Friday, March 25, 2016

Weekly Worded

         The Double Life of Paranoia

There are two of us inside me,
one that does the talking,

one that worries
we’re being talked about,

whispering and insisting
on a closed mouth policy

so secrets don’t get out.
The first asks what you’re up to,

the second suspects it’s more
than nothing much.

And it gets more complicated.
The first one opens curtains,

the second installs blinds,
the first one reads the mail,

the second shreds it.
Both leave the toilet seat up

but one does it on purpose.
We won’t say which,

since accusations find their way
like grit into the grease.

One slips right off to sleep,
the other lies awake

inventing new pins and passwords
should the two ever separate.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Weekly Worded

           Tapestry by P. Smith

 The Wind in the Water
 (For Ed Abbey, January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989)

Blowing out of the southwest,
the wind this evening gusts,
slaps against the house
like a rafter’s oar
skimming instead of digging deep.

I am sitting in my chair,
re-reading Desert Solitaire
while miles from here the wind
whips the Colorado into a froth
of roiling red mud mixed with thought.

A river’s sediment crossbred
with its sentiment, as if an artery
hemorrhaged in the West
and a tourniquet of common sense
could not contain it.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Weekly Worded

       The Argument

If the brain is in charge
then why do I sneer
when logic sticks its cortex
into my heart’s business?

So the brain sighs,
reminds me it’s only an organ
not capable of wicking
emotions like oil from a lamp.

Seeing into another’s heart
should stay a surgical matter. 
The eyes inspire like cathedral windows
dimmed by the cataracts of age.

So the brain says, Look,
there are limits to what can be
explained, it’s chemicals giving you
those feelings of depression.

Whose bright idea is this,
to send my feelings out
like unsupervised extremists 
circulating through the blood?

So the brain, observing from
its promontory, says nothing,
and the heart, tightening its life jacket,
heads into the rapids.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Weekly Worded

           A Prayer For Our Art

How the words get placed
requires a willingness to listen
to what the words want
as they flicker and waver like flames.
When I glance up, the readers’ eyes
implore me to be brief,
to say what is true
but serve it up wafer thin.
I pick up the pace,
focus on the end
like a finishing line.
I should just stop.
Collect my old Quaker thoughts.
Sit in the silence
while meteors trace destinies
through the heavens.
How pale my good intentions.
Whatever I can say has been said.
They are hymns with predictable refrains.
Go in peace.
May what is true
always be with you.