Sorry About The Cake

I wish I could find the recipe
for my old delectations you loved.
Couple of cups of flower
for the nature ones,
a teaspoon of that sugar and soda
for the leavening of levity.
Was it four or five drops
from the bottle of tears
for all the pearl-clutchers?

Seems so long since I
broke all those lines of eggs
and shoved a two-verse bit
of two-bit verse into the oven.
Was it a knife or a toothpick
I’d stab into the Westerns
to check their done-ness?
None ever were.

I should have written down
those old recipes, but maybe
it was the total sensory emptiness
of the cold, aroma-less kitchen
that stirred me to pull out
this 52-key mixing bowl again.
The clicks as I mixed this
sound write, but I’m never
sure how how it’ll taste.
Want to lick the spoon?

My Figment, Your Poet

Here you are again,
sitting, standing,
floating in front of me.
There but not there,
inevitably as real
as I can make you.
And yet I’m your captive,
one of my own imagination,
one who who lives to see you
and loves to please you,
one who chronicles
the never-weres in clicks
of never-wills,
one who almost never can
without you.
Then I realize it’s time
for you to go again,
fading into the light.
At least until tonight,
when you return, floating
on a river of blackest ink
across my ceiling dark.
And I, your poet, without a pen.

Feeling My Way

I wonder and wander each day at this time,
hoping I won’t need to resort to some rhyme
to chronicle the tour from right brain to left.
Sometimes the scenes are forests or plains wind-swept,
others like deserts, barren of even sounds.
But the best trips are those where I, spelunker
of this cavern, drop into my heart’s abyss
or maybe the bottomless black of your eyes.
I guess that’s because I don’t see as much as feel
my way into these chambers of mystery
where I’m sure there are glyphs of our history
on the walls that echo each heartbeat and blink.
So if, while you read, a tear on your cheek falls,
it’s just irritating me trying to feel
with hands and heart, my way out, along those walls,
imprinting memories I hope I don’t drop
before my wander is done, when I’ll wonder
not how I found my way, but how I lost it.

My Not-What-You-Think-You-See

I don’t see it as anything odd,
how I do this or that is just how I do it.
So, why did you get your drawers in a wad,
like you grabbed a rock in your hothouse and threw it?

Do I point out how you study whatever you pick
after going two knuckles deep up your nose?
I mean, c’mon, you’re cultured, not some hick.
Well, at least you don’t eat it, too, I suppose.

Over the years, I’ve used a zillion H’s, I’ll bet,
from all the times I wrote my sneeze-sounding name.
But you have need for none that often, and yet
you skip it for saying These, Them and Those, just the same.

So please don’t pick, peck or parse my idiosyncrasy,
since, about yours, I’ve been silent, not some jerk.
Yes, I zone out, but it’s not what you think you see.
It’s a writer thing — a gift and a curse — not a quirk.

NaPoWriMo Day 22. A “quirk” poem.

Tu Lobo Solitario

I remember when you told me
you had the resolve to be alone,
yet not lonely. But it’s hard to
embrace such a future when
a certain someone comes along
to bump into your present.
I know.
My spirit animal has always
been the wolf. Though mine
is lonely, he’s never alone.
It’s why I became a fixture
in your night, loping to
the bottom of your page,
the top of this hill.
I’m silhouetted against
this virtual moon where
I howl out feelings
I know you share, there
in your room, where
you’re alone, telling me
you’re not that lonely.

Another poem-a-day effort. I wasn’t feeling too well the past few days and missed those daily pieces. Maybe I’ll make them up over the next week or so. This poem required me to use those words you see up there in bold maroon. I’ve always enjoyed using groups of random words as poem or story starters. I should make my own instead of waiting for someone else to do my work. Oh, and the title is Spanish for “Your Lonely Wolf.” I’m hoping it sparks me into writing one of my beloved western stories.

The Guitar Who Forgot How To Play

Over in the corner she stands,
the guitar who forgot how to play.
Back when I still could bend my hands,
we’d play each and every day.

Now all she does the year ‘round
is keep dust from hitting the floor.
That’s a burden to bear heavier than it sounds.
and I can’t bear the burden of not hearing her anymore.

So I’ll sit her curves upon my knee,
take her in hand and disregard the pain.
Strum her strings to see if she’ll sing to me.
Perhaps we’ll make beautiful music together again.

Ouch, that hurts my hands as well as my old ears.
Looks like she’s lost it, I have to say.
But I’ll never give her up, not in a million years.
We’ll find a way, me and my guitar who forgot how to play.

On Day 10 of Poem-A-Day April 2020, a poem that uses a fill-in-the-blanks title: “The (something) Who (something else).” There are days this is a true story, I’m afraid. And that really hurts when I’m so lost all I can do is write in rhyme. That’s almost as painful as trying to pluck some strings of grab any chord, let alone an F or Bm.

What My World Had To Say

It’s the frame through which
our pictures happen to unfold
of how the world goes ‘round and ‘round
and I just sit here and go old.
I perch here on this side of the glass,
the world lies around out there,
and we pose for hours and one another,
the world supine and I in my chair.

Even on overcast days, outside
it’s brighter than it is in here.
That’s in the eye of the beholder,
and this beholder’s craving a beer.
I watch the maple and birch trees bow
and then, with the wind, they dance.
On a page, I draw a picture of them,
with words better suited for romance.

Some days those words come quite easily,
other days it’s just so damn hard.
I’m sure the world deserves better,
but unfortunately I’m me, not some Bard.
Birds, squirrels, a woman, some girls,
memories of them true and false,
cross by my window in their own way each day,
this window ‘neath the old back porch walls.

I write down what I see, most times what I don’t,
‘cause I have a tendency to forget.
The world’s wooden-framed eyeball never blinks,
but I’ve yet to see it write about me yet.
So that’s the lot of the back porch poet,
the guy who chronicles what he senses each day.
Not too many read these, as far as I know it,
but if I didn’t, who’d know what my world had to say?

On Day 9 of Poem A Day April, an ekphrastic poem. For all you folks like me who never knew, that’s a poem inspired by a piece of art. I’ve written lots of poems like that! I’m an ekphrastic poet! Who knew? Anyway, I chose that photo up there because it reminded me of yours truly as he hunches over his laptop each day in front of the window facing the backyard.

Can I Have A Moment?

Try as I might, I struggle to be in the moment.
“Present” is the patch of psychological geography
that whooshes by under my feet and over my head.
But what is a moment?
Does it have a time limit, an address?
Does it smell like the memory of a woman?
Is it made of two, three, or four dimensions?

If time is a river, are we rafting past
these moments where we see it coming
and then it’s gone? Or is it like the view
from a speeding car on the tree-lined interstate.
Behind each trunk, for the tiniest fraction
of a half-thought, we can see the colors
of the houses, the lives of other people,
just as they can see the sun flash
upon the window where we share that glimpse.

I am a simple man, one whose mind is fueled
by imagination, always moving, looking behind,
looking ahead, looking within, almost never
at this present, hardly ever slowing to grasp
this moment you and I share. Except, perhaps,
for those two commas that just braked us like
speed bumps. Or maybe for the coming period
upon which we share a mindful breath.
Here, I’m in the moment.

This is my Day 5 effort (and it was) in my poem-a-day trek through April. The prompt was for a “moment” poem. I regret that I am hardly ever “in the moment,” except perhaps while I am writing. And even then I am more than likely thinking about how much I’d like a beer right now. Or that the moles are back in the yard. Or that I should have, should be, wish I was (something, whatever) instead of dripping imaginary blood on this imaginary page from my wounded imagination .

Follow the Thread

I picked at this thread
for an hour now and
it’s come unknotted
from my sweater again.
It’s an old sweater,
but it’s served me well.
Here, look at the elbows.
See the thin see-through roots
of these trees in whose branches
my head would roost when words
would not come or sadness did?
I’ve pulled at this thread
many times, raveling the cuff
until I find that snarling knot
(not sure if it’s a diamond or purl)
where my sleepy imagination
comes to rest and my hand
begins to rappel down the page
on a worn old thread like gold.

On  Day 3 of my poem-a-day marathon, a poem that uses a title of “Follow (something, whatever, X).” Me? I just followed the same thread I used to follow. It almost always led me to the end of a new poem.

Awaiting Your Touching Words

When you’re lonely, do you long for someone
who could find a way to reach out to you?
Does thinking of them make you come undone?
Don’t you wish you could reach out to them, too?

Rest assured you’re not alone, just lonely.
My friend in need, many share your distress.
I clothe my need in pretty words only,
you choose whether their those pants or this dress.

Just like you decide to accept my touch
when I reach out for a you who’s not there.
They’re all I can do, I know they’re not much,
but mere words are all I ever might dare.

So if my touching lines you’ve ever accepted,
send back your own. Please, do the unexpected.

Yeah, the final couplet of this janky sonnet is made of two eleven-syllable lines. But I’d hope you’d allow this desperate artist some leeway after all our years of sharing secrets, lies and truths beyond belief. I forgive you your sins, maybe you could forgive mine. They’re only words, right?