Float

Let me float

in the warmth

and the dark

and the quiet.

Let my weariness subside.

Let me float

away the aches

away the worry

away the want.

Let weightless be my guide.

Let me sink

in the drink

of nothing to do but float.

Let me breathe

long and deep

gotta hold that strong, clear note.

Just keep still

feel the pain

release its grip

on aging limbs.

Fill my chest

with long, slow breaths

letting go and letting in.

Watch the sun

begin to rise

casting red upon the skies.

And as the red seeps into orange

find peace and calm

in the water’s warmth.

From orange to yellow

paler than butter

let myself BE in the pillowy color.

And as the yellow lightens to blue

and the plug is pulled

and the gravity, new.

Take the weight.

Feel the cold.

Face the day.

Be brave.

Be bold.

And keep afloat.

I’m fine.

I’m fine.

That’s what you want to hear.

I’m fine.

I’ll say it loud and clear.

I’m fine.

It’s easier this way.

I’m fine.

Pretending everyday.

I’m fine.

It’s normal to wake in tears.

I’m fine.

Haven’t had a break in years.

I’m fine.

Trying to find that level ground.

I’m fine.

Wondering who I hope will stick around.

I’m fine.

Cause that’s the me you want to see.

I’m fine.

But she’s the she I no longer care to be.

I’m fine.

Losing something which never was.

I’m fine.

Just keep going, cause that’s what one does.

I’m fine.

Trying each day to set things right.

I’m fine.

But waking most days too tired to fight.

I’m fine.

Wondering if death came before dawn.

I’m fine.

And if Mom is alive, how to stay kind.

I’m fine.

Cause every day it’s just the same.

I’m fine.

The same recording on endless play.

I’m fine.

While the rest of the world gets on with its day.

I’m fine.

As hair by hair, my years now show.

As lines overtake my burrowed brow.

As my strength builds, then suddenly goes.

As the walls of my home begin to close.

As each day’s remnants turns to dust.

As I do each day what I know I must.

I’m fine.

I’m fine.

I’m fine.

too bad

you wouldn’t lift my broken heart above your selfish wants

so sad

my anguished words swatted at like tiny, pesky gnats

so sad

the years i gave my all to thee

so glad

extending branches of our tree

so glad

but when my give had given up

so bad

broken and tired i sought your love

so sad

each member of my precious clan

too bad

took the next exit out of town

too sad

leaving this trio to figure it out

not mad

not sad

some times still bad

but glad of the love that’s stuck around

an ode to jim

raise that crucifix nice and high

plant it in your neighbor’s eye

hold that bible in both hands

smack with it your fellow man

twist each word to stoke your fears

of Muslims, Blacks, Liberals, Queers

live your life a real shit

a few short prayers and that is it.

forgiven for your evil thoughts

forgiven for your selfish wants

forgiven for the love you scorned

forgiven for the pain you’ve born

surround yourself with frightened sheep

you are who you are by the company you keep

say your prayers each day and night

your dark deeds still won’t find the light

by sitting in pews and mumbling prayers

searching for peace through all the thick layers

of wrongful acts and shallow words

of broken promises at each turn

sanctimonious and self-loathing

in your dark yet depthless world.

Flies

down in the lean-to,

swatting at flies.

annoying little fuckers,

always at my horses’ eyes.

but that’s flies.

in nothing but shit

they feed and they breed.

pesky and pitiless

and bulging with greed.

never enough

is just one pile of shit,

of biting at ankles

and doing their bit.

they eat at the skin

of the gentle and strong,

who stand there and stomp

and never do harm.

but that’s flies.

appearing in swarms.

one purpose in mind:

feed and breed

off the peaceful and kind.

make wounds fester.

make eyes ooze.

plant eggs in more shit

til the air is abuzz.

such nasty little insects

i relish in killing,

and sending them on

to find light – for those willing.

but my hope is not great

for the pests just keep coming

with their selfish, rotting deeds

and their ceaseless biting and buzzing.

but that’s flies.

so the horses will stomp.

the pests will keep biting.

and i’ll do my best to protect

and keep fighting,

those nasty

fucking

flies.

Death, the Kingbird, and I

Death rapped on our window at dawn

so I leapt from bed and out the door

to shoo it away.

But there, below the window,

in the morning shade of the Mulberry tree

a Western Kingbird lay.

Damn it, I cried aloud to death,

I’ve tried to keep you at bay.

How many window decals do I need

to keep them all away?

You silly thing, I said to the bird,

and scooped to pick her up.

Stunned and afraid

she fluttered her wings,

flipping helplessly in the dust.

With soothing words, i tried again.

cupping hands around my little friend.

Who showed little life.

Who looked near the end.

But I was not interested in welcoming death,

so finding a box and trying my best,

I set the bird down in a soft, cotton nest.

A gentle stroke upon her head

and down her narrow bill.

Her wide, black eyes, now closed.

Her gray and yellow feathers, still.

Death, I see, is stopping by.

So I leave the Kingbird,

– and this mourning scene –

to have a good, long cry.

For the bird,

For the world.

For me.

For death hovers over this house.

It simply can’t be helped

with a 90 year old mother about.

Although uninvited, it came for a visit.

Not much to be done

except to face it.

I returned to the box

with the poor, little bird.

And, once again, I cursed aloud.

Reaching down for one final stroke,

suddenly the Kingbird woke,

and flew in a flash

to a neighboring tree,

leaving me

and death

behind today.

The Eyes

You won’t see my eyes

across this divide

that widens

and deepens

each day.

My gaze is turned

downward

into the rift

where much that was

has slipped away.

Into the dark 

of misaimed deeds

selfish wants

always needs.

Not convenient

if I bleed.

So pardon me 

if our eyes don’t meet

the steps are precarious

below these feet.

I need my focus

on footing strong

on solid ground,

and grounded ones.

I know what lurks

behind those eyes

who make believe

with all those lies

that everything will be okay

and once again I’ll

look your way.

But keep yours eyes

upon your path

of weblike turns

and sticky tracks.

And let me keep 

my tired eyes

focused ahead

where my truth lies.

Done is Done

Away they go,

one by one.

Change is change.

Done is done.

Years go by.

Wrinkles arrive.

Needs and wants

don’t always jibe.

Some folk never get enough.

Give too little.

Troubled trust.

Throw that bond

right under the bus.

Time no longer shelters “us”.

Those who once

were all as one.

Away they go.

And done

is done.