Friday, September 21, 2012

Three poems

Frost on the Ocean

A hundred or so paths diverged
on a great green ocean,
and looking up toward the heavens, I saw
a thousand more crisscrossing the sky.

Above those were splayed
at least a million other paths,
playful and sun bent,
lightly testing the exosphere.

As I stood, pondering whether to swim
or fly or orbit the Earth
chasing starlight,
my cortex went numb.

Frozen at the crossroad
on a brimless sea,
I did nothing.
That certainly has made a difference.

Old No. 2

This tiny pencil has seized control.
It guides my tortured scribbling—
a primitive reminder that
even my style is old, archaic, passé.

Why this pencil? And why
not an energy-laden keyboard or keypad?
I will txt my nxt poem on twittr.
omg! r u kidn me?

This pencil is almost alive,
virtually buzzing with vital inspiration.
But it is merely a 3-inch stub, and
the ancient eraser is bare.

I have sharpened this pencil
at least a dozen times with my little Swiss army,
and I have begun to squeeze
rubber from its collar, like toothpaste.

“As long as it breathes,” I whisper.
As long as this gnawed-on pencil
(this forgotten piece of wood) draws breath,
I need not fire, the wheel, sliced bread.

This Poem

This poem is not about letting go.
It is not about climbing green mountains
or diving into the blue. It is
not about you. This poem
is about kneeling down
to pet a dying dog’s belly
in her waning hour. It is
about celebrating life
and drinking the wine,
about tilting at rainbows,
not for gold, but for truth.
This poem is neither happy
nor secretly sad. It is not
indifferent or unchanging.
This poem is not. It is.


"Frost on the Ocean," "Old No. 2," and "This Poem" are included in the Summer 2012 issue of Pudding Magazine.

This is my second contribution to "The Journal of Applied Poetry." My poems "And God . . ." and "Peter Pan Must Die" were included in the Summer 2011 issue.  Pudding is a hard-copy press. To get a copy of the Summer 2012 issue or subscribe to the magazine, please go here

In the fall of 2013, "Frost on the Ocean" and  "Old No. 2were published again by The Poetry Storehouse, where previously published hard-copy poems go to find new life on the internet.


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