Shall I at least set my lands in order?
T.S. Eliot - ”The Wasteland”
There are galaxies inside me - so much that thrills, enlightens, devastates, and confounds. I want to probe it more and represent it somehow. That’s what this is, I think. Experience (the soul) is a resin for me, all layered in a hazy goo that I can draw from but not always recognize, dripping into a looping stream that feeds and takes as it flows.
What if we ignore the nudges
to do what we feel?
Our voices pinched and hands pocketed
by what might be.
It can take everything
And hesitations continue
to swallow possibilities.
I’m feeling like it’s time to release my guts
spill some backed up trapped sentiments and such.
See I’ve been waverin’ in the middle
afraid to touch the griddle
to expose my hands to the spit or the spittle
if I take what I have whittled
and hold it to the masses in a way that won't belittle.
I’m looking for a way
in a world of pages
to assert my ideas
and write them through the stages
of doubt and scrutiny
of how they’ll touch the world and my identity.
People I see
try to give it all a name
with insufficient claims
evangelize their point of view and lock it down in chains.
But I’m leery of such action
and all the factions
that hold half truths as the basis of their traction.
So what’s my source?
I take my sermons from the rivers
and they deliver
some clarity to help me see that wonder is the giver
of insight, mental might, a way to keep my spirit right
flexed against all positions
and all the mysteries, histories, and traditions.
The people that inhabit and embody all of these
contribute to my notions with their varieties.
So what’s my course?
I’ve been waiting for my notions to grow and fully form
to dig them from the vent-fed hole where they’ve been warmed.
But if I hold my tongue it may not extend
or be informed by the sources that contend
for position in my mind in my soul in the folds
of every chasm, dogma, schism, doctrine young and old.
I will not be confined by false comforts designed
to deflect inquiry and breed one-eyed minds
because it’s more than god’s will
it’s not just how it goes
there’s a catalyst to all we see and know.
And what we can’t explain
we can’t pretend to define
rather seek, feel, reflect, connect, and climb
to a deeper understanding
anybody with a different view on anything that can’t be proved.
So this is how I see
how I hope to be
I don’t expect you to follow or agree.
flawed and motivated
to hone and improve upon what I have stated.
The Things I See
I can’t help but mention
the dead dog rotting by my fishing hole,
the Laotian woman in her Sunday dress
walking through a puddle
or the man with Down Syndrome
dancing in the street.
Because when I feel music
when I put a boot in sludge
or bring a spotted trout to hand
it all runs through me.
I see a line that connects everything.
We shake, climb, and construct it
as we choose.
A steady eye
notes the ridges of a mountain
and can call them by their names.
And hands that grapple with a face
can slap or grip
or slip from any hold.
Feet choose their place upon the scree
and might turn stones
or ankles when reaching.
A Roadside Deer
She crouches against the wind chill
coiled for some desperate act
sniffing for feed
for a herd
on fields sealed with ice.
Her crazed eyes search me as I pass
and poke the beds of my lonely searches.
waking what was dormant
as I drive home to warmth and food.
It’s easy to be insulated
dreaming in a forest
or a carpeted room
while others build the world around you.
Membranes form around a still life
but any sharpened will
can cut holes and emerge from the gooey plasma
fit to craft or orchestrate.
How now shall I plow
with wrinkling skin and furled brow?
I must build the muscle needed
an agile flow as well
to heave unwieldy notions
into lines that are fit to tell.
For the ear and the heart play the greatest parts
in converting words to motion
for notions worth planting.
How can I convey
the black holes and asteroids
the spiraling fires that light
when gas ignites?
I know stars are exploding
and their scattered parts collect
in rings they can’t defy
The Pirate and The Polka Dot Queen
The toothy pirate and the polka dot queen
scoffed at the rain this morning.
With loose boots and cold hands
they marched down the muddy trails.
Ahoy they called
or howdy do
to every goose and duck that flew
bending low to watch the streams
that trickle towards the sea.
Intellect is a powder
the pen is a gun
experience the spark that strikes the flint
and I’ve begun
to spread some shots in the wild
and follow what I hit
learning how to feed and trying not to get bit
by jaws that try to clamp
or any loaded trap
hidden under red carpet for a foot to make it snap.
I need to keep my legs free
scramble to a precipice
look upon the wide world
not live inside a folded crease.
And with an unencumbered view
I can see true
and sprinkle what I find to the valleys if I choose.
I can’t evangelize
I have no doctrine to report
but what I share might pair
with the pieces that you sort.
Throw my pettiness aside
scatter grudges to the sky
intersect with people
be prepared to modify
what I am and what I do
if it’s something untrue
to the purity I seek for me
and what I hope for you.
tend to any need in sight.
Lines and Wires
The kids become deaf to a tone repeated.
Calls to brush and flush
for clean and quiet
delivered with scorn will be reborn
as shrill charges between polls.
Both sides will recall the heat that transferred
and the seared edges
where the wires melted.
The train line ends at the sidewalk
only those who travel slow
will have a chance to know
to chase the story
or just imagine all the cargo
and passengers who made or missed their times.
I observe as I pedal past
slush spraying up my back.
The wet meets sweat
that moves through every pore
and carries the stories further
to where the elements and exertion meet
in a cycle of steam and freeze.
He pounds the tray
in the morning kitchen.
I fetch coffee grounds and formula.
we swap exclamations between sips
about the toys and rivers out of reach.
we clean our faces
content for now
to laugh at the dog
running in his sleep.
Frost has started
the hues are faded now
I breathe and savor cold
on uncontested paths.
Winter suits my wandering
in between the torrents
a softer tread
a crisper vision
my howls travel farther.
What should I gather?
I chase more than I need.
Give me dry sticks and matches
I'll suffer nights
beside a crackle of embers
to wake with passions intact
with boots that need thawing.