Dear John…Poem 20

Dear John:

You’ve told me a man must have everything.

He must have her love and affection, trust

and cares, woes and fantasies, body and belief.

He must contain and compel her dreams, speak

her mind with her, beside her and be her too.

He must have her body, entirely his own, as she

equally partakes of his, fully accessible any time.

He must give her solace and she his support.

They must build things and break things down,

together, working as a team, united as one.

There must be abundant love everlasting, you say,

and undying even beyond death and delivery.

John, you’ve claimed possession of her opinions,

her bodily secretions, and her style of clothing.

You’ve demanded her attention and hands, her

movements during the day and night, her arms

ever clasping yours, enveloping you enveloping her…

Dear John, my dearest of all, love can’t be swapped

and traded, quantified and qualified, bought and sold.

Love is no cure, can’t fill the gaps, cracks or ailments,

not those inherent or fostered in the care of those who

thought love was power and hurt and discipline and

control, John, mere control that fear spills through you.

Love is not for keeps, never on sale, bundled or peddled.

Especially, love is not had but kindled, like wood fires

warmth and sustenance, dazzling and mysterious, in

properties known and magical too. Love has no rules.

John, let me, if you will, teach you all I know about love.

Love–

Urban Jungle: Poem 18


Artwork-by-Kevin-Peterson-9

 
Urban jungle, yes literally, not metaphorically,
 
though maybe more like a ghetto forest.
 
Leading the determined coalition, is one sleek fox,
 
low lying, white tipped tail, like a log on legs.
 
Following fellow fox is great black bear, also
 
in forceful forward motion, head level, purpose
 
in his gait and onward gaze, alongside the girl.
 
She, decked in tartan plaid skirt, red cap
 
and sweater, strides along friend bear
 
among the graffiti’d concrete landscape
 
peppered with spare thin trees, once patterned
 
for park pleasure seekers and outdoor fun.
 
In ruins now, no one in the neighborhood
 
respects the land, so the conservationists
 
have taken up extreme measures for the cause:
 
the children and the animals, who will inherit
 
the earth when the mature of the human species
 
go extinct, march forth to the city council meeting
 
to state their peace: “Who will speak for the trees
 
and the bees before they’re completely gone?”

Gerenuk: Poem 16

Sipping a Rasputin stout,
hoping for animal inspiration,
I watched the household pet,
a Japanese bobtail cat leap
from four-paw standing to
mid-air leap on a moth quest.
She stood tall on two paws
her ears spread wide apart
with aggravated intent.

She looked like a gazelle
and a giraffe, tall and swift;
then I remembered the zoo,
when I braved the school bus,
field trip mom amid 3rd graders.

An African gerenuk, goofball
of the Savannah, big eared,
whistle mouth, tongue clicker
that stood hind leg tall in the
branches seeking choice leaves.

While the cheetahs and lions
drew the crowds, the tree
dancer oddity, half breed
or so it seemed, of flight
and height, panic and poise,
stole my attention, ever the
soft touch for the under dog.

And hard as I tried to bring
the children to her windowed
habitat, they didn’t understand.
“That’s weird,” my own daughter
declared, and I contented myself,
alone in my fascination for freaks,
to have learned about this wonder.

First Cut: Poem 15

First Cut–
 
Perhaps my father was the first,
 
with his absence,
 
except for the rare storms from his daytime slumber
 
to terrorize us into quiet so he could sleep.
 
I once got caught in the cross fire of his flying hands.
 
I was not yet 3.
 
My older sisters squealed and screamed him awake.
 
But I was too naive to run.
 
Before that, he was the myth my mother made us believe
 
about fatherhood and tender love.
 
First Cut II–
 
Another one I summons from memory caves
 
was the gorgeous boy
 
with the ass long shiny silk brown hair
 
and tan flawless skin sunk into Italian brown eyes.
 
I was 13 and he 15.
 
He paid me attention, walked with me at night
 
on a quiet moon-lit road named Candlewood as we
 
murmured our intentions, our future married selves
 
–or I did.
 
I couldn’t believe he was interested in me, a brainy
 
average-looking girl with the wrong kind of hair that refused
 
to hang long and straight from a middle combed part.
 
And a week after that walk under the old gibbous moon,
 
when I told him I wanted to marry a bodily lover,
 
he failed to appear, non-responsive, ghosted–
 
and I cried the cliché with a painful heart, torn
 
and scorned, never to be stabbed the same again,
 
my pillows my week-long companions in sob-town.
 
First Cuts–
 
Though others made Caesar of my heart, dagger
 
hurlers and stabbers, I remember them vaguely.
 
Not like the first cuts, the baptismal soul’s sarcophagus.