Tuesday, May 10, 2022

In the Rooms of the War

 

Atrocities, monstrous afterbirths from the womb of war

are livestreamed to the world: we’re all on Zoom with the war.

 

The World-Wide Web, chattered out by millions of Babbage machines

replaced the old Iron Curtain, woven on the clattering looms of war.

 

The info-ecosphere bulges, bloated with blood,

swollen on key-click counts, global consumers doomscrolling war.

 

The gas-pump death-rattles, hose swinging empty, ghost-chains

of a spectral economy junkie-sucking at the fumes of war.

 

Instead of a bomb-filled night

may there be darkness and peace.

 

Over a sunlit field

song of a lark in peace.

 

At the end of all my prayers

God, harken: peace.

 

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Questions in a Wandering Mind

Will it rain again today? Will it be sunny?
Will it get too cold for the thyme starts in the back yard?
Will the scrub jay come peck
at the siding by my window? Will I see the hummingbird
zip past my window, incandescent meteor
or incendiary missile? Will Mariupol stand?
Will they find more mass graves?
Will it rain today? Thunder and hail?
Will I have a chance to weed the tulips and pull out
the false mint and rocketweed? Will rockets
fall on Kyiv again? Will they ever find the children
who were taken away into Russia?
Will the children remember where they’re from?
Will it rain today? Will there be a rainbow
like the one yesterday that lasted all afternoon?
Will I find the courage to die
like a soldier blowing up a bridge?
Will I find the courage to live
like a man who saw his entire family put to death?
Will my tulips ever lift their bright red and yellow heads
against the unclean shadows of war?
Will God have mercy on us
God have mercy on us
God have mercy on us all?


Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Sunday, March 27, 2022

On the Proper Uses of Facial Recognition Software

Over there, they are carrying the bodies of dead enemies
in from the battlefield.
They are scanning the faces.
Because the dead should be seen.
Because the dead should be recognized.
Because dead enemies should be forgiven.
They are sending the images home to the mothers
So that the mothers may know to grieve.
So that the mothers will know when and where.
So that the mothers may come to gather up the bodies.
Oh, they are building a database of dead faces
Cross-referenced by date and place.
A digital cemetery. A datawall of the dead.
A faceless enemy can easily be buried in a mass grave and forgotten,
left to decompose.
They have chosen to see the dead enemy. They have chosen to recongize the dead enemy.
They have chosen to see the dead faces.

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Spring haiku

what is more fragile
than spring leaves against the sky?
human lives at war

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Ukraine Blues

Got to scrub a sink full of dishes
Sweep off my porch with the broom
Wash up a house full of linens
Dust out the corners of every room

So much that I got to do, Lord
Road it is long and river is deep
So much that I got to do now
Before I lay me down to sleep

Got to go buy me a hammer
Go by the grocery store
Pick up some stamps at the PO
See if my bank will let me in the door

So much work that’s to do, Lord
Road it is long and river is deep
So much work that’s to do now
Before I lay me down to sleep

Got to go load up my rifle
Make up some anti-tank bombs
Learn how to fire a missile
War’s gonna be here, it won’t be long

So much that I need to do, Lord
River is deep and road’s very long
So much that I need to do now
War is coming and I got to be strong,
war is coming and I got to be strong.

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

The Traveling University

The traveling university came with its
leather-bound volumes, titles stamped in gold

its library stacks dusty with wisdom
deep seats of leather worn to an aged glow

its fruitwood-inlay reading stands
and the classrooms crowded with humble desks

and oh! the professors in their
long white coats, their beards and berets

carrying flights of important texts
and writing answers to all the questions of Life

in impenetrable calligraphy on the walls of the world
I said thank you, I prefer questions.

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Friday, February 18, 2022

New Maps

The daughters of the compass rose
reject the corners of their box.
They invent new directions to point to.

I live in a city of six quarters.
On a territory that is not a map, a map that is not a globe
halfway to a pole that doesn’t point to the Pole Star.

Daughters of the compass rose,
point me to justice. Peace. Freedom.
Point me off this map,
out of this trap.

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Seen at the Beach

water writes on sand
proverbs, secrets, mysteries
wind erases all

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Pelicans at Manhattan Beach

Over the small surf, steam is rising
or fog or mist – whatever you call it
when the Humboldt current rubs frigid arctic melt
against sand hot enough to burn your feet

on a windless day. Layers of white vapor
part suddenly on a skimming brown form.
Another. Two more.

I forget why I’m here.

They disappear through eddying steam
toward the invisible headland, the thunder of surf
over the breakwater. They trace the hidden
contours of the coast

as I would trace the lines of my own palm
in the dark.

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Sunday, January 30, 2022

The Thwaites Glacier After the Ice Shelf Collapses

Thwaites is a drunken ice giant
sprawled up the slope of a continent,
his heels braced on the seabed.

He bites his nails and spits parings
out to sea, ship-killers the size of cities.
His white flanks sweat and steam.

Warm water circulates under his bed.

Thwaites is feverish and shrunken,
feet floating free, like a child’s
in a chair made for grownups.

Thwaites loses his grip and begins to slide
downslope into the sea. Ancient shorelines,
old Poseidon’s bathtub rings on earth

sink from sight. Thwaites disappears,
but first, dismemberment, white limbs
drifting in the ocean’s grasp.

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Rising Tide

dry sand at my feet
soon will be underwater—
someday—forever—

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Friday, January 21, 2022

We're All Martians Now

On Mars there’s no vegetation.
On Mars there’s nothing we recognize as soil.
On Mars when you look at the land, you see the naked shape of rock.
That’s all of us
after two years of COVID—
naked rock.
All the pretense is gone.
We’re bare to the suck of cold vacuum,
stupid, naked, apes. Walking ghosts.
My ribs are bone.
My eyes are interstellar darkness.
We’re dead planets orbiting a black hole.
Dead bodies don’t lie
but the truths they tell
aren’t ones you want to hear
and trajectories decay as inevitably as subatomic particles.
Our last-gasp radio noise creeps between the stars
and stripes on Mars, on Mars, on red dead Mars.

Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Bone Man Haiku

Bone Man's eye-socket
stabbed with a silver needle
bleeds ink for my pen

Books Available
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Coffee

came to me on a white-tailed horse
like all the light on a sunless morning.

We rode away on the road to Samarkand
with my Muse side-saddle behind.

Coffee rolls out the red carpet
wherever I’m on the awards list,

held my hand for the COVID shot.
Never jealous when I’m out late

drinking Rev. Nat’s good cider; coffee
is always my first thing in the morning.

Biggest locomotive on the Revelation Trail,
my private F6 tornado, my Richter 8 quake,

coffee was born in montane Ethiopia and
carried in the horns of dancing goats

across every ocean, the Horse Latitudes
and the Doldrums. Coffee destroyed the Doldrums.

Coffee kick-started the Gulf Stream. It’s a black horse
with a white tail. Coffee is the great grey owl

glimpsed in the headlights after midnight
on Thanksgiving. It’s the widest gap between

any two stars in the Milky Way. It’s the eclipse
of the moon and the solar storm.

Coffee can re-freeze the Thwaite Glacier,
put out the fires in Mount Semeru. You know

what I’m saying? Coffee can save the world.

Books Available
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside