Joy (for my daughter)

Joys in the morning
Coffee and a cigarette
Then a run
Under the blistering
Texas sun
Simple things
Coffee, cigarettes, a run

Yet another year looms
And older I become
A year stretched out
Like a blanket
Of meaningless days
Thoughts of what will be
When my blanket of days
Is folded and finally
Put away

To rest
Content
Having found
Some thread of meaning
Unraveling from all the threads
In this blanket of days
To pull the thread,
Letting the others fall away,
Hold it close,
And say,
“This was enough.
Yes, this was, indeed,
Enough.”

Useless Things

My words are useless things.
Their journey
from soul to heart
to brain and down the arm
to the hand to the page
is a time too long spent traveling
to retain any sense, any power.

As I read all the words
I’ve written for you
or because of you—
I am shamed
at all these words do lack
of elegance and grace
in their tangled broken threads—
they’ll never be the banner
I wish for you.

I know if only I could find
the right words
to weave the right patterns,
the turn of phrasing within the fabric made—
you would know,
completely understand
Everything—
See all the beauty I see
when I look at you—
Then there would be nothing,
nothing
you did not know of me.

funeral pyre

Watch the body of words
Bled out in alphabetic sketches
Drawn in connotations and denotations
Shadowing in crosshatching upon pages
Torn from notebooks
Of the past
Go up in flames
Of a funeral pyre
Neatly made
Feel the heat and sweat
Away all that remains
Of promises made
Kept
Broken
In between
Past and present
As definitions and meanings
Curl
Turning black
In the orange and yellow flames
Let all that has been abandoned
Be purified
Of delicious deceit
And belief held for moments
In random patterns
Flickering against the night
Recite words once given out
Of return and promise
Daring to tap them out
On some electronic page
Cracking open
New chapters of breaking
To find wholeness
In the waking
Flames hold truth
Of what was
And was not.

Respite from Absence

A respite from
45, 100, 500 seconds,
751,680 minutes,
12,528 hours,
And now, for now
Bereft in the taking of leave
From her
Driving the miles
To the place called home
That is not one
Since she is not there
As the miles stretch out
Adding one to another
The hole within me forms
Widens, deepens
The place only she can fill
And know
I will hurry
Each minute and month on its way
Blessing each in its passing
Taking comfort in the moments
When days come that she can fill the part missing
A relief from being bereaved
In the absence of the home she is
Until the final day of five hundred twenty-two
Has been blessed in its passing
And I will be home forever.