Driving it Home

Alone, driving down a country road
close to what was home, I hear my mother’s voice.
I see her hand point to each farmhouse and lane.

She tells me who lived where when she was a girl.
But all I hear are general tones,
because the words have gone.

Farm fields stretch on like urban blight inner city blocks
strained to their breaking. Two miles to the next corner.
Right, then five miles more. Turn upon turn of absence.
The bleached white bones of loss lie scattered, unclaimed.

The car rattles up its lane to the familiar cedar shingled frame.
Park inside the old shed, it’s soul wrapped in metal.
Dad drove every nail. The barn, the shop
all in dust and disarray of the last days
which lasted for years.

I walk in the house, set the keys on the table.
No need to say I’m home for the ghosts all know,
glide around in whispers.

Open the fridge, pour a glass of milk.
Ten leftover containers seethe with curdled discontent.
Shut the door.

Sit for hours
and watch the faces on the walls
drift back deeper.

no hold left

each day
through clouded rooms
not of fire or hashish
but dulled to memory
nothing as it once was
the furniture all wrong
the people gone
saying hello
as I pass
to the walls
which remain
blank white
yet dinged
by creeping time

each night
beyond pale stars
and the rising orange moon
to vast realms
of permanence

by one sharp streak
across the sky
and gone

I tumble

For Open Link Night #111 at dVerse Poets Pub (was torn between this poem and the previous one for Open Link Night)

In A Breath

to yourself
memory of the wind,
its curve about your face,
long reach across the prairie.
Note its tone by the length
of the grass. Earth the instrument
bends blue with the long wail
of distance, the brush of sunlight
on the atmosphere and the swirl of liquid stone
far beneath our feet. The most solid among us
moves with a stirring breath,
flows in pulsing tides,
holds a hidden charge of electrons in flux
we scarcely know ourselves.
We carry Whitman’s teeming multitudes within us
and bend with the solitary figure behind a bedroom door
scribbling metaphoric messages
to some unknown emissary
of the wind.
For dVerse Poets’ Pub Open Link Night #44

Where The Heart Lies

The rare walk in the woods
fills memory
with its bird calls,
the scamper of squirrels
from limb to limb,
their leaps between trees.

Spring beds of may apples,
faint breath of air in summer heat,
the autumn tinge of sassafras,
winter bare limbs.

I follow the forest paths
of deer along ridges,
ground falling away
on both sides, then down
to rivulets and dry branches
far beneath, fingers
from Horse Creek
a mile away.

The brass clang
of the dinner bell
echoes across time
with vague recollections
of spider webs
and catching thorns
on the way back,

arrives at a landing
then three stairs
to a luncheon menu
rotating between
unspoken agenda,
bitter invective
and cold rage.

My entry for dVerse Poets’ Pub Open Link Night #43