Turning, Part III.

I need to give a shout here to Joan Didion for the way she did it. 

When the Afternoon Holds Just Enough

Life and dying,

Should be familiar

In the narrow, empty spaces

Hiding,

In the confusing mass of briars,

And dried or mildewed berries:

Take your pick,

While the shadowed visitors of place

Sneak back home.

.

Somewhere, crosses a stretch ,

When memories,

Stretch further

Than the longness of stories

Our present circumstances

Polished in Elaboration.

.

The corner of life is turned

In some broad sweeping arc

Penciled in years,

And hidden in a dozen tin cans

Buried in the yard

Over a period of irregular years.

.

The day’s path gives a ride

A good long while,

Moving, really moving along.

The time, like the knob of some old radio,

Cranking slowly one way,

At once fading and boisterous.

.

Nobody talks about this stuff,

Like politics and newcomers,

Poking,

Unless we can all turn askew,

Upwards. All of us.

‘Cause we all see it our own crooked ways.

And one more:

Don’t fall for the witching hour,

Telling you, this moment:

Some speck of time,

that could turn the day.

No. Don’t.

Just watch this time,

like it was back then.

Turning, Pt III (draft)

The afternoon holds just enough

Life and dying,

To be familiar

In the narrow, empty spaces

That keep to themselves

In a confusing mass of briars,

And dried or mildewed berries:

Take your pick.

While the shadowed visitors of place

Return home.

.

The day’s path gives a ride

Good sojourns,

Moving, really moving along.

And this time:

Like the knob of some old radio,

Cranked slowly one way,

Boisterous and fading

Again and again.

.

Nobody talks about this stuff,

Making for poor politics.

None, really.

Unless we can all turn askew,

Upwards. All of us.

.

‘Cause we all see it our own crooked ways.

.

And one more:

Don’t fall for the witching hour,

Telling you, this moment:

Some speck of time,

that could turn the day.

No. Don’t.

Just watch this time,

like it was back then.

How we Count tombstones;

The graveyards of climate:

Like fishing,

where a scant few days are easy.

.

But mostly,

August’s forced languor

to some other eden,

Far from this nihlitude of sapped topographies,

Calls us down.

Now: the dusty dry interludes of impossible

Hell hole hermitages of heat.

Oh, Hell yeah!

.

And those cruel, cheating soft years.

.

Neah, the feint tries of Autumn:

Failed shadows of yesterday’s

Arguments over long drives

Through once watery green valleys

Where tiny creeks had life:

In those old memories we write about now,

And dream of,

Before the tiny earthquakes stir us,

From the empty, dark hour before dawn.

.

All this:

Left behind now.

.

If I could wish on a genie,

Just for this time:

Give me the geologies of water,

Grandma’s fountain,

once again.

My Urban Pt III

That roll played long ago:

The fantasy of streetside hangs,

And easy drunken mornings turned day long

Charades

Of downtown ownage.

.

We had that place.

.

We always had the itch

Of corporate daytime fate,

And sometimes wondered longingly

About those people..

.

But she showed me how to shoot up in the park

And the shadows never turned again.

.

Now I wonder these streets,

Those tenth floor lights,

Of some monster corporate outpost tower:

Why should I cry a tear?

When I missed that place completely

In the fiction that memory so elaborately crafts.

That time

That place: Spent

Wondering elsewhere.

.

Age is just an ability

to revisit old places

With the remembered energy of youth

And that largeness still stretching out

Beyond and back then,

Found.

.

The anger never happened,

The stroll is easy,

And the park is a shady break,

From the early August sun,

Casting its heat across everything

I ever knew.

The Way Summer Turned – Part II

Speaking softly now in a still lingering light

Measured in long peeks out the window,

Until the life of darkness

Resumes the ongoing day:

Slipping,

Stretching,

Into something else.

.

Some of us lost the light

Before we were even able

To sequester its sparkling splendor

In some imaginary pause.

.

I walked right past the bus!

.

That’s how it grabbed me:

Before I could even catch up to it

And after it was long gone.

.

Now cardboard afternoons,

To box the passage of days,

And the frayed edges of old towels

Hanging stiff along a sagging clothesline:

Barely swinging back and forth.

Enter left, exit hopefully (draft)

March, April, May

Those hideous months of spring

And dying.

Times to drink to oblivion

Or get sober

Because things have gotten that bad.

More than once.

.

Summer is just a known

Constant staleness, defying perpetuity.

And time of asking calendars

About the rules of a waiting game,

Measured in drought,

Day length,

And sometimes tomatoes.

.

Give me those 4 days in October,

September, November.

Doesn’t matter:

It’s when the counting ceases,

And the shadows come to stay.

A Gathering Gale

Overhead: the soaring sounds,
Calling.

Down here:
The edgy electricity
Jostles limbs,
Loosening blackened blooms
And thickened tassels
Of tiny pears to the back porch
Wind chime chatter.

Damn these winds!
To stir stale oceans,
Stomping seasons,
And lifting life anew
In their leaving.

Another Poem on a Windy Evening

The jostle of limbs,

Loosening more tiny pears,

To the erratic beat of restless wind chimes,

While overhead, the soaring sound persists.

Down here: an edgy electricity.

Damn those winds!

That stir oceans,

Recharge life,

And change seasons.

In one fell swoop.

Unwritten Notes

And those we wish we had written.

.

After 42 days, look for a change in the weather,

Subtle,

Maybe just the light, for a moment,

Or a shuttered day in clouds.

Regardless, someone’s head will turn,

Like catching a whiff of silence

Almost. Another curious pause,

In a rarely checked routine.

.

On that day, I should be drawn back in:

tempted by the familiar,

Sinking back into the reflection,

Or falling to the side,

In difference.

.

Just leave me some thread,

Or mark, to orient,

And resume. I’ll finish this poem,

And the others too.

Remind me!

When the wind turns,

And a quiet spell might linger.

West Coast Therapy Sessions

Remember the winter that barely passed a month?

And then came the sun.

Yes, still cool enough

To host lingering frosty mornings.

Until the heat came,

And February anniversaries

Were forever changed.

On that exact day thirty years prior

Snow, days of snow

Then ten days of ice five years later

Frozen,

With the surprise light dusting

Of sea level snow for a casual two year memory.

.

And then the rains would come again.

Now,

I tenuously hold on to a line in an article

Discussing the human experience

Of a changing climate:

There will still be good days.