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Posts Tagged ‘meaning’

At the Table

These are the moments
where revelation
distracts rather than
relieves.

The sum of all our positioning
negated by attachment.
Dishes still needed to be done
and here we were
at the dinner table.

Questions had never been so
offensive to me
until they came from that mouth.
Distance never so impassable
until it traveled
under those feet.

The angry gracefulness
of lightning.

And then tears.

As if inescapable tragedy
had befallen us
and yet I couldn’t feel.
I could only wonder
why we are here
at the dinner table.

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Night Sky

My face points
up starring
straight into
the soft folds
of a vast sum
composed mostly
of nothings.
My imagination
moves to more
intimate and less
baron ideas.

How people
are puzzles
whose pieces
have meaning
bigger than the
precisely cut
palpable edges
of their interlocking
hands.

How distance
paints them as one
but under the microscope
each person is a swarm
of stars more distant
in proportion to their
tiny size than
the prickly green grass
is from the sky.

She sighs next to me
starring straight up
feeling me further away
than I am. She escapes
with me to a field
we pretend is somehow
isolated from our genesis.
It isn’t. We’d need to believe
that things escape what
we perceive in order
to put aside the puzzles
of nature and live in the sky.

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Stop lights on downtown main street,
over-turned farm equipment,
a gun, a tear in her eyes;
who hasn’t written about these?
The epitomes of everyday life
have bereft us of the mystery
of the meaning in naturally occurring
objects. Even when upsidedown.

So solid that I hold onto them
when the earth quakes.

What about the butterfly coaster
to protect her desk from spills,
the overturned sea shell to hold change
and remind her of the beach at work,
what of the hand sanitizer she applies
after shaking hands with folks? These symbols
are unused, and too particular to be meaningful.

So elusive is their power that I can do naught
but mention them in passing.

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Bend to me as you pass my way
before you hold your head aloft
in the skyward clouds of soft
puffy silver hair.

With your hands feel my decay,
the weight of wrong
skinned burdens, and a strong
robust despair.

Do not think your mercy pays
for my freedom’s origin,
the residue of Moses’ sin,
and a fragile type of unfair?

It will not be just to stay
on the road to salvations cross
just tell them of my fortunes lost
when you make it there.

My purpose is to divert your way
from the dangers up ahead
and I’ll be replaced once I am dead
by a sign post marked “beware”.

Even now I am turning gray
from the ages I’ve been here
so go quickly the other way
before you start to care.

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Nervous Habit

I watched her hand scribble words
looming lazy loops
her working mind needs a working body.
The objects around the room:
a lamp, a bed, a map
all being put to paper as cursive
half-meaningful symbols.
Perhaps, she thought,
if these were intentioned then
some meaning might cling
like collecting dust.
She thought about moving them
but let them be
to light the room,
to hold her dreams,
to take her home.

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We never intend our voice to be a mirror
after a year. Writing is a release –
that means don’t come back.
To cry the tear of a reader
to pose a question – to describe a lack.
The cocoon sealed green opens
and the history of those people
is a stream reflecting light.
Water isn’t without connotation
words are not without denotation –
and thus an elderly man can come across
the stream he crossed in youth
sockless and happy –
and feel nothing but sorrow at
the sameness of it all.
In time he will build a bridge
to never look upon the waters again.
The bridge will bear his name
the name on the lips of those who pass
with their children in hand.
Small girls laugh at the wind carrying seeds
as mothers sneeze loudly.
The young boys pull with all their might
against the weight of their fathers
toward the edge of the path.
For one second they want to see the river
as it passes through the trees,
under the bridge,
and on into the horizon.

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She had been in a rush all day
but she paused for a second
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.
There were no flowers to smell in the city.

No friend she ever had would recall
this small act of humanism, this epiphany
that would slow the fall for just one second
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.

After all, there where no flowers to smell in the city
Nothing to do, if you paused for just one second
So Naturally there was nothing to pity in the fact
that something was about to fall.

50 stories up, a painter too felt the epiphany
so he paused for just one second
Letting his feet forget the many hardship they’ve endured.
His friends couldn’t recall him ever acting so odd.

50 stories below, the cool, smooth, gray, of the sidewalk
Looked as if a blank paper with yellow lines.
It enjoyed the idle talk of business pedestrians about how
There were no flowers to smell in the city.

50 different stories, filled with people
none of whom could recall
it ever raining red paint before.
Something must have gone wrong.

The black and white newspapers the next day
capture only a monochrome woman lying face down
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.
Why she had left work, her secretary couldn’t recall.

There were no flowers to smell in the city,
Nothing but leaves and cold air.
The weight of 50 stories having painted her tale
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.

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