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


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I want to live

i reach down with cupped hands
large as oak trees upside down, and
dip into the fountain
close my once hopeful eyes
and feel it wash over me
once more

i smooth my hair back
then dive!
drink til it and i are one

i want to stand on a mountain top
hear the eagle cry
like this!
blaze through the forest
with will covered passion
as a  machete

i want to long
and ache,
but with hope
and the strength of one renewed

there is a wind
blowing from the north,
there always must be
it is not a tidal wave
nor even the crystal
of a maddening brook
but it holds life
and to it i close my eyes
letting it wash me
and in it, an olive branch
too solemn for hands
which i take in my teeth
and fly with, like this!
offering it to you
and you, and you
that we all might live

The Rush

There's that big exam on Monday morning
or the speech on Wednesday night
the first time you meet your girlfriends dad
that job interview a skyscraper above your head

we've all been there

those butterflies high on LSD
that won't get laid til they get to Winnipeg

these orphans of the heart, fed by the frontal lobe
are blended of our fears and doubts

but this is different
a quaking from without
a trembling that began in a solar storm
and knocked us on our ass without warning

you don't know where it came from
where it's going
or what it wants
but there it is,
and it's real
beyond the taming of buddha
knocking the wind out of your soul

ever had it?
did it frighten you?
it does me
because I seem to be the butterflies in its belly

The Door

I used to watch her
she of the second floor
I, of the third

it was the kind of apartment where if one tenant turned on the water,
the others all knew.
but sounds and numbers were all that were known
as names were secreted behind closed doors
and lowered gazes upon the stairs

first, as the light seeped my room
I would hear the pipes jangle and creak
then the faint echo of a medicine cabinet being plundered
before a door here, a cabinet there
and then the melody of her music would waft up
on the aroma of her coffee
wrapping itself around my bare feet
spiraling up my legs
and taking my loin prisoner without a fight

I would then open my window because I knew she would open hers
and it was funny, the way my mind froze
navigating only to her unseen steps

my feet truly found their rhythm when I would hear the heavy door open and close
and I would glance to the clock in association, knowing her moccasined feet
whispered down the stairs.

in a ritual race my own feet pulled me to my window from where,at the edge of the curtain,
I could watch her emerge onto the sidewalk below.

I would smile as she threw her auburn locks to the wind
and her hands would dip into that corduroy jacket.
she always crossed the street at an angle with nary a glance
as if she knew the world
would respect her passage.

she was going to the river, this I knew
where she would scrabble its vacant banks
speak to the current with her soul
the morning with her eyes
and to her heart, with her thoughts.
and she always retrieved a new treasure for her sill
to remind herself who she was.

this wasn't a lonely walk, it was embryonic
a seed for the evening harvest.

this too I knew, because at night I would quietly ascend those stairs
pause beside her closed door
and listen to the threshing.

one day, no more unique than another, as I descended and she ascended,
her bag of groceries shifted, her leathered foot slipped and her grace failed
-but I caught her, and my catch lingered..
things were exchanged
eyes met
silence considered
and a laugh breezed into a smile

Though no words were spoken that day, when next I paused beside her door
I heard her threshing pause with my steps.

then one evening her door was left open -just a crack
then half way
then all the way

this open door led to a name beyond the number
and a chair at her table where we drank her coffee and shared a story

I remember those days now and where they took me
I remember believing that door knew no limit

I would have been wise to remember the way she crossed the street
for one night as I climbed those stairs,
I found that door closed once again.
I remember the pain of those two voices rising up through the floorboards
taunting my concrete feet and spinning a new beat to an old routine.

I think maybe he was the baker who brought her bread
or perhaps a beggar from the park
but I never really cared to know

my mind now froze only in pale numbness and my curtain stayed closed.

I could've moved
should've moved
I know it now as I knew it then
and maybe I tried but good sense plays a minor role on such a dark stage.

the other day as I reached the second floor, I noticed two things;
the door open a crack
and a man's slippers just inside
I didn't pause
doors say more than we hear

A Tavern In The Woods

is a place that opens its doors
when Vickie decides she's ready
a place with long narrow floorboards
worn grey by the snow of long winters

back near the tiny bathrooms
is a pool table with paper thin felt
torn and cigarette scarred

the roof is shingled
the sign painted
the register antiquated
and no uniformed cuties with name tags

this is a place where widows, divorcees and veterans
stare out the window beyond the pitted gravel lot
to watch the snow fall upon the highway

a tavern in the woods has a table in the corner
where those same five guys have been playing
that same deck of cards since Carter picked his first peanut

there is a battered leather dice box under the bar
that makes up for Vickie's lousy tips
and damp smelly bar rags for the occasional spill

the jukebox doesn't do digital
but knows every George Jones song ever recorded

a tavern in the woods has burgers that taste better
for no good reason
and the best beer signs to be found

there is no happy hour because the beer is only two bucks anyway
and last call is when the stories and keg run out at the same time

a tavern in the woods cannot be built
but planted and grown from a seedling
until it reaches maturity

it is a place where strangers gather to become friends
a refuge
a sanctuary
a home for those in search of  definition

Bus Ride

it seems as close to a stage coach as we can get these days
All aboard! next stop Yuma!

we on the street, look to the faces beyond the glare
they never smile or look down
just out, away and beyond
but (or is it and) it draws us,
takes a little of our soul along
in the wake of that thick black smoke

for a moment we wish to go along,
-climb those stairs
to that grandma in Billings we've only known through stories
or the recruiting office in Yakima, or
maybe even to that friend in New York with the spare room and connections

the girl there, in the back row,
with the spiked hair and black lipstick ran away when fourteen burst the seams,
the young man in the middle aisle spent his summer in Yellowstone
grooming trails
and the old man in the green wool uniform
finally made his platoon's reunion

they all wear an expression bought with a sixty-eight dollar ticket
some find comfort in books
some in ear buds
some in journals
some in quiet contemplation

they'll stop for fuel
and just to stretch their legs, where
a few will smoke in a huddle while
names and smiles might be exchanged
and once in awhile a story told to a crooked grin

then they'll board again as we
in McDonald's, or fueling our cars watch
with curious eyes

they pretty much ignore us,
we're not in the club
-not part of the adventure

but as long as there's Greyhound
there's hope for exploration,
the human spirit,
and a dream left
for those of us that watch


Filters are important
They purify
And I don't have one

I'm the muddy mississippi
ass over tea kettle
Pissing off artists
But making the catfish happy

So those in my path
Construct filters
Lest i forget my banks

Some have built them
In series
This for that
-a murderer's row of honeycomb
Til i'm not even a river, but
Merely a trickle
Sad in supress

Others have built dams
You know,
Keep the bastard out all together

But there's this one,
Pretty, sleepy little town
That has laid some stones
And logs across my flow
Earthy, natural, an easy traverse

Here, my catfish pool
My heron fish
And my mud slips through
While my eddies swirl
Her feet
At the edge of the bank

She knows not to drink
Too much of me
Not to belly flop my depths
understanding the danger of my undertow

But she lets me flow
Lets me sweep her feet
And in this
I have found truce in the current
Harmony in my day
Agreement in peace
And acceptance in my imperfection