Thursday, December 14, 2017

Whistling a death song, in the house of dawn

photo by Mikael Molner

The wind is a river that borrows its name
                       from everything it touches --
                                                 it touches 
rock faces chiseled
by time,
by the elements, 
                human developments --- 
In the mirror, I draw the razor across my throat & most days, try 
only to look at the flesh left clean in its passing,
& not notice the weathering

Because I can take it.
That's what they taught us.

When they come to take your name, be Strong.
Don't let them see that it matters.
As if our defiance, made us impervious & it's not so much
busted flesh // you can only see bruises so long before they burrow

beyond witness
                          //tears are weakness,

Even rivers must respect their banks
         & the pull to find the lowest point. Fall from cliffs, & they'll come
                 from miles around to take pictures with you,
                 Roil & pool, 
                 Reflect & evaporate -- disperse themselves 
                                                                  in the ocean
                                                                         of others.

Drop a seed in a crack, and if it takes, will split the largest boulder
as it sprouts, spreads roots & a tree grows
because we take as truth
                                 whatever we let inside,

No, that's not true, because I didn't let you --
I just took what you had to plant, because what I gave you was entrance
into the sacred soil, the sum of my inheritance,
                                  the dust & earth two hands took
                                                & formed me

This too is weathering.

& some days your words still echo in the hollow, where the tree grows,
where the tree grew, where the wind came to take my name,
where my chiseled face stares back

& I put down the razor,
                     like I put down the axe long ago.

&say my name, 
               over & over until each syllable is a known shape
                           in the space between my tongue & teeth,
                           until west moves east

I don't mourn me,          

I mourn for the you,
                               we both once knew.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

In celebration of progress

I am in the upper room with the Mao-ist, breaking bread under an image of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and, of course, Mao, all smiling as they face the hammer & sickle ---

the only adornment in an otherwise concrete room, sans the mat under the knee high tables. All the chairs are mismatched -- some plastic, wood benches, a couple stools of bamboo and bike tires -- standing room and wall space

an ebb&flow of red&white hats, t-shirts & flag draped shoulders up an iron spiral stairwell. The salty sweat of pressed flesh, sun and hard baked earth. A man, from the back, brings a big metal bowl of rice & pumpkin. Spice&steam. Another group ascends. The room erupts, as they show red thumb nails.

This is the first time they have voted in 20 years.

Across the chowk, the Sun celebrate in a house. Congress. Marxist-Leninist. A line of robes, or pants, of shorts & sandaled feet chatter animatedly,as they wait in a river awaiting their chance to rise. Tribals in bare feet. Adidas&bling. Move a few steps. Chatter more. Friends. Neighbors. Countrymen. Lending ears, to discuss this 

A man, no more than twenty, tries to explain all thirty political parties at once. Their all Communist, but each different. How one-third of the seats have been reserved for women. How they stamp with the seal of their party. The rest is lost ---

A group leans off the balcony, yelling to those in the street. Small knots of men bend over bowls using their fingers to eat. Through an opening, the women in another room talk, point, &speak in tongues beyond my hearing, peek in on us. 

No one wants to leave. 
This is the democracy they have sought.
Have fought for.

Tomorrow, they will return -- to town, villages, to work. At the river, women will carry baskets of sand, gravel and concrete to a mixer. A man will add water. Boys will wheelbarrow the mix to as far as they have gotten. Another year, they'll have a bridge

connecting the city, to the town, to the villages, to the jungles and the mountains, to bring new stores. There is already an all inclusive four-story shop in the city. Not as cheap as the market, but convenient. With no haggling.

It sobers me.

But tonight, they celebrate, 
in one voice,
              and in many.

for PU

Monday, December 11, 2017

Love is the pleasant surprise of where you will arrive each day

photo by J Mcspooran

You ask me to make the bed

& unsure into what, I take the mountains of blankets of sheets, we skinned like a fish to meet the day, and shape them into a castle. Thick at the foundation, it rises into spires - where I poke faux windows to wave from - balance balconies on all sides, flip a corner into a drawbridge across the moat and down a small hillock to the lake edge. Here on the shore of us, I collect shells. Put them to my ear, and sway in the sounds of our surf. In and out it pulls. The ridges where your ribs lay are waves. I canoe through their crests, to the far shore, climb the mound of your pillow to the hilltop and lay back - surveying the kingdom. I did not make this - for what can we truly make, more than let - yet humbly accept, here I find myself. I lay, letting the sun re-warm the place we shared, cast rainbows through the last of the rain, that end in my chest and drift into the warm scent of last night - and the dreams that danced. Barefoot in the grass.

Spring is the country 
where your border agents stamp
my passport page heart.

for dverse

Thursday, November 16, 2017

photo by Thomas Leth-Olson

Enjoy the read.
I still visit/read/leave my breadtrail through the forest.

You really like something, or you want to rap about something, I am fairly easy to reach:

Everyday, for now, I will put a new poem up and take the old one down.