I saw my crepe hands reaching for a grandchild,
my crepe skinned arms wrapped around her small
waist, just one hug, just one small innocent gesture
before the wind and rain wash me away. Not a giant
step for a last, eternal bonding. So innocently she smiles
at her dry, wrinkled pap. For years now the clouds
have been gathering with tentacles of crashing horses
bearing down on my lungs and limbs. Soon my child
I’ll be seeking autographs from Jesus and Mary, two great friends.
Saw you last night walking the girders,
Golden Gate, not golden, not for you.
Metal diving board, a death trap for the sad,
I never knew and now my delusion comes true.
I am so sorry life has been cruel to you.
It’s been cruel to many before. I will never
feel those arms around me, those lips pressed
wetly against mine. What did you think I could do?
Did you see wings on my shoulders or sandals on my feet?
You’re gone, now I’m lost, I am sadder than you now.
Sad is the only word I can use, my eyes speak with my destiny.
At this moment life is a child
swaying in its attempt to walk
without falling to its knees and screaming,
“Help me daddy.” Daddy left for Tulsa.
He’s dancing with a reaper,
carelessly throwing breath to the wind.
His lovers will die before Autumn leaves
touch the summer scorched grass.
Is it time now daddy?
I cannot say Apocalypse. My lips are blue.
Damned if time is waiting for you.
Whatever time means
just numbers on a piece of paper,
manmade hope and loss of memory.
We invented time and time disappears
without thought of you and I.
The world turns and with each turn
we gain a gray hair, a toothache,
wrinkles, somebody named Jesus,
his buddies God and something called
the Holy Ghost. All of whom fit into
an SUV, preferably a Toyota. For them
there’s no such thing called time.
We are the only creatures forgetting,
planning, hoping, and wishing for time.
I found you dead on page six
obituaries. I knew those eyes.
I stared longingly many times
as my breath caught in conflict.
I loved you but I didn’t, not really.
Eighteen, dumb, no grasp on aging,
maturing, war was waiting, and loving
you was a leisure I couldn’t pay so I left you
in a storm, dirty pool, wrong headed.
I’m sorry. You’re dead, I am spirituality
gone, stone drop from sanity. I am gone.
Every picture strikes a chord, a scenario
of years long gone, long hidden.
I’ve forgotten my forefathers, hard
working farmers, victims of Depression,
war, disease, lost friends. You’re gone.
Soon, too soon we follow our own parade.
Someone said once “one day older,
one day closer to the end.” I ask the end of what,
the end of a hard day’s work, shoveling stalls,
reaping fields of wheat, or reaping the dead
from wars declared by the rich, the arrogant,
narcissistic kings living in gold and silver
while their followers sleep in hovels declaring
victory over their hard days, slavery never sleeps.
Dark, cool room
flowers on both sides of her coffin
quiet classic country playing.
her favorite Patsy Cline hits.
“Mother” written on a bouquet of red
like a saddle on a brown maple stallion.
Maybe Bertha was riding Trigger to heaven,
no one said, I wouldn’t ask. I was twelve.
Sporadic cackles rang through this veil of death,
old ladies’ laughing I thought peculiar.
Finally a man of the cloth, reminded me of a Sloth,
stood up and started the flames of Hell,
my bow tie tightened and sweat poured in harmony
with the old man’s words..
What a perfect funeral I heard a woman say.
I scurried to the Men’s Room to give a child’s only gift.
Death it seems to me is just a movement,
a bus stop in Cleveland I don’t know,
just a crowd of faceless faces
waiting for another ride.
Browns, Blacks, Whites,
pimps, whores alike
just waiting for another bus
to St. Louis, finally St. Peter’s.
Cinderellas won’t ride a night tram,
no night coach for them
strictly Amtrack’s club car
taking a double decker to heaven.
Imagine death if you can
sweep the dirt
chase those skeletons,
take the last bus out of town.
It’s a two-way trip for some,
for others a two year warranty.
God loves you but if you come by bus
check the final destination on your ticket.
Each morning it’s “off to work love.”
Each time I am lost, never could live without you,
pity me Lord, my body now frail
without a will to continue this trip
across the Milky Way, it’s just too much.
I can’t bear this loneliness, lungs struggling,
this heart’s dragging me here and there.
“Doing good Arty,” the nurse says somberly.
“You’ll be running about in no time.”
Where too, I wonder and to whom or what,
a gurney maybe rolling slowly to man’s self built hell,
sifting sands of my time on earth?
A hole no doubt, a wooden box where it’s ‘off to work love.”
Nazi lover with cheekbones high and smooth
will you still love me in World War Three?
Will fascist boots break my neck for a color?
Someone wrote human kind are dead, moving dead.
We have lost our daddies, friends try to bring them back.
Daddy went home. He and momma are smoking weed
in the neverlands of purgatory, heaven, hell, maybe paradise.
We don’t know now do we dear? What’s next? What’s not?
Could be cold, could be hot. Could be Johnny or Bonnie
flying in from Montgomery on a six-string or a smooth slide.
We know Nazi girl that no one knows the sound of black boots like us.