fears of the fathers

sailing through cherry blossom days
and crème brûlée nights
she wasn’t going to lay down her arms
for a mere brat of a boy
saving up her trinkets for later
giving him all her daydreams
and night sweats

he did not know the tango
but they moved through summer
amid a soundtrack of Ravel
and Aguilera
all second thoughts
stuffed under the mattress

back in the town onto which
they shook the clay from their shoes
all their dues, paid
if you took into account
their mothers’ latent wishes
and the fears of their fathers

don’t worry
about the trash in your yard
it’s not
from my yard
it’s from all the thoughts
that heap up
in the middle of the storm
whirling
with a gig of their own

she doesn’t know who she is
all the clouds look like rain
every man walks by
in a white t-shirt and faded jeans
and no one ever asks her
who she is – no one ever wants to know
where she came from
all her weather she brings with her
all the storms she leaves behind

you do the math

dancing tall in my living room
to George and Elton
(does it really happen
if no-one sees it
like that tree in the forest)
he says sometimes I never go out
(could tell him stories about 1985
when I lived ten years in 12 months)
and I dance and dance

my head full of 1990
(wonderwall,hammer,hit me baby)
one more time-let’s dance as one
I’ll lead this time, you follow
if you still have that notion
that 1+1=1
and 2+1=no end of joy

perhaps we find
a new kind of happy-
ness, wrapped in understanding
and lessons learned
(old flames, new rites of passage)
let’s not forget, and dance to now
(rhianna, poison, blended with
the Beatles, Eagles, and 21 pilots
shaken and stirred)

once I thought it was most crucial
to fly without a net
but I believe
the trick
is
to not let go

***
***

A playlist just for kicks- must say it’s hard to find original Beatles music online, just covers. Also- it feels strange to be this close to 64, oh so much closer than when we first sang it to one another, it felt so far off.

Why it did not work (two lifetimes)




I wish I was not the one
to turn his head
to make him think of me
(that time)
over coffee
and raspberry danish
but I do not know why

He called me brutish
for not wanting him-
and not wanting her
to have him
I said – it is not
that I don’t want you-
I don’t know
what to do with you

He could not see
that I had been taken apart
(more than once)
and put back together
not like the others –
it isn’t for lack of desire
(God knows I desire)
but fear pokes its nose in

He wants cruises
and long treks into the hills –
I want a lifetime
to learn how
to make the best lasagne
to figure out how words weave
and grow powerful

(why do I feel guilty)
(that) there are times
I want to be left alone

Saddle up

It started yesterday
as I went through my chores
my lists
working and doing
my thoughts got lost in hoof beats

Someone shook me
to get my attention
what is this dark, this shadow
that makes its way through my brain
with a will of its own? And later

during dinner, the pounding
that I perceived to be my own heartbeat
again, riders of another world traversing
my thoughts without consent
my concentration and my focus
comminuted as they picked up speed-

Why?

I am no one-a poor girl with dreams
it is hard enough to sift the toothsome
dreaming from the nightmares
but now I must try to harness them
in my waking hours
and I am not capable

I don’t have that sort of cunning
to put the bit in the mouth and keep reins
taut, to bring the thoughts back
to what I wanted, what I will
these convoluted desires

these wishes become goals
and they ride on, with no thought
the night is coming
and I will be trampled

 

 

 

Stroll

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Let us take a walk through a particular woods on Long Island in New York. I will show it to you and then you will understand why a set of trees and a narrow stream could mean this much to me. I met my husband on Long Island and had my first child there. I don’t remember anymore what town these woods were in, but  I used to go there often, and usually alone. But even when by myself, I did not find it lonely there. It held that kind of peaceful solitude that you can really embrace.

As you step into the woods, about twenty paces, there is a small stream and a little bridge going over it. You can sit on the bridge and hang your feet over. I sat here countless times. Walking further in, the place is green, lush and cool with many leafy trees and evergreens. The smells are great and the ground is damp, so you can smell that as well. If you stand very still there in the Autumn, you can hear leaves falling from various distances away. My favourite clearing you’ll see as we come to it, is surrounded by several large trees with red leaves, and when they fall, they form a carpet beneath of red and pink.

How sweet it would be to sit in this clearing once more with the leaves falling around me and onto my head, shoulders and lap. When I was here I was in love, and he was in love with me. I remember how that felt to be someone’s whole world. And the day they put my newborn daughter into my arms, I thought I could take on the world myself. I want to feel that again, that feeling of red and pink, and explosions going off overhead, and my head so full of poetry that I thought it would be blown clear off. I’d like to be in love (here) again.

should spring be always
or summer arrive at thought
or autumn’s riches

the bubble

the art allows you to stay shielded
cloaked in a never-ending array of colors and shadows
blocking from view every pockmark and each scar
from the days when you sowed freely on the streets
never able to see here from there and ignoring
the pain of too short nights and screechingly hot and bright days

the painty glow allows you freedom of movement inside the bubble
keeping the crowd guessing, keeping the unwashed
interested in what’s bubbling within, no one noticing
the color of the exhaust, the color of deception, and
each slight cocooned in jelly-bean flavours, your smile
keeping the beer flowing and the joviality on tap