Books on Shelves

I have a book for everything,
tons stacked on shelves, ready
next to my bed, vital voices 
everywhere guiding and guarding.

If I want to make a soufflé
(because every so often,
one wants to make a soufflé),
Julia is ready to help,
mistress of the art of no-collapse.
Become a better lover?
Not possible, but just in case,
diverse manuals proffer advice, 
presenting tasteful drawings of 
joyful possibility (though these 
are not in plain sight — relatives).

Stories to frighten and stories to love — 
page-turning tales that taught me 
winning The Lottery isn’t always a good thing,
sometimes one needs to stand like Atticus
against an army of stupid, 
and yes, leaving the comfortable Shire
means one will likely get burned,
but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

And speaking of burning:
when I’ve made a mistake,
when it’s time to make right with God, 
there’s a book for that, too.

I’m happy.  My world is secure.
I’m as wise as the wise,
confident that,
should I ever want… 
something more,

someone will happily 
show me what that is.

*

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.

Shimmering

I tried to run just like them,
the gods of track whose ankles worked
as they shimmered before crowds,
High School Heroes of ambitious dimension.

I plodded desperate for legs, 
then arms, then breath 
up the curious street of my youth.

My feet slapped ridiculousness
as wild elbows jabbed wildly
at dreams I didn’t fit — 
lungs wheezed 
vapid sissy-fire before 
an incredulous emptiness —

I bent without a friend,
alone on the side of the road,
and thought:

“Speedos are way-sexier
than this!”

*

There’s more. Just click HERE.

Sailing from Salem

The desperate horde
hanged the mighty witch high —
as she watched from behind,
laughing, musing:

“If I’m as mighty as they say,
and so well-versed in 
dangerously Dark Arts,
do they really think —  
can they really believe — 
this is over?”

And so the mighty witch
swayed in nature’s caress, 
seeding her folk with everlasting
consequence

before moving to California.

*

There are STORIES, too — HERE.

Eternal Coast

She ate cotton candy and 
watched Seattle seabirds hold 
steady in nondescript
movie-sound
and almost forgot the scar
he stretched around her heart
before she died.

Now, a thousand miles down-coast,
California oceancoast,
glass house above sunset sky — 
that’s where she’s always been,
soft blanket, now, soft light — 
a story she likes, 
a dusky sea — 

her intransigence now just a word 
describing another mother,
someone sad far far away.

*

More poems? They’re HERE.

And then there are the 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.

Descent

Sylvia’s ceiling was glass.
She could see armed men 
perched above with orders 
to shoot anyone whose parts didn’t
protrude.

But that’s not how she fell
into an oven.

That happened when she realized,
as all thinkers must,
that thought itself is their enemy —
not sex, not sin,
but a single word: 

Why?

*