Falconry

animals_hero_red-tailed_hawk_0 (1)

A screeching hawk climbs overhead,
Gliding, swooping in pursuit,
Her flight a perfect merger
Of beauty, purpose, and skill.

If only, if only
I could capture such a hawk
Train and bend
That beauty and skill
To do the bidding of my will.

Sent forth from my hand
In a powerful surge of wings,
Pummeling air,
Finding the perfect draught of air
To glide upon,
Turning, searching for prey,
Then sighting her trophy, her prize,
Sweeping down, a beat of wings,
A shift of body,
Talons extended,
What seems a pause,
A slowing,
Talons snatching,
Squeezing, sinking into a snake’s skin,
Wings beat, once, twice,
A cry as she lifts her body
And her limp prize,
Upon the air to glide,
Turning homeward,
The purity of her purpose,
A dance upon the air,
Done.

If only, if only
From my hand could fly
Such beautiful purity of purpose.

Splinters and Ash

 

Splinters these things:
A Cherrywood vanity
Of fine detail,
Queen Anne legs
And dovetailed drawers,
A square ring left in the surface of the finish,
Where perfume dripped down the sides
Of a stoppered crystal bottle;
A dull walnut jewelry box
With red velvet lined drawers,
An attached mirror
Makes it too large,
Ungainly, for today.

These things, leavings,
Leftovers of a life lived,
For remembrance, for reverence,
Symbols of the intangible
As spring greenery
Is glimpsed and seen
Through a sunlit dusty screen
On a late afternoon,
Containing a muted gold softness
One can never touch.

Lackluster as they are,
They are her, her leavings,
The leftovers of the grinding times
She spent between
Rocks and hard places.

You will have her splinters
And my dusty ashes:
A picture or two, photo albums,
Old fashioned things to look through,
No links to clouds but to history, yours;
Some pencil scratching and ink splatters,
Words hurled, tattooed, etched, brushed
Upon page after page,
Notebook after notebook,
Drive after drive;
Yet you will never know or guess
How many were destroyed,
Burned, ripped, broken,
All trashed over my years.

And if you should read my leftovers?
Press your lips together,
Drawing them thin?
Sigh and raise an eyebrow?
Roll your eyes then burn it all?
Or simply, send it all to the trash
In green plastic bags?
Or
Find one old photo,
one written line
Worth the keeping,
For remembrance sake?
Perhaps, perhaps

You will find something
Among my dust and ash leavings
Of the grinding times I spent
Between rocks and hard places
And view it
As spring greenery is seen
Though a sunlit pollen dusty screen,
Void of vibrancy,
But containing a muted gold softness
One can feel yet never touch
Then know my damning sin,
Like Jonson’s, “was too much hope of thee”
Then find your heart softened and free.

For You

 

Words drift
Settle, pile up
In drifts and banks
Over the rocks
In my mind.

I walk through
This blizzard of words,
Watch them settling
On my shoulders,
For a moment, perfect
As exquisitely delicate lace
Before disappearing,
Melting into the wool of my coat,
Gone, lost to me forever.

But not you,
Never be lost to me.

When I’ve had nothing else,
Words were always there,
Trusted and true,
Counted on, relied upon,
Supplying all I needed,
When there was nothing and no one.

But for you,
To always have you,
I’d watch them all–
Drifts, banks, flakes
Melt, dripping away
Into spring
And you.

11:12 AM Picture Sent

 

Such discarnate words
have no power, life–
struggle so for air, color–
to capture some tell-tale sign
of the animate.
Letters swirl and dance
in some perverse pretense of desire
to procreate,
to mirror a thing
resembling the beauty
in a picture sent at 11:12 AM
of yellow irises,
wandering purple jew,
privet sprigs and blooms,
purple sage flowers,
and rosemary sprigs
in perfect arrangement.
But these letters,
these words
never find
that perfection,
that beauty,
that touch upon a heart, upon a soul
as flowers chosen and cut
from your yard
and arranged
by your hands.

Purged

 

all the words have been emptied out
scrubbed cleaned
some were trash and tossed
into a bin
walked to the curb
to be hauled away

and of those cleaned
no sparkling diamonds
no lustrous pearls
just words
of dulled cut glass
nothing to catch the eye
inspiring a heart or soul
to take flight
nothing to hit the gut
twisting in recognition
of human frailty
nothing to batter against the lid
of a mind or soul locked away
freeing it finally from a prison
so it is best perhaps
to end at the recycle bin
and then to rest after such cleaning

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.