SAVAGE PULSE

1C332268-CABC-4E41-9301-5A4FD4490BF8
A savage pulse
asking of you
more than you think
you can handle

lives here.

Did you expect to love the world and not die daily

from the sundry shocks
both sharp and subtle?

Did you expect to find
on the edge of every granite cliff
a pillow for a weary head?

A sweetness in every mouthful bit off from the big loaf?

Surely the wintered sun
and rough and gripping tide
disabused you
of such sentimentality

Yet surely the same sun
and the lunatic arriving
of a faultless sea
taught you, Beautiful Gambler,
how a lover shows up
with an unconditional caress

But if you’ve yet to find
the capital C in celebration
in the seed of each moment

strap the searchlight
around your ribs

and shuffle like a crescent moon
over all your little resistances

your feet becoming wiser
with each toe-stub
in your heart

until they become sandpipers dancing at dawn
around the fingers of the sea
knowing exactly where to go

Pains

FE089DB3-7C36-4C28-943D-04C4FBB17A14Scrapes from a scree slope, a bicycle crash, a rolling log.

The sting from a wasp, a spider, a criticism,
a side-ways glance. A rejection.

The bite from a tick, a bulldog, a blackberry bush,
a lover. Kidney stones.

Bruises from the playground, the workground, the ground down.

That broken bone, heart, rib, glass in the knee. Broke-ass. Breakdown.

Sunburn, heartburn, slow burn, burnt bridges. Burn out.

Not getting the job, the right word, the girl, the boy, the concept, the joke. It.

The pang of no food, no sex, no idea. The murderous thirst of no water.

But one above all: the call unfulfilled.

It Nearly Floats Away

F01BF34E-F969-4699-B7FD-B653047C7DDDFrom the moon
the unfolded blue and white petaled blossoms
sink into the dark beyond
as quiet as a butterfly.

No cries are audible,
none at all.

The moon—
in its sovereign cold
safe from heat
of hatred daily burning
into flesh and hearts—is calm.

There are no flesh or hearts on the moon
and no fires can be seen.

The only war here is the homesickness for the war.

On the moon that familiar knot is weightless—you know the one.

It nearly floats away
to join the symphony of stars.

So in August’s drowsy simmer
in a moon-muffled world
one can almost pretend…

There must be a reason the moon sticks around.

The Theology of Laughter at the End of the Day

7ED966B3-14DB-4197-91FB-29EDCB2EC255Pay attention to the kernel
of your ache

the one coiled up inside
all the others
like a rattlesnake
hidden in the tall grass

Don’t mistake that for something
you have to kill
and dump in the ditch somewhere

Even if you left it there
it will find a way back to you

until you see it for the catapult it is
swinging you to the other side
of the water
the pit
the desert and the dark night

When you get there it’ll still be there

But it’ll have a different look in its eyes
gleaming and knowing
eager like dawn
calm like midnight

and so will you

Like your head on the pillow
of a Magellanic Cloud
a wound unwound
a jaw unclenched

dancing with
the tail of the rattlesnake
in one hand
the hand of the center
in the other

Memorial Day Shadows

shadowsOut on the roof, where truth might be heard
closing on midnight, sharp actions and words
Both were led from the past to the here
by walking the path with footsteps of fear

Shadows that come and dance in the night
some come for fun and some come to fight
Shadows that come to dance in the day
flee from the light, but stay for the play

Intuition’s the path to the edge
intuition leads the birds to the ledge
Intuition leads one to the lie
one to the truth, and one to the guy

Pain grabs her collars to shake out the why
though no answers given can satisfy
the crack down the middle has gone to the core
whatever existed, exists no more

Her fist in his stomach, that fist on his arm
had the flavor of physical harm
but bruises that form on bodily parts
weigh next to nothing against those of the heart

Stories have legs built big and bold
and there are those that are never told
in attics with tiny cracks in the floor
flawed foundations and secret doors

Trust jumped out the window and ran
into the abyss away from the man
But trust long ago had fled and roamed
and perhaps it never really made a home

So the edge was built into things from the start
the end of colors that had drawn these two hearts

It is a night to remember, and a night to forget
to hold with love and heal from it

Sucking Soggy Marsh

Wound is muddy,
sucking soggy marsh
draining down

Pain is sharp, clear like glass
pointing
bright as a purple thistle

arriving like an ancient letter
you forgot you sent yourself, saying:

Scrape the mud off your feet
look through the glass
walk your wound into pain
pain into bloom
bloom into puff — blow away on the wind
the seeds of the new
love