Poet/playwright/professor Mary E. Weems and I are playing 30-poem email tag . . . she sent poem Nov 1st, I used it as jump-off for mine, she uses mine as jump-off for her next day’s.

Here are my first ten days in November . . .

(the 3 astericked lowku slipped in on their own during morning dogwalk, aren’t Mary’s fault).

*2021.11.1 – If I sit in the dark
2021.11.1 – Mom, dad, bro 1, bro 2, maybe sis
2021.11.2 – Politician infested waters
*2021.11.3 – Follow the money
2021.11.3 – In parked car in cold
*2021.11.4 – Frost white on clover green
2021.11.4 – There you go
2021.11.5 – First sip of coffee
2021.11.6 – We make stories of fears
2021.11.7 – We come wet
2021.11.8 – Last time I felt safe
2021.11.9 – We creep from dark
2021.11.10 – Pain is your friend

~ ~ ~

If I sit in the dark
still, quiet, eyes closed
trouble can’t see me

~ ~ ~

Mom, dad, bro 1, bro 2, maybe sis
so many dead, burned, buried
and that’s not counting the cats

or the eventual dog

Oldest friend still living
snuck in 50 years ago 376 miles away
now 2,129 miles off

donno if that’s progress or escape

But they’re all with me
dead, alive
inside and out

now and never forever

This here and gone makes me me
for my only her —
wife, partner-in-crime, friend

in yes and no of if and when

~ ~ ~

Politician infested waters
I enter anyway
cast my vote


Here comes snow again
cold ice wind blow
another run for sun


Freight train
low heavy slow rumble
pulling night


what a waste
of grace and space


Power corrupts
the corrupt seek power
we choose our Gods

till finally

Cold room
hot bath

~ ~ ~

Follow the money
follow the power
follow the assholes

~ ~ ~

In parked car in cold
sun toasty through warm glass

The road do get rocky
the vehicle creaky
the body tired
the mind weary
the soul cranky
the map fades
the route lost

In other words
business as usual

As rock rolls on
one continues the show
with nary a me or you in the know

~ ~ ~

Frost white on clover green
this dogwalk morning
the table turns

~ ~ ~

There you go
yet . . .
here you are still
(and your shadow beat you to it)

You can’t step out of the picture
of reference
and expectation
(the father and mother of suffering
sez long gone Buddha)

You can only shed your leave
if you shed the going too

~ ~ ~

First sip of coffee
ahhh, there may be a god
second sip
oh yes, here’s land to trod

Wait . . . it’s covered in ice
and cold of snow
slick with lies
and the 1%’s no

Trapped in wraps of power and sex
plus plots and knots of loss
of cultural hex
and white skin gloss

~ ~ ~

We make stories of fears

Freight train pulls heavy
through valley of night
moan and wail

Sparkle frosts dead leaves
breath hangs in air
Persephone’s back in hell

I make my noise
nobody listens
life goes on

~ ~ ~

We come wet
go worry loss
face frost
walk pain
ignore cost

surly worm
seeking bird
for burial

referral absurd
basic bet
untied knot

where gain?

weary work awakin’

~ ~ ~

Last time I felt safe
I was 5
half asleep in backseat
of 1940’s car
on 1951 highway
drone of primitive rubber
running crude concrete
and rattle wreck of entropy
lullaby sublime
parents dark shape in front
me safe behind
no worry
no time
no trouble mind

~ ~ ~

We creep from dark
sneaking peeks for sabertooths
mastodons, dire wolves
to huddle round the tribal fire
chanting myths and misses
want and need
how much blood we’re willing to grieve
for the laughing light before us
the hard cold teeth behind
as we pound bone
blow flute
glancing back for the fiery eyes
and dripping drool
of life’s school

~ ~ ~

Pain is your friend
lets you know you’re alive
still stumbling down Entropy Lane
with the rest of us halt and lost and lame
every day longer
every year shorter
every blister bigger
every gain subdued
as we bounce in bursts of grasp and sorrow
groping toward compost
brief season
a few tree rings
and back to ground we go
minerals and manure
to be mined
by many
a fool

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