An Arguable Truth

The Pulse

I left her with the baby.
I left her with the bed.
And climbed down creaking stairs to pour coffee into my head.

To smell wet air off the pond.
And sugar off of trees.
Hear birds sing.
And thick dew plop like rain against star shaped sweet gum leaves.

I made coffee in the dark.
Found my book and the pen I like.
I took the shy dog out to be good.
We peed together at the edge of the woods.

Woke up at six in the morning for no good reason.
So I sat down, pen in hand.

Intent on writing one.

Animals

Back of the throat, out through a double barrel twelve gauge nose.
Hoof smacks hard earth. And drags. Once. Twice. Three times.
Then open eyes, contact and hold. Horses. Undulation always.

Curious little tickle of a sound. Cracked opened mouth.
Pupils flat lining. Sweet feed pining.
Unhelpless hapless little mammals.
Goats. Have you heard, a herd?

Pushed around light as a plaything by one.
Whipped hard like a little boy’s baby doll.
Like you were one of them?

Another reason I love animals. No rhetorical questions.
Rhetorical anything. No rhetoric alone. Flat teeth
stained mustard roots. Bow brown. Wet chin.
Ankle thin. And thick headed.

Where there are a lot, you call them livestock.
When there are a few, you call them ‘hey you’.
Old goat. Old horsey coarse. Ye sheep.
Not something you own, but something you keep.
Live stock. Mute slave. Sit high up on a saddle
like steak stacked up on a dinner plate.

But need is need.
Regardless the animal.
Never mind the breed.

And we do, so much, and so money.
For what is a farmer now, except for fences?
And that is the ticket, isn’t it?
To answering rhetoricals.

The fallacy of believing you can own a living thing.
Simply because you keep it in a pen.

There is no freedom on either side of the fence.

Clutching the Pen – Morning Poems

Peach fuzz on top of water.
First morning light bombarding silhouetted leaves colored lime.
Hummingbird moves little branches flitting up and down around shrubs.
Squeaky unbeautiful bird voices. Coffee breath and easy choices.
Waking reminders. Sleep is the greater portion of every day.

Affirmation of our solid universal unquestioned belief there will be tomorrow.
A pile of boots in the porch corner. Says the same thing. With silence.
Cedars beside dogwoods growing straight in the crook off sun-starved
summers spent in the shade of giants. Unilateral lines of red ants.
Wasps hover effortlessly for a few seconds and are gone for good.
Like fuzzy water. Still thick in the shade, dissipates around eight. Also gone.
And though there are a thousand better things we should all be doing. We’re not.
Like all life decided to sacrifice morning chores and collaborate
on one big monumental morning poem. While the night air still loiters coolly.
Before the summer sun has walked by with his big gun strapped to his hip
to tell us all we need to be moving along.

A good poem.

Is not written by a poet alone.
But a world on the cusp of clocking in.
And a person on a front porch sipping piping hot coffee.
Clutching their pen.

We Always Stop to Look at Trains

Rain. The slowest, longest, loudest, creepiest, crawliest train.
Ever. In existence. Thick brown ties. Bolted steel flexes
beneath round collars wrapped around great iron necks.
Reached out and strained screaming. Rain.
With green leaf branches stuck like parsley
in its deep black grated grin. Flood waters in straight sweeping
tracks down hill sides, drifts of bark and twigs curled in between
tree trunks and stray quartz. Ogre gravel. Industrial.
 
Mounded up beneath where incredible weight will pass over.
 
With no friction. No heat, whatsoever, in the steel.
Rain. Like a train. That passes up above our heads.
 
Falls.
But never fallen.

Old Man

When I write, I sometimes play this game where I imagine how my words will read three hundred years from now. I think, if there is a reference or phrase I can use that is somehow less likely to become irrelevant, or if it seems more timeless, then perhaps my sentiment will resonate longer. I write for the canon. Not for myself. And not really for an audience. I write for the leviathan. For time itself. Casting out my voice relentlessly for the simple sake of seeking to inspire an echo.

I’m like a kid. Playing war. But in a beautiful, yet professional manner. Dressed up like my ancestors. And my goodness, has it been fun.

I know there’s no universal measurement for success. But if success is living a life that would actually impress your twelve year old self, I’m doing it.

And I’m proud of the old man.

Southern Summer

Rain that comes straight down. So hard it gets a second chance to jump back up from underneath. Soaks everything. Soaks me. Left the doors off the jeep. I know the eyes that followed me home. Brunette debts paid to dirty blond actresses with deep dark pupils planted center. Bare rose bushes. Gravel wash out. Darker than December at five o’clock in the afternoon. Indigestion rumbles in the distance. Hooded women are running to their cars. We are all praying for someone to get home safe. North Carolina summer. East coast storms. We are all walking on water. In a thousand different forms. The geese love it. Stopped in the road four fluffy children in a row waddling after the great sleek black-neck honking at cars with foggy windows. We swim in lakes that were not there one hundred years ago. We burn the stagnate relics off ancient jungles in our engines like it was nothing, ascend their toxic spirit so that even paradise has a few holes punched in it. All alone wrapped up in waning swiss cheese ozone. Dear God. Make us a sandwich. Lettuce smeared in mayonnaise clouds and a sopping wet sliced red tomato for sun. Dripping sticky rain that soaks in and leaves stains. Sunkissed skin and moonlicked and cooked dark and broiled brown. Pink fingernails in black settings. Red knuckles etched with white scars. Words. That fill your head with pictures. Clouds. That soak the ground with rain. Seasons. Far more than four. Within these southern summers. Spring and fall on each side like soggy bread.

Morning is a season.

So is the evening.

All on it’s own.

Don’t be surprised to wake up in heaven.

And drive through a little hell to get home.

A Silly Pursuit

I don’t want to change the world. I think it is a silly pursuit.
I just want options. You know. In lieu of a philosophical discussions.
We could just agree on the definition of the world within freedom.

As having many options.

And if you tax land, regardless of what it does,
then you have made living on it simply and free
an illegality. When every human has the right
to a free and quiet life in the country.

That is what I believe.
Options are the medicine I would feed this sick nation.

We did not decide this government so it could sit on top of the land
and divy it up back to us as soon as we pay a percentage of its worth.

I don’t want to change the world. I just want to add to it.

A Sherwood of sorts.
A path. A way of life.
A place where everything society says you earn between nine to five
is simply part of an environment. Paid for by not being a villain. Mostly.

Food. Water. Shelter.

And what you do with the rest of the day is yours.
Hard work is hard work is hard work.
It’s a choice you have to make.

It is clearly not something every human was cut out to do.

Sending us all out on the interstate at the same time headed the same way.
Is causing massive pile-ups, and cheapening life.
Interactions in abundance. Seeing people by the hundreds. Thousands.
Hard to believe each one has a name, and parents, and pets waiting at home.

When you encounter so many faces out there. When you’re never alone.
Who cares who you crush on your evening commute. What is it to you?

Just trying to get home from work after a long day.

There just aren’t a lot of options to get somewhere as quickly as possible.
Without running into a million others who have the same sensible thought as you.
We need options. I’m not talking about putting in an extra lane.
There has to be a place. A quiet life in the country.

Somewhere
the only way to get there
is the long way.

A Blade with Two Edges #OldPoems

The mind, consciousness itself, a blade with two edges,
sharp on both sides, forged in the mind. We all bear scars.
Marks. Places we were harmed, injured, cut deeply by thoughts, words.
Invisible weapons first learned turned inward, toward, threatening the self.
How many missing flesh, comforts, throw the burden off from hands, their swords,
tools trashed, forgotten and lost, because strength comes with cost, a price, hefty, sure.

But full with worth.

Bravery.
Courage.
Carrying heavy weapons.
Sore-handed. Tired. One trapped in the mind.
Invisible to any eye. It can not be seen seeing.
Slicing both directions, out and in, and we feel mostly in, it is all we have.

Ourselves.
And consciousness carves us up like a roast,
a sacrifice, dinner, like a fat gluttonous ego.
This sword makes it thinner. Drops weight.
Extrapolate hate in a lengthy, long, red
dissections of selfishness, greed, bad
and its wavering boundary against good,
not to be attacked.
But understood.

The mind brandished this weapon, pounded in imperfection until it is gone,
buried too deep to be seen, felt, still in notches, chips in steel, iron, handles wrapped
in palms and fingers gripped. Consciousness. Awakeness. Aware. Staring. Keen.

Our own heads lend us this sword.
The world knows the shape.
So the world supplies a sheath.
Help against the pain of lugging sharp brains,
a place to shush it in and let go,
a shape fit for the great idiotic weapon of ego.
So we can carry it. Keep walking. Moving. Growing.

Even if it’s slowly.

Born Ready

Nobody here was born ready. None of us came equipped,
or hit the ground running. Yet, you are here. I want to ask a question.
But I would like to invoke God first. Hey. You old God. Why is anybody afraid to die?
That’s why we all came here today. Isn’t it. The promise in baptism. Eternal life.
You don’t have to say it, I am too, so I’ll say it for you. I’m afraid.
Of what I feel. When I look at that child. I confess. I am terrified of true love.
That is how I know it is real. How I know to recognize it. Same as you. Old God.
Now that I think about it. Being in the presence of a higher power.
I know no greater terror.
And I just used a lot of words to say I am afraid of a baby.
That one. No teeth. No claws. Relatively small. Barely any hair.
Can’t move too well, or stand, or on his own, go anywhere.
He smells like purity. Right up until he doesn’t.
Only eats one thing, too much, and spits up.
And cries like a tomcat with a little juicy smile
sandwiched between his cheeks. You old God.

You did all this, I mean the miles that sit of great slippery glittery stepping stone
only eyes can step on, that big sopping wet lake, and the amount of land it takes
to call bodies of water like that lakes. And the scariest thing in the world
to me is that little precious lump right there?
Really buried the hook in that one, didn’t you.
It took every second of this much time for me to realize
just what we’re so afraid of losing to make us yearn this much for something
like making an eternal living. I see it, in his eyes.
How much it means, to us, to see our children baptized.

This love.
Wakes us up.
Like a splash of cold water.
Like becoming a father.
For the first time.
Nobody here was ready for it.
Not one of us came equipped to be a parent.
And yet, here we are.

What else is there to be afraid of?