Friday, November 28, 2008

three funerals and a wedding


The affable Irish Realtor
So spry and energetic even into his 70s
Falls suddenly ill mid-summer
And passes at a big city hospital

I left during visitation there in her home town
Big meeting in Cinci first thing tomorrow
New client, could be a big break

As I pass the corporation sign of that little county seat
The bright skies seem wide open and inviting

Couldn't help but weigh it out in my mind
Well, we're not married
So what to do?


On the way back from a camping trip
We stopped in on her other grandparents
Who treated us to a quaint little country inn
Wonderful homestyle cooking

Something resonates in their smiles
A watchful reassurance with the sunny breeze outside
Celebrating life with each leaf and blade it kisses

Just like it had on our graduation day
As we sat in the park

How it made me wonder

Funny how it is sometimes
She only learns of my plans
Through hints and gleanings

Pressing questions

Seems only moments after we drove away
We return for another wake
At a rural parish in the stagnant heat

I stayed as long as I could then left with a headache
Funny how it cleared up the moment I drove off

And as I neared my parents' house
I'll never forget that raincloud
Somehow burning with light
Like the sun itself

At least I made it back for the funeral
Complete with graveside taps and rifles
Uniting me emotionally with her family
One last time

My goals...
How I barely understood them myself

The Christmas photos that year
Tell a tale on our faces

So the very next day
She'd finally stood on her feet
Demanding an answer
That I could not give

We brought it on ourselves

The creature we had become
Could neither live or die on its own
Embracing someone yet parsecs apart
Gasping tear-soaked euthanasia

Then I drove to my house far away

Funny how even an earnest love
Can be so misplaced

And some hearts
You never can tame


By no coincidence I am certain
My travels bring me through
That little town

As she was up north in her new place
Just weeks from marrying her new guy

And the rain o'er just my eyes
Signpost to signpost
Brings it to close.

Cold dark starry sky above and ahead
Yet it still tells me

It knows

Sunday, November 16, 2008

definition of a girl

"Don't you look at me, boy. You're bad. I don't even know you but you're VERY bad. You better go away. And don't talk to me. What's your name?"

nobody's baby

smile at me

i'll turn away

give me candy

see it smash the floor

kiss me

if you want a raspberry in your ear

massage these teething gums

consider yourself bit

change my diaper

but be sure to close your mouth...

give me a puppy

you know i'll pull its tail

bring other kids to play with

heh, these toys are all mine

let your best friend hold me

dare me to whitewash her new outfit

hold me while you read to me

don't even think you'll get through one sentence

you can smack my hand if i reach for something bad

and, well, i guess i'll just deal with it


just between you and me

if you do all that stuff anyway

you'll own me

Saturday, November 8, 2008

chroot jail

you are who you say
as far as you know

entire conscious life
like witness protection

phantom footprint

usually protects
those outside

force field fishbowl

girls play house
boys just play

twist of phase

believing is seeing
even if they find you
wish them godspeed

so tempted to long
for less importance

rhythms of life
desks to pews
meals and adventures

fevered pursuit
chasing home

over horizon
past land and sea
then sky

wide open
never vacuous


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Competition III

"I've got knackwurst," I offer inquisitively while gesturing toward the freezer. I could have not been less prepared for the giggle that followed as it reached slightly into her deeper register, let alone the unadulterated mischief in that grin.

She had surprised me by stopping by with a copy of Bringing Up Baby on a perfectly lazy afternoon, although, I wasn't feeling lazy. I would have assumed she would be out riding on a day like this, or at least have someone else in mind. The movie had come up in a conversation one time, how you can never get tired of Hepburn and Grant in that one, picking it apart line by line, scene by scene.

I had been catching up on the fall yard work when I startle to a knock on the wheelbarrow a few feet behind me. After gathering a few wits I say, "You have a way of making entrances, no?"

She chuckles. "Now now, who am I to disappoint?"

Standing there feeling green as grass I smile mostly out of sheer disbelief.

"Hope I'm not interrupting?"

"Oh,it'll be here..." as I gesture toward my rake, suddenly needing to convince us both plus the birds and bugs that I've reached a good stopping point.

After meandering about the garden we sat on the porch for just a few minutes before I hear her tummy growl. "Sounds like someone hasn't had lunch yet either," I probe.

"Yah...I was...gonna offer Applebees or something," which brought upon friendly debate over whether to just fix something, I've got plenty on hand to work with, and the discussion brings us into my living room and kitchen, how so quickly her presence makes my house a new world altogether.

"I'm serious, knackers are great wrapped in a slice of wheat and maybe some Dijon, heck, you saw how many onions came up this year. If you want we can put the movie in..."

She playfully pokes my ribs. "Deal."

As I reach into the freezer she gently catches my forearm and asks, "So are they like brats?"

"They're milder, kinda like a hot dog but grown up."

Smiling, " about we just cook one of them?"

I glance away and muse, "So we each start at an end and meet in the middle?"

Handover mouth, she nearly loses herself in a laugh that could almost betaken for guilt, eventually turning away and bracing herself on the counter. "No silly just cut it in half." She gasps, still fighting bursts of giggles, and gestures out back in a manner that could only bring to mind Diane Keaton. "How about some of those other veggies...from the garden?"

I have to sigh, just watching her for a second. "Deal."


Day by day, night after night
Blinded by the neon light
Hurry here, hustling there
No one's got the time to spare
Money's tight, nothing free
Won't somebody come and rescue me

I am stranded, caught in the crossfire
Stranded, caught in the crossfire

Tooth for tooth, eye for an eye
Sell your soul just to bop on by
Beggin' for a dollar, stealin' a dime
Come on can't you see that I'm

Stranded, caught in the crossfire
I am stranded, caught in the crossfire

I need some, kind of kindness
Some kind of sympathy, oh no
Save the strong, lose the weak
Never turning the other cheek
Trust nobody, don't be no fool
Whatever happened to the golden rule

Carter/Ellsworth/Layton/Shannon/Wynans - 1989