Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where There's Smoke...


O welcome to me now.
You have remembered me
and are here.

Come close to the fire.
I am cold.

Hold my hands.
They are shaking to touch you.

Dry the rain from my body.
I have been standing outside
looking for you.

The bottle is only half empty.
Pour the wine.

Tell me why you have come.
Never mind the real truth,
tell me the lie.

What have you brought me
to make me love you?

Let me tell you why
I leave the door
and the windows open:

The wind is afraid to enter!

Did you know
you are braver than the wind?

(prev. pub. in Nocturnes by Frith Press, 1995)



Walking outside to another caustic evening,
stifling edges of the night close in.
We and our shadows slowly lose importance.

The red moon climbs another smoky sky.   
Is summer really over, we ask, derisively,
checking outdoors on another fire-scorched evening.

We smell the stubborn fires of a nearby county,
estimate the distance—sniff the air—
we and our shadows losing our importance

to the larger tragedies we try to fathom.
When do you think it will rain, we ask, wishing
for overdue relief on this fire-thick evening,

our house now a vague, dark shape behind us.
It’s cooling down a bit, we say, for comfort
as we and our shadows gradually lose importance.

Small breezes start to build. The hard day softens.
Let’s not go in just yet, we say, and shiver,
walking outside through another smoke-filled evening
where we and our shadows slowly lose importance.


(After cover painting: “The Falcon” by Michael P. Berman
from Groom Falconer Poems by Norman Dubie)

holding the white moon to his genitals,
the mute savant wishes a look could reach…


holding a white dove to her heart,
a loveless woman wishes her heart could cure…


holding a white fire to its mind
a stillborn soul wishes its life could melt…


I speak to the suffering of dying
animals which is to the deliberate
cruelty of those who kill or maim
to satisfy some vanity of power.
What force within allows
such killing . . . ? 

Oh watchers of your own contempt,
how stay your minds from this . . . ?

I cannot
my mind,
how the cat
with no
simply waits
for its death—
that  I, for it, must grieve
and grieve with such anger.



We squander the light with our dull eyes.
How can we bear the result of shadows?

Shadows are part of the ruse: you at the window
with your cape on—with your spread arms.

Arms hold and carry, now convey weariness
by hanging limp—have their own messages.

Messages rustle—they whisper—they nag,
so smug with being right, what they believe.

Belief is where there’s smoke, there’s fire—
fire of truth—in the smoky air of the believers.


Today's LittleNip:


burnt offerings
the potatoes
the hamburger
even the water
today my heart’s not in it


—Medusa, with thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix on our Seed of the Week from last week, Fire! Time to launch into our new SOW: That Big Bear of a Man. Who is he? Your dad? Boss? Neighbor? Or is he more metaphoric: Neptune, or Zeus, or even Father Time? Tell us about that big man in poem or artwork and send us your musings at kathykieth@hotmail.com; no deadline on SOWs.