August 2020

"Baptized" - 8/18/20

When the rain is falling this hard
It really feels like it's 'alive'
Hitting the skylights with the fervor
Of knives wielded by vigorous chef-chopping
Or as it recedes into softer percussion
The gentle tapping of bored students' nails
On the desks we used to pass notes between
Or hide doodles in on beat-up notebooks, obscured

When it rains this hard
It seems to be saying 'survive!'
Quitting is not quite stylish enough for your
Stage-dives into thunderous applause hopping
Between greed's mob-like hysteria rushing
Sequentially scraping chalkboards jails
For unjust tasks infused with yearning for what's clean
We'll slurp noodles and stick up 3M hooks, secured
By the prospect of hope, and by faith's promise, blurred


"Wherewithal" - 8/14/20

If everything was not ok
Would you arrive on "rescue day"?
Or would you have the wherewithal
To self-restrain and let me fall

To where you knew my spirit-bough
Would catch me safely lost-at-sea
Elixir-mixing liquid flames
Burning beneath merciful waves

I've often contemplated should I
Retreat to the darkest wood
What dangers would me there befall
What prayers rise up as brave and good

Through longing's mist of then and now
Surrendered like a tattered shawl
Lackluster with retracted hope
Circling subtractions velvet rope

Another MRI

"Another MRI" - 8/6/20

This is the week I go for the test
That confirms whether I am still
In remission

On Saturday (my Sabbath day)
I will return to the tunnel with
Loud clanking

This time I will walk 4 miles there and back
This time I am not coming
From home

I am grateful to the local A-list hospital
Its frontline workers, doctors, nurses
Coordinators galore

I wish a friend could go with me
But truthfully this test I've always done
By myself

Anyway I am laying out necessities
A fanny-pack (a word to make myself laugh)
Google directions

I've practiced the walk to this unfamiliar
Place once prior, accompanied safely distanced
But anxious

So many people all around, a busy part of town
I have my mask, visor, gloves, so nothing surprises
I've practiced

I try not to think about the tiny space
Not because I'm claustrophobic (I'm not) but
Because Covid...

Then another day – it can't be done concurrently –
I'll go back for The Labs. The words make me recall
Science class

I am pretty good at a lot of things, according to
My trustworthy friends, family and the odd
Kindred spirit

Unfortunately I'm not good at anything seemingly
That appears to make one resilient during a pandemic

Don't drive, don't much like to exercise
Terrible memory for vitamins yeah I'm
Really inconsistent

My attention span is moth-worthy at best
An insect I've come to know well in lockdown
Resembling butterflies

Therein lies the humor were I a boat I would
Likely capsize with abundance of choices
Overflowing hull

Full of emotions expressions poetic and dull
Dimensional artworks of color of grey
Shifting daily

But this week I'm just a body walking slowly, humbly
Toward a large brick building on the other side
Of impatience


"Lebanon" - 8/5/20

In moments such as this I wonder what my voice can
Add to the chorus of wailing the cries for immediate
Assistance on the ground from nations the world over
The pleas for awareness, justice, empathy

Who am I to have even one observation worth sharing
A city so tested ongoing so weathered by fate's
Cruel chaos I know nothing of what it means
To be war-torn the closest I can come to imagining

The echo of hopelessness' melody across
Canyons of unimaginable brutality accidental or
Intentional is 9/11 so I put my shawl of empathy
Over my head its fringes fall loosely above my eyelids

I picture myself where you are the loss the fire
The inability to reach the ones I love this is merely
An exercise how frequently now it has become
Necessary to light candles of compassion

Exorcising the mundane for long enough
Hopefully to allow awareness of our oneness
To permeate the membrane of each daily rationale
A bubble of ritual made vital by ongoing tragedy

I Google emergency relief organizations
As my shawl falls off my shoulders
I am able to consider what I will have
For my next meal and I pause, considering fasting


"Mountain" - 8/1/20

Could hike this mountain 365 days
And still be mystically filled with praise
Silt and sand and undergrowth
Birds overhead the river's mouth

Moonlit sun-drenched cascading leaves
The longing looks from time-tolled trees
The morning mist mosquito clouds
The lizards over rocks the flowers

Embedded into hidden shelves
Could there be faeries, inner-selves
Detached determined to evolve
Climbing toward clouds with quiet resolve