I came back at that moment,
reached across the space separating us
and touched your shoulder softly, just so.
You jerked awake, brought us back into our lane.
Where was it you said you'd gone?
I remember we laughed, made a joke
out of squealing tires,
knowing our hearts needed a jump start,
only to ride the last fifty miles in silence.
I'm looking for the right words now.
A half century later
and we've still not spoken.
Where you went that early morning before dawn
I'll never know.
Where have you gone?
Friday, June 24, 2016
Was this shrub flowering
in ancient Rome or in Philadelphia?
Oh, its sweet citrus fragrance
strained by my patio screen.
A porch for butterflies to rest,
like my own rocking chair
tilting east to west
through dappled light,
my eyelashes fluttering.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
One thing I had going for me as the speed boat engaged its motor and the tow rope grew taut was my memory as a child of trying to skip stones. I concentrated on smoothly flicking my wrists, hoping that would be enough to finally get me up.
Then the tow bar got yanked from my grip and the boat swung around so I could pick up the rope again.
The driver shouted, “Are you sure you don’t want to quit?”
“Let’s give it another shot” I called back.
“But this is the fifteenth time you’ve let go, I’ve got other customers waiting.”
“I didn’t let go, the rope was yanked from my grip by your aggressive driving.”
As an instructor, he had a few things to learn about being supportive.
“Can’t you start more gently?”
“Only if I’m dragging your dead body.”
I decided right then there would be no tip. Readying myself, I gave him the signal, he gunned the engine. The tow rope went on without me, only this time so did the boat. He piloted a straight line toward the opposite shore until the boat was out of sight.
I remained in the water, bobbing like an carnival apple, strapped snugly into my lifetime-guaranteed vest. I waved, but to no one in particular, afraid that those who count skips might also be skilled at tossing stones.