a note*

Everything I post here I have previously published on the many other blogs I have had. This is a place for my favourites to rest. These are the wings that taught me i could fly and that there is life waiting, far beyond the ridge.

If you care to comment, just drop me an email at grayhawk77@yahoo.com

rick

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mushroom Time

8

mushroom time!
that ritual of spring
and kill-less hunt

an art taught by my father,
he of sharp eyes
and large hands

he had a big stride
yet covered less ground
while I raced
all snap, crackle pop

I searched the more trees.
he filled the larger bag,
while I’d clamber and trip,
and glance to the quiet
that was him.

knowing my stubborn
he never reproved.
just shrugged,
and smiled,
and picked.

his life,
has been a mushroom hunt
all purpose and patience.
while mine,
has remained
all snap crackle pop.

Dad has a file,
bonds, policies and pensions
and still counts his nickels.
Mr. careful and precise.

my file,
is filled with dreams.
wisps of smoke and ash
from trails blaze
and nickels thrown to empty wells

but it also holds loves and laughter
and kisses snatched
in moonlite madness

I’m the drink you have
five minutes after last call.
Dad’s the nap you catch
on Saturday afternoon

Dad’s the moon,
you can set your watch by,
set your sails to.

I’m the comet
you never saw coming,
and couldn’t grab leaving.

I wish he had been a little more me,
and I a little more him.
but we’ve learned tolerance.

his bag will always be bigger,
but my hunt more the rush.
I’ll eat of his extras
while he laughs to my stories

It’s all good,
butter and salt
~Rick


,

Love's First Steps

All loves know a first step. An entrance to a passage that must move forward. So often, time adds things that water the soup and we grow tired of fine dining. The things that first made hearts beat to a faster rhythm have never left, they only grew covered in the clutter. Forgiveness, tenderness and remembering, I think, perhaps can filter away some of the clutter. Some things, too, need to be forgotten. I think it's good to revisit Love's first step.




They walk hand in hand
as before
along sunny slopes
and crystal laced mountains
they dip their hands
in each others desires
and create yesterday
once more





They were younger then,
the earth was younger, too
not all formulas
had yet been calculated
and hope rode
on winds of steeled passion





they dreamt in tandem
loved in unison
and worshipped
all that was sweet and lovely





but time, the deviant
is indeed
a cruel joker
with a finger that waves
to your nose
and tells of apple pie
cooling on the sill





tomorrow seems so far
yesterday so last year
and today forever
or so we thought





but to find
the richness in times passing
must be our obligation,
our gift
to each other's mortality
just beyond the mirror





we must go
once again
to hidden coves
saunter through peaceful dells
and
wade through melodic shores
tasting the love
as new





for honey
is sweet everlasting
that is, unless boiled





it must be trusted
to keep itself
and does
if we let it





so let us explore
as we did
the eyes of adoration
the touch of fingers soft
on shy surfaces
and blush to shiver's tingle





Let's uncover the glow
in covered pans
and let the steam rise
and envelope us
as we walk hand in hand
in first love's
freshest footsteps




~Rick

A Day With Mom




I’ve written of my Mother before, and of her twisted struggles that tangled her in tortured death. But I’ve never told of the day of indulgence. The day I poured the poison that had long since tagged the toe. Please don't judge me harshly for this or think I excuse it. It just happened. It was all I had left to offer.
My Mother lived much of her last fifteen years in one rehab after another. Pretty good ones. One was Hubert Humphrey’s house. He didn't mind, he was dead. Nothing ever took, though, and eventually the effort was extinguished. Her body was gone. She was rejected for transplant. Only the wait remained.
Many times I would go to the gin mills and ale benches and find my mother there, barely hanging on to swirling stools as others sought to avoid her plague and temper their own. I too, was deeply embarrassed and no doubt displayed so in my demeanor. I stopped drinking and attended AA hoping it would bleed over, but she despised me for it and would taint meals with alcohol secretly as a poisoned apple.
Anyway. one day, within six months of her death, I think, I took her out for the day. It was the middle of the week. It was early. I picked her up and took her anywhere she wanted to go. We hit every saloon within fifty miles and in MN, that’s saying a lot. I took her bowling. She had been a great bowler once. We played cards and pulled losing tabs, we sang and danced to the juke box and I refused to be embarrassed. She drank no more than she would have anyway, just not alone. When the day was far gone, I brought her home and put her to bed.
I didn’t kill her. That had happened long before. For one day, I decided to love her just as she was and not judge her. I chose to be a loving son even if wrong in procedure. Until she died, she talked of that day to anyone who would listen. She beamed in remembrance. She had given up hope for being fixed long ago. We all had. When all hope is gone, so is all fear. If fear is gone what threat can then be administered?
I don’t regret that day of hell raising. I regret every day that I was openly ashamed of her. She is my mother and I love her. Wish I had loved her more. Wish I had Held her and told her, 'It's ok. I gotcha."
I was in Seattle when she died. They called me and told me they were gonna pull the plug at six PM. I went to the airport, had a drink to toast finally rest, and watched the clock tick away the minutes of her life as I waited for departure. Just about the time she took her last breath, I was walking toward the gate as two bald men in strange garb hassled me with their flowers. I tried to be polite and then laughed at the irony. I just walked away with my coat over my shoulder, death in the air and Jerry Garcia echoing the runway. What a long strange trip it's been.
~Rick

Remembering Chihuahua

How many moments are stolen by the trick of time and place? How many lifetimes are twisted in ruins due to the happenings of chance? Roads have turns and curves. Decisions to be made and speeds to be determined. Most times we just ride the whirlwind, lost to it's power. That is why there is reflection and regret. But who knows of the next moment in passing? Of it's time and place? That is why there is wanderlust and dreams.
it was a fine spring morning,
the mayflies were dancing,
the geese were choosing homes
and I was fishing bluegills

a small bay on a small lake, called Rebekkah.
I expected the peace of aloneness,
but you were there, when the morning fog lifted

young and wild,
deft with the cast,
owning the dock,
but heavy with child

I took to the reeds,
hiding myself in the spy.
your hair flew on summer promise
and the sunfish answered your bidding

the day became lighter
as my thoughts drifted to who,
and when,
and how I had missed your cast

you glanced, sometimes, and smiled.
it filled my stringer.
I wished I could scoop every fish that ever swam
and place them at your feet
but I was too late.
you would fry them for another

that’s not the first time I met you…

I on a troop ship,
away from home, away from my country,
scared and so alone.

You on the rail,
leaving the hell that awaited my innocence.
two ships sliding by steel on blue,
two souls reaching across time.
I would miss you again
by a hundred feet of moment

you smiled just a little,
I looked away in shy.
but turned again, quickly,
to another smile in tender,
as your fingers lifted from the rail
in silent goodbye, to my tear
that cursed our fate.

but that’s not the first time I met you either...

I was crossing Chihuahua,
that fucken hell of sand and death.
running as always
from then and me.

a stolen horse, a gambled purse
and some rain-bleached leather.

not even a town,
just a place men like me knew.
some bad whiskey, stenched water,
and lost souls.

You were there,
and God only knows why.
but for a few coins,
a bathe could be had
in water pured by your pour.

for a few coins more,
a body could be washed
and dried by your knowing hands.

I gave the coins,
knew your wash,
and tasted the salt of your labors.
but you were going north
and I was heading south.
both stubborn in our ways,
and shit-faced in attitude.

but that’s not the first time I met you…

we’ve met a thousand times
in a thousand moments
in a thousand happenings

we’ve known oceans and mountains
trains and rivers
cities and farms
streams and stones

we were there,
in the garden.

what is a hairs-breadth?
if words not spoken?
hands not taken?
eye’s not met?
time out of sync?

will you be there in a hundred years?
in a thousand?
on a distant planet?

will I smile a crooked smile,
cast a tired eye,
and say, “ah, I’ve met you before.”
will you smile to my fingers wag?

will you fry me fish?
lead me out of great wars?
bathe my filthy body?
share your apple?

I was crossing Chihuahua one day….
~Rick

Party at Dave's


I went to David Letterman's last night. It was just a few close friends for drinks and laughter. I've always liked Dave. Cordial and well dressed, he seems to have aged somewhat gracefully and I've always admired his ties.
It was strange though, high up in the highest up of  all high rises in New York City.
I always had suspected he lived in Connecticut, tucked away in some small bedroom community and played euchre on Thursdays down at the VFW. But I guess that a man of his stature has many secret hideaways. My wife wasn't there. No surprise as she never has liked Dave or been able to understand his humor.
Anyway, after too much smoke and high philootin, I moseyed out to the deck for some fresh air. I know what you're thinking; a deck? David Letterman? Yes, it should have been a terrace, but this is New York City, not Dubai, and after all, only a dream.
It was so tiny as to be ridiculous. Postage stamp tiny. One of those shitty little decks you see on the wrong side of town. Apartment buildings that you swore you'd never live in and then did. You with your baby on hip, smoke on your lip and husband in the lot working on the old Pontiac.
Oh, wait, that was me.
It was cheap twisted two dollar rod iron not screwed in correctly,  and it shook and I wobbled and trembled, looking down.
Well, wouldn't you know it? Out comes David to join me and lights up a smoke.
You didn't know he smoked? Well, really only in other people's dreams.
So he lights up and seems so cool and so nice and he walks to the edge and looks over. My God, it must have been a thousand feet straight down! Over on adjoining buildings, people were waving and throwing confetti, so they musta been expecting him to show. Or maybe it was New Years, who knows!
Now get this, here I am all scrunched down low on this little floppsy deck with my mind swimming to the danger, and David throws down his smoke and says, "Give me a boost, will ya, Pal?"
Just like that!
I looked at him in that perfect green striped tie with confetti falling around his head and said,
"huh?"
"You heard me, give me a boost up!"
He was serious! He wanted to climb over the edge, grab onto the rickety deck above and climb up. With a thousand feet of dirty street waiting below. I told him I wasn't going anywhere near that edge, told him he was crazy. He looked at me like I was Joaquin Phoenix, and cut loose with every cuss word imaginable, telling me what a lousy low down coward I was. Then he was gone.
On to the rail, over the edge, onto some PVC gutter and up he went.
I woke up in the morning sprawled on a lawn chair, face down. I hoped I hadn't moved much in the night and that I could find my way back inside. There was a fat old guy sitting in a chair next to me. Probably just a hanger on or a neighbor- Dave's the neighborly type. 
But Dave was no where to be found.
I doubt if Dave will ever invite me back or even to Connecticut, because he was fearless and I was afraid. I should have known it was only a dream. I should have climbed with him, but God only knows what he would have had wanted to do next.
~Rick

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Winter Butterfly






Life can be strange. Sometimes things are found where they shouldn’t be. Butterflies do what butterflies do. They know a season and a journey of transformation. I think we see hope in something borne without wings, wrapped in bondage and yet released to fly far in quiet flower-hopping.
Once, on a cold snowy December day, when hope lay shivering in winter’s coffin, I saw a butterfly. Really! I swear I did. Golden brown with two blue spots outlined in green. It led, I followed. The choice was obvious.






I looked upon the fields
of snow and silent seeds,
and dormancy in hush,
as hope fled
in the bleeding of heaviness.

the wind spoke cold in alone
as dreams froze
to cold steel rails
and tools
of rusted labor.

I nodded to the cold blue
of winter sky
and said, “well done, old foe.”
but you looked beyond,
not caring for my sorrow.

and in your indolence,
your arrogance in conquer,
you missed what I could not.

against the backdrop of empty,
in the expanse of extinguish,
it flew on wings of golden brown
and blue-eyed the whisper of hope.

a butterfly in winter.
conceived in Autumn’s dreams,
so far out of season,
impervious to blistered frost
or nature’s harsh order.

it lighted where it would
and laughed to impossible.
it dared the degrees
and cared not for flowers spent.
it’s life was within it’s own,
knowing no dependence
upon the manual.

in the beauty
of broken order,
I followed.

I now know warmth in winter,
snowflakes in July,
and great beauty
in golden brown.

the administrators of this life
wag and hip-swoggle
to our misdeeds
and beauty in chaos.

but we care not.
we fly and we float,
free and fandangled
in seasons
of our own choosing.
~Rick

One More Ride

Some go to schools of fine learning and become bankers with furrowed brows. Others take their father's dreams and blend themselves in, making Shirley Temples upon Grandma's walls. Some just don't know where to go or what to do. They just are, and the world holds them at bay. For some reason, Freudian I suppose, there are lovers for them and it seems crazy can drive passion pretty well for a time. But time catches up with everyone and the world will have it's joke, not allowing itself to be made fun of. There are rules you know.









saloons and highways
riverside byways
the paths to no return
drinkin his fill
while racin to kill
those on bridges he's burned







a gamblin man who knew no luck
traded his life
for a rusty old truck
on bald tires and
dirty worn dreams



never was much for care
cept maybe jus for goin some where
now his life, or just the shreds
all the deeds and all his dreads
are falling apart at the seams


and he races his luck
which ain't never been good
and stares at the far
which never he could
and others stare back
and see, whatever they see


and he thinks to himself
for Christ's sakes
whatever happened to me!


so he thinks himself tough
and he thinks himself young
til he sees in the mirror
at what he's become
and now in his heart
he knows it's the last run

for the madman and all of his ways


she'll leave him alone
as the stories all tell
to pour and to curse
and make his own hell
as down the road he goes
in final dusty glory


he'll race and he'll roar
on highways once more
and tell of the fights
and all of the scores
but his laugh will somehow be off
and others will see


cuz he'll know that damn luck
wasn't what got him stuck
just a fool of a man
in a rusty ol truck
he just never could see
beyond what should be
looking back to twenty and free

~Rick




Monday, July 16, 2012

Rainy Day




there's something different
a wave on the wind
a scent in the air
time in eclipse
it's coming




not as a plane
boasting it's speed
but more, I'd say
a train out of sight
sneaking into town




now they come out
if only to come in
those that take their jazz black
leaving sweeteners to
multi colored beachballs




Glasses must be sported
the book fetched
work passed to slaves
of another day




this is why
feet cross on the arm of the couch
and why socks are made thick
and fuzzy
and why Bose can be
oh so good!




now the shades of the room
know pupose
and the art it's place

cats of lazy too
make perfect sense
showing us how
it's done


We've nothing against
dandelions on blue
and children in sand.
and pretty girls in
bright colours


why, tomorrow,
we'll kite along
blending right in
and make noise
as we sweeten our coffee

chitter chatter


but see you here,
we are rainy day people
and we feel it on the air
we sense it in our soul
and must take cover

for there is treasure
in such days
and such weather
soft in the couch
soft in the music
easy in passing




~Rick

I dreamed a highway

I feel today, that all I have left is my dreams. Though far and distant they are, beautiful they fill my heart. Don't pity me this. I'll take them over earthly goals,fancy houses and a six figure salary. They fill my soul with hope and gladness and colours unimagined. The sky is painted with a brush of the arm and all are called friend. There's no jealousy in my dreams, only love abounding and cups overflowing. Here, the lion truly lays with the lamb. And bunnies aren't shot for sport or run over by loud trucks. Here, also, lovers find quiet, if only for the moment. Everything, after all, is about the moment. Isn't it?


I dreamed a highway
and beauty in passing
where wild flowers bloomed
sweet and pure
perfumed in satin undergarments



a place of blossomed menagerie
a scented lure on nature's canvas
waving as one in spirited worship



here,
hills led to meadows that fell to silent ponds.
those that played here played free.
farmer Brown's fence could not take root
nor the Deacon's chapel pervade
such a holy gathering of peace



here,


all clovers count four and beyond
and trees live forever



rabbits play with the fox's tail
and fish lean to logs, resting their fins
the hawk suckles the sparrow's orphan
and the blue fabric of our covering
stretches our dreams to fit our desires



I dreamed a highway
and you were there
flagging me down in naked beckoning
and careless want wearing quiet repose



the world fell to seaside cliffs
and dungeons and dragons
churning diesel motors in violent quest
saying more more always the more



your hand to mine said love the less
and live the more
leave it all for my pastured door
and fields of turquoise
beyond the violent drone



I dreamed a highway
where the moon kept score
where the owls patrolled
and the night passed on summer wings of easy.



the world's shame and poverty's passion
could not take root nor lean to tangled bent fences
but passed over us on the winds of freedom
along with the many cloaks we wore
and the flames from darted eyes



I dreamed a highway
and you were there


and maybe still are...


~Rick

Steel and Lace Curtains

This life is a journey, a passing. And it's a hard go alone. We meet many in the way and must choose if their wave sincere and their intentions well founded. Usually, we offer trust being the naive creatures that we are. Sometimes, it is perhaps ourselves that wax our cars and hide our stains in the glitter. I guess that's where forgiveness comes in. I try to be honest but the puzzle is complex and the road winding. Self preservation is somewhere in the headlights glare.
tracing along
to the highway's blend
of steel, and curtains of lace.
enchanting my way
to the tunnels delight
beyond this life's embrace

pushing the curves
to the wind's gentle pull
and watching it all disappear,
if only my life
were as simple as this
just ignore the tracks in the mirror

the guardrails keep my slumber
while the signs narrate the song
to passing trains and aero planes
to movie stars and bad refrains
to all that pass along

God what falseness and treachery
the headlights hide in glare
we meet upon the highway
hello in such a fine way
ignoring the doubts beware

I know the woman who waits on the hill
tending her flowered garden
have you met her? really you should.
she speaks so well of you
a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend
said all she says is true

I know a man who lives down the lane
whose cows give milk and butter
he told me of you and the things that you do
he said stop on by, his butter to try
he's known for his wisdom and never would lie
his eyes such an honest blue

what a road, what a passing
what by ways we choose
we sport up our wheels
and aim for the stars
make our sweet deals
on little sports cars
to drive on roads of steel
and lace curtains

we hide in the glare
of going no where
and brag of what's been
back when and back then
and all seem happy to accept
what told we should see

false names and no address
to protect us from redress
signs that wink
and brights that blink
as careen along the cliffs
we fly and sing

we put on and we go
to places out there
far away places with far away faces
strangers with strange ways
yet familiar to us
and in them we search for ourselves.

of that we not fond
we deny and pass by,
to the next curve and hill and even beyond
but the road catches up
and denial leaves trace
on highways of steel
and curtains of lace
~Rick

The Sandbox


There are happenings in life. Chance encounters that no one can plan for or see coming. Many times we mess them up and the chance is gone forever. But history cannot be changed and therefore we are changed forever by these occurrences. Maybe we've learned something. maybe we've grown a bit wiser. Maybe life is just a dirty sandbox. But small and large things remain pages in our book, bent at the corner so we can find them again in remembrance, and run our fingers over magic moments in happening.



There once was a little boy whose favorite thing to do in the whole wide world was to play alone in his sand box. Summer days would breeze by while he remained invisible to those passing by. Workmen to their jobs, old women to the store, firemen to their fires. The sun was warm and the sand seemed soft.
Mostly he would build castles and roads for his truck of three wheels. The castles would lean though, and they smelled of cat waste. An occasional cigarette butt would work its way to the surface. His roads, like his truck, were not very good. They never really went anywhere and they were broken and rough. The little boy also had a little army man but it’s leg was twisted and the face dirty. He never noticed any of these flaws however as he had nothing to compare them to. How could he know that castles should not lean or smell of cat poop, or that roads need go somewhere?
Then one day, when the sun was high, the breeze cool and the sand fair, the little boy felt a presence. He looked up to see a girl staring down at him. Though she blocked the sun it made little difference as she was the color of the sun and just as brilliant. Her soft smile calmed him and he lost himself in her shadow.
Without a word, the pretty girl with the sunlit hair stepped into the little boys world paying admission with a kind smile. She went to work as the little boy watched in wonderment. She sifted and cleaned and knocked down and picked out and started all over again. All the while, she never spoke a word, only smiled. The little boy didn’t watch her marvelous hands rebuild and transform though, he was busy studying her smile, her face. Finally, after a time, he spoke.
"What’s your name?"
She just smiled.
The little boy scratched his dirty nose.
"Where’d ya come from?"
She looked down and smiled again.
"Can you stay?"
She stopped smiling and brushed her hands on her thighs. She then rose up, stepped out without a word, and silently walked away.
The boy then looked down to see beautiful castles and splendid roads that went somewhere. He noticed that the little army man was clean and straight again. The truck now had four wheels and the smell of cats had become that of perfume.
The little boy also noticed that the sun was no longer out, a storm was coming. The rain suddenly came in sheets and the boy, having some sense, ran to shelter.
When the storm had passed, the little boy went back to the sand box. But the castle was no more. The roads had washed out. Gi joe had stolen the truck and a cat had come to call. The little boy with the runny nose and untied shoes looked everywhere for the pretty girl, but she was nowhere to be found.
He tried to build castles as before and roads leading to them but he couldn’t. They leaned and they smelled of cat and now he noticed. Now he knew.
Nothing would ever be the same.


~Rick

Armchair Adventurer





I read about the lawn chair,
the clouds, the planes, the views
a guy grown bored
his dreams un moored
it was all
on the ten O'clock news

what to do when forty-two
looks back from the rear view mirror?
Why, get on a chair
open a beer
and just let the jet stream steer

once I dreamt of peaks
and oceans stormy gales
to plant a flag
explore the stars
and hear the wind in sails


but my knees are weak
and my back does creak
as gravity has taken it's hold
it's time to scale back, I think
throw in my cards and just fold

but now new hope
it does arise
in birthday balloons that soar
to wave goodbye to kin and friend
ignore good sense's implore

I'll wave to passing jumbo jets
and pee on those below
I wonder just how high to go
to turn that pee to snow?

I better take a blanket
been told it's cold up there.
I wonder if my color tv
would overload the chair?


a six pack? no, a twelve pack!
some jerky and pretzel sticks
that should last to Georgia or so
I hope I land by six



well this is it
goodbye to all
just cut the rope and let her fly
feel the wind, drink the beer
sail the clouds and know no fear
to boldly go where few would dare
to risk my life without a care
adventure lies beyond the blue
but wait-too high-too fast, it's true



now I raise me up to sail
up to where the storm clouds hail
if I should crash instead of land
remember me
as an adventurous man
~Rick

I

Love's Soft Passing

























Love doesn't always stay close by. Sometimes it can't. Sometimes it just brushes along leaving a little of itself behind. But it doesn't have to be a bitter passing. It can be held for what it was. A moment in time, whether a day or a lifetime. Just as it is. Simply love. It can come in all shapes and sizes and the best kind is the one that doesn't demand anything in return.






When the feather of your touch no longer lights my way
when your glow fades into amber leaving
and the snow of our early season turns grey
know that I won't barb wire the past
and claymore the trail
blowing up beauty in slow passing



so many so capable of hiding so much
so many so capable are so not me
my pimples, my sweat and my tears
my disappointments, my doubts and my fears
I wear them for you to sooth, to assuage and to know
and God help me you do, when no other would dare



I can't shout from the mountain
Hey! look at me!
ain't I grand? ain't I pretty ain't I somethin to see?

cuz I'm not, and I know it and you know it too
but you, one of a million, you bound up my wounds
and straightened my hair through made up truths
you zippered my pants and buttoned my shirt
and instead of away, you turned to my hurts



I'm not a red sports car on highways of flame
I'm not the star player who wins the big game
I'm me! just me! and a pity it is
in a world of tagged beauty
and grab all you can
I'm just overlooked
like pebbles in sand



but you took my hand and said come with me
and you cared not who saw or what they would see
and you patched and you plaited and wiped it away
all the ugly and nothing that didn't have to be
a target for those who direct cruel plays
who love all they are and all of their ways



So when your love fades like the sun in the blue
and your waves reach a shore on a distant stars hue
I'll not be bitter and pull at the scabs
and lament the sweet times, the little we had
for time a poor measure of treasures in pure
and I know the truth and I know the you
you were the all you were the cure



but you never were mine to pocket and locket
just an angel of mercy and love without limit
who found an old penny
left on tracks to be trodden
and the shine that you left
will not be forgotten


~Rick

The Water of Life

A long time ago, Gideon had to go into battle with what God seemed to think was too many. The warriors were led to the water where they were to drink in a test not known. Those that drank from their hands after dipping into the water were chosen. The others rejected. The battle won. Dip your hands in yourself. I will drink. I will not search them for your past. I will not scrub them free of germs. I will find them beautiful. And I will drink. Would you drink from mine?
hands of hardened labor
and dirt's remorse
speak of the story
that stories can't tell
and soap could never wash clean


come
dip your hand in yourself
let me drink
of the water of your life


you who've dug in trash bins
and pushed the needles plunge
and swung and missed
but sometimes hit
the only one you've really loved


you who changed the diaper
and wiped the flu away
who put the pen to blotted mess
gave the touch of soft caress
and cared enough to pray


come
dip your hand in yourself
let me drink
of the water of your life


your hands have touched the many
your fingers have walked the way
you've given you've taken
you've held and let go
handled the hammer
and brushed the soft snow
and gripped in love's fine play


the dirt, the grime, perfume all in layer
history in line's unfold
silken soft in leather strong
a touch rejected and sometimes sought
the scars the blood
from battles wrought
sometimes right and sometimes wrong


your hands are my hands
your touch my release
the soil you hide
the life of my soul
the wear of life
the grip of control
all of it I accept
if only you will
offer it
to me


come
dip your hand in yourself
let me drink
of the water of your life
that we both may live

~Rick

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lost In The Crowd




Sometimes,
when I'm alone and crowded,
I dream of oceans
and far away places
both near and far

Cuz I don't understand.
there's so much
I don't understand

people say apple
but they mean banana
and all the while I offer
the apple, not getting the joke

So I search for safety
in the alone
but only find the hurt of the crowd
and I dream of oceans
and far away places
both far and near
and the circle continues

a sea tho brimming with danger
makes no judgment. it just is and kills alike.
caring for the whale no more than the krill
which is not at all,
only a blind fairness

far away places are strangers
that don't lie in request.
just a stoicism that allows my being
and ignores my iniquities

people carry me away
on waves of blows, eager to judge
pointing and wagging
always knowing the better


the ocean doesn't lie
or practice demagoguery
it's waves only mean to carry
to far away places
or to death, no matter

Edward should never have come down
from the hill. Oddities grow old in their oddness
and townsfolk bold in their coldness
but how could Edward have known?

people who pat and coo, most always,
do so to their own amusement and sport.
cheer them and it's drinks all around
tell them of your pain
and they check their watches
and cover their yawn
-a fickle lot for sure

they say the meek shall inherit the earth
I say not without a fight
so I dream of oceans
and far away places
where love is love
unconditional and tender
where apples are apples
and a kiss is not to placate
where a friend stays a friend
where God loves sick children
and where there's never a joke
for me to get

the loneliest place ever I've known
is lost in the crowd
the friendliest comfort on beaches bare
silent and non treacherous

So I dream about oceans
and far away places
~Rick

The cold, Mean bastard


Just a cold, mean bastard. When first he rode into town with spurs janglin and buckles shining, we oohed and awwed to the tip of his wide hat. Somethin new to this dusty old prairie town. Somethin not same ol same ol. We gathered our skirts and dipped, all demure and welcoming. He brightened and livened the place up. Threw money around and bought drinks and fine cigars. We all gathered to his stories.
Ah, he really was nothin new though. Rides through bout once a year on his fine white steed and always outstays his welcome. Pretty soon he's all alone at the bar wearin the stink eye on his back. No longer allowed in the big game and even the hard legged, tired eye old saloon gals want nothing to do with him. Sheriff can't run him off cuz he ain't broke no laws and, after all, we're the ones who invited the dirty louse.
They call him Winter. (when they're feelin polite) And now his steed is just a sway back dirty old grey. He came in all cheery and thanksgivingy sportin turkey and football. God how we played to his piping. Following behind in a silly line like young school girls at the heart hop dance. He threw out green and red like candy from a float and we Wal-Marted our little asses off. Then there was sledding, and skiing, and hockey and so forth and so on...but somewhere...it just got tired. and old.
The turkey sandwiches are long ago expired, football has gone the way of the tepee, his broken down float throws out flu bugs, and we curse the occasional pine needle that prods our foot. Even the heart hop dance feels like a twenty year reunion and our little pink buds are now sloppy 44d's bustin at the seams. He'll do that to ya.
No, the hour is late and we're tired and he's just a cold, mean bastard after all. We'd lynch the miserable son of a bitch but we know all too well, after a time, we'll curtsy and flutter as before.

If only he wouldn't stay so long.


Turkey on the table
football on the cable
Aunt Louise in her crazy dress
cousins and friends
we rarely see
Charlie Brown
and the Grinch
on the brand new tv
my but this season does bless


frikkin snow
and forty below
I need a jump
I need a tow
I need some heat
I need to know
that spring
is not somewhere
beyond my reach


pass the cookies
pass the nog
too cold outside
I guess I'll blog
and think of sun
and skies of blue
forget the mud
forget the flu
and forget,
you bastard, Winter
that ever

I ever loved you

~Rick

flying true and straight

Should we tell our children what might lie ahead? What might be expected? Or should we paint sugar plum fairies all over their walls in hope it might be true. Which disservice the greater? Should we speak of knights but warn of dragons able to defeat knights? Should we pat pat there there and smooth tangled curls? Should we warn them that bears sometimes eat children, wolves often win and Repunzel doesn't always let down her hair? Or will they find out soon enough and forgive us our folly?

she can't dance
to the bullets craze
while all wrapped up
in Charlotte's
maze

brought on by...


dreams cooked
in bathtime suds
whales in water grown colder
promises locked
in chests of hope
believing all that was
told her

Barbie hustled to
disney's lore
the dollar painted her passions
sons of bitches
with evil intentions
are the ones who
lathered her fashions


fairy tales and nursery rhymes
tame birds
and cats that spoke
but never warned
when the books would close
it all was just a joke
ta ta


it's not so simple
after all
Seuss not even his name
pretty ribbons of lace
and easter egg baskets
were all
just part of the game


each generation lies and charms
and promises
without deliver
streams of gold,
like flowers grown old
all too soon must wither


babies die
and uncles pervert
chemicals boil the dream
too late in Charlotte's web
she finds
all is not as it seems


so she closes her eyes
and screws up her heart
and shakes in reality's pillow
swallows a star
swims in the deep
and floats in fantasy's billow

~Rick








Monday, July 9, 2012

Across The Divide


There are things we hold, things we touch, that are a part of us. Then, there are other things; time, places, things and people beyond our grasp. A chasm between. And we are left to look and long and wonder and even wish, perhaps. But the gulf cannot be crossed without great hurt from the fall. Oh to fly! To fly and soar on the wings of passion and desire alone. And for it to be okay. Maybe just for one day...


part of you
part of me
a journey joined
to reclamation
on the pitted road
to what never can be


so much we've tasted
so much we've sown
our nets went wide
our minds have grown
but now it's your heart
I yearn to have known


whistle stops
and dusty roads
hooty owls and horney toads
meadows with small crests
hidden lakes
with peaceful shores
to know you there
to know you more


our purse is lined
with golden trace
we've stitched our lives
with soft fine lace
and yet
we look
across the great divide
do others see,
what we cannot hide?


I want you to
wonder
to miss that
unknown
to hold me
to have me,
us just alone


so we tempt
and we tease
each others desires
thinking wet
thoughts
can not spark a fire


but the burn says
it can
and we push to the pull
but alas, oh sweet One
these two parts
still not whole



soon we must turn
to accept what must be
and wonder upon wonder
if ever just ever-
you might have loved me





~Rick

Storm On The Horizon


To see an approaching storm, especially in an alone morning, is to inspire my soul to pass beyond my body and grab hold of a thunderbolt and ride it to someplace magical. Someplace other than me and the chains the blue of a false sky have applied.




gravy black
in cauldron bubble
rising
inside out
in summer spill

slow motion rollers
Brutus
in leathered walk
and steel bands
of outward press

thundering
heaven’s prairie
it drives
the chariots of terror
with whips
of bone and feathered iron
across dreams
smothered in platinum

but rough cut
dreams
in leathered passion
thrive
and prosper
in the vibrato of fury

iron sharpens iron
and trembling
comforts fear
as one moons
to another’s terror
in twisted ambiguity

the daylight
peeking from corners
frames the somber
portent
of wild unrestrained
while assuring relief
through chastisement

This,
the place,
the cradle,
the hope,
the bed,
the tomb,
where thoughts
are bred
to be borne.
dreams to be inspired.
hope to be polished.
fear to be ridden.

~rick

I Miss The Smell Of The Water


New York City, Paris, snow-capped peaks and lovers long gone. There are many things we once knew that embed in our souls, taking root, mooring loosely but sure. I miss many things I once held close. None more so than the smell of the water.






did they laugh?
to us?
at our legs?

or the popcorn,
the stale,
white miniature clouds
of buttered delight
that always
drew their beg.

the gulls-

how they made us laugh
and run
and chase

and,

what would we do
if one we had caught?

but we never did.
never
really wanted to.

~ ~ ~ ~

they held us,
but loosely so

so rigid,
so mariner ancient,
in their anchored stand.

and we played upon them
and the sea
played upon us

the rocks-

we swam
or nearly so

and she held us
in broad bosom bondage
but never too tight
and always cheerful,
in her wake.

we walked the barren beaches
on naked twilight sands,
and cake-walked cliffs
to distant foghorns
and morning bells
of drunken chime
in sparkling charade

and,

we got hot dogged
and potato chipped
to wind unfurled
and too many flies
proficient in the game.

*******

hot dogs here
are just Wal Mart at it’s worst.

the barren beaches,
cover my blighted heart,
crab picked
and starfish skeletal.
church bells of empty souls
toll for truck horns
of impudence.

and the gulls,
those gulls,
light
to another’s popcorn,
another’s rock,
another’s dream.

I miss me
when I was young.
I miss you
shadowing the horizon
as the moon watched,
tender eyed.
I miss us,
when all we needed
was all we wanted
and that we had.

And I miss the smell of the water.
in your hair,
in your kiss,
in your soul,
in my heart,
in my now.
~rick

Autumn


time pauses
in held breath
as September
looks down
to the stains
upon July

the white t-shirt
of June
now bears the scars
of barbeques
and second base
slides

the once proud
army of
morning glories
pink and blue
and many
now
only a few
lazy eyed
stragglers
upon the vine.

the crows and hawks
have grown weary
in battle
and sign
for truce,
but never peace.

the loons have
called and answered
and now book
southern airways.

the lake grows quiet
the woods turn colour
my heart marks time
in quiet reverie
and shirt sleeve
quiver
in rip tide waves

another season
come and gone.
so many and
still,
too few.

a good place to sigh


already
I miss the storms
of spring
yet look
to December’s snow.

but September,
will be enough.
the stars will tell truth
in longer black.

the moon will
feel at home
in harvest way

and the earth
will prepare
for a long winter’s night.

me?

I’ll fold July
in careful tuck
remembering the essence
of barbeque,
the wash
of crystal glimmered
waves
and a wish granted
in a late summer walk.


~rick

Boldly Goin To The Moon

This is what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. Or any sleep for that matter. You start believing, silly twit you! Webster wrote the book for a reason and the moon is just a rock. Now go bake cookies and watch basketball. These are the things of substance. The things of Earth.


I think I’ll go to the moon today
and visit William Shatner
I heard he lives there
for the zero gravity
and ocean views

he looks good for his age
don’t ya think?
sure the botox makes him puffy
but hey, eight billion miles
across the boldly goin ain’t chickens feed.

anyway, I like the moon.
I might even claim it. Manifest Destiny
don’tcha know
I’m here-it’s here, it must be mine.
think that’s how it works.

friends have gone there
and returned all smily doodled
and dreamyland starstruck

I wanna be all dreamyland starstruck
and sappylicious terrific.
maybe open a starbucks
virgin territory, fer sure.

I wonder if it rains on the moon?
just star dust and pissywallows I suppose
and the water would just fall off
in gloppy cloppers anyway

can you tan on the moon?
do they have their own language?
on tv, it’s always seventy two
and English no matter the planet.
what a marvelous phenomenon

where was I?
oh yes, the moon!
would I find my dreams
on the other side?
would the stars be within my grasp?
would the train be on time?
or would it just be a clop of dirt at which dreams are hurled
and piddlydust fairies play bridge with William Shatner

I wanna go to the moon
my moon, our moon
the one you told me of
where dreams matter and want reaches
beyond yesterday’s decisions
and tomorrow’s good sense

I don’t wanna see Bill there,
let him get his own moon
on Vegas stages and silly studios

first we’ll plant a tree
then a garden and goldfish pond
and build a starliewinkle cottage
with green shutters and a fine patio
for evening viewings of earth
and all it’s silly goings on

we’ll tell each other silly jokes
like,
if Bill Shatner farted on the moon,
would they smell it on earth?
ha ha that’s a good one!

no, seriously
we’ll do it
it’s a date.

we’ll go to the moon
and we’ll find our tomorrow
on breeze of chocolate sapphire
and emerald peppermint

we’ll dance to Jupiters wind chimes
and Saturn’s rings will anoint us

mercury will be our nightlite
and earth our used to been.

bearlymarlo paw paws will be our lunch
and hickorysnaplle parlydorps our supper
we’ll learn English and teach our goldfish the backstroke

You shake your head
you say no?
such things cannot exist?
but you told me they could
you told me they would
if only we’d believe

oh, yes, I remember now
belief is that thing I read about in that book
the one bout pissywallows and gloppy cloppers
and star trek enterprise
silly me

there is no moon
nor life beyond breath
William Shatner is just a silly old man
who farts on the earth

and dreams?
clay pigeons for cruel sport
and Disney dollars

but it was a fine idea, wasn’t it?
yes, silly one, a fine idea.
now hush and go to sleep
sweet dreams.






rick~

Jumping From Clouds



How do we get from here to there and there back again and somehow make sense of it all? How did we get there in the first place? Maybe we just went to sleep one night and woke up to find our dream was real and our dilemma sure. Ah, if only one knew where Jacob kept his ladder!





today,
I jumped off a cloud.
soft you suppose,
and why would I,
you wonder.

but see you here,
it is only soft from below,
as it entices your thoughts
to dangerous levels
in treachery’s drift.

to those of us
who cower
from lofty advantage,
we only see
the hard below
and the black
above.

I mused of exploration
but how does one measure
depth
of cotton mirage?

I thought of
gathering,
but my pockets laughed
and my eyes
googled the result.

I thought of breaking
it’s spirit.
rope and ride and
wrangle the yahoo!
but it slumbered
to my threat.

perhaps,
I could accouter.
a sun roof?
no,
that would be redundant.

A stereo?
the thunder would laugh.
wipers?
the rain falls down,
silly!
whitewalls?
who could tell?

I spied a girl,
in a field below.

she was spinning shitties
for no particular reason
and no obvious audience,
save me.

she had a sun roof,
a stereo that knew
Kate Wolf
and whitewalls.

she cared nothing
of the rain.

So I jumped off the cloud.

but she was too fast,
too wild,
and I missed.

Now I ride the cloud,
but I can no longer
jump off,
or know fear.

I miss the girl,
and I miss the fear.
~rick

I saw a gypsy


Watching Gypsies







I saw a gypsy
or did she see me




She moved like a kite
on a wild day


How many ways can locks fly
in perfect stray




she frames the day
and calls it her own
who dare challenge?




Taller than height
longer than reach
more real than she is

she measures me
and I bow in honor


Measures;
my wallet
my scarf
my heart


She'll take it all
and laugh at my ruin

I'll only miss her
and her ways

her freedom
her snares for others

her knowing
of my heart

To lay with a king
or paupers
no matter


only their spangles and baubles
now hers



fingers rolling through fields of glass
she makes them sparkle


Does she know love
or even lust
or the difference?

or just the love of lust
for all things others

Propriety mocked
laws ridiculed
the laws of cleanliness
what she deems for the day

Where then the elegance?
in the wildness
of her boldnes


I saw a gypsy
and she was me
hidden from fear
unshackled and loosed

bound by freedom alone

but only for a moment
and she was gone


~Rick





















Going to Egypt

Daydreams are funny things. They have minds and plans of their own. You can preach common sense and wag your finger but they just won't listen or obey. If you're not careful, you could find yourself in Egypt.

Honey, we're going to Egypt tonight.



she said it so matter of factly
like let's tea at the Williams
her blend is always the best
and his fires crackle with delight



But the Williams don't live in Egypt
nor is the Nile their copper driveway
these things take time, and planning.
airplanes and motorbikes



you can’t just up and off
you must order and correct
dot your i's and feed the cat


this isn’t Dubai, you know



Honey, we’re going to Egypt.
Can you believe she said that?
why yes, and I suppose we’ll rocket to mars
tomorrow afternoon
and perhaps throw darts at the pope’s fat ass
on Sunday morning
these things just aren’t done,
you see



stamp twice, copy thrice
notarize seal and deliver
that’s the ticket!



not throw your ring at the bottle
and win a stuffed moose
sure we pitch pennies to the fountain
but believe? I think not.
just part of the game,


wink, wink



who would gather our paper
and feed our fish, and what would the neighbor's say?



no, this will never do and how silly the thought-
Honey, we're going to Egypt tonight
No, No my dear, we'll stay right here
we'll make chocolate coffee and draw the blinds

we'll dust and vacuum and dress just in case-
the Deacon drops by with his sour wife



and tomorrow, yes tomorrow
we'll talk about Egypt and deserts scape
of myth and lore and treasures galore
and someday, if the cat is no more
the paper too silly and riches do poor
if plans are made and goals met
trophies lined, itineraries set
well, then maybe, my dear
just maybe perhaps
we'll go to the miniature golf down the lane
and walk the great pyramids
and see Pharaoh, dipping our toe in his fine river



no, not tomorrow, I'm sorry
we have tea at the Williams
her blend is so fine and his fires so good
and they live, oh they live,
in so fine a neighborhood
but the day after that, we'll talk once again
and I'll listen, I promise. and nod to your dreams
but remember silly one, dreams they just are
and lands across oceans, oh, dear, they're so far
Honey, tonight we're going to Egypt


~Rick

coat from a shitbox train

Treasure is a funny thing, you find it often where you least expect it. Much of the time, others don't notice the value you see in a glance. That's what makes it treasure. If ya find some, hold it with all ya got.

There’s a coat I wear
old and raggedy
a bums toss from a shit box train

I was down at the river, fishing
where rusty trestle
imitates coral flora


when-

Chug chug right on time
I lifted my eyes to the rattle
and prattle of passing nothingness

and then, just like that-
out it came,
a drunken parachute
floating free
as the day tried hard to avoid it’s filth

I felt a nibble,
but never mind
the fish will come and go
stay with the coat

down it flittered and fluttered
as the smoke turned the bend,
running as fast as it could in escape.

and I wondered to the sky
and my own wanna know,
now how much filth
is too much filth for a bum and a sky
and a shit box train

I released a fine catch
and watched the coat
floating and bobbing
in the flotsam of brown
and considered my prowess with the throw

playing the wind
and using it’s curve
a snag and a snare
and it was mine
this bumless coat

it was obvious,
this coat had bloodlines.
once the finest ever made
and on many a wish list.
but care had been frugal
and the treasure lost
in careless abundance

now it was big and boxie
and the threads spoke history
faded green with torn pockets
that no doubt had once held great secrets

funny thing, this coat
this old green tattered coat,
it felt like it had always been mine.
it fit perfectly and my hands fell
where they should,
where secrets had been

we wore each other out
this coat and I
a partnership of rescue
and need, and trust
it would keep me warm
and I would just keep it


one cold day when my hands felt the chill,
they pressed in and fell through to the lining.
there I found the secrets.
bits of weathered paper and a thin photo

they told a story of when and where
and even a who and where who’d been
if I cared to listen

and I did

this old green coat now wears me to the river
and tells me of it’s secrets
as I haunt the shadowed depths
and listen to the prattle of passing nothingness

it holds my hands and keeps them warm
then hugs my neck as if grateful,
not knowing, I’m the lucky one


I wasn’t there
in the beginning
when it traveled in style
and fashioned dining cars

a time when thieves would spy it for ransom
and double takes spoke of glamour and grace
and the knowledge of true riches

I came later
when it jumped from the shitbox train
and flew on waves of freedom
and washed itself in the river

so glad it did
and that I was there
with the wind at my back
and an eye for treasure



~Rick

When She Smiles





when she smiles
all becomes right
presidents are smart
wars are distant
debts are forgotten

children can play in streets
grocers smile and give apples
strawberry becomes more strawberry
and ice cream never melts

then there's the other smile
signaled from the foyer
across the table
a brush on the feet
over coffee

a look down the hall
over the shoulder
lips become fuller
steps say come hither

if you dare


this smile promises
straps can fall
silk can slide
skin can heat

two rhythms become one beat and one breath


phones unplugged
tv's undone
words hushed
moons attentive
candles steady in lavender


eyes saying now
nails dig in want,
and search.
toes curl and stretch
to the back's arch
and pulled hair

shame shamed and departed
blush from passion alone

trees in a rain forest
how do they know where to grow
like this,
as limbs move without planning
still finding their place


tomorrow children can play in streets
and clerks pass apples
for everything under the sun
a purpose, a time, a place
...and a smile







~Rick

Dragonflies & Butterfly Fish


It was a thousand years ago, and somehow just yesterday.
Public beaches, jet skis, fishermen and her to he on a hot July afternoon. She always was the one with brass balls and a way with water. His choices were obvious.
should we?

I suppose not.

I will.
I know.

is not my smile
enough
?
yes.
is not the whiteness
of my raised chill
enough?

more than.

watch me.
see my hair
float, then lay.
see my arms
orchestrate
as humble wheat
to August wind
.

this I see.

do not my eyes
paint the wet around me?

yes.
in deep-sea mascara
.

The fish,
how they wag.
the dragonflies
who light upon my shoulder,
all speak approval
while to all others
I don’t even

~exist.
-
do I exist
to you?
yes.
the dragonflies say so,
and I believe.


this moment ,
this chance,
will swim to distant shores
in the wake of
butterfly fish.
and the coupling of blue-green
eyes
will fly
on the magic
of dragonfly wings
.

yes,
my tears
that hide
and strain
behind my tame torn heart
say it is so.


so come to my depth.
I’ll light upon your hips
and teach you
what dragonflies
and butterfly fishes
have taught me.
-
will you?
will you come to my depth?
yes.

and he did.
and they swam.
and the distant shore
waited in vain.
~rick

The Earring


When I was young, high school young, I spent a good portion of my spare time in winter, trapping the local rivers. It was a small town in Minnesota and I was nearing the end of my Tom Sawyer days. I never was much good at it, but I enjoyed my time at the river and made a little pocket change from the few muskrats careless enough to find my labors.
I would follow the abandoned railroad tracks, now just a trail, down to the river. There was a trestle there that no longer served a purpose beyond remembrance. A small chain hung looped across the ends to discourage passage, but me being Tom Sawyer, it always worked the opposite and beyond it I went. I would stand in the middle and lean over the rusty rail and just watch the water rush below. It was cold but somehow always still, even in wind. it was peaceful, it was mine. I learned ideas here, and cultivated them in classroom daydreams.
When I followed the river south, it would lead me to another river and where these two rivers came together, there was a house, distant across the field. Though it was far in the country, it couldn’t be called a farm. There just wasn’t enough big buildings, enough equipment, and the fields grew only scrub. By my coming down the river, it placed me deep in the back yard with a view of the back door. There were chickens, a few goats, a shed and the girl.
I kept a trap there, on that bend. Though I knew there were no muskrats, I knew what time she would come through that back door. I knew her routine and when she entered the shed, and her image in the window and her glances toward me. I always pretended to be busy but I think she knew my game. More and more I became careless and bold and would just lean against the tree and watch, knowing she knew my watch.
The distance was fair and I could only guess and imagine the who that she was. She always wore a skirt, an old coat worn open, men’s boots and a green scarf. A crazy look. Even from a field away.
I thought maybe she was young, abused and belittled. Tortured maybe even. I figured she would always stare down in servitude and she probably was plain, even ugly, but I was drawn anyway. The house was red with white trim, badly in need of fresh paint and something else. I never wondered who else was in there, and only looked to the door she would come through.
One day, when the wind blew and I leaned in stare, she paused on the way to the little building. I should have looked away, looked to my trap, but I didn’t and she started toward me. I watched her wipe her hands in her skirt and walk with purpose toward me. I can’t explain why-it was so unlike me-but I began to walk toward her and we met there in the winter wind, midway in the field of scrub.
Soon, it became clear I had been wrong about so much in my young minds imagining. Her hair flew above the scarf in perfect play and her eyes were blue and full of life. They didn’t look down in servitude but locked onto my own and claimed them without quibble. Her features were both strong and beautiful. I suppose She might have been seventeen or thirty, it was impossible to say. She simply was, timeless and beautiful. I tried to study her in this moment of luck but it was difficult as she wouldn’t release my eyes from her lock. She wore a red kerchief on her hair but it couldn’t contain the wildness. The green scarf fell around her neck and spilled onto a man’s flannel shirt. The coat was just a coat that may never have closed. She wore dirty worn boots clearly designed for a man, and the dirty skirt that came nearly to her knees looked as if it had once been beautiful. Maybe peach with yellow waves playing across it.
I wanted to look at her legs and I did. I couldn’t help myself in my clumsy youth. Though she was clearly anything but large, her legs were full and strong. The sides were white from the cold but the knees themselves were brushed red. I remember I so wanted to touch them to know the smoothness and I wondered what she wore under the skirt. Maybe something clean and light and flowery, or maybe men’s long underwear cut off mid thigh. I did all of this in a single moment of acquaintance. I couldn’t have been more mesmerized in the shadow of this being more beautiful than any girl I had ever seen and more powerful than any man I had ever known. She half-smiled, put her hands in her pockets and spoke.
“Huntin fur?”
I just nodded. I wanted to speak but nothing came out.
She squinted in the morning sun as she studied me, still in smile, and asked my name while lifting her head as if to draw it out of me.
“Rick.” It was strange. Like someone other than me had answered.
Her lip curled up on one side in approval.
“What’s your middle name?”
“John,” I surrendered.
“Rick John,” she nodded. “That’s a good name.”
It was such a strange moment for a boy to find himself tangled in. She had walked into this field and claimed this boy for her morning amusement and he, who was I, went willingly. I asked her name as her study of me continued.
“I don’t have a name. I’m just the girl who does the chores.”
I laughed at the thought and pressed,lowering my eyes in challenge. “Everyone has a name.”
She laughed and shook her head. “Not me.”
I noticed she was staring at my ear. I was only wearing a baseball cap and I watched her move in close and reach. I don’t know if I was flinching or making myself accessible, but my head turned and she touched my lobe. I felt her warmth in her finger’s squeeze. She held it and studied it before letting go and stepping back.
“You’d look good in an earring. Would you like one?”
It was crazy, river rush crazy. My heart was pounding and my blood rushing. How does a boy respond to something like this? A boy out walking rivers wearing out Tom Sawyer and spying out imaginary girls.
“What? you mean now? Here?”
She turned her head a little, pointing with her look to the shed.
“Over there. It’ll be OK.”
In just a few seconds, I had to wonder and decide of this girl who was woman who was man leading me to her shed and driving my ear and placing who knows what there and me walking the river back a changed being, Tom Sawyer drowned in currents rush.
“I’d have to think about that,” I offered in youthful stammer, shuffling my feet.
Her smile faded just a bit, as if she was disappointed but not surprised.
“Don’t think on it to long, Rick John, I just might change my mind.”
I only nodded as my head swam great oceans. I so though wanted whatever this was to never end, to last, and I searched for things to say.
“Don’t you get cold dressed like that?”
Her smile grew again, knowing my thoughts and intent I suppose.
“I have things to keep me warm. And things to do. Nice meeting you, Rick John.”
With that she turned and walked toward the red house with white trim and the little shed of secrets. Just like that. One turn and it was over. I stood and watched her walk, the skirt flowing and the hair flying in wildness, knowing I had come close to something of greatness and had passed on a chance I would probably not know again. I felt something sticky in my hair, and realized it was from the maple I had known in my watching. A passing of seasons.
I never went to that shed, and she never again walked the scrub to make the offer. That was the last year I trapped. Tom Sawyer received a proper burial, and muskrats kept their fur. But everyday of my life, I wish I had gone to that shed. I wish she had driven my ear. I wish I had known her name.

Kilili

This, of course, is fictional. But not so. Go figure.





Kilili


I met a lady in the way
Demureness and sunshine
Whose eyes played tricks
Coy in wide smile

All flutter and free
Her beam spoke meadow
Rich in colour
Here a little
There a little
Pixies danced
She feigned no notice

Her name Kilili
But only for today
For names she has plenty
And dead victims
Testify poorly

I nodded how lovely
My hand she took
And we ran
Oh God how we ran
Gamboling night into day

We ditched and dodged
And said “never!”
“Have You?”
But practice was hers
I no match to her lead

You see, warned
Was I
Tis the woman Ishtar
Of old
Beware!

Beware indeed
I grew deaf and adroit
At shewing
And brushing
Hell bent for the fire

Did Solomon not know?
Did you he not warn
And yet to the fire he ran
Altar upon altar
For their pleasure of his lust

For she has one scheme
That cannot be changed
I knew it well
Death to him
And to her also

But her sister,
No less the deviant
Would unbar and release
Again as always
While history watched
And rubbed it’s chin

Tammuz, Tammuz
Did he know?
Did he run?
Was it of use
They weep for him
Yet today

We sit by the fear
And call it a fire
And stare at it’s coal
What the attraction?
The mystery of the flames dance

Have I warmed you?
Of course
Draw closer
I am your desire
Your need
Then in the flame you are
And she looking in

That smile
Watching you dance
To go to her now
You must come out
But nay
The rabbit is snared
Soon she must go
To find another
The herd to be thinned

Her sister
has you now
Stripes without pleasure
Bonds without tease
No measure to the stroke

To do it again
Would you?
What power of reflection
Could change what is

What is today
Is of old
For practice

Makes perfect
And fire
Eternal


~Rick














~Rikkij

The Depth of our Desire

The Depth of our Desire





she walks
on threads of
golden sand
wearing herself
as a cloak





rising up
without effort
her feet rule the fog
and the mist dress
her locks





her eyes betray,
only garnishment
for the wisp of time
her tool of vision





and moods
she only knows one
lips merely entice
with pleading whispers
the game
long ago up





turquoise layered
an uneven flow
rhapsodies
my swimming vision





the water rises
and carries
me to her
us to one
she the power





I swim in
her depths
height to breadth
only guided
by her countenance





there are no reds
here. nor yellows
and orange
only my blue wants
to her green gives,
releasing
our turquoise desire





we swim the depths
and own them
the beauty of our desire
enough to chase
dogs that howl
and envy our stroke





I'll find her
when I need her
again
along the cliffs
waiting
and whispering
of turquoise
~Rick

reaching for the stars


Sometimes I wish (as you may have noticed, often actually) that I had that child thing. That thing children have where they don't wonder where tomorrow's meals will come from. That thing that makes dolls come to life and Tonka trucks to roll. Where they see stars but don't understand distance. Where everything is in reach and facts are smoke.
I suppose it is one too many defeats somewhere down the line that brought us to the cold hard slap we call reality. But who's to say we're not just part of someone else's dream and reality can be changed.
To the ant, the world and even universe, exist entirely in the expanse of our yards and we their gods, who choose on a whim whether they live or die. Their only dream-the crumb within sight.
Hmmm....maybe, perhaps, we limit ourselves by the fear of the unknown. Bound by chains of security. ....Anyway
reaching
feeling, stretching
for what can not be seen
seeing what can not be touched
touching what can only be sensed




blind ambition
still is.
hope based, child like
dream fed




fences folded
guards asleep
and stars shine
for you alone




little ones reach
and squeeze
all gimme gimme
to the wag of our finger
and smalling of our lips
restoring proper order




and learn they do
lessons of limit
and control
and of only what I say
wanting wasted




and surely desire
must bide the rules
keeping respect
and propriety
as established long ago




but still, we reach
and squeeze little fist
all gimme gimme




were the stars
set before us
to tease and taunt
or merely
to encourage


Saying,
reach, feel
stretch
desire




authors and degrees
mark our limits
and back them with fact
yet, the spirit
and the heart
see what cannot be seen
and touch
with intangibles
making all things
fair game and within reach




no, I cannot touch the stars tonite
but they me. For limits
they've not learned
and reaching, they sometimes honour




my eyes close
and mind opens
to the vision, the image
the little gimme gimme
in the shadows
reaching beyond




a star exploding
in brilliant white
showering the hope
with promise
and joy
this all
before the filthy dust
of no noers
say stop
and behave






~Rick