Daily Archives: May 6, 2018

My Day Is Breaking My Heart

My day is breaking my heart.

In addition to 
sparrows and starlings,
downy woodpeckers
and nuthatches on the ground
below the feeders,
today I have welcomed
one cardinal, one catbird, 
and a grackle to the yard.

My day is breaking my heart.

All these lives dependent 
to some degree upon me,
and more appearing all the time.

My day is breaking my heart.

I don’t have any desire to chase away
the squirrel who is hanging now,
inverted, from the double cage.
A sparrow on the top of
the spindle bush, waiting;
can’t see any other birds
but they must be close because I know
if I bang on the window
and the squirrel leaps away 
they’ll be back in no time.

My day is breaking my heart.

All I can do is look out the window
and do my part when the feed runs out.
All I can do is wonder if I’ve ever done enough
and know deep within that I have not,

and that is enough to break my heart
once a day, every day,
a thousand times a day,

though I know the birds
will survive without me
and the day itself
doesn’t care if I die.


Off The Blade

When I look at the television
and say out loud, “you’re a 
fucking moron,” I don’t mean it
literally.

There’s no one here,
for one thing.  Just the flat screen
and the flat face of the flat-out
fucking moron, as I’ve labeled him.

I know labeling is wrong but somehow
I need this. I need to stare into 
that reddish bloat and call him 
something or other, just to keep myself
off the blade. 

I don’t know his actual IQ
of course, for another thing — he’s not
smart, I suspect, more cunning, more
versed in sneaky, better at bulling his way
through the day than at figuring things out. 

And to disgrace the perfectly good word
“fucking” by using it in tandem
with my other words, by intensifying
my disdain for his cretin soul
through the colloquial use
of that beautiful, hothouse, slick-making
word –bah. 

I choose instead to
stare into the screen
while muttering nonsense syllables. 

I’m a person with better things to do
and better uses for my voice. I shall keep silent,
sharpen all the knives in the house,
dig trenches, stock up on books
soon to be banned, call every vulnerable
soul I know and invite them to build a fortress,
learn the rules of dirty pool, develop codes, 
fight as needed, take it to the enemy,
become as valiant as drama majors
on an empty stage waiting for the house lights
to go down and the stage lights to come up —

that’s how I play the game in my head,
and how I shame the game with the incantation,
once again.  “You’re a fucking moron.”
Staring into the screen, wishing I believed
in magic words, keeping myself
off the blade tonight.