So Glad You Came

All music and merry,
your hands on the strings,
trading places and voices
and other fine things,
the cocktails passed,
don’t care whose is whose
’cause you’re all full of whiskey
and no one’s got shoes,

two gypsies wear top hats,
black leather and white,
while another keeps leaving
to check on the night,
one is a songbird,
her voice travels high,
and the player, he plays
with a smile in his eyes,

and the first flash of lightning
cracks open the sky
as the poets all gather,
some dead, some alive,
and tonight, the rain answers,
coerced out by Dylan
and Cohen and Jerry
and Ella and Gillian,

they stay in your pocket,
nights such as these
when something new happens
despite all you’ve seen,
and that is the magic
of friends round a flame,
where the truth tellers linger
and you’re so glad you came.

Advertisements

Another Opening

Thunderous release,
and the sky cracks

open with a planetary
climax. Fluid, we move

from hard places into
the softest places,

thirsty and blooming,
in all this dry dirt,

rejoicing the raindrops
and also the tears.

The Sailor

It’s been six years
since you released
your last exhale.
I wasn’t in the room

when it happened because
that is how you wanted it,
just like your own father.
I believe you felt

it had something to do with grace,
though I often regret it,
that I wasn’t there to hold
your hand, to support you toward

your next great opening.
Instead we were sitting
in that fancy white lobster
restaurant in Malibu,

your two children,
with the clinky glasses
and the aproned waiters
and the wall of windows

to the sea.  That blue ocean,
where you spent
so many of your years
losing yourself

and finding yourself.
You longed for the home
that was always waiting for you,
and we both knew it

the moment
you were gone.
We looked at each other
over the crumbs and shells

and toasted our flutes
of expensive champagne,
tried to celebrate you
as best we could

though the chain of our DNA
was ripping, and we felt it,
as you left
for that other horizon.

 

Bridges

This old train bridge,
smelling of creosote,
says Please Do Not Climb,
but instead my urge
is to lie down in the river,
to let water cold as glaciers
from the white mountains
fill me everywhere
with the clarity
of melted sky.

On the trail, an anomaly
of shredded grass,
a tuft of fur.
What raucous
happened here?

I look for eagles in the tallest tree
and instead I see a robin,
the most regular of birds,
perched on the pinnacle of a branch
where sometimes the eagles are.
Well, I can see those in my own backyard,
and still I am moved
by this morning,
by the thin pane of ice
that barely exists atop the shaded wetlands
stinking of living sulphur.

The cattails are frozen
like rodents roasting on spits,
it’s easy to laugh
at one’s own thoughts,
equal parts frost and sunshine
on a morning in early spring,

I know that water under the bridge
is already a thing,
and also, I would be hard pressed
to say it any better,
standing here on this bridge as I am,
with time passing swiftly underneath
and water, the color of smoke,

and perhaps it is silly
that we say a thing at all,
becoming so focused on the river
that we forget about
the mountain.