Free Verse Poetry

Rooted in rhythms of natural speech


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Darling, as you grow from the rapture of childhood
to the cares of adulthood,
you must remember the power of presence.
If you take nothing else from me, take these words
to heart.


Observance

This poem does not want to be written and thereby ruined
by the likes of me. It has no wish for me to take note
of my brother, with whom I’m spending time
for the second time this year, stretched out on his back,
a sudden descent into sleep, long legs pacing out
more than half the couch’s length, the interlude of his torso rising
and falling in time with each breath.


Tedium and the tide


Walking barefoot along
our hardwood floor, the long
grains part, crack and dissolve
into grains of sand, soft and pocked
then dark and dense beyond
the tideline. I wash up
on the shore of our laundry, where gloves
top the clean pile but in less
than 12 hours will be soaked again
with sweat and the smell
of moldering leaves.


The wolf and the rock


Remember the dogwood forts we’d build?
The green roof, stockpiled weapons and snacks?
Remember the Choctaw braves waiting for the word
to attack, with knives between their teeth
and our comrades’ bones around their necks?


Love Letters


Love letters and love
the spaces between the words.
Meander among stems, nestle
under warming bellies, admire
serifs and spurs from safe distance.

Follow the silver thread
stretching from page-map
to mind-map.
Play among the hills,
but avoid the rivers.


Leavings


Contents: must of ticket stubs
handed from hand to hand to
hand, pencil shavings, hasty
travel agglomerate. Pills.
Human mast, machines.

The life-smell of our old house
greeted me on the doorstep.
Saturday’s emigration,
a good sweeping and scouring
couldn’t scoop it out.


Love Letters


Love letters and love
the spaces between the words.
Meander among stems, nestle
under warming bellies, admire
serifs and spurs from safe distance.

Follow the silver thread
stretching from page-map
to mind-map.
Play among the hills,
but avoid the rivers.


On Affection and Intellect


“Why is it that a bucket of water soon becomes putrid, but frozen remains sweet forever? It is commonly said that this is the difference between the affections and


Redemption


Just stop,
For a minute.
Please redefine,
Re-explain,
Reintroduce
This gift to me.
For ten
Long
Years
All I knew was
An eye for an eye.
Hate meets hate.
Forget me nots were
Forget me…


The Body Good


Milk. It does the body good.
But what good is the body when the calf weeps formulated milk ducts from the scientist’s teat?
Lick those lips of perspirated celebrity icons and
Sink…


Reflection


I love the curl
that only appears
on your temple
after washing.

I know the way
your toe-bones crack,
when to dig
for the right kind of hurt.

I hear the vibrato
in your laugh, as feeling
plucks a note
beyond thought.


A prayer and a promise


Gently
open a furrow
in the crown of my head
and plant the seed
of quiet between
the two hemispheres.

Patiently
I’ll keep my crowbar ready
till the season turns
and time comes
to pry off the iron
street-lid and


The Word-Ring


Over the stone fence,
beyond the mown grass,
on the border of a fog-bank:
We found a half-buried
obsidian spearhead, its face
catching what muted light
the morning afforded.
We…


Letting Go


God,
it seemed impossibly far north.
Another country, language.
Snow on the ground since Thanksgiving, more
than we’d ever seen before.
Isolation within, desolation without.
Hush on…


In Winter


The truth of the matter:
We bear diminished resemblance
to our wedding-day selves.
We used to puzzle over the noses,
now long and chins, now puckered
of those soft-cheeked, sepia lovebirds
enthroned above the piano.


New Vision


It’s all too much:
these hurtling shapes,
what they tell me is color
exploding, melting
at a breathless pace:
creatio ex nihilo in miniature,
for all I know.


Green Hill


Ma, there’s a two-foot stack of novels
on the nightstand I scavenged
from Dad’s workshop.
Autumn turns more quickly here.
But timber abounds, the bracken is thick,
and my coat’s lined with fleece.

I’ve made sure to buy fruit
only as it comes in season.
I’ve enough cash…


By the Garden Wall


I picture you, just there
by the garden wall. Shaded
by honeysuckle, blueing
in the twilight: man of war
against a frame of flowers.
Me rooted on the porch. The gulf
of time…


Worship


Miles across the Oregon Inlet
with its Lilliputian peelers
and eight-cylinder anglers,
we found it.
Beyond live oak and shrub bog,
amid storm-huddled loblolly
and a mammoth tract of sky:
an A-frame peak, groomed
just for the two of us.
For you, a bowling left. For me,
a pitching right.
“Where two or more are gathered” –
But we knew angels were already
hovering beyond the whitewater…


Manhood


The coastline – scooped, hammered, fjorded – Call it a metaphor for the year: ever-shifting from rivermouth to beachbreak, sea wall and graven boulders; to wharf and quay, pebbled bay…

Free Verse Poetry
Free Verse Poetry

Rooted in rhythms of natural speech

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