Poetry

Poetry

Poetry Collection

I am starting to organize the poems that are on this website.

I normally post my poems simply as blog posts, usually after spending some time editting them.

However, so are posted as fairly raw drafts.

Eventually, I go back, revise some of the poems, and place them into a structure related to other poems. It helps me think about how my poems interrelate. Hopefully, it will be helpful to you as well.

Some poems end up in a section at the bottom of uncategorized poems. These are often poems I haven't gone back to work on or to think about how they relate to other poems.

In particular, poems that I write during periods where I post a poem a day end up in this section.

There are links below to navigate through the different sections, subsections, and the poems within each subsection.

(Categories: )

Strawberry Marrow

I lift up mine eyes to the hills
and the structures
look like
Hebrew characters.

Class was challenging this morning
feeling almost
dissociative
in a good way.

I sit and write
as the sun beats down
like God’s warming love.

I am holding many concerns.

A friend has marked himself safe
in the fatal earthquake
in Japan
not far from where
my daughter lives,
shaken,
but okay.

A woman
who cannot have children
weeps
over those taken
from their mothers.

I pray for the sick and oppressed.

A classmate walks by
and offers me strawberries.
They are sweet and fresh
and remind me of the Zen story
about tigers, mice, a vine,
and a strawberry.

How sweet it tasted.

I am living deeply right now
sucking out all the marrow of life
and treating each moment
like the host in an Orthodox Liturgy;
death mingled with resurrection,
each drop being so sacred
it must not be spilled.

Vigil

Furtively we crept to the wake.
The room was dark and full of pictures.
We had hoped he would be the one
We had hoped that this would be the week
when we arrived at the capitol
with great fanfare,
but the crowds turned against us.
They gave him the death penalty,
executing him like a common criminal.

Now, we huddle in silence, sadness, shame, and fear.
Will they come for us next?

Suddenly, there’s a commotion.
One of the women has returned.
She says the body is missing.
Is this the final insult,
a desecration of his grave?
Another returns.
She has seen a vision.
She says he’s alive.

I am shaking;
terrified and overjoyed
with no way of understanding
what all this means.

I am not a Racist

Trayvon, Michael, Eric, Sandra, and Tamir,
I am not a racist.
From Charleston to Charlottesville, with confederate flags and statues of Robert E. Lee,
I am not a racist.
From taking a knee to washing with Dove,
I am not a racist.

I don’t have a confederate flag on the back of my pickup truck,
but I don’t see what the big deal is about,
it’s part of our history.

I don’t tell racist jokes, at least if there is anyone I might offend around,
and I try not to laugh too hard when someone else does.

I am not a racist,
but I don’t get why those people
are blocking traffic
or kneeling during the National Anthem.

I argue with my friends
whether Dove or the ad-agency is more to blame
ignoring my complicity
in over four centuries of systemic racism.

Can’t we just make America great again,
like when everyone knew their place
and we didn’t have to think about
racism and injustice?

(Categories: )

Father's Day Memories. Daily Examen. Sandy Hook.

As I reach for a bowl
to make my morning oatmeal,
I see a plate from my childhood
nestled amidst the other dishes
and ask myself,
“What will you remember?”

Father’s day.
I remember to call my father
who has forgotten to turn on his phone.
I wonder if my daughters
will remember to call me
as I recall
the phone they are likely to call
is dead.

I stand,
in the moment,
seeking to commit
the smell of raisins
in the oatmeal
to long term memory
to stay with me
through my final years.

It is a solitary moment,
not one others will remember
when they eulogize me.

In the morning
I go to church
for the weekly remembrance
of the resurrection.

In the evening,
I choose not to watch an interview
with a man who denies
what many remember.

Note: I have gone back and forth about whether to include my "Daily Examen" posts with the rest of my poetry. I have decided, generally, not to. Too many of my other poems are more likely to get lost that way. However, this poem, which started off as my Daily Examen for June 18, 2017, stands well on its own, and I have chosen to include it with my other poems, with my Daily Examen, and also in Politics.

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