poetry

Mantra

Dream and laugh like a river.

Sing around the throat
of a fire.
Shout at the moon, because
she is your sentinel.

When you cry the river will
carry your tears away,
from the current of memory.

In anger I hurl my fists and
fury at the mountain.

He watches me through the
history of my words,

and accepts the challenge.

 

PhilosopherPoet

Standard
poetry

that afternoon

we sat on the bank
father. son. river. rod.
3 ducks watch us,
they wait for knuckles of bread
we throw out for carp.

โ€œyaa! piss off!โ€ – my father’s arms
writhe in the wind like an angry officer.
i hoist my box of orange juice
i take a swig.
vodka swirls
like a warm hand into my chest.

before our expedition…
i hid in the car, and
my father was the lookout.
the rear door left open,
a suspicious window.
i drained juice from the carton,
my fingers unscrewing caps
a thousand thoughts whirred
in my head as i mixed the booze.

the ducks became bored and left.
my bait starts to swirl in the distance,
a fistful of bread
with a hook in it (half immersed).

โ€œyou see that?โ€
my father starts to twitch, jiggle,
his hands bubble up through the
arms of the camping chair.

rotating bait equals a fish, gently
gnawing, picking, probing
underneath our excitement.

โ€œhave another drink Dad!โ€
โ€œn-n-not now, i have to watch your bait.โ€
his eyes cut through the afternoon air,
heads of trees watch us,
insects trickle in the distance.

the bait stops.
my father sighs, his shoulders sag
like branches of an old tree,
he has a drink.

it is the last time i will see him,
i crack open a volume of poetry,
ducks chuckle further down the river.

we exchange poems, metaphors, stories
embalmed in the loam of our language.
vodka sways through our sentences,
no more bites.

the moment is perfect.
well, almost. maybe if there was
a bronze body dancing in
my father’s hands?

night draws over us
like a heavy curtain.
our sighs parallel,
our hands collect rods and bags.
two chairs jut out of my arms
like old telescopes.

โ€œyou good to go?โ€
i nod, and we trundle back on
the mud path
where our memories
lie buried.

 

 

PhilosopherPoet

Standard
poetry

there is a story [untitled]

there is a story behind the
shape of your skin
the husk of your smile
guitar contours lace
the rhythm of your stare

โ€œthereโ€™s a circle, that
canโ€™t be brokenโ€ฆโ€
cowboys
commas
curses – stir through the
smoke of your cigarette

denim and man
forged into veins of your beard

a tin can
rattles in a song you
sang above the poised audience
begging for air

 

 

Original draft

 

 

PhilosopherPoet

Standard
Philosophy, poetry

there is a god in my head

there is a god in my head
cold notions scrape against
the cement of the mind

he sways from slumber
with a dark fist

there is a god in my head
voices crawl through cables
neurons heavy with history
synapses
writhe in molten thought

i am the god in my head
emotions scatter in anger
i frighten the fragments
the chaos i sculpt with blind intent
the picture of a weak man
[i refuse to watch]

i brighten timid corners of
my narrow house with the
scalp of a light bulb burning
and the vacant murmur
of callous cutlery

dividing my guilt

 

 

PhilosopherPoet

Standard
poetry

magician

spices scatter
hand twitches
mushrooms jostle like
coins in a purse

he skips around the stove
– every minute is theatre
he wields a wooden spoon
with wand-like intensity

aroma oozes into the room
heart thunders in ribcage
eyes flicker and fold between
ingredients & mayhem

– a fine meal is like drinking
mead with the gods
he told a friend

now rice pours on to the plate
like course notes from an hourglass
he hums a song
it flashes through the steam
the somber notes fall down
arranged in empathy

 

 

PhilosopherPoet

Standard
poetry

teach me to whisper

for Maggie Wojtarowicz

 

teach me to whisper
and weave slow scents into
the dark

there are voices i have not heard yet
fragile echoes are scattered
in the folds of your smile

teach me to whisper
talking won’t carry
a sliver of mystery or
a simple pause before words
grow out of our mouths

there’s a voice that needs to be heard
in between
our silences
before our conscious clocks
amble and trickle out softer songs

 

PhilosopherPoet

Standard
poetry

Fumbling

he arrives at the station. coins spill out of his pockets in the same way his spaghetti did last night. well, it was writhing in the pot like angry Medusa.

today the Lego’s in his head slipped away. it happened to be the important bricks that were missing.

he wishes for the days when he’d lie under the autumn trees with his army of friends. they read poetry until it soaks into their throats and sunlight digs through clouds of marijuana, it hangs in the air like dough. her could still smell Jennifer, see her laughter and feel her wild tattoos spilling over him. t-shirts were an array of metal bands. 21st century postage stamps, if you had heard the sweet ferocity you’d understand their journey. but thatโ€™s not what they spoke about…

beer cans spread in between the jokes they injected and gestures narrating the wind. while getting jostled with the cattle on the bus, he closed his eyes just for a second, and could feel himself there again. he could feel laughter tickle his feet and see the bronze ghost dancing in the bottle of brandy.

memories are the elixir of life. they remind us that there is something more to this muddy mayhem we collect under our shoes. if you behind to close your eyes long enough, you will learn to listen to the strumming of your story. its buried somewhere in your head. its like finding that creased letter you’ve lost for years. you scan the words and the image gets etched in your head.

…then there was that woman the other day she showed me a smile she had tucked away from the rain. it was just for 5 seconds,that was all i needed.

Standard