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Last Date

Ours was a
vinegar-scented love.
His raw sashimi heart – fatty and expensive
demanded
a chewing slowly with
appreciation
(“or desperation” I told him in the end)

Mine: an envious wasabi
pungent in the nose
taken with
improper proportion.
(“A cheap happy hour” he threw at me)

And piece by piece,
we held each other by two
slim sticks
Until conversation lagged
and we were grateful for our full mouths
and numbing saké .

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He is.

My annual Easter poem, with gratitude… 

He is concerned with

a knowing for
the woman at the well
the surprise of a girl who hides for too long
from the whip every time she draws
the water she needs the whispers that sting her skin, piercing the heart
she’s claimed not to have … in the past

But he knows her.
He knows her.
And that’s all that he said.

He is concerned with
reassuring
the one who’s faith trusted his robes
deep in the crowd that pressed,
resting in a waking of power
that heals
the priest in the night
baffled and blundering
the blind men
begging to see
“Where have they taken him, please?”

He is concerned with peace
with giving back
the ear that went missing
with changing
the Sabbath
the temple
the curtain revealing
the code that he’s breaking
that shook all of us–white-washed tombs–
empty

He is concerned with
forgiveness
understanding
for we who have no clue what we are
doing or demanding
(asking “what is truth?”)
in life
in death
in love
in
intolerance for the man called a king
loved a man called a thief
and met him in heaven that hour.

He is concerned with looking
Through our wine and vinegar offerings
deep in the heart in the tears
to the water, the blood
Asking us from his position of death

to ‘take care of each other’

Then crying out that He – forsaken –
finished all the taking

that we all deserved
to take.

Residue

I heard the beginning line* below at a conference, and it caught my attention – it’s from Archibald MacLeish’s modern rendition of Job called J.B. And it started this line of thought…

“Blow on the coals of my heart”*
O God.
Let not my love grow thin
when weariness wastes the withered will.
Give me the foolish courage to answer (and even ask?) the question:

“Am I still breathing?”
Fogging a mirror that reflects
Mildewed eyes. Let not ‘faith’ become a tired word
A common degradation (that offends
or obscures or absorbs).
Let me grow angrypassionatejoyfuldevastatedoverwhelmed
Hammer the fear that lulls me to sleep
Wake me with a whisper
And let me gulp the wind.

Easter 2014

My annual Easter poem. I had a different one, but a couple nights ago, I just started writing this. 

It’s a messy, messy world
out there, all around me

Can I help the defensive blaming feeling
as the questions rise up in me
resonating AT me
culminate to one – age-old question from Gethsamene –
“Who is it you are looking for?”

Still, I’ll ignore that ugly sunken feeling
As I kiss him, betray him
Yell “Hosanna!” and “Crucify Him!”

But it’s a confounding, weeping feeling
that suddenly I see
– as the thief and the denier
or maybe worse, the bystander –
That, still (in spite of),
I’m promised a forgiven destiny
here and later.

And in the dawn,
it’s a clear and chilly feeling
to touch the stone
and WONDER WHERE?

Silence.

I can only realize regret that the truth is…

I’m a messy messy world in me
full of fear and gravity.
Through the noise of emptiness,
“Who is it I’m looking for?”

Then Mercy at its deepest
Truest
Softest
Says my name.

And I recognize the voice
and look up.

Turn-Over

First iteration from one of the products of our very first monthly writing group with Halley Greene.

‘False’
reverberates through the
room bouncing through
heads and paintings of barking
animals fighting over bones…

if truth enters, it seeps in under
the door.
Starting at our feet.
and if it isn’t trampled
it may rise to the waist and if
our arms embrace it,
rising higher – squeezed up
up. up. into our eyes and wine glasses
smoking higher
diluting
penetrating
grazing soft kisses on eyebrows
relief through fires’ fear.
extinguishing like a slow suffocating
unaware but so. so. clear
up. up. in the air.
until our ears quit ringing
with the reverberating.

Consonance in the key of love-minor

I admit, this one is purely my own selfish indulgence in my love for the beauty of words…

In light years ahead, can love be seen,
a traveling gleam from this point of view through hundreds of — fears?
And if so, is it trial or triumph?
or simply a trip:
today’s augmented reality: a Thai-fervor with exotic graphics?

Or is it a lonesome lacking
a balloon looking
(like a vagrant Valentine)
frightened of the inescapable
landscape that looms
largely
replacing the lazy longing for love?

A seeking
or freezing?
Learning love
and hating
stepping on
or via vice versa

(My toes are numb…still…)

So artful glances shoot spitefully like a cat,
hair on ends, tail straight up,
suspicious of simpering selves

Suspicious of savory sweets
Scintillating streams of swiss chocolate
thick, melt in your mouth unmentionables
(It’s impossible to talk, anyway, with your mouth full)

A string-along
a run of words
wondering at what moment it would be wise to win?

Or lose?
(A great loss can more than lengthen the lack of lackadaisical looks)

Defenses appear
Hackles instantly rise

A run-on sentence
becomes a rambling Rover of rumors,
the Pied Piper of the painful poets
Forces the English language
to match that effervescent (and sometimes frenetic) language of love…eons ago
eons and languid eons ago.

Whoever may, will
Find love
A laughable test if anyone really knows it well enough,
swelling up
full of philanthropy
Or for some: philandering
(or phallic fallacy?).
All would like to imagine that
no, it must be more than
Phileo

It’s tough, they know
complicated, we know,
but some just don’t give up trying
even when they beg to
die to
love too

It hurts
but in the end, (forgive the moral
but it must be made, you know.)
In the end,
I (amongst all the vice and voice)

Could only hope
that the words and wanderings were worth it, despite wary and wearing
Lifting
like that balloon
Searching for
(not even demarcation or demonstration)
more than decoration

maybe even for deflation
in some one’s lonesome yard.

And it is enough.
It is enough for me.

Dis-unraveling

Could a well-oiled, put-together puzzle, complex
in its structure and solution
withstand an earthquake
of questions and doubt?

Yes. I think it could.

Could the one who created this world
setting natural and spiritual laws in motion
stand under a barrage of
angry pontification or
sobbing accusations or
reasonable considerations?

I think he would.

If we think we see a crack in our foundation
isn’t it okay to peer down into it
pick at it?
Are we so afraid that this scab
would reveal an anemic system
or a suffering of hemophilia,
gushing unfounded and diluted answers?

Sure.

There’s a sense of safety
in never questioning,
security in full acceptance
but a complete contentment
with cryptic concessions
can only in the end
be disingenuous

Could it be

daring and disturbing
frighting and fruitful
spacious in mind and moral and mystery
even Truthful…
to say
“I need to see and touch the scars”?