One of my ancestral cemeteries in Pennsylvania. (Source).
Alright, here’s another original piece. I think I’ve decided that I might as well publish a few things every now and then, since I seem to be getting a good response.
Passing a Cemetery Seen From a Train
We are not to count them,
the ones we make rare.
Nor should we come too close—
stepping in would strip
the varnish from our eyes,
making us like them
too soon. No, let this hill
rise away from me,
spangled with the dead
and watered with the whispers
of those not yet able to speak.
Romania. Photo taken by the author, March 2011.
Since the response to my last two original poems has been so positive, I thought I’d publish a little more. I wrote this piece a few years ago.
To the Romanian
I am opening a window in my mind again.
I am peering into the sodden landscape
Of stone, snow, and parted lips of lead,
The chalice which catches the wax
Imported from Carinthia—like the
Ring that snags on the
Crow’s ashen teeth.
The shudders are snapping in the wind;
Smoke is rising from the valley.
Another original piece from the old notebook, spruced up a bit. As I mentioned in my earlier poem, at this point I don’t really plan on putting too much of my own stuff here. But in lieu of some other posts that are taking longer to finish than I had hoped, here you go.
He is the ghost that fogs the mirror
before you rise to greet your Sunday face,
beer-swilling face with stubble like termites
tumbling through your grandmother’s antique chair
as she sings half-bred hymns to you in a
Gypsy tongue she learned off a carnival
barker. He stands before the black bookshelf,
pondering the glass veil between Word
and Man, wondering if sand or stone would
feel better in an old shoe, or like a
paper Mephistopheles, he leaps now
into the street, wild, un-tame and unkempt,
with matted hair drawn into a loose bun
or some pin-stuck old Indian style.
He offers you his body for consolation.
He offers you his tongue in lieu of words,
they are all tied up in leather behind
the shimmering partition like a
coquette calling from her Japanese screen.
And he dances lugubriously,
inebriate on the sound of
jazz funerals winding their way down dirt
roads to the noose-cackle of strings and the
lantern-glow of heat-lightning.
I recently discovered an old notebook of mine with several poems I had forgotten about writing a few years ago. While I don’t intend to publish much of my own creative work on this site, I liked this piece enough to offer it up for your consideration.
Spanish moss is a
green garland at dawn and a
gibbet at twilight.
The sea is foaming
at the mouth again. Someone
ought to put it down.
The bricks, like whores, are
washed in salt and made sooty
once more in lamp-glow.
I see your face there,
reflected in the postcard
nestled in my hand.
Amidst the buzzing
kitsch, it whispers a simple
note: “Wish you were here.”