Showing posts from January, 2018

Humbly Beneath Them

January, blue sky,

My world
Through my windshield:
I am looking up.

These are familiar objects.
These are new to me:
These are everything.

The sycamore claims the light,
Turns it white,
Reflects it

And there is a dialogue
Between reflected light
And sunlight

That grows intimate,

And here comes Prometheus
To give us a stake in the game.
And here is Zeus saying, “WTF?”

The air is too cold
To carry the heat of the flame
And its reflection.

The air is quiet,
Free from buoyant children.
The sycamore claims light,

Wicks it right back up to the sky.
We say, “Wait; Make us giddy with light.’
We wait.

The time will come.
The sycamore will be in full leaf.
Children will come out to play.

We will feel the heat of sunshine.
Prometheus will pay the price:
But we will honor his theft

In the only way we can:
We will carve our roads around the sycamore.
We will let them be.

We will pass humbly beneath them.
We will cherish the light.

About Helen

The Encyclopaedia Britannica
Asserts Helen of Troy
Lived happily ever after
With King Menelaus of Sparta
Once the Acheans
Sorted out that
Kidnapping business
And Paris was safely dead
And Odysseus had thought of
That horse thing
To get them off the island
Once and for all…

 ...but I digress.
 And I disagree.

And so does Homer,
Whom the Encyclopaedia Britannica says
Might never have existed
As one man.
Homer might have been
Many storytelling men
(Yes, men.)
Who somehow managed
To mark Helen’s grief on the map
And to artfully question the honor
Of Odysseus.

If you can believe that
About Homer.
Go ahead and try to write that group epic.
See what happens.
Then you’ll be OK with
Homer as Historical Fact.

But back to the topic,
Which I feel right now.

Helen was in Troy ten years
With handsome, lovely Paris,
Who received her in payment for a favor--
Just a little deal between narcissists.

That’s how that goes.

But anyway.

We have no evidence that she was
Aching for Sparta all those years aw…


Finds its own level
Is the great leveler

Over time

Reducing everything
To elements
Carrying everything
To the one sea

Primordial chaos
The beginning

With life-giving light
The swirling mass

Of possibility.


Pelicans are the color of water and light
On a soft day with a long memory.
Pelicans swim in time--

And have in every moment
Since the beginning of time.

In every moment
There is both poised silence and play.

They don’t see us.

The gulls scold and flee.
Sandpipers and willets dash away.
Cormorants turn their heads
And flex their wings.
They see us.

Pelicans remain aloof.

They remind me of the lesson
My mother taught me
When my daughter was young
And, once in a rare while,
Engaged in attention-seeking

If you don’t make eye contact,
My mother said,
It never happened.

There was grace.
An escape clause.
The opportunity to start afresh.

The pelicans,
I believe,
Are waiting us out

The way,
Once or twice,
I waited out my daughter.