Venture

I once fell in love.
I once found a prince.
He stood on a beach
dark against the rolling surf,
full with the universe.

I once flew into
daring rough hands,
mute, lucky, held —
an odd fish silent and ready,
silent as hope.

“Why couldn’t you be a woman?”

In rowdy hands
I wiggled the signs,
did my best to become
sexy, curvaceous, something —

but slipped lonely-homeward
back to the sea that rushed for me.

*

“Doctors”

New doctors are like puppies.
They have to play with all their toys
and can be wildly cute.
Fresh out of obedience school,
all they know is rules and cutoffs; 
they cannot yet lay by the fire
because they are the fire
and have trouble being still.

Old doctors, like old dogs,
aren’t so eager.
They know our secret heart,
the love we’ve spent against
coming back

and smile
as we wave
So Long.

*

Good Ol’ Gal

The grandmother never existed.
I made her up — the convalescent home,
the diabetes, a high school lie.  
Her name was Betsy,
and she never asked for candy,
or walked me through the Depression.
Hand-made soap, aero-planes —
the whole shebang 
kinda not true.

But she was a good ol’ gal,
always ready to listen to my 
teen-boy problems, so open 
to “these new-fangled relationships” —
“It’s not like we didn’t mess around
in our day,” she once said.
“Just don’t get anyone pregnant!”
She knew there was no girl,
nodded when I told her how 
all my friends — you — stared at me	
like I had depth, like I was heroic 
just for visiting The Elderly.

Well, Betsy would’a liked that.
She would’a liked that just fine.
If she had ever existed.

*

Sea Wall with Mountain in Background

“Do you love him?”

We walk the Sea Wall.
He studies the sound,
Grouse Mountain, green-black 
cross-hatch of hemlock and fir.

      “No.”

“Sure?”

      He talks past water
      lapping round rocks,
      love near water
      breathing distant trees.

“Because it’s okay if you do.”

      A canopy.
      I love this place.

“I love that mountain.”

      He loves the mountain.
      Vancouver.
      He loves me.
      All that love.

“Two trees in a forest, eh?
You and me.”

      Side by side,
      friend I love; 
      side by side,
      roots entwined.

      “Yes, you and me.”

*

More poetry HERE.

And if you’d like a short story, click HERE.

DayDream

I imagine you shocked at my lifeless body,
dead on the floor, carpet stained with me.
You don’t believe it. You think I’m playing.
I’m not. It dawns on you I’m over.

I hear your no no no, just
like you did when the dog died in your arms — 
see tears slide down your abandoned face,
feel your torment love confusion hate.

I miss you more than my self,
know the price of life is death,
pay the cost of love with loss…

just as customer service asks for my credit card.

*

Want something a little lighter? Explore more poems HERE.

And yeah, there are books. Good books HERE.

Yes, Brother

When I ab and sunglass,
trim, talk low-and-slow — 
pose an aging, faithful body
against sunning sand and waves,
breathless for perfection’s attention,
I know:
Brother, you’re not for me.

When I’m empty, yet still scrape 
this darkening shell for one more 
acceptable pearl;
when I pray dimmed sea-light and
dusky stars right my crooked face,
I know:
Brother, you're not for me.

But if on this patient winter’s beach
we wander from books to pasts,
honor quiet scars and funny ignorance, 
sandy jeans, faded flannel shirts
warm against the LA cool;
cheap beer;
if you ask for another, eyes 
still on the page, and laugh a bit
at my dancing disbelief:

Brother, my answer is yes.

*

Poems, the good ones, are small stories. See other stories here.

Two Trees

I couldn’t help it, leaving.
It  must be the way I’m made.
They spoke God,
said I'd wreck my soul
with that abomination —

so I chose the other tree,
blue-green against the same sky,
splashed its dark on my face
and fell sound asleep

as they raged beneath
an equally good tree
preparing for my salvation.

*

If you like this, try some more here.

A collection or two? See Books here.