strolling through a museum on a summer afternoon

Monet and I cast our fishing lines
among the pale lavender waterlilies
swimming in jeweled green waters
in the lush garden of Giverny.

VanGogh and I plant golden sunflowers
along the allee of waving green birches
under the swirling deep blue sky
and the starry, starry night.

Chagall and I send the violin player
across the happy sky with the goat
and the veiled bride
dancing into the inky night sky.

Pollock and I spill a bit
of paint here and there
drops and drips falling gray and black
onto heavily waiting canvas.

Warhol and I line up
the tomato soup cans
next to Marilyn as the art pop
pop pops.

sugar mountain

sunset

From across the dark water,
The sound of music-

Oh, to live on sugar mountain

Above, in the starry black sky,
The crescent moon descends,
Her cheshire cat smile disappearing
Behind the western ridge.

With the barkers and the colored balloons

Small drakes with their drab little hens bob
Together on the dark deep water
As the moon’s reflection ripples past.

I grab the night’s music and
the sky’s sinking moon
Stuffing them deep into my chest,

You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain

Hoping to fill the empty space you left there
With the sound of music
And the light of the pale waning moon.

Though you’re thinking that
you’re leaving there too soon,
You’re leaving there too soon.

*** the lines in italics are lyrics from Neil Young’s song Sugar Mountain, one of my favorite artists and songs.

astral projection

Twice now this week
I have woken from dreams
Of Chicago.
They are filled with meeting new people and
Sharing meals and conversations,
Airports and brownstone neighborhoods.

But I have no idea why Chicago
Though I do have two beloveds living there.

My nightly adventures could not be more different
Than this quiet life,
Near woods and water
In the back hills of the Missouri Ozarks.
No busy streets with milling folk,
Street lights or traffic noise here.

But the dreams feel so real
It makes me consider astral projection.
And I wonder if I should check my pockets
For L train tickets
Or notes written on the back of receipts
From fine restaurants along the magnificent mile.

dusk and twilight

June evening 2013

dusk saunters up the lane
whistling for his dog
and filling his pipe

leaning against the fence post,
he squints into the setting sun
and waits for twilight to arrive

wrapped in a mantle of early evening stars,
she skips down the lane
her steps light and lovely

tipping his hat,
dusk climbs the western ridge
trailing shadow
and wisps of smoke

as twilight fills the darkling sky
with the smiling crescent moon
and the scent of sweet honeysuckle

yes, the answer is yes

If I met you today,
for the first time
again,
would that first spark
be the same
as that long ago feeling
in a bar
in the foothills of Colorado?

Would I be as bold,
and you as cool
in the midst of another rowdy crowd?

Would our kiss
be that kiss
when the room held its breath
in awe of the lightning
crackling along the ceiling,
sending sparks cascading
into our white hair.

Eastertide on the Ridge

Eastertide on the Ridge

The passion of spring awakes
with the blooming of the serviceberry,
first blooms for the early spring graves.
The rocky paths are soon strewn,
not with palm fronds,
but the blown blossoms of redbuds,
a confetti of papery pinks and faded roses.
Earth’s resurrection promise
is finally in full view
as the dogwoods bring forth their flowers,
decorating the hillsides
in Christ’s wounds.

He is Risen
He is Risen, Indeed!
Happy Easter!

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the abstraction of poetry

How is it that the kinship of words and emotions leads us
to birdsong and moonlight.
If I write
‘Birdsong’
what do you hear?

What moon?
Whose skin?
If you read the words
‘The cold light of the moon shone on her skin’
Is it not the same moon?
No.
Non.

I heard you were once a small child in a garden filled with flowers.
Were you there
Or only words in a verse?

The sadness overwhelms me and I long to drift away.
But is that poetry
Or just wishful thinking?
The abstraction of poetry only reveals itself in the emotional response of the reader.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
And the dawn refuses to break
As my heart has broken
And that is not abstract
Nor poetry.