That we behold our children in battle
and days dwindle to winter’s ice
is beyond a tale told of sorrow
burning in a neighbor’s hearth.
When the shield and armor forged
is lashed to yours; and bound helpless
you witness blood and bone
pressed and pierced to service survival –
what salvation will save innocence?
There comes a day that is the last.
What peace may come to a warrior’s heart
when, past reckoning, that day comes?
What wretched wakefulness will heal
those that remain armored in the night?
WET WEAK THATCH AHA
HI SOBER SKIT FEES
COOLED LOAFER WADDER
ACID BRAND TRIALS
GO GLEE PLOY
ZIP SNUGLY OUT
QAT OX PAX
MEND MIME HAM
left with TIN
and without you.
No one wins.
Still and waiting numb –
humming a tuneless furrowed lament,
you push into my hand
all that you can offer of love.
A brave heart fought that lion’s fight –
to live another day –
stayed beyond a dimmed twilight
to teach a last work, a final prayer.
Dawn’s dark hours soothed to silence –
you reached for river’s edge and
that rushing wave to carry you seaward.
July 25, 2008, 2012, 2014
the recluse recedes by degrees –
a glacial community giving way
in harsh light – corporal heat,
drip by drip evaporating,
crawling back to frozen calm
safe – fragile – fearful – alone.
March 2008, 2014
Where did you go
upon the year’s passing?
Heavy hung the cloak of your leaving…
for days and weeks, months…
your hand stayed firm
on my shoulder – until
I turned into your embrace.
I felt the warmth around me
but when I nodded
the mantle slipped from me.
Leaving me chilled to wonder:
was this discernment an answer
to questions asked long ago or
a phantom of grief sustained?
The day it came was cold and wet.
A winter’s rain fell hard on frozen ground
covered in half thawed ice and memory.
Metered thuds of blade on ice
wedged open gaps that let – what was – seep up.
I had you once and then had you not;
and, although I can tell when,
I never knew why you left my sight.
This is how obsession starts:
a blade cuts open a frozen shell
letting light upon a darkness that lay
hidden under years of neglected dreams.
A haunting stab of what could have been –
but what surely is not – presses into my heart
and leaves burning regret imprinted
in the ice storm.
by a finger’s curl.
Moving: agony, perilous.
A whisper urges
– just let go
finish this –
In spite of a willing soul,
the body persists
in the precarious hold.
In hope and despair.