One Bird

featured in the poetry forum February 2, 2014  :: 0 comments

The battle begins at
first daylight
as it sometimes does:
My eyes
blearily find focus
And I know so well
there will be only one –
One bird today
In this blue wash-out
The music on the stereo
doesn’t warm the space
The heat is pulled taut
to the corners of the room
It’s thin and impotent,
and time thickens quickly
In this cold.
The coal canary tires
easily – beak open
Gasping. It will say
“Away! You can’t
bear this much reality!”
I don’t stop to listen
this time around.
We cower under
the covers and fight –
Panic and desperation
make poor bed-mates
Are the curtains drawn?
Is it even day outside?
Even the sunlight
wears a mask
and sorrow a name in
that oak-dark doorway
On these:
the solitary bird days.

editors note:

If we don’t call its name, sorrow can’t answer. Keep up the fight and teach that bird to sing! – mh

Hospital Corners

featured in the poetry forum June 27, 2012  :: 0 comments

Mindful, yet timeless
The ocean and stars
Wash my sheets clean
but for reasons fallen small.
they radiate pale moonlight.
The shape of them still tells
of a sensual moment evident,
but with fading memory found.
I stand, wondering:
This imprint, this fossil –
Does memory derive relevance,
Or are my sheets simply in need of tucking?

editors note:

There is relevance in a tightly folded corner and a quarter bounced off the top. – mh

The Wheel

featured in the poetry forum May 18, 2012  :: 0 comments

These nights, they are alive
As these ancient watch-fires burn overhead
We are told “be slow – unyielding”
We burn for a reason, and our time only.
This, the dust from which we are made
Burns like the wheel
Marking a path in the dirt of generations
a thousand times over.
These waves, an undulating metronome
Hissing out a song across distance
as the whales across miles of open ocean
It’s progress – a message in the movement
Calling us back and forth
Along the thread of experience.
The sea remembers nothing, and it forgives;
Yet, even the most obtuse and temeritous are forced
Toward unseen pattern in that presence.
The most important stories are
Sometimes those so easily accessible –
Those supposedly mundane paths
Obfuscate an elemental knowledge.
I am small and in awe against the
subtle rendering drawn by the unseen hand.

editors note:

This mystic mandala is a puzzle indeed. Steer it; fall under it… om! – mh

A Portent

featured in the poetry forum January 15, 2010  :: 0 comments

Even with it’s newly-found social popularity,
the Night still has the foresight to pencil him in –
That damn dog outside.
I could just kill it.
It barks in some lost, chaotic rhythm
And that mercury vapor
seeps through the blinds
The nights are no longer quiet, no longer dark
ever since I acquired a firearm.
Truck passing
waltz across the ceiling, and drunkenly collapse onto the wall.
It’s hot in here
I’m breathing warm honey.
My ample bed-mate
sighs calmly; stirs
silken and cold
bathed in the acrid perfume of old powder and potential energy
I wait, stiff and straight, for sleep to take.