DEATH IN WINTER

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The depressing winds invade my spirit—

What’s left of my spirit in this hinterland of winter.

 

How much loss must one endure from the cold,

The merciless pall that extends to the blinding white horizon,

The death-colored blains that layer the soul

Like an apartheid from our better natures?

 

All feels lost. Unable to regain momentum

In this stillness of death,

There is no hope for reconnaissance.

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THE CRUCIBLE

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The wherewithal, the wherewith,

The compass as we survived the crucible

Of childhood taunts which grew bolder with each year.

 

All the slights that turned more vicious by the age of twelve,

As male chauvinism took what it thought as its

Rightful stand, stood toe-to-toe with all your difference:

 

Different walk, different talk, different attraction

That scared them witless. When all you wanted

Was to merely love a man. How pitifully ironic…

 

To be accused of what you actually were. Are.

Loved being. Until you didn’t. Until you changed.

Turned sour. Went inward. Tried other options.

 

Until you couldn’t anymore. Dropped out. Moved away.

Found family unity elsewhere. The wherewithal, the wherewith,

The unyielding compass as we grew older.

 

I once wrote a poem, Homage to Comrades, blithely aware

That those lost lives lived with me– then as now.

It’s the colors of that revolution that still feed my soul.

STOLEN BREATHS

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I remember the ins and outs of our breathing,

We were so in love throughout the nights that

Your out became my in; my out, yours.  Two were one.

I imagine a mother’s first hours with her newborn,

A firstborn’s breath so pure, warm. Their exchange

An alliance formed deep inside the womb.

I recall my father’s labored breathing on his death bed.

I wanted nothing more than to breathe for him,

Reach mightily for the beauty of the stars,

We, the living, take for granted much too often.

And, lest we forget— the murdered child?

Taken by inopportune circumstance, whose last breath

Is never heard, nor shared, stolen by irascible weapons

Manufactured by the All-Mighty dollar.

The ME in the OTHER

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Whether you’re male or female,

Whether you’re gay or straight,

Or in-between on your way to becoming,

In and out of whatever transition

You see yourself aiming for,

Wanting to land there at all costs.

 

The what you like or don’t like,

What you put where and with whom,

Insert, unscrew, playing house in

You’re diddly-squat romper room.

 

Whether you’re liberal or conservative,

Whether you’re white or black,

Or any of the shades of sweet frangipane;

From Europe to Down Under, Canada to Brunei.

All the isms that separate and join us

Mean nothing at all without

 

Humanity. Compassion.

 

Without a living wage that lends a hand

To the democratic ideals of Liberty and

Freedom. The Equality that we all lust for

Only comes when we stand up. Speak out.

LISTEN with passion. The order of the day

Arrives only when you grasp the ME in the OTHER.

The Next Adventure

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Up is Never Going Down

The speed of a December sunset seems to hasten,

As if in a hurry to get it done. Done with the day,

Done with this side of the earth.

 

This timeline of ours, in a bifurcated world,

Parked in seasons of arrears,

Coalesces with this universal schematic:

 

Day. Night. Day. Night.

 

Twenty-four units—more or less—

Of borrowed pleasure, inherited pain,

Bartered relationships that often carry over,

 

Like dividends in a long division of genes.

With so little surplus of Yuletide sun to embrace,

We feel pressured to embark on the next adventure.

WONDER BEGETS

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The animal in us leaves the parochial

When making love. Dove becomes wolf.

Wolf— tiger. Liturgical momenta into

The world of hunger, feeds the animal within.

 

Light as it makes its way into the conjugations,

With love attaching when old wounds  leave

Their festering behind; begin to heal.

 

The respite between bouts—

Quixotic idylls running from melancholy,

Before the call of the wild ignites again.

 

Passionate advances create wonder.

Wonder begets.

 

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DUST TO DUST

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“When we were young” has such a cache.
I remember us in play; at least the memory of those memories?

When I was nineteen, when you were only twenty-four,
Those years of learning about love and life,
About promises and heartache. All those doors opening,  closing.

History, our history, was like a series of statues standing at attention,
Even back then, in the present, as if planted on a  promontory, there to watch.
With our eyes closed off to the future, only able to embrace the mutable.

Once, we thought we had it all.  We succumbed to madness
Because it was all a free association come of bliss. The ambiguity—
Those uneven shades of grey—were all overlooked.

We. Were. So. Sure. Of. Ourselves. 

Black and white in living color, that’s what youth was.
The unconscionable that never lingered long with us.
We were perpetual in our lust for fame and glory,
In that, we never stopped. Hardly stopped. The morning dew,
The timidity that often could lurk at dusk?
We lived 24/7. Shouting out, reverberating, obliterating,
As though dust to dust was an elocution never meant for us.