Daily Archives: January 23, 2020

The Barn Door

It doesn’t matter
how many times
you’ve told yourself
not to share yourself
so easily 
and so often;

you cannot help opening
your barn door mouth,
letting the horses out
to trample the fields.

It’s too late to call them back.

The sunset, at least,
is perfect: red layers,
pink layers, fire glow low
to the west.

It’s too late to call your words
back from their wild run,

but at least it’s warm
where you are
for at least
a few moments more,

before night’s cold sets in
and you have to sit there
silent and alone with regret,
listening to them
galloping far away
without you.

It’s All His Fault

A man burning paper in a dish,
waiting for magic solutions. 

The smoke sets off an alarm.
An entity snickers behind the kitchen door.

Damn, the man says, flapping his hands,
grabbing the broom to reset the detector

with the end of the handle. 
Damn it all to hell, he says, everyone’s

going to wake up and know
I was pursuing such foolishness.

The entity in the corner
whispers to him that he should open a window.

He thinks it’s a good idea.  He thinks
he came up with it. He opens the window.

Out with the bad, in with the good, he mutters.
It’s as much an incantation as “damn it all to hell”

and he doesn’t realize that the whole cascade
of what is about to follow is his fault

for listening uncritically to whatever sounds
like a good idea at the time. 

The good comes in
and the bad goes out into the world.

The entity easily absorbs the good.
The man eventually closes the window.

Now he’s got so much complexity
to deal with, and nowhere to go. 

Magic, he mutters;
pointless, perhaps non-existent.

It’s too late for that, though,
and he doesn’t even know it.

Canyon’s Edge

Old saying: cheaters
never prosper.
In fact they do.
They always do.

I don’t know how to trust.
I don’t know why I should.

To ask for help 
is to open my chest
and show all the knives
I’ve stored there —

not in boxes
or sheaths but bare-bladed.
Over time, nicks
have become open wounds
and I won’t show them
to just anyone.

I dream of canyons
the way some folks
dream of oceans:
I want to sit beside them,
stare out over them 
for a long time,
then plunge in. 

I don’t know why I think.
I don’t know why I’ve bothered.

Old saying: what goes around
comes around. If that’s so,
it takes too long. 

What I know of desertion
would empty a book. I know this,
I have seen the library
where they are kept.

It isn’t cheating 
till it comes around
and fills a book
with knives then
tosses the book
into a canyon
and calls it a day.

How does one prosper,
you ask.
One doesn’t,
I respond, all the way