“Settle It In Yourself”
Settle it in yourself what it is I am.
And so I’ll always be, whether in the present
Mist or at some future bridge, a resident
Of residue and exigency. The man
I am abides the evident and final verdict.
Of course, you’ll turn the page, perhaps,
And possibly discard the volume on your lap
For tomes of better binding, fresher leaves, a sweeter sap
Than blood through veins; a shot of déjà vu within a wider habitat.
Still, it falls to you to test the afterthought, abide
The whole, and to this end both of us were born.
Forgetfulness is sound advice; while in a cage a single page is torn
From some eternal book and words enough remain to satisfy
The need to let it rest between us, firmly stated, fully formed:
We face the same eternity and once created cannot be outworn.
Residue settles softly on us now,
Movements, eddies, subtle lights against a slope
Of shame and sandals left behind on holy ground: hope.
The pace quickens; salacious rites and vows
Lost before we speak with certitude obscured in failure,
Dreams and doubts, debris of milestones in a labyrinth of trails
To what so simply is: an object found along the trail–
Mercy–lichens crowd the banks; roses, delicate azaleas
Placed as witness to the hour of prayer, the lightest plea
To see in darkness nothing less than poetry and smiles
That comfort, angels ranged throughout a night of trials.
Who have no other course or place to be
But payed in increments on ascending paths where flowers
Cannot breath nor can they speak and nothing is that is not ours.
“Hesitation at the Station”
Hesitation at the station. She met him there,
His buttercups and bouquets to her denial;
He was quiet lavender, stillness in his soul, no guile,
No subterfuge while she forecasts in this affair
But possibles, toi, toi, toi! But they knew then and there
The harvest would be bleak, potentials in the miles
Are all but melted as they speak of exiles,
Signs and images they no longer seek, the glare
Of barren tables—little more than feet
Between them—expanses and catastrophes,
The warped and weary sets and semblances
That conjure bile and even stranger consequences;
Oil slicks, creosote, and fear of breakfast bars and sheets
To match an asset and demand that does not grow but atrophies.
“The Backroom of America”
The backroom of America emerges through ranks
Of nations riding feasted hopes festooned with populations,
Bursting resources, whole peoples census-carved of computations
In mammoth miles of temperate lands, beloved banks
Of territory toward the disused North uncovered
By new-found-warmth of permafrosts’ new-found pastures spread
Before the newly welcomed multitudes, newer yeasts in breads
And butters mined from crude ore rich in immigrants recovered,
Encouraged, the focus, all attentions ceded toward ancient goals
Bred when antithesis–the sorely needed hoards
Of fortune–framed in freedom bows to thesis–binding chords
Of nations who themselves came west in search of gold,
And, as the glories blend, so, too, a synthesis is born: second largest nation’s
Land mass reets the greatness of the century with promises
of growth, unity, diversity and the blessings of re-creation.