A Matter of Time

Such stillness now
that you may observe
the shadow

of your own heartbeat
against the flickering stones
and underneath,

a well so vast
and brimming
that even the smallest

shift of gravity,
a word, an eye
moving from there

to here,
the last notes
of that song,

are certain
to bring
the flood.


I want to write about the sky,
about what happened here tonight,
about the cacophony of birdsong
and then the silence.  I want to write
about how the clouds come together
and move apart,
and about how we do the same
like particles, like golden bits of dust
in a shaft of light. This morning
we tried to catch them
in our hands, laughing,
never sure if we had succeeded
or not,
and I suppose
this is the joy of it – the wondering,
the trying, all for the chance
to hold something so delicate
and beautiful,
for even one small moment,
and all the while knowing
that as soon as our fingers close
it will be gone.

Not the Sounds

These are not the sounds
of nature – the hiss and suck,
electronic machine breath,

metallic death rattle
from a deep accordion vein
winding through the walls

like a shadow – benevolent
giver of air to each white room
where inside they suffer,

forget, call for help,
call for anything – for love,
and waiting, oh the waiting

for good news, for any news,
for sleep, for the answer
to a symphony of beeps

and alarms, and hallway murmur,
and yes there is a window
that no call of bird will breach,

no scent of jasmine blooming
in the night to ease the souls,
no kiss of sun, no breeze

to gently tease the hair
through eyelashes
that want only to close.

Where in Time

Pay no mind
if you cannot remember
that it is Tuesday
or that the sun is in the sky
(not the moon),
or that your cell phone
is still, is still inside
your pocket, instead
the purple Jacaranda
tree in full violet bloom
and cotton candy flowers,
remember the custard
and how you love to lick
out the insides
like a small boy
on a concrete stoop
in Brooklyn – chocolate
melting down his chin
and resembling now
the wild beard
that catches pastry crumbs
behind a sterile curtain
on the seventh floor.

You Cannot Know

You cannot know
in the time
right before the darkness,
when all things
are almost blue,
when the colors are here,
but not
and there is a soft feeling
in the eye
of many fabrics bleeding
together – the aspen grove,
the dusky grass,
the departing wisp
of cloud,
you cannot know
when you walk
alongside the river
to talk about love,
where the geese swim
with their rows of babies
in the eddy
and you stop on a bridge
to watch the shape
of water,
how it fans out white
over the sunken stones
or wrinkles convex,
you cannot know
and so you don’t
and are left standing,
with your blinking eyes
facing into the center
of things.

mom sends a box of tea

mint and basil,
Longjing green, African
rooibos, rainforest
maté, mango and the lid
scarcely closes
over dappled leaves
in silken pouches.
oh, when I think
of the many rounded
hours inside of this box!
why, just tonight
my children danced
across the couches
to the steam of white orchid
as I thumbed through flavors
with the anticipation
of springtime,
of the days ahead
so full of moments,
each one delicate
as children playing
and the sweet scent
of the unexpected rain.