Tag Archive for: poetry

The River

This is how a river loves:
shedding the linen fog of spring,
she opens herself
to the naked feet of men,
whispering what it means
to be made clean.

Step into my body of love,
the dust of living washed
from the soles of your feet.

Spinning new linen at dusk,
she repeats the words
she’s always known:

Having loved my own
who were in the world
I loved them to the end.

 

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If Dandelions Could Speak

Where the cinderblock of the coffee shop
meets the pavement of the parking lot,
there in that infertile groove
a lonely dandelion grows,
face spread to the sun.

Lift up your heart;
I lift it to the Lord.
Let us give thanks
to Lord our God;
It is right to give him
thanks and praise.

It is right to praise him, she says,
for the redeeming acts of love,
for the fertility of chance
and the life that brims
from the dust
of foundation
cracks.

 

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The Unrecorded Miracles

I read today’s lenten gospel passage, John 2:1-2. The story recounts how Mary strong-armed her son into performing the first recorded miracle at the wedding feast. I considered the passage, and this is what came. Enjoy.

***

The Unrecorded Miracles

These are the secret miracles:

the boy at the window
greeting the sun before
its eyelashes opened
over the mountain;

dirt drawings of
simple birds, his
blowing of that
dust to flight;

the neighbor widow’s
full flour sack, oil jar,
her house rich in
bread and laughter;

His tiny hands above
my belly, how a word
stopped the bleeding
as he wept with me

for my son, his brother;
his tears blotting
my feet, hem drying
tiny baptismal pools.

I’ve carried these
like water in jars, waiting
for the word to age
memories into wine.

 

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Addict #1 (Rose’s Baptism)

Today’s poem was inspired by a reader email. Enjoy.

***

Rose emailed,
a street-walking
shelter-dweller,
sixty-two years
in the making,
thirty-eight of which
were stitched together
by heroin needles.

Daughter of the Pope,
sister of the molested,
aunt of the overdosed,
twin of poppies,
welfare patient
with tracks between
her toes, fingers,
elbow folds,

what’s to say
of Rose’s life,
except that
rock-bottom
pushed her
up in the water,
a stone rising
into new
concentric
circles.

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A Letter From My Grandson

I don’t normally post on Sundays, but the events of the weekend this poem out of me. Thanks for reading.

***

January 29, 2067

Dear Grandpa,

The historians remind us, now, how you and yours leveraged your last gasp to make us and ours great–definitions being what they are, fracturable things.

Yours were the days of the news outlets, the reporters, the cameramen and college-educated journalists chasing the facts by the tail, and what are facts but wild dogs, tamed now by the great government then given to The People on a leash. It was the time before the New Iron Curtain was built by the chicken pullers in De Queen or the ranch hands from there to Brownsville, before an avocado cost more than a line of coke or a good night with the women who negotiated affections to stay in this great America. (There are always ways of getting around a wall, they say.) Yours were the days before the brown huddle masses were returned to their wars and rubble, before you crucified the many Jesuses–women-Jesuses, child-Jesuses, honest-men-Jesuses–and left their remains to the many devils.

(At night, I pray “forgive them, Father, they know not what they’ve done.”)

The new Oligarchs have won our hearts, now. For free whiskey and all the American flags we could drink, they worked their ways into our homes, and we came to count them as friends, and if not friends, at least kind, and if not kind, at least as stern fathers who might excuse our drunkenness so long as we waived our flags and paid the poll tax.

Your people might call this greatness jingoism or xenophobia–definitions being what they are
these days, fracturable things–but The People see past small notions of equality, now. We are called The Patriots, and we were fashioned by strongmen, by paid-for history, by the projection of fears you harbored in secret without speaking, without acting,

action being divisive as it was,

action being destructive as it was,

action being revolutionary as it was.

And what are revolutionaries but people whose bones are scattered as forgotten martyrs?

Sincerely,

Your Grandson

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