Push Mower

A bright summer day,
I walk behind
the familiar roar
which turns

the dangerous blade,
which cuts its straight swirl
through row upon row
of inoffensive blades.

If I gaze at the green grass,
mesmerized by progress,
it could be any sunny day
of any year since my twelfth.

Grandfather James sits
under a shade tree,
observes traffic on the road,
monitors my progress.

Vincent tastes
cool well water, then returns
the porcelain cup
to its nail.

David hikes
into the east woods,
rifle at the ready
for rabbits in the underbrush.

Eternally unchanged,
they act out their lives
from the corner
of my eye

as I march forward
set on my task
of mowing down
what lies ahead.

Linguipotence

Have you heard?
Hold a raindrop.
Peel apart the petals
clasped within.

Count the flowers
tumbling down
through this long interlude
of rain.

Infinite vibrant colors
lie hidden in the clear,
in the white haze between here
and the far tree line

bereft of leaves,
clothed only in droplets
trailing down
to the brown winter ground.

Hold breath
until the spring. Watch the sky,
alternating ashen gray and blue-faced,
fade away to night.

Night after night
until the gift arrives
of warm light dappled color
glowing through the green,

rising through our shoes
and raining blossoms down.
None of it seems possible now
but that’s the word.

=====

I should be saving all these for some theoretical publication, but I never do.

For dVerse Open Link Night 129

Artiste

There are secret messages
in my poems, a cryptic flow
just below the surface.
One moment I’m strolling
barefoot on grass,
the next, I’m meters above,
perhaps millimeters.
It looks like I stride on blades
but a slight cushion of air
separates me from earth.

An ant would have to wedge
into the space. Sometimes
he does. Then I’m walking
on an exoskeleton
and no one knows,
not even the ant.

My wry smile remains a mystery,
to all around. Misdirection,
shading of art
delivers deep satisfaction,
no matter how thin.

An Early Poem

Wrote this when I was 18 or 19.

Still can’t decide if it is tolerable or just bad, but it is March, so I post it.

View from the Third Floor

Under the gray awning of a late March sky,
The grass grows green and knows not why
While people tucked in plastic sleeves
Glide fast upon the walk—fitful streams.

Brightly colored umbrellas sway—
Hide bobbing heads and torsos.
Voices echo soft between
The aged buildings of the green.

Wanting More

through removes

the grain
of these ancient hardwood floors
layered paint on walls
weathered entry steps
the shifting levels
of sidewalk slabs
stippled wear from rain
and countless shoes
the atmosphere, turbulent and wild
translucent blades of grass
which bend at my tread
wrought iron fence standing sentry
incised letters
and numbers cool to the touch
the accommodating earth
my own breath and bones
through spirit transoms
I call and hear no response
but the sway of the jack-in-the-pulpit

I wish the song of one turtledove

You Never Know

Approximations

Letters of the alphabet.
A photocopied face.
A rose in a rainstorm
filmed from all sides.

Your form.
Hair falling in your eyes.
Arm extending outward
for a moment.
Breath on your lips.

We cannot know
if the green lawn
we walk upon
is seen or felt the same:

Please speak each blade,
cool and smooth,
pressed by your padding foot.
Tell the pulse beat
present within smooth curve
of slender wrist.

Say what you will.
I shall listen
rapt in your
approximations.