Friday, November 10, 2006

POEM - A November Crazy


November light splurges burnt ochre
Over stone and ivy walls, making it
Seem older than it really is:
It is the face of a drowsy day
Begging for a little more sleep,
Beneath sky as flat as tin foil, deep
Cartoonish, a cesura - the peaceful
tension of clinching day and night's release.


At the shelter I looked into
Institutional eyes as dark as
The horizon, we ate soup and bread
Together, you laughed when you said
How much you loved your grandchildren
And crack cocaine; how this place wanted
You to surrender and that you were
Just not ready to surrender yet.
You left to return at eight so that
You could get a cot because those
Were the rules if you wanted a place
To sleep that night and November cold
Is nothing to fool with. So we shook
Hands and your smile grabbed back and held me
Like cement until we separated.


I find myself sitting in a November crazy
Watching things die, circling the drain.
I carry all my things with me too,
Just as you do: artifacts of home,
Fossils from another age, as you do.
I feel unkempt, just as you do.
I feel invisible, unable
To be heard - just as you do.

Who will slog through the muddy fields to help?
Who will lay unctioned hands upon my
Forehead and squeeze the demons out like juice?
Everything resides with great tenderness
Just behind my eyes, if you look carefully you will see it.
Peace tonight is torn bread and strong black coffee.


I shuffle around the city within,
Looking for a warm place too, as you do.
I am just as lost. It is as though
A marble sized life is dropped into
A space that is its own universe,
Between a quark and a hard place, blind to beauty,
Unable to climb out, as thin as smoke
Mixing with the raspy November air.


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