Saturday, December 31, 2016

Down Time

She was always busy doing something productive:
cleaning, feeding dogs, watering chickens, improving her home, making beds,
exercising, preparing food, washing, folding, taking care of herself, riding or grooming horses
-all of this when she wasn't working.

I don't do those things. When I'm not working, I'm asleep.
When I'm not asleep, my mind turns things over and over,
And I think of all the things she did.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

with the black dog...

Rain-Snow Line

Not until I drove up into the
hill town where I live did the snow come
blinding, heavy and deepening

In the house, I scanned the first few sentences of an article
written by a man of eighty three years living alone now
in his family home with all its history and all its absences.

He characterized solitude as a gentle power
and said sometimes, during the late hours, solitude becomes loneliness.
I didn't read far enough to learn how he characterized that.

I'd call it soft memories with razor edges, or maybe a
silent hungry lion with her gaze fixed on you
waiting for the moment you raise your eyes to hers.

I'm not eighty three, but after six months, I'm almost alright
in this place, in this skin, with this silence, without the rest of all of it,
maybe starting to feel, just faintly, the hum of some gentle power.

Loneliness comes with memory when it enters you too vividly,
from a gentle rain to a swirling, cutting,  heavy squall
you can't see the road through.

It happens when comparing that to this,
when thinking this should be something else.

Three years ago now, a night between Christmas and New Year's began with an unexpected text message at a particularly low moment- an invitation nearly declined. Initially warmed by your humor; then bemused by you under the influence of alcohol; and then you took my arm on the icy sidewalk -look, there he is, already lost in it - and in no time after that, he could not help but kiss your head uninvited, his heart enfolding you like it had always been in love -the warm and growing hum of a gentle power.

And now, feeling this, comes the snow
blinding, heavy, deepening.

When comparing that to this,
solitude becomes loneliness.

When thinking this should be something else,
soft memories slice an artery imperceptibly
seeing the blood, you raise your eyes in surprise
and then the lioness.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

All Around It Was Dark

The anxiety leading up to this day, Christmas, has now abated.  Though soon enough I'll find something else to worry about.

Christmas Eve. I had a German lunch in a Polish immigrant town and thanked the waitress for working Christmas Eve so that the likes of me had a place to be for an hour. She was about 30, maybe a little younger, well-pregnant with her second. She said the last time her job gave her a stool to sit on sometimes, but not here,  and all the standing is rough on her back. Another woman enters and sits at the bar with a friend she has come to meet. Maybe my age, very pretty. Our eyes kept meeting, but I could not be sure if I was welcome or intruding. They were warm and brown and somehow made me feel sadder and infected. When I stood to leave, I said goodbye to Kate, the waitress, shook hands with her and wished her well, while the beautiful woman at the bar held my eyes steadily this time and wished me Merry Christmas. I stood there for a few seconds wondering if I should talk to her or if she was only offering pity to a man alone on Christmas Eve and then left believing the later to be the case.

I crossed the Connecticut River- flowing water, ice and rock, red brick buildings.

Driving home tonight, I saw the brightly lit side of a peeling white chicken house. All around it was dark. It triggered memories of other lonely sites I wish I'd  photographed and catalogued as if they were significant and one day their significance would be made known to me. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

What You Said Stayed With Me

Leaving was hard, you said
But staying was hard too.

Staying with me was hard for you.

I heard you
And understood with a stab
That I had become an obstacle

Between you and your happiness,
Between you and your dream,
Between you and your desire,
Between you and your goal,
Between you and your truth,
Between you and your destiny,
Between you and your true love.

A waste of your time, energy, feeling, spirit...

Without me now
You are free.

And I no longer have to feel that
This time, separated from you,
Is wasted time.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Just An Old Fashioned

It's closer to an an occupation
than a crossing of your mind so
you've long wondered whether
you've exceeded the limits of normalcy with this
but your precious lament isn't special at all
just one more of a few dozen billion
versions of the second oldest
song there is

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Shoveling snow for the first time each winter is a gauge of many measures.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Zero And Only The Rumble Of The Furnace

Temperature at zero.

Cold nights like this
make me remember you here,
both of us warm, close, quiet, happy.

Something radiated from the center of me out to you.
I think of it as holiness.
Did you receive it?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Awake And Waiting For The Alarm

Now I'm the one sleepless
Seems like the moon is always full
These days, and staring at me,
Or nothing but a sliver
Seemingly running out of itself.

I almost sent a message having to do with loss
Why mine is more acute than yours
But then I thought better of it
Knowing one will never really know the other's

Sixteen hours of work in front of me
Too broke to eat, unless there's space on a card,
Reducing it to basics
Fight to keep your job, work to care for your
Children, pay debt to get out from under,
Try to avoid disintegration.

Good morning, world.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sucks The Air Right Out Of The Room

When you start hoping
Remember this
The only reason she isn't with you is
She doesn't want you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Now My Heart Asks Yours

I ask you frankly
why are we wasting this time
with the wick of the world burning down
while this love still exists between us?

There is no other time than this for us.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Counting For The Sake of Counting

At five months
A check in
Not much is different
Haven't started hoping
But it was good to reaffirm it
To dispel resentment and bitterness
A little bit