Daily Archives: August 15, 2003

Old Pottage

While you still have your youth
is the time to find out
your version of the truth;
as you age, fear and doubt
can crack the careful clay
of all your work and play.
Then in a heaping pile
of broken pottery,
you sit waiting to die
or win the lottery.

15 AUG 2003

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In Boston

In Boston, where I cut my teeth
on the raw meat of delusion,
and watched myself in disbelief
live penniless out on the street,
my college days found conclusion.

There on the green line, Brookline bound,
I took a job dispensing meat,
catching the train just above-ground
where the fare was free, and found
my way back home on snowy streets.

I lived on brown rice and boiled beans
(having not the funds to acquire
the steaks I hawked) and sorted greens;
and turned my hard earned meager means
over to an ex-friend and liar.

There were many ex-friends those days,
all concerned that I might impose,
asking a spot to store my clothes
watching the clock during my stays;
there were better guests, I suppose.

Not like the early summer time,
when I first moved into Beantown
and thought to turn my life around —
in Berklee’s halls to find sublime
music, and perhaps write it down.

But who you are will seek you out
despite your best efforts to change,
and every granule of self-doubt
you own it will bring out, and flaut,
making your thoughts crazy and strange.

And then all you can do is leave
behind those tattered dreams, that place,
knowing yourself no more deceived.
Then, in memories later retrieved
there is no point in saving face.

15 AUG 2003

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Listen! It murmurs softly underneath
the constant ebb and flow of dulling noise
like brackish water seeps into a clear
crystal pond, its briny fingers reaching
from a sea that constantly must expand.

In that muffled shape of sound sheathed
like a dull dagger in a blanket of chamois,
the tones so low that only the spine hears,
cries a single plaintive voice beseeching
us to find a prop against which to stand.

Listen! It whispers, between its clenched teeth
like a sandpaper rasp on corduroy,
as if its own sound were too much to bear.

There are no words to this shadow’s teaching,
and very few attempt to understand.

15 AUG 2003

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The Hero’s Face

Old myths teach us to see
great gods each equipped with
a thousand arms and eyes
facing all ways, seeing
all directions at once.

Each hero has my face,
and yours too; what we find
good in ourselves is there
in the wrinkled high brow,
the steady gaze, strong chin.

Old myths show us the way
that humankind evolved:
a thousand hands, each one
five fingers connected
using a single palm.

15 AUG 2003

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