My poem “Scarecrow Believes” is up at Vox Populi. Many thanks to editor Michael Simms for selecting this piece. I am grateful, as always, for Michael’s support.
The Larger Geometry: poems for peace, is now available at Amazon. This anthology of poems that “uplift, encourage and inspire,” features poets from five countries and three continents. Published by the interfaith peaceCENTER of San Antonio, Texas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All proceeds from the sale of this anthology go to benefit the peaceCENTER.
I’m pleased to have had a small role in selecting the poems.
Contributing poets include Lynne Burnett, Charlotte Hamrick, Daryl Muranaka, Stephanie L. Harper, Sudhanshu Chopra, Texas Poet Laureate Carol Coffee Reposa, Michael Vecchio, Rebecca Raphael and others. Oh, yes, a few of my poems appear here, too.
I am Brahma
the straight line, the upright being,
fire that flares,
seed without end, manifold
self beyond all
polarity, radiating sun:
Philosophers considered one a non-number,
generatrix of all that follows.
The singularity. The lone.
From the Indo-European oi-qos we achieve solitude,
while the collective meaning of one derives from the Sanskrit sam.
United in itself, it changes nothing,
On its side it represents the horizon.
Alone is all-one.
The Latin non is one negated, as is the German nein.
Symbol of intellect, the Hindu moon glows wide.
Atomic number of hydrogen, magician’s numeral,
monad and eccentric, I bear the empty product.
“One” last appeared here in April 2017.
“Roast Chicken” was first published in Kindle Magazine in December 2015, and also appeared in Gossamer: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry.
Contemplating the afterlife of birds,
I empty the carcass. My wife
offers rosemary sprigs,
which I stuff into the cavity
with whole garlic cloves
and seared lemon halves,
and then I compact it by tucking
the wings under and pushing
one leg through a slit in the other,
lessening the surface. One might
debate the shape of a bird’s
soul, the sanctity of structure
and limitation, of ritual and
the weight of fire’s gifts in
human brain development,
but trussing is essential
to the goal of proper
I pat it dry, sprinkle kosher salt
on the skin, put it in the oven,
set the timer for an hour, pour wine.
Following custom, we eat
without saying grace.
Piece by tender piece, it descends.
Buddha’s Not Talking
He looks out from the shelf while I consider
manure, sharp knives and the hagfish’s second
heart, or whether odors differ in texture when a dog
retraces his steps through the park, and do they really
lose themselves or just quickly shed their pasts,
forever moving towards now. Sometimes I say hello,
but truthfully we seldom interact, unless I bump his
shoulder when retrieving one of the books leaning
against him, and then it’s only a quick “sorry” on my
part, and a stare on his, perhaps a slight nod if
I’ve not yet had coffee. I fear I’ll never grasp
the difference in having and being, that my true
nature has splattered on a trail and the dogs will
sniff it and lift their legs in acknowledgment,
or perhaps acceptance of the infinite, with wisdom
far beyond my reach, before moving on to disquisitions
about soil and fragrance and the need to justify art
with decimal points. Yesterday I roasted chicken, moved
books, sipped ale. Today I’ll sweep, discard papers and
wonder if I’ll become what I think, whether reincarnation
will be cruel or kind. Either way, Buddha’s not talking.
* * *
“Buddha’s Not Talking” first appeared in July 2017 at Blue Bonnet Review.
With gratitude to editor Cristina Del Canto for taking this piece.
Self-Portrait with Knife
Lacking benefit of prayer or belief,
it slips through flesh,
praising its temerity. Or,
parting the onion’s core, reclaims
the right to weep.
How many nights have we shared
these pleasures? I smooth the blade
with steel, listening to the fine hum.
“Self-Portrait with Knife” first appeared here in January 2015.