Category Archives: poetry
An homage to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, with phrases found in his New York Times obituary:
At the end of his life,
the spiritual godfather
Sharp humor and social consciousness
drew us away
from grief at dusk
as a courteous host
draws his guest
into the light
Who would want
Only a moth
with a broken wing.
More The Whirligig #291
More Writers’ Pantry #45 at Poets and Storytellers United
The last words she spoke were dark, they were grim,
Not words from a psalm or even a hymn.
Nothing about them seemed hopeful or kind.
(Was the poor woman quite out of her mind?)
Her last words were these (I tell you no lies):
“Just let the crows come and peck out my eyes.”
I did what she asked, and let the crows eat
Both of her eyeballs—a savory treat.
I’ve thought of her fate for many long years;
When I remember, I shed bitter tears.
Now crows are coming for my eyes as well;
Pecking hungrily, they’ll sound my death knell.
Say yes to everything:
the moldy bread, the empty kettle, the dying fire;
yes to the anvil on which your life was forged;
yes to what you have wanted, but not gotten;
yes to what you have waited for, but not seen;
yes to the tattered edges of your cloak,
and your belly bloated with hunger,
while swallows feast on insects near the temple gates.
To everything say yes.
More The Whirligig #272
More Writers’ Pantry #26 at Poets and Storytellers United
Water heals her wound
the evidence comes
as a scar blossoms in her flesh
like smoke rising
from burning leaves
it has been a long struggle
sometimes she dreams
of lying in her casket
when this nightmare is over
but for now her thoughts are clearing
maybe Jesus is turning her wine
More Sunday’s Whirligig #243
More Pantry of Poetry and Prose #7 at Poets United
How can the grapes endure such grief?
What forgotten strength contained within
their skins must they summon,
now that the pickers have come with shears
to fill their empty baskets?
They must be aching,
knowing they’ll be tossed in the press
that will crush every drop of life from them.
There’s nothing subtle about destruction.
It doesn’t steal over you
like the fleeting shadow of a wren at twilight,
but lands like a stone on a toe.
Great is the grief of the grapes!
More Sunday’s Whirligig #241
More Pantry of Poetry and Prose #5 at Poets United
now flooding the valley
after three weeks
of steady rain with no slits in the
clouds, no patches of light,
must be a sign.
With one hand
I grab my guitar,
with the other
I begin scribbling a tale
about the distant waterfall.
fed by the recent rains,
that keeps thundering into an abyss.
I could have drifted
been swallowed by deep waters,
if sunlight had not
come to the valley again.
This is my tale,
this is my song.
Sing with me.
You open the kitchen door, Mother,
and slip into the woods
There is no trail to follow,
but you do not worry;
swarms of stars
wait to greet you
and show you the way.
You leave your valuables behind;
masked strangers can have them,
and you will not moan over your losses.
You know you’ll get what you need for
your journey at just the right time.
You were meant to fly—
the stars will deal gently with you.
Let us praise the raven and the rain.
Let us praise the singer and the song.
Let us praise the Cloud Spirit,
leading us to other roads
when our path is hedged and blocked
by creatures sinister and sleek.
Let us praise the river stones
whose dignity remains intact,
despite the ravages of floods and drought.
Let us praise all things great and small,
for the hundred-thousand ways
our days are measured out.
someone unpacked the caskets
at the cemetery
and laid the bodies face-up
on the lawn
where they now lie
as though they were sleeping
tomorrow the gardeners
who know the ropes
will be mowing around the bodies
and then they will desert them
for a body should not be
out of its box
these are the rules
nothing has changed
from the beginning
when people first buried their dead