TSM 157

Spring – what a comedian! 
warms up on stage,
daffodils crack like a joke
through gaps in the pavement.

We wait for it –
but today's punch line
a slagging, obscene wind –
the crowd boos.

Gardens are a three-ring spectacle –
clown cars of tulips fill the planters,
roses snap their whips
in hoops of flame.

Soon the flying trapeze
and magic act of Summer –
'til then I rest my head
in the jaws of tiger lilies.

The Sunday Muse

TSM 156

Narrator:    qbit, yours truly, marking his morning rounds of the salt marsh
Chorus:      A pair of steel-rimmed spectacles

Lightning cracks one hundred years of sky –
The faraway docks of Gothenburg 
		                                                   are made of stone, made of stone
                                                                  its boats are moored to iron rings
So lightning goes to ground
		                                                          comes around, comes around
                                                                     and ground returns to lightning
Finally then at sea, mornings
among the deck hands calling 
		                                                        back and forth, back and forth
Gulls suspended off the bow where you stood,
fly neither forward nor back,
		                                       waves are waves are waves are waves
A century's wind holding them in place –
over the harbor I watch them marking time
		                                    neither sky nor water have that answer

I turn from the ocean to a path of hard bounty –
stone and sand held out to you,
simple dirt floor of the world
		                                                this was known, this was known
Poems in your journal untranslatable, yet 
I carry them with me still,
and mine, a stranger has put to wind 
of foreign tongues
		          Iceland come, Croatia come, Kurdistan come, and on
		            to the East, to the West, North wind, the Southerlies

Heirloom flowers that grow from gristle and tendon
		                                                 blow like seeds, blow like seeds
                                                                                  from across the ocean

Could you have known then,
Could you have known

one day my hands 
would be so cold?

The Sunday Muse

TSM 155

it doesn't work that way unless you grab the lead gull's beak and pull until a thousand wings unzip the sky, thin air parted from blue waves split along a conga flight-line of birds from shore to shore their haka gull cries like Māori stamping and line dancing on the beach, horizon halved, snaps of winter's coat popping open, the flocked velvet of our flight so new that down glistens from sun breaking on the surface of the water we don't know what to say to each other just watch the sky unfold like two great wings of blue lifting us higher as line after line of gulls keep coming, line after line of white hyphens with black commas at the tips of their wings pulling toward some vista of summer and home that beckons but never arrives 
was never meant to arrive just keeps us 
moving towards the distance 
you and I holding hands 
still amazed

The Sunday Muse

TSM 154

If I were a lambcha-cha-cha
in a lion’s tooth coat
If I were a fishsuited to sharkskin,
rhumba ’til dawn
If I were a sparrowin cowboy falcon boots,
square dance
shaking the floorboards
over the heads of mice
I contain dualities,
of toast and coffee,
oatmeal and eggs
when I look in the mirrorI need a shave
the glass will not shatter
if my dark wing
touches the light

The Sunday Muse

TSM 151

"I chalk my hands with Icarus ash,
the vault and rings of heaven
before me"  – qbit

                             "I saw you dip seagulls
                                            in blackest ink
                                          for crow words" 
                                                 – qbit's wife

I am spray can,
graffiti hearted
	                           shake shake shake
	                                          you awake, 
	         that metal ball in your chest
	  rattles and rolls, rocks and tolls,
	                                      mixes me up
I paint the dog 
fierce tiger stripes,
line the lion
with the lamb
	             your fizzy-fuzzy thoughts,
	                                 your vaporized 
	                                           fog of war 
                                        	    on words
krylon onomotopaint
liquitex rust-oleum, 
rust's proof of the rainbow
                                   godsend of snow,
	                                  a sleet primer

The Sunday Muse

TSM 150

Gentle reader – I walked again 
the beach this morning
for inspiration,
for the cold to cut off my nose
in spite of everything

Where the muttering sea
has deeded seals, deer, shoes, 
and an aviatrix or two –
winter provisions for me to thaw
and saw and see their way into poems

Today there was a piano –
seaweed in many keys and colors –
high and low tangled strings 
pitched overboard, vibrating 
in the felt hammer of wind

Fishing nets,
with notes caught up
from operatic sardines,
clams arpeggiated 
in scallop flats

You ask me how to get to Carnegie Hall 
and I say "Practice" 
but it is many miles to row 
and chase the whaled Manhattan
armed with harpoons of vaccine

Will we return to the abandonded city 
we fled with toilet paper flapping
out the windows of our car
like unspooled rolls from a player piano,
like flags of surrender?

The Sunday Muse

TSM 149

As she bent to answer 
the conch telephone –
hold it to her ear and take a call
from the bottom of the sea –
my wife found a sandal
washed ashore.
Green with algae and 
black with mold, 
the uppers were split, 
its sole flapping.
Some sturdy glue
holds together what remains,
stitching no shipwreck
could undo.
It is the color of broccoli, charred 
with oil, cracked pepper, and sea salt
that I learned to cook
in sheet pans this year.
A flapping soul –
how could it be otherwise?
Were we always these gulls
returning to land? 

The Sunday Muse

TSM 148

pawprints of feral cats
snowprance around 
the dead seal where 
winter licks its wounds –
hungry sex kittens 
doing lap dances,
their warm tongues 
in the bullet hole
that killed him –
strippers all, teeth 
ripping seal meat
into g-stringed ribbons
of fur
naughty muse, 
naughty muse,
you've caught me 
in your vice –
we are after all
but peeping Toms
and Thomasinas 
two bull-neck males
bark threats
from out in the waves –
warnings, grief, hunger – 
they keep watch 
over their own
like bouncers –
there will be no more 
grave robbing 
for me today

The Sunday Muse

Blue Horse Thing

“blue hoof ice –
the kick of frozen air –
stepping outside
breathtaking me
for a ride”
                                      – qbit

bobbleheaded blue breaker
                            bray into the blue blue blue blue
blue maker, blue taker
                        haymaker, rain slaker, name saker
cawing like a horse-crow
                            yawing like this raven knows to
saddle up your win, for the
                                 floor fight raven-ation and its 
food biters, Foo Fighters
                             flightline sighttime nightrhyme
signal towers, wedding bowers, Croesus flowers
                                          slow rolled into morning
in barney stones, blarney homes
                                     floors were made for falling 
there goes the topple-ganger neighborhood
                                      arch-top flat-top baby baby
fabled barking nonstop harking into blue
into blue
                          into starkly raving madly craving 
rinny tin tin tin tin tin tin tin
                                                          saving into blue
into blue
into blue

The Sunday Muse & Quickly