Sonnet: His Time Upon The Stage
One can live his allotted span of years
numb, laughing from behind bullet-proof glass,
hiding from himself the names of his fears--
strutting, fretting, unreliable, rash.
Ridiculous. I, too, can only shake
my head at the fool who is so afraid
of our one chance at life that his escape
is to stay drugged and think he's got it made.
I was, for too long, a member of that tribe,
playing a part in a play I made up--
unconscious, stupid--easy to describe--
the vanity of the weak, a sad pup.
Too brief? Life lasts long enough to play fool:
your audience sees through you--that's the rule.
The price of April is a day like this:
into-your-bones wettish, chilly, and gray,
the pale green leaves smoky, the flowers' tints
dark--the day has the feel of mild dismay.
The light's the sea the day is drifting through--
lazy swells and clarity, the mind's ease,
the soul's hunger met--each thing glowing, new,
a rich, soft busyness, a garden's peace.
Sonnet: Out Of Sorts
So far in my life, it's clear when I'm sick--
it starts in my throat--hot, scratchy, and sore--
I'm well, then bang! I'm shitty--it's that quick:
I can't get warm--three days gone, maybe more.
I'm 160lbs of ill--
and of course it's viral, so there's no pill.
I'm hot, cold, out of sorts, a helpless mess--
if this is some exam, I fail the test.
It doesn't last long; I know it's minor,
but it knocks me down, puts me into bed--
I can't eat, write, read--my throat's on fire--
I'm the foll with the sore hundred pound head.
Thanks, mom, for insisting I have tonsils--
this is courtesy of your wise counsel.
The squirrel, the birds are hunting for their food:
that's their life in the weather of the world--
along with enemies and mates--exclude
God, death, art, history, truth, the absurd.
A too-busy mind finds peace in the gold
that makes the trees shine, that declares the end
of night, the brief kingdom that soothes the soul,
light's old promise that we will understand.
The eye brim-full with the sun's golden light
does not belong to time--beyond season,
century, beyond the empire of night,
beyond fear or hope, or ropes of reason.
I look up, hoping the sun will burst through
the drab gray but see that my hope's useless--
yet hope's infinite: kill it, it renews
itself. Like time, love, like life, it's ruthless.
Each day our version of the burning bush--
an inhuman voice speaking human words,
which aren't words but truth itself, a rush
of knowing without nouns or verbs.
The last grasp of winter is this chilly
air--this clear tawny sun is spring's first gift.
What simply arrives or arrives simply?
Something must be torn for light to exist.