On the Heath: Poem 13

Alone on the Heath, a purple flower
where there once was dry reedy sand,
you, friend, rode the train to dusty plains
with me–and slept through shifting tides
along California beaches, we two, strangers
to this land, and no less to each other.

I watched your sleeping breast rise and settle,
like the rhythm of our first freedom days, lazed
into adulthood, we seekers of flame, depths
of our soulful hearts, walking poetry, youth
alluring to each other–comrades–and evil too.

I saw you leave that day, through cloudy eyes,
music, sand and weed drifting us alongside
our own nature, me, cautious and calculating,
ready to loosen within my comfortable shoes, and
you, riddle’s answer to: What is freer than free?

Air.

Who has stolen your breath, my flower?

Sleep.

Your forever frozen face stills time in its place.

 

In Praise of Praise: Poem 9

Not a participation trophy fan, still, I believe in praise–fair props.

Praise the days, praise the nights, praise the accident that is us,

Our planet, our time, our space, our separate solitary worlds,

together and apart, unable to perceive reality let alone truth,

less a word than a gurgling gut full of sense and the sensible.

 

We commend, we lionize, we sing songs to the laudable, those

who earn their accolades in tributes, panegyrics and eulogies.

But who among us have not suffered the humiliating red ribbon 

Or the diagnosis despite healthy choices, good living, and grace?

Bits of luck, shame, misfortune, health and love–praise chaos.

 

Through the singeing piss soaked stain of soiled panties, sobbing,

Sitting beside the third grade boy crush and plum of my notice,

Shame burns indelibly, but the blush of recognition, heart-pump pride

in mastering a job well done, earned in doubt and fear, curtained hope,

A+, raise, high 5, and fist bump, all winking nod to gratitude’s birthright.