Stargazing

The first time, a cold night just a few miles

Outside the city, my brother, friend and I looked

Though an iPad which pointed out the constellations.

 

Years later, in a different city, I stared like a skeptic

Into black treacle heavens. There were stories and photographs

Of places where man had not shrouded the lights of God. Surely,

I was not prepared for such closeness.

 

After the dance, while my mind and tongue

Continued to flourish, a silence like prayer

Settled over my eyes. They perused the abyss until, one by one,

God answered my prayers and said, “Let there be light.”

 

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If you want to know why

I wear an argyle sweater

When the weather grows cold.

 

I prefer Tylenol to any other

And for no other reason than

The language I learned

In the silence of the early hours.

 

I speak in the tongues of men and angels

But before the fair faces

Who instill such memories

I am speechless.

 

This conversation repeats,

I know how to feel tomorrow

And all I have to do is wait

For the dawn.

 

Second Moleskine, Poem XXIV

I want to meet you

Somewhere in Paris

And pray that space

Creates an equal distance in time

 

I have only lost

Myself

 

And words

Even poetry

Roll past as I watch

 

A few thousand miles from here

I will be older

And God could teach me

How to listen to my favorite songs

 

And instead of crying

I will smile

Ever so softly

 

Fog on a Night Drive

The passing scenes appear as miniatures

In a shop window. There is the same plastic

Narrative which comes close to the truth. But

I can tell that there is something hidden

By the absence of natural light.

 

Headlights of oncoming travelers are broken

Into fractions, preparing them for the journey

From the knave of my cornea to the altar

Behind the visible eye. Without the fog, their light

Is too violent, even for my taste. But now

They translate the darkness of this highway

Into a language I can not understand, but by which

I see the night in a different light.

 

An Experiment in Description

A short experiment in describing something I passed on the road en route from a beach vacation.

 

 

On the road home I was surprised

To see a pickup truck pulling

An older model of itself

On a trailer. Nothing to hold the elder

Machine except a park brake, two cords bound tightly

And the persistent communion with gravity

That binds all things.

 

Heavy metal frame rocks back and forth, independently

But always under the bounds of tires which move

Only in reference to trailer and carrier.

 

Hilton Head, New Year 2019

My family continued the tradition of a Hilton Head vacation for the New Year. Many exciting things this trip! Our house was on the edge of the island, away from the heavy waves. Dolphins would feed out in the water and occasionally even swam up to the shore.

One of the new bike paths runs through a golf course. I rode through one day in the fog and it was eerily delightful.

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These are perhaps the most interesting houses I have seen… there is a whole neighborhood of them. Smaller bottom floor with glass walls on most sides and then a larger upper story.fullsizeoutput_1eafullsizeoutput_1edfullsizeoutput_1f0fullsizeoutput_1ebfullsizeoutput_1ef

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This last one is the view from my favorite reading spot. From this very chair I wrote the following poem:

 

Hilton Head, 2019

On the patio next to ours, a pretty girl

Came outside, took off her shoes, then entered

Back into her house, as if reminded that she

Trespassed on a holy ground; the sand below

The wood. I await her second coming.

 

Earlier today, which is the third day of a New Year, I listened

To a modern saint talk about advent, walking

On a beach which the waves left open, as to prepare

The way for the masses left in God’s wake. Valleys

Of miniscule canyons litter the shore and some

Make little funnels down to the water where my sisters

Found a jellyfish; alive and of the kind you only see

In aquariums. Today is a day of new things.

 

You and I

Your strongest voice

Is your silence.

 

Your mind is a tennis game

Between what you think

You need and

What you want.

 

Your beauty is in mystery;

So also is your terror.

 

Your time is short, use it well.

 

~~~~~

 

I have done many things

In many names.

Always careful not to swear

In the name of God.

 

I have failed enough

To want another life.

 

Praise be to the God

Of new life, who takes away

Our sins by His Love,

 

Restoring us to the world.

 

I have places to go,

People to meet.

 

Do not hold me here

With curses

In the name of piety.

 

Second Moleskine, Poem XXIII

I have seen pain and heartbreak

Inflected in the motions

Of the faces of the children

Of God

 

The time I was first reformed

He stretched my body out

Over His and carried me

Across the universe

 

I saw life

And death and all states between

 

Ascribe to the Lord

The honor due His name

In a dry and weary land

In a land where there is no water

 

Re-Acquainted

I’m rediscovering the way of words as one

Rediscovers a friend turned enemy

Seven years after a fallout.

 

Everything is exciting for a moment

As I approach with timidity, expecting

To be abusive and abused, as vague

As the circumstances were which caused

Such denial of faith in the other’s being.

 

I used to love her, or him, but time

Took away the violence of living

In wonder of  otherness. I saw too clearly

The discrepancies between I and Thou.

 

Here I am again, committing the crime

Of self-imposition to what I know

Is a greater being. How it happens I cannot explain:

Finally I lose a part of myself

Which was never mine to begin with.

 

Second Moleskine, Poem XXII

Ten

Behold the Lamb of God

 

Nine

He taketh the sins of the world

 

Eight

Glory be to God

 

Seven

He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit

 

Six

How many saints among thousands of faces

 

Five

Halfway to Calvary, Christ stumbled

 

Four

Our weight was His burden

 

Three

Behold the Lamb of God

 

Two

He taketh away the sins of men

 

One

As I fall past

 

Remember me