Daily Archives: March 21, 2014

Flame On, Sun On

Go, please —
flame on, sun on, turn
your light outside;

my baby, glow;
I implore you:
sun on.

This is not
a well-lit world.
Plenty of dark corners,

much in the shadows
and there’s good there
and bad, much bad,

but your light
will help sort it out
if you keep it lit.

You’ve also got me
to deal with — I know
what that means,

even if you do not fully,
not yet; let’s just say
I’m a tankful of shadow

and some days
I’m leakier than others.
You might wake up one day

awash in flooding gloom.
If it happens, promise me
you’ll go flame on,

sun on, and get moving
even if I don’t follow.
All my limited hope

is in your light and heat;
I’m not mean enough
to hold you in my dark;

promise me you’ll remember
and flame on, sun on, light on —
promise you’ll follow it, and live.


NOTE:  today is the sixth anniversary of this blog.  (There are older dated entries because I imported my old Livejournal entries here.)  

Also, this is the 5000th post, for whatever that’s worth.

Thanks for reading — T

Alcove House, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Thinking today
of the cave high in the cliff
above Frijoles Canyon,

how I needed to climb
140 feet straight up
to see it,

how I tore off
up the trembling ladders
bearing my fear of heights

on my back the whole way,
facing into the rock
as I rose

until I faced the scooped out
back wall of the cave,
walked to the kiva

and looked inside, how I then
sat for a while looking out

I had to turn and step
into space backward
140 feet in the air

to begin the descent,
how I had to prepare
to fall, to fall, to fall

just that one
first step and how I felt
upon finding it —

and what I felt like
once back on the floor of
Frijoles Canyon,

how I ran back up the trail
to the parking lot — thinking today
of how it can be that 

once upon a time
I took my fear, bundled it up,
took it with me to the place of fear

and did not die —

how is it that this escapes me daily,
how is it that I cannot
stop being a coward?

Different Birthdays

If I’d been born a house,
I would have liked to have had
a family within me.  I’d have enjoyed
the traditional nature of my insides
and thrilled to the secrets and confidences
shared among the loving members, and if
had by chance been infected with
a family of abuse, perhaps a light
through one of my windows
might have illuminated a moment of pain,
and changed the approach of a bad person
into one of remorse.

If I’d been born a workshop,
a factory, or a personal craft studio —
I’d have enjoyed the daily industry within,
the making of well-tooled items
by hand or with complex and elegant
machines.  At night after all
had returned to their homes I’d have light
from the moon enter and caress
the worn surfaces, the works in progress,
the waiting benches yearning to be filled.

But I was born instead a man
with an interior crowded with guts and stench,
and there’s no light getting in there.
I don’t know how to take what goes on in there,
from war to self-hatred, from spilled bile
to a circular flow of sugar sludged blood.
I see it all and ask myself, how is it possible
that I am guest or intruder
in my own skin? If I am that,
then I want to believe
that a spirit also dwells within,
something different,
something handy,
something skilled,
something like family
to this betrayed munchkin
speaking to you here
who is watching helplessly
as it all goes to shit;
but the evidence suggests
and that’s why
I daydream
of such very different

Still Life

still life 
with rockabilly:

early morning after
hair’s a stiff mess
boots still on
they must stink but
inside ’em
toes are

still tappin’


I pull bricks
one at a time
from where they’ve been
embedded for years
in a decorative ring
in the soil around
the base of
my big oak

and then
carry and stack them
a few at a time
along the back fence

they once may have been
part of some foundation
once may have been solid
and crucial 
they just dull my mower blade

it’s not that I need to mow
this scrub lawn often
it’s just that the way
my money’s going
I may never be able to afford
another mower

I don’t know why
I should save these old bricks except
they were here before me
and were built to last
I tell mysef
they might come in handy
when the world changes
and I’m back on my feet

but secretly
I know why I’m loathe
to toss them

a target
might present itself