Daily Archives: November 6, 2011

A note about the postings here…

The poem I posted just previous to this, “The Meaningless Goal,” marks the 1000th poem posted on this blog since January 1st, 2010.  

I intend to take a short break from posting poems here, but would appreciate it if those of you who subscribe and  read the blog would take some time and go back and read some of the previous postings while I’m on hiatus.  There will be more poems eventually, but I kind of feel like I need to take some time and do some other stuff for a while.

Thanks for your kind attention, and I’ll be back soon.  Promise. 

The Meaningless Goal

All are, in fact, meaningless
in one sense, 
as long as there is
to snicker at them; still, there are times
when a branch grows just long enough
to scrape the wall when it comes down

and that scratch lasts a while,
at least till the next rain,
and everyone points at the mark and says,
“Remember that?  Remember 
when that fell and there was that crash
and we thought the whole house
was about to fall?  Man, we dodged a bullet
that day.”  

And then those people move, or die,
or lose their minds, and no one
mentions that branch again —

but somewhere the wood decays
or is burned and the vapors rise from it
and are inhaled by someone who says,
“Hmmm…I think I’ll go for it.  What have I
got to lose, at least for myself —
and it might mean something to someone,
after all.”

The branches over your head all began at a trunk
and grew out.  The trunk started from a hole in the ground
and grew up.  The meaningless goal
grew up and out and reached and failed, 
or left a transient mark, or lasted eons.  
It’s all the same, all as pointless as any other endeavor;
in the end, it’s the growing that counts,
and not the place where it all ended.


Cante Jondo: When I Heard She Was Gone

My hands fell into my lap.
My palms
face up.

I called out,
Who has a hand drum?
hoping to pound this
away from me.

I sang “Shenandoah,”
hoping to lure Death
far away, across the wide river —
but he stayed

for his flamenco moment.
Darkstruck guitar, dark heels and hands,
dark dance, dark jewel.
Cante jondo, they say. Deep, dark song.

Duende, putting a song into the air
to fill a hole
in the air. It’s not about death,
they say.  It’s about life.  And it is, and

they also say it is enough
though it is not enough.
But say it enough, maybe
it will become enough.

At the hospital, no music.
What sound they had for me was thin and cruel.
It’s nothing to repeat here.
I came home after I listened and heard enough,

and sat with
my hands
in my lap,
palms up.

Cante jondo, duende,
what can you bring to this,
to the hole in the air, to the not enough?
I am waiting to receive word

from far away, you rolling river,
from across the wide Missouri,
of dark eyes wide open,
a flash song in the deep, even just a chord.  That

will be enough,
even if at once
it is not enough again…oh,
where is my bright dancer?