This note may be dark,
but it reflects the weather.
Besides, too much light
fades color from everything.
What a gray world that would make!
Rainbows and sunshine
do not help the whole world grow.
There must be dark storms
to fuel life at its deep roots,
build jungles out of deserts.
Seeing only good
is merely self-hypnosis;
dark and light exist
in equal measure out there.
Why persist out of balance?
05 JUN 2017
Posted in Poems
Tagged #BookofForms, balance, dark, illusion, Japanese verse forms, light, perception, poetic forms, rain, sunshine, tanka
Standing at the window, staring out into the rain,
past the point of caring who or what may be the blame.
Innocent and guilty sometimes are one and the same;
we don’t make the rules, and yet we still must play the game.
Standing on the corner waiting for the downtown bus
sometime after midnight, by the frequency of trucks.
The hour makes no difference when the minutes turn to rust;
no one’s left the light on or is waiting up for us.
Standing at the streetlight for the green light to come on,
each moment takes us by surprise and then is too soon gone.
You start out as a knight or queen, but end up just a pawn,
a jockey left out in the dark on someone else’s lawn.
Standing in the doorway, with so many words unsaid,
each one an ultimatum or a summons to the dead.
In print they seem so black and white, aloud they turn to red,
lines intended to inspire that fade to gray instead.
Standing at the window staring out into the night,
past the point of knowing between what is wrong and right.
Doesn’t really matter which side of the cause you fight,
justice isn’t really blind, she’s just hidden from sight.
11 FEB 2007
Last night a storm rolled slowly in
the thunder muffled by the air
so heavy, like a mortar’s crack
or heavy rifle silenced with
a potato at its barrel end,
wrapped in layers of gauze;
it could only slowly make
its way along the pea-soup night
and felt that it was far away
instead of at our doorstep.
The rain was more like sour sky-sweat
that leaked from cloud-pores; it did not fall
but oozed out in the still air like
the world had run a marathon,
the moisture dripped along its brow
and heaving chest, coating hot and salty
the gasping, overheated ground.
10 AUG 2004
It’s raining and the air is cold, the skies are dark and gray
There’s not a speck of sunshine on this January day
And not a smile or cheerful word is spoken or displayed
Sometimes the world is like that, or at least it seems that way
It’s raining, and the gutters rattle with a heavy load
They shake each time the lightning flashes and thunder explodes
And water fills the dirty holes there hidden in the road
Sometimes the times are like that, and you never seem to know
It’s raining on the battlegrounds and in the fields and streams
In oil-slicked puddles the green world is turning submarine
And only on a lonely hill can you survey the scene
Sometimes the future’s like that, or at least that’s how it seems
It’s raining and the sewer drains are filled up to the brim
There’s not much sense in traveling out simply on a whim
And those who venture out are bound to be soaked to the skin
Sometimes the one who doesn’t take the field is he who wins
It’s raining and some things the rain won’t quickly wash away
There’s bones and shells of ancient conflicts buried in this clay
And in the sandy bosom of the earth the dead will stay
Sometimes the cost is higher than the price you’d like to pay
It’s raining and the clouds above are filled up with the stuff
There’s stormy days still coming, and it’s likely to get rough
And those who wish it wasn’t so may find the going tough
Sometimes the weather doesn’t care when you have had enough.
09 JAN 2004
There at the edge of a wide green meadow,
set back just out of sight of a side road
under the cloak of an old oak’s shadow,
where the bramble vines creep out from the wood
and the fragrant wildflowers show their blooms
at the mouth of a hidden flowing spring,
their petals daubed with splashes of color
and with the delicate mist of the dew,
with the short, sweet chirping of the sparrows
echoing through the low hanging branches,
and the soft murmured droning of the bees
rising and falling with their passing flight
I shall sit on the back porch and listen
to the last falling drops of this spring rain
and watch, as the water starts to recede,
soaking into the planted beds and pots,
thinking of time as a season of change,
and each moment a small drop in the sea
that takes in all things in its churning wake
and leaves each of us just where we should be.
14 MAR 2003
The gutters are filled and the streets overflowing
The raindrops keep falling, the winds keep on blowing
And just when it will stop, there’s no way of knowing
So batten the hatches, and prepare for rowing
The skies are dark grayish, and no light is shining
For warm winds and sunshine we all are a-pining
But there’s no use whimpering or in complaining
As long as the levee walls keep on retaining
And what of parades, and the Mardi Gras Krewing?
In this type of weather, what can they be doing?
Well, most of them are stuck inside and are brewing
Just watching the sky with its endless wet spewing
This year, Mother Nature is throwing her beads
And thinking what plants, not what drunken fools need
Her parade a raincloud that cold water bleeds
Refreshing the green world that hungrily feeds
So think not the fun is spoiled by this downpour
(though most of the tourists, I’m sure, are quite sore)
It’s not like no one’s seen flashed titties before
And the world can live without a year’s worth, I’m sure
Besides, the forecast says the rain will die down
enough to enable all jesters and clowns
to cram themselves into a few miles, uptown
and leave their wet trash lying there on the ground.
26 FEB 2003