Posts Tagged ‘Clouds’

Pine Tree

Posted: April 3, 1995 in Poetry
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I climbed up as far as my courage
And strength would take me
One day in the life of a monkey-boy;
Those branches were spaced
With a long-armed youth in mind –
A kind encouragement
Beckoning boys to the heavens,
That grandfather pine tree still stood
As of the date of this writing,
And it still looks as tall.
Things change as I grow older –
Hey, I thought it might have grown smaller
Like my free time, but
I’ll bet the wind still waves
The top of that tree back and forth
Enough to make a mother faint.
It seemed like yards, side to side,
The crow’s nest on a stormy ship
Clinging to the sparse branches,
Inadvertently gluing myself to the trunk
With pine sap and a boy’s luck,
Feeling the tickle of the ever-curious ants
That make freeways in the channels
Of such an old tree’s bark.
I think climbing tall things
Is conquering the world to a child.
I remember my parent’s roof,
Paved with pink pumice,
Once all stones,
Then weather beaten gravel,
Looking like a picnic blanket –
Something you could almost fall into
And just sink in,
Like a cat for a headrest.
From that altitude, the clouds were nearby:
I was pretty much one with the sky.
I wondered if I believed enough
On the way down,
Could I fly?

The Pier

Posted: April 2, 1995 in Poetry
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The pier is flung out past the surf
Into the deep water
Like a sleeper’s unconscious arm
Idly hanging over the edge of the bed.
Sunlight scuba dives for the flickers
Of schools of little fish
And warms the top of the waters –
Where the seaweed loosely hangs
Like bead curtains or piles of laundry. –
Frosting on the cake of the beach.
And the seagulls! Clouds wheeling,
Settling, screeching insults at each other
In the dingy parking lot
At the foot of the pier,
Lone white-breasted panhandlers
Eyeing the people fishing from the deck
From a safe distance.
The swirl of wind-borne sand
By the land-bound pilings,
The whorls of water around its sea legs,
Troughs of wave swells
On their way to the board-straddling surfers
Flash the wealth of sea life
Clinging to the stilled beast.
I leapt off the pier once,
Disobeying one of two white-stenciled laws
That decorate the fading grey-green railings:
One: no jumping or diving;
Two: no overhead casting.
I lost all my air on impact;
Between the shock of wallop and water,
It was all I could do to swim in.
The pier teaches endurance in many ways.

The rain came down
Like cartoon anvils,
Spending itself on the cement
In an assault on the town.

The parachute-less troops
Gathered in the low-lying spots
And took over the streets
In order to regroup.

Rioting raindrops,
Seething and churning,
Swallowing curbs and sidewalks
And the floors of a few shops.

En masse, they moved
Like a swarm of fluid ants,
Chewing up the asphault,
Around, under, and through.

They occupied the intersection
Several steps from my domicile;
A congregation of soldiers
Moshing in misdirection.

The storm drain was debris overrun
By the midnight attack,
Mouth buried in what was handy,
Gagged by the silver-headed ones.

They celebrated down the gutters,
Their comrades swept down from the hills,
Retreating, they left for the ocean
Until their cries became gutters.

Discontent and garbled threats
Of heavy grey clouds yet to come,
Of their shock troops, the hail.
Big drops, little drops; they’re all wet.

Promises of thunder, their drummer boys
Their standards of lightning
And the wind-demons who bear them;
This I hear in the storm’s noise.

I stood in the lee of my apartment
Water draining from my hat and jacket
I watched the fury of the rain banshees
With a certain amount of excitement.

I love the rain and the wind; all weather
Which drives people inside to read books.
They boil kettles and build fires –
An opportunity to be together.

But I like to be outside in the dark
Of wildness and wetness and the glory
When the streets are reclaimed by the Mardi Gras rain
And the world’s turned into an amusement park.

Untitled Poem #200

Posted: March 2, 1995 in Poetry
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I love you even though
We fight and fuss
And make a mess
Of each other.
You forgive.
I like that.

The clouds were herded
Past the pier,
Nearer the horizon
Than the beach;
The sun water colored
As I watched:
The Van Gogh of
Our galaxy.

I
I can imagine a perfect spot
to have a picnic with you today;
the sky is a wee bit grey
at the edges —
I caught as many clouds as I could
with my butterfly net
(I came in wet
early this morning from the rain-dew
on the unmown grass stems).

II
I’ve found a circle of trees
by the brook in the forest
where it takes a toddler’s tumble
over a jumble of rocks;
the moss grows shaggy like old men’s beards
wisping from the branches;
faerie streamers from last night’s revelry —
perhaps Pan was here just a little while ago
rearranging or arranging this spot and my walk.

III
It’s only raining a little bit now
not like how it was this morning —
you were sleeping, darling —
I was watching the whole time;
the same clouds that dampened my socks
were protectively wrapped across your eyes;
It was no surprise that I found it so easy
to slip outside to explore, to find
a real secret garden for your majesty.

[for Dawn]

Two Ten Penny Nails

Posted: July 1, 1993 in Poetry
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I know that my heart rests while I slog
Through glaciered halls that know of no such frogs.
I tire and watch my halo and my wings;
They start to melt away like borrowed things.
The nails sunk through my heart like lovers’ frowns
Reach steely through the clouds into the ground
Below me where they drag out furrows that
Can chart my weaving course without a map.
As long as I can flutter through the days
Of filtered sunlight, jellied skies and haze,
I hope that somehow I can be rebuilt
To use these Cupid’s arrows well as stilts.

perching like a poet –
I found a table and a bench
tucked away on a second story walkway
of the Arts building
just for me.
a yellow magnesium light
shines down on this paper
turning letters into dancing figures
that say something important to me
so I can pretend I am a poet.
a walk in the dark
took me silent and alone
wandering eccentric between buildings
past fire escapes instead of front doors,
tracing the short cuts college students create
and watching the eucalyptus trees
move in the streetlights that hilight half of their curves,
only the undersides of their leaves.

I smell wet grass and hear the rush of water
in automated sprinkler lines.
I sight along the patterns made
by erroneous pulses of silver
meant for grass or shrub.
they tease soap from the asphault instead.

the lagoon is one big black unmoving body of ink
lthe color of the folds of my cloak;
that’s whipping around my bare legs in the salty wind
from the ocean saying “shush, shush”
to the cry of a single seagull.
it passes near me; I look up,
through misty clouds low enough to
strain through treetops,
at a couple of dim stars
Escher drew for me.

what is left of the world is really not worth living for,
but it is a job, a challenge,
and I like trying to write it all down.
I observe like my predecessors:
civilization working itself into a frenzy
over nothing, there’s no advancement –
just continuing over and over to find new ways
to convince itself that it is working,
that we’re worth it, that we’ll make it.
convincing itself that we’re right.
convincing itself that we’ve done nothing
that we can’t undo
later.