I don’t quite think it was the jagged insult of the cold while stepping out from the shower;
It couldn’t have been the yawning cold empty space beside me on a still unmade bed;
Perhaps it was that the single cup of instant coffee was just okay enough with real soymilk;
Certainly not the unresponded to question of what possibly could I have said to you instead.
More than I surely love you.
More than we can go so far.
More than dreams seek the possible.
More than let’s get out of this damn bar.
I don’t know but the cat claw calls for more food for his old porcelain bowl;
I don’t understand but the heater needs a filter shift out with the coming cold;
I can’t see the change that the sunsets promise for those unparoled tomorrows;
But I could have added that the place beside my heart is all yours, truth be told.
Unless the future scares you.
Unless you can’t chance chance.
Unless my words wither at your feet.
Unless all those maybes can only translate into can’ts.
And, down the tracks and beyond the call to prayer and the next bead-toss parade
I go on with my so lonely but hopeful heart, though I’m not quite sure I got it made.
Not in love
Don’t even know your name
So why can’t I forget you—
What is this game?
That pretty ring
On your wedded finger
Keeps it real
So I won’t linger
Your eyes’re so fine
That promise you made
Won’t let you be mine
I’ll get the door—
Onto a future apart
Maybe in your next lifetime
You could take the rest of my heart
Death raised his scythe on high
The Final Answer was at hand
No more questions broached
No replies begged or risked demand
The leaf at last let it all go
Fluttered to its demise below
The wind added its sighed contempt
Blew our leaf scuttering to a future undreamt
Down the path with attention rapt
A 17-nothing wrought prose off the rack
Laurie screamed—the leaf brushed her face!
Characterization blanched: there’d be no turning back
A writer in a Nature, freed of pretense
Her plot thickened and made Total Sense
Death winced scurrilously and not too haughty
17-nothing conjured twists bland and who knows—naughty?
The wind richened and hurried our protagonists along:
A dead leaf and a fallowed teenager trying to catch the song
The pain of his past rested on the front of his eyes,
Memory tempted then mocked and let loose in droplets.
Where now can pale usefulness express its wont?
How will tomorrow find reason inside old couplets?
Full-time folly found rest upon the other slack shoulder,
And swirling, the promise and the lie presented opportunely;
Yet a path coursed beyond the copse, bidding one to follow;
New memory scorned to breach history, to grow jejunely.
An old minstrel parsed a chord, and improved;
The song of song that choirs failed yet chimed aloud;
While pan wrens sauntered and soared ever above,
Dodging the eagles, falling, sprinting to eclipse yon cloud.
Tears will dry with hope and future and chance rekindled;
Goats may prance upon thatched roofs, high and mighty,
But the parson-chaplain rises early to great the new day,
And pale usefulness finds expression, keen and rightly.
Down back around the edge of town
The cat found his prey
Life happened that way
Up on the sill at the house at the top of the hill
The dog languished a lick
Another lingering tick
Tapping a tap the bartender pours
The sod and his sop
Bottom rail on top
Perspective perfuses the perfect
The glance is askew
The lonely heart never knew
Cat and dog and sod and tramp
Living things living their lives progress
Tarry but a little your unspeakable future calls
Time arrives informal and the debutante has found her dress
Back about the edge of town
Prey escaped the chop
Bottom rail on top
O sing me song by Old Billy Shears
Tell me we’re in days and nights of shifting gears
Promise me it’ll all be completely okay
That we can certainly disagree and still go out and play
I just need somebody to love
O promise me something
A hope to last all day
A guarantee of smiles
A game for all to play
And of course Henry the Horse dances the waltz
Voters are so serious
A future to ball and chain
Leave them their ballots
Recounted again and again
With our love we could save the world
Lend me fair breezes
Skies full of scudding clouds
Miles of rolling farmland
Serrated by old plows
Sitting on a sofa with a sister or two
Beaches bathed in sunshine
With waves of crashing surf
Or mountain valleys misted
Rocks peeking through the turf
Now they know how many ‘holes it takes to fill Albert Hall
We did scavenge Old Dixie
But, a baby is on the way
A guarantee of smiles
How James and Jessie will play
Yours sincerely, Wasting Away