In Praise of Time

timeFlies

In Praise of Time

We marvel that so much
produces only
more of the same,

increased yet
diminished, no two
alike yet never

differing, earth to
soil, glacier to rain,
stardust to morning,

open, filled, wasted,
lost, killing, preserving,
making more, wanting.

* * *

First posted in October, 2014.

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Memoir (Cento)

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Memoir (Cento)

Your hands touched
everything. Will you

be a fountain
or a sea?

A woman sleeps next to me
on the earth. Now

nothing else keeps my eyes
in the cloud.

Each rock is news.

* * *
A cento is composed of lines from poems by other poets. This was first posted
in April, 2015, and originated from pieces in:

77 Poems, Alberto de Lacerda
Because the Sea is Black, Blaga Dimitrova
Body Rags, Galway Kinnell
Song of the Simple Truth, Julia de Burgos
Love Poems, Anne Sexton

For further information and examples of the form, you might peruse the Academy of American Poets site: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/poetic-form-cento

Schody ve věži v Olomouci

Life among the Prickly Pear

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Life among the Prickly Pear

Rain’s twofold curse: not enough
too much. Still, I take comfort

even among the thorns.
There is much to like here.

Its moonlight flowers.
Paddles fried with minced garlic.

Wren’s jubilant shriek.
The fruit’s red nectar.

I wake to distant screech owls
purring their desires on separate

slopes. Late spring, storms looming.
I close my eyes and the creek rises.

* * *

A draft of this first appeared here in June 2015. I believe it’s done now.
On a personal note, twice in the past four days I’ve been unable to reach
a destination due to flooded creeks.

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“Two Cranes on a Snowy Pine” named Panoply Magazine’s First Editor’s Choice for Issue 3

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I’m delighted to report that the editors of Panoply Magazine have designated my poem “Two Cranes on a Snowy Pine” as their first Editor’s Choice for Issue 3.

A video of me reading “Two Cranes on a Snowy Pine” has been posted on Panoply Magazine’s Facebook site.

Rain Forest Bridge

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Rain Forest Bridge

To cross
you must first
trust the strands

to hold.
The second tentative
step precedes
the next,

each successive one
gaining strength:
here to

there, now
to then, a summoning of
entreaties
within
one’s faith.

Vapor meets cooler air,
forming droplets,
clouding the far side.

I have feared endings
and the strictures of the unseen,

but here
in this vast
swaying,
I know

one line
bisects the void.

* * *

“Rain Forest Bridge” first appeared in Four Ties Lit Review in August, 2014.

A recording of it may be found on the Four Ties site.

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In the Fifth Chamber Lies the Hour’s End

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In the Fifth Chamber Lies the Hour’s End

To fairly allocate irrigation resources, the Persians measured time with water,
sinking a bowl in a larger vessel and tallying the count with pebbles.

And what is time but counting, determining the number of units within a set?

The sum of beats between silences and their diminishing echoes?

Its symbol in the West grew from fig and ivy leaves, while early medical
illustrations depicted pine cone-shaped organs.

In most reptilians, the aorta receives only oxygenated blood.

Qanats pump by gravity. The hagfish’s second resides in its tail.

Recognize the empty as full. Squeezed shut, we open.
Contraction and flow, ejection, inflow, relaxation.

Emotion as electrical impulse. Murmuring valves. The color red.

The fifth chamber remains silent and undetected.

The primitive fish’s chambers are arranged sequentially, but in an S-shape.
Ancients believed arteries transported air through the body.

The Buddhist figure, too, originated in leaves, symbolizing not love

but enlightenment. The ache of failure confounds us.

mechanical heart