Time’s Siren

photo by author: Luther Burbank House, Santa Rosa, CA

Time only moves
in one direction
ringing into the future
like a siren,
like a cowbell.

Trapped in a house of nostalgia,
the past reaches like a vine
climbing and clinging
to doors and windows.

Human-size ferns
gather along the garden wall
with secrets folded away
among the tender green tendrils
grasses whisper, grow wild,
obscure the road to reality.

There is
something on the horizon,
maybe.

A stone house
maybe a
flock of sheep
maybe a
sleeping dragon.

Seems like choppy waters from here
In a rough little boat.

Disaster may shortly arrive,
but that shouldn’t stop us
from planning things away.

Failed memories haunt my diagrams
and blueprints, I
design a fortress
to keep success at bay.

Someone lent a hand, but
it wasn’t me.
When things unraveled
as they do
a bill came, overdue.
A price I paid,
without asking
who, or why.

Tricks of the Trade

A great deal was invested
billowing out and away toward the clouds
with finesse. A skill
honed over dark afternoons
of timeless practice.

There was a place for everything, yet
It never quite fit, it
remained disjointed
and out of sorts.
Even so,
I knew the way it should go.

I left
I walked away
I walked up the hill
on tiny thin path
toward the horizon.

I looked back, I saw
you standing there
disappointed and alone.

Many things have spilled, been lost,
flowed away down cliffs, rocks
a jagged precipice.
We could have worked together
getting things done
one by one.

Regret is stiff in the mouth
like stale bread
rough sustenance you take
to turn your back on a team
that never wanted you.

Going it alone
is a fresh start, anyway
not without a bitter taste, true,
but new fruit will be sweeter.

The spirit does not look back, it turns
toward the light
of the future.

On The Level

You care for strays.
Those creatures
who have chosen
to live apart from others–
who belong to no-one.

You see the world
embellished equally
we stand eye to eye–
we share our brother’s cup.

You fill every empty hand, your
giving knows no bounds it
overflows.

Absorbing both the tragedy
of darkness
and the bright celebration
of hope, seen
through stable windows.
You light the glowing lamp
of charity.

As you bend
to cradle
your hidden army of love
I am left standing
alone, inverted–
my heart pours into the air.

O brother, where art thou
who can tend to another
without end?

Where is the mercy
that will save us
that will shake foundations
that will leave us level
with each other
once more?

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me on this magical journey through poetry, fiction, essays, photography, and other detritus from my busy mind.

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.

— Williams Carlos Williams

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