Shards

Shards of songs cut into

The cricket-tide of night

Sobbing sirens accompanied by

The howling refrain of ever-nearer canticles

I awake

And wonder if

The discordant aria

Will play for me

My ears like the salivating dogs

Smelling blood on the wind

How dark the melody is.

And how near.

Without Touch

Without touch

We are a dead sea

Where tides rise and fall

On a barren shore

 

Without family

We are the last white rhino

Of a nearly extinct sub-species

Waiting in vain for a mate

That never comes

 

Without love

We are but hollow shells

Exoskeleton crustaceans

Branded by the noonday sun

 

Alone

We are but specimens in a zoo

We pace before the bars

Of a hundred onlookers

Searching each face

In despair.

 

Grandma’s Arms

 

As I look back

And view

The 1963-RCA-wide-screen-color-t.v.

It flickers on.

Before me lie

Cousins, brothers, sisters

Splayed on low ply carpet

Fidgety chins drilling holes into their fists,

Eyes wide

Elbow to elbow

“Hey! Scoot over! I can’t see! Grandma!?”

Her voice

A scratched phonograph record

I continue to dance to.

“Now, now you kids get along,”

She soothed,

And we did.

I change the channel

Grandma’s toast

Waiting in the warming oven

Golden edged butter rays

Radiating like mini-suns.

I watch them melt and disappear.

“It’s ready!”

I hear my child-voice cheer.

Commercial time

Cousin Davey giving a testimonial

“Round steak and Grandma-Gravy on top of white bread taste better than Sizzler’s any day.”

Back to our program

Bernice kneeling in a stunted strawberry patch

Sturdy hands grasping an unfortunate dandelion.

“This hard pan,” she mutters

As her harrow-hand cuts rows

Into the brick

That was her stretch of land.

I wonder what’s on Channel Three?

Children lie on either sofa

A-bed for the night,

Watching her,

Watching

That RCA-wide-screen-color-t.v.

Johnny Carson’s handsome face

Flirting through the glass,

Her head tossed back in laughter

Course-grey hair bouncing

And catching the dim light.

We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin.

“Yahtzee!” thrice she shrieks.

Aunts, uncles, mothers and fathers chuckle

As  kids mumble, “I wanted to win.”

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Grandma’s arms

Kneading pie dough or pulling fabric

As she bent over the antique Singer sewing machine

Making secret gifts we all knew about.

Were draped velvet

For small hands to brush.

Each one of us

Would pet

The softness of she

As tender whispers called in our minds,

“Those arms are just for me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporeal Metamorphoses

We live in an age of love’s corporeal metamorphoses

Where butterflies are banished back to chrysalides

Veiled in pupal gowns

They emerge as larva crawling and devouring

Ever younger and greener shoots

Until the garden is denuded

And it is time to call upon corporeal lust

To nourish an emptying sky of butterflies

And as the wind is hushed from the beating of astral wings

And skyriders descend into the venery of a mucinous desert

Gypsy moths dance on their aborted souls