Mercy

thinking magic forks
of light abandoned me
they used to come down
scalloped through the maple’s dawn
make colored swans of common roses
swivel the slats of next day’s blind
now I stare at a cathedral
with carved gargoyles
and corners of stonemason’s wings
hooked into a July night sky
I see innumerable prayers
rising over there on helium pleas
mine just rustle around my feet
and what should I implore
of dots of stars
or into the great stiff face
starched upon the moon
and if for heaven’s sake
then why?

Finding July

Soft amniotic night of June I float;
as yet unborn and moving through your room
in awe. A lover’s song in muted tones
within your throat, elixirs of your gloom
illuminate and draws upon your kiss
tonight. Was it last, perhaps the June before;
I knew you on a night as spelled as this,
when limbs entwined and writhed across your floor
and mouths had sighing breezes of us caught
in them. Your undergrowth outlined and dark,
cooler secrets of your warming days unlocked
and spread. You carry me inside, a spark,
although your destination is unsaid;
you’ll find July and gently get in bed.

Sunday Verse

at first the wind breathes
across the open holy book
resting on the step
pages flip and flutter
as restless frantic wings
search the turning verses
as if to lift
its stationary spine
from the ground
with gold leaf edges
the prying eyes
of darkened skies
muster up the thunder
one drop then two
comes the drench
a deluge pins
the bible to the earth
soaking into splaying limbs
gazing upward
drinking rain
and found
in Song of Solomon

Vetch

he fell from a great height
as pieces of the alphabet do
from misplaced languages
or a man crouching
to examine a child’s face
the vacuum in a womb before
the sounding of his
rapid drubbing
was held through afternoons
lounging in the crooks
of fat-trunked box elders
with pinocchio and buck
and conspiracies of quiet
moving across his pupil
streaking the robins-egg irises
then darkening it multiplied
to twisting fields of vetch

Moon and Trees Sestina

Mercurial, the temperament of trees
are captured in sonatas of the moon,
their white-barked pale extensions are exposed
reflective, derelict as any sea.
The chalky groves of trunks unstrung, unknown,
in silver spooned collections of the gloom.

Examining the details of the gloom
do we assume this moonlight is for trees?
It finds us too, and mints us in unknown
coins. In tributaries slurred with moon,
where sunken dimes and quarters are exposed
as quickened flounders surfaced on its sea,

or dulcimers with nickel strings exposed.
Abstracted there and played out in the gloom,
in droning tones below the key of C,
refracted with the frequencies of trees.
A song is spilled from upset cups of moon
in staves of minor notes that strike unknown

chords. When juxtaposed beside unknowns,
where phosphorescent halftones are exposed,
there, we’re composed, completed by the moon.
Days only dream of what comes out of gloom,
what glitters through dense canopies of trees,
It splits and teases untried ways to see

dim aspects of its cratered, tranquil sea,
where sirens swim and sailors drift unknown.
We find ourselves there relative to trees,
our stands and twisted boughs that now exposed,
delineate the edges of the gloom
to rise in archipelagos of moon.

As though we know, have waited for this moon,
and floating there, we’re swallowed in its sea.
When drawn into the complicated gloom
where twilight comprehends the vast unknowns,
crepuscular, and circumspect, exposed,
we share the sterling-indigo with trees.

Perhaps we are dark sentiments of moon
expressed in undulations of unknown
shapes, shining for insomniacs to see.
Our pearls clarified and then exposed,
dependent on repeated bouts of gloom
to reach and quiver, not unlike the trees.

Unseasonably February

There were birds this morning,
as though the weakened winter sneezed.
The great dial of clicking days
grows unwieldy.
Trees pimple too soon
for the calendar,
bees rustle
in their waxy hollows.

Waiting for the train,
we wearily shoulder
ill-chosen coats,
are pipe-cleaner figures
with overdressed gestures.

The city slides by,
conjured up
through the late March
trompe l’oeil.

My eyes are full
of tortoise shell,
combing
the pomegranate crowds,
searching every face
for love.

Swell

swell up heart
swell your fleshy marbled cone
burst inwardly
beating lily of the dark
wrapped in veins
of pyrite dust
ignited by the body’s brain
spread your secret moonlight
unconfined as milky
just in pale rivulets
of gushed love
past every flapping
trunk and scapula
on seplechurs of ears
pool in larger pearls
than fondled
in a muscles reflex

Garden of Weeds

what is that with arched torso breeding there?
a closet of the sun enmeshed in spines,
they tickle thorns of roses, aren’t fair
and penetrate the lilies from behind
then spreading far and wider, squat and drink,
sucking on the toes of hyacinths;
caressing Peonies around their pinks,
bedding Sedum in their labyrinths;
covert in green, their color schemes enable
a seat with horticulture’s bluest bloods
and manners aren’t an issue at this table
where every root is firmly in the mud;
though showing up wild oats with every seed,
secretly all flowers envy weeds

Change My Mind

change my mind just like you would a room
rearrange the table and that chair
clear out all the closets of costumes
plaster subtle cracks that spider there

bring up all the china from the hutch
fill each snifter gracefully with brandy
stuff the vase with tulips trash that crutch
undrawer every candle and the candy

shift the curtains level up the blind
polish down the counters stack the spice
swish away projections left behind
bleach out stale assumptions (do that twice)

fire up each engine grease the gears
stack the tools and tighten up loose screws
sharpen all the blades and trim the fears
be gentle though because it’s filled with you

Chained Verse

You opened up a fissure,
fisher of locked
lochs and coral.
Chorales sung and pealed,
peeled and sheared;
sheer wonder makes little sense.
Cents and dollars, oh,
owe do you? With what did you meddle,
metal clad knight,
night’s odd caller.
Collars and phlox,
flocks of foul
fowels and maids
made of mourning.
Morning’s presence
presents the bard,
barred in blue prints.
Prince with your toads
towed, leave them all here,
hear the unchained mail
male.