Homecoming (Revisited)

On
The weekends people come just to
See you waiting for yourself. “Where
Did you go?” they ask, you just shrug
Your shoulders.

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Audio of the Poem

I was the same, but I was waiting for myself on the shore to return.        Murakami

 

It is a difficult time. So
You wait for yourself to come back.
You wait on the
Pier. Watch pelicans
Pirouette in the air; weightless

For a moment and then diving.
The sound of their splash reminding
You of something you just can’t quite
Remember. You sit there eating
Fish after fish, wash them

Down with beer. You have started
Counting seagulls and giving them
Long Spanish names. You choreograph
Ballets, make architectural
Drawings of dreams and have started

To build a home of sea shells. On
The weekends people come just to
See you waiting for yourself. “Where
Did you go?” they ask, you just shrug
Your shoulders. You make new friends.

You take up painting and paint self
Portraits, your image repeated
Like the latitude and longitude
Lines on a map. Early every
Morning you lean against the railing.

The seagulls have joined you. You’ve made
Them tiny red scarves that they
All wear. All of you stare, being
Still as glass as if any movement
Might blur vision. All of you are

Staring out to sea, straining to
See you coming back, straining to

See the prow of the boat cutting
The silver morning water.

Love arrives at my door…

Love arrives at my door
with a knock and a revolver,

“how much do you love me “
she asks, I stutter and she soaks me

in her sweat. I feel rejuvenated
and Love pushes me down

and buries me under leaves
and flowers and I say “ I love you

this much…” and die peacefully; while
the bloody stumps of my once wings twitch

slightly as we go off in a boat, Where Love
is captain and I am crew. She now has a shiny

hook for a hand and gestured me over
she asks, “How do you love me?”

with perfect concentration ,
I unscrew her hook and tie the string

of night to it and
swing it up, catching

the open mouthed moon
and with a quick tug.
bring it down for her.

We lay down on the water together,
watch the boat go down, smaller and

smaller it gets
and Love and I float for a lifetime

or two, watching satellites wink
at us as they fly by. I ask her, “Love

how much do you love me?”
“So much. that’s all I say ” she says,
“Sooooooo much!” she says.

“But how, how do you love me?” She smiles
and reaches for the light switch
on the other side

of the sun and CLICK.
She curls up next to me
in the darkest of dark
in the lightless of black,

she spoons me so close with
her good hand on
my heart,

“this much and
and whispers,
this is how.”

Of Love and War Rewrite

Of Love and War
“Sometimes love is stronger than a man’s convictions.”
                                      – Isaac Bashevis Singer
 1.

There are wars and rumors of wars.
machineries and machination of

singular dark days
and singular dark clouds that hang

like props above our city.

We shut the window, we avoid their play.

Hungrily we take refuge between
each other’s legs.

How comforting this is to us,
to love without armies or tanks

or generals of reasoned love. 

2.

There are wars and rumors of wars.
machineries and machination of 
singular dark days

From the narrow street, they can see us
wrestling with an angel –

 the tugging of limbs and hair- 
You speak low so they can’t hear

your  seditious talk of love,
where my callused hands get tangled

in your  low moaning – while I hold you down

to the bed, 
                    my captive.

The occupation has begun —

your occupied body
          my country of ardent prayers.
 

3. 

There are wars, 
machineries and machination of

singular dark days.

The soldiers are all leaving for the front. 
Not us,  we will stay

       and wage our war
                             of tenderness.

They are all leaving this morning.
         
Give them your applause for their sad 
theater, and all their war ships 
                                       and planes.
  
Soon

they will write letters home
which will arrive without them.

  A few men will return,
          return gaunt; much less 
  than before
            with more sadness and less
dancing.

And when they do
  our war 
            will have ended 
            with a flag of white
                             bed sheets,

only a little blood,

               victorious,
                   writing love letters on each other’s bodies.

[My heart moves forward into the light]

for Linnea

My heart moves forward into the light
greets you in the rising and falling of hours
that trail behind us and stretch before us.

I try not to talk about the all things I want – they are
my prayers I say in the closet away from
everyone,
even you.

It’s that I am afraid
of what I want, I ‘ve just
come to understand

the weight of things
and the need to be patient

like the spring rain
that fills the face of the daffodil

till it bends down
slowly to earth

to return the kisses.

And now –

all my days without you
make love to all my days with you

and from their lovemaking
days without end are born in

your belly and take root
in my poet’s heart that

moves forward, forward
into the light.

Daphne Major, Galapagos

 

“These birds are the most singular of any in the Galapagos.”

                                                                   Charles Darwin.

 

Volcanic up swell,

tick mark,

tiny dot in the middle

of a blue map.

 

Stationary ship,

belly of the earth

like a backstroke swimmer

in a blue-black sea,

 

where erratic rains run away

while a Cactus Finch (Scandens) has gone

black to mate, so black that shadows cast

 

blushes back.  So black,

more silhouette

than a black beaked bird

 

Daphne,

on your barred black belly,

this fine breath’d bird, this

 

penumbra of feathers and flight;

demonstrating divergence and drift,

so proud he sings aloud

 

the song of the Ground Finch (Fortis)

O befuddled bird

bereft an opera coach,

 

sans score  of Scandens,  the bird song

bindery gone  bankrupt,  loose leaf

scores littered, learning a  neighbor’s

second hand sheet music.

 

Amid the volcanic dreams

of Finches, and bird shaped voids, 

singing atop cacti, amid these small

dark commas  set against  a bluer

than blue sky,  he sings the wrong song

 

but its been a good year  and she comes,

the star crossed lover, Lady Fortis.

 

And before the rains return, and they will return,

                  a small clutch of stars.

 

And when the rains return, they will return

                     with long lost letters from London.

 

ICARUS

Your demise began early.

as it does for the majority
of us all . The world and its repeated histories,
the Braille of scars, wrong turns and cull-de sacs

From your perch, you watch
a cold blue smoke rise
on the other side
of the river, from an abandoned field, from
a thicket of sycamores

where a stag’s plaintive moan, runs up the hillside
to your feet.  You think
that it is always the same,  bound as you are,
to the weight – of things.

and maybe in the end it is only the birds that understand
what we are missing here on the ground.

Or not even the birds  but maybe the stars watching us
from so far away and for so long,

long before this demise, joyful when we simply take notice of them.

You laugh at yourself,  a second-hand  angel,  soul bare and drunk.

Too drunk again.  Standing, you pull hard on the leather straps
holding the wood and wax wings to your back

as the wind lifts up the smaller feathers
frayed around the wing tips.

Balthazar 21

xxi.

The moon is like a silverblueballoon that slowly rises into the sky carrying Balthazar with it like one of those string tied letters sent to the wind. Balthazar sits on his bed looking out the window, the same window he has been looking out ever since his father came home from work. The moonlight sneaks through the window startling the cat and then into his room. Mom? (he thinks) is that you? He knows it’s not but…somewhere inside his body, maybe in his young heart already made more of memory than muscle, she’s still here washing dishes, the steam from the sink fogging the window where she draws hearts with the yellow plastic gloved hand and in every heart she ever drew, in the middle of it, she always wrote the letter B.

B pushes his bed closer to the window, spreads the curtains wide and opens it. The moon is bright and fuller than full. The moon is now at every window of every house, and the moon has become so big it fills the whole sky, silvering all the open fields of the world— Balthazar, throws all the bedding to the floor and takes off his shirt. He lies there with the moon so big that the man on the moon gives him a bright kiss— while Balthazar outlines the letter B on the bare skin above his small glowing breast; over and over and over again.