roof top

featured in the poetry forum October 26, 2018  :: 0 comments

things take place
before my eyes

through a blurring
sheet of heat, limbs

flopping along
in an insomniac mood

the road towards dusk
still a desert, a hammer

bending a nail, no cloud
sliding into freshness

except for the light wind
that sweeps the birch tree

under the framed window
where I’m seeing and unseen.

editors note: Remember that swelter well, when winter whips us to whine for that swelter again. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 14, 2018  :: 0 comments

I tell him:

The seagull was walking in front of me
along the sidewalk, like a person
unaware of its petulant look,
it suddenly turned left and entered a park.

He says:

There are still many marvels to see
when silence surrounds our bed,
and I drum my fingers on your stomach
burning without audible sound.

I ask him:

Why was the seagull walking like a person
so far from the sea? It almost looked like
a doctor in a Chekhov story heading to a visit,
pigeons swarmed around it, as if expectant.

He says:

Do you think we have invented our living?
Opened a door into nothing, for example,
defying contradictions, just to be here
committed to disruption enclosing skin.

I tell him:

The seagull looked like a murmuring inventor
preserving secrets by accident,
already short of breath while fueling
the wit to decipher real thinking and all
possibilities partially kept.

editors note:

The gall of gulls, the disruption of skin. The conversation without, the contradiction within. Why, indeed? – mh clay

How to know it isn’t a dream

featured in the poetry forum December 23, 2016  :: 0 comments

I close the door very gently
I was patient all day long
I can feel the weight on my limbs

All the symptoms of the season
Are around: smiling lights like
Angelic emoticons blinking-

I’ll linger in what’s ripened
I must forget exhaustion
I’ll sink in dreamy sleep

Why worry? The woolen socks
look comfortable and the couch
safe and right as I eagerly sink in

Clarity seems not a problem
The difference is managing rhythm
As lights come up and night rises

Optics interconnected, the hand
the world, this audible circus we’re
part of… and years lasts seconds.

editors note:

Even when we think we know, we blink at years before we go. – mh clay

Out for a walk

featured in the poetry forum January 28, 2016  :: 0 comments

So we enter
the elegant shop looking
like two middle aged
drifters dressed
in house clothes
just gone out
to get groceries
carrying still
the empty shopping cart
suddenly thinking
we need some lustrous
new suit to disguise
decay at the work place.
The young shop attendants
let us try impossible sizes on
with benevolent indifference –
after the third try we give up
and walk out, wheeling
the shopping cart
back to the grocer’s
talking about cucumbers and tomatoes
and ignoring the fierce order of things,
taking each other by the arm
like in those dreams
in which you seem to be both
asleep and awake.

editors note:

Waking the dream of a day when every day’s a dream. – mh clay

vain beauty

featured in the poetry forum November 1, 2014  :: 0 comments

Already short of breath
in the midsummer day
flowers born to exude
scent die in exhaustion
applauding breeze
with curling petals
falling on the mantelpiece
among odd objects
reflecting the pale
indolence of human flesh
all scintillation.

editors note:

With the turn of leaves, comes this turn of phrases; scintillating indeed! Thanks, Francesca! – mh


featured in the poetry forum December 16, 2013  :: 0 comments

when I imagine
the life of others,
I can see
inside my own
a sacred place,
a door without a key
a constellation of apples
ready to be picked
with one hand
but no answers,
only metaphors,
like the elastic
skeleton of a sea sponge
holding water.

editors note:

Who’s to say that our swelling seas are nothing more than the wrung out wash of a million billion sea sponges, expelling our existence? – mh


featured in the poetry forum March 8, 2013  :: 0 comments

Lucid moments
as you try to reach
the place
where towers rise

It may take everything
to understand
dreams dissected
in the laboratory of ignorance
as mysteries get uncovered

Always caught up
in what you call
irremediable habits
as your mind
leaves your body

and you drag yourself
around the house in pajamas
waking at dawn
between sleeps

editors note:

As we plumb the depths of our dream ignorance, mind detached, let one of those irremediable habits be a daily donning of clean underwear. – mh


featured in the poetry forum November 21, 2012  :: 0 comments

I stand in the kitchen
stirring vegetables
for soup, imagining
I’m another person,
perhaps the hairdresser
there, in the corner
smoking between
hairdos, wondering
how the audible click
of scissors becomes
a poem if only in the head,
at least while red
potatoes, orange carrots
and naked leeks break
their firm texture and shape
into a thin, waxy moisture,
poured over the scalp.