Breathe

Breathe in the Open SkyNostrils flare in anticipation
as earthy caramel smells sift
past heady cavities, past
gates which open up to lift
eyeballs and ear tips tingly,
chilly red and awake. Brain
swoons soft by the glow
of fresh air flow, rushing in and down,
as chest and rib cage expand out,
extrude on an excursion to full balloon.
Neck, spine and cartilage joints gather
to allow room. Liquid xylophone bones
bloom as body soaks in tipsy
nourishing oxygen lessons,
rush of ancient, instinctive motions
learned, zillions of times churned,
practiced measures, yet new and vital
with each sumptuous breath.

Now exhale slow, soft thoughts as
your spine elongates toward the sky.

Breathe. Repeat.

Through the Alexander Technique, I’ve learned, again, how to breathe, to really breathe, without tension, without clenched neck, stressed chest or anxious eyes. Letting my body breathe as it has learned for millions of years, is like being reborn with each breath.

Hummingbird by Wilco

Hummingbird by Wilco (Jeff Tweedy songwriter)

his goal in life was to be an echo
riding alone, town after town, toll after toll
a fixed bayonet through the great southwest
to forget her
she appears
in his dreams
but in his car, and in his arms
a dream could mean anything
a cheap sunset on a television set could upset her
but he never could
remember to remember me
standing still in your past
floating fast like a hummingbird
his goal in life was to be an echo
the type of sound that floats around
and then back down like a feather
but in the deep chrome canyons of the loudest Manhattans
no one could hear him
or anything
so he slept, on a mountain
in a sleeping bag underneath the stars,
he would lie awake and count them
but the great fountain spray of the great Milky Way
would never let him
die alone
remember to remember me
standing still in your past
floating fast like a hummingbird
remember to remember me
standing still in your past
floating fast like a hummingbird
a hummingbird
a hummingbird

Iceberg

photo strip1
Emotions bulk under the surface.
Parched thoughts search through drawers,
looking for lost socks, ones missing a matching twin.
Burly ogres guard the door, eying me with cyclops grins,
thousands of books piled high around them, dog eared ravenously.
Next to me I find a strip of old photographs, proof sheets,
black and white miniatures bordered with numbers,
thin shavings of the early years, glamorous tinted skin,
debutante attitudes with the light always shining from behind.
My face looks back at me, learning from my lines,
taking notes on little scraps of discarded catalogs
lost under the sea, rolling among waves of salty tears.
Cordoned off are rooms with freshly cut flowers,
bouquets of roses stripped of thorns, just beginning
to wilt, though the shades are drawn, the door key-less.
Saints and sinners meet in the room next door,
a détente to sort things out. They share a meal
of smoked ham and lentil stew, homemade with love.
The weather holds its breath, waiting
for the key to the stopped clock on the wall.
But they leave by a secret door, un-noticed.
The tub overflows, drowning
all the roses, whose petals float out
with one note scribbled on each,
notes of a song of gratitude, randomly humming
as they hover out the window and out to sea.
And the wind chimes pick up the tune
as if they already knew.
photo strip2

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Rhythms of the Seasons

Enjoy! And best wishes for a joyous holiday to you all!

machine of faith

The rhythms of the seasons hypnotize us
as they go ’round and ’round and ’round,
faster each year as we age,
building to some distant, palpable climax
while receding from another, past.
Faster they spin, compelling us to fill fragile days
with meaningful events,
(love may deepen,
hate grow brittle,
poetry more necessary)

To and fro, light to dark, the pendulum swings
stupendously, irrevocable across the map, throbbing
in every molecule with its unabashed preponderance.
No sooner sweet Summer arrives in her full sensual glory
and vapid dissipation, then by the slightest incline,
the longest day tipped, we star the slow, poignant slide
to the depths of Winter.

Thus we arrive again at this valley of Yin,
whose darkness and gravity turns us inward
to our sweetest, softest, most delicate
center.

As if by sheer will (and hope and need)
we nudge the gyration back toward light,
we indulge in glitter and compassion.
We reward love needed and given
with earnest countenance.
We search our souls for cheerful ways
to decorate the days.
We celebrate the counterpoint of our lives,
barely pausing to reflect
over the abyss which lies beneath
the fragile music we make.

The photo is of a small section of a large, useless, tinkling, colorful machine. It was built over a period of 25 years or so, part by bit, by a man who made it just for fun, and for his children’s entertainment. Now it’s an obscure tourist attraction. It’s housed in a little hut, perhaps 20 ft by 15 ft in the middle of nowhere, next to his house, where his wife still lives. I think he was a farmer. He used found objects and toys and trash, whatever caught his eye. It all fits together in some way. When turned on, the whole thing whirs and clicks and clangs and flashes. Being in the middle of Bavaria, it was normal and appropriate to find a crucifix perched in the middle somewhere.

There is something comforting about this scene, which is almost alter-like. The colorful chaos and glitz surrounds the peaceful icon. Sorry it’s the wrong icon for the season, but I sort of like the twisted irony of it.

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The Question

no refererHe sat, motionless,
Veined alabaster marble,
Staring through a crystal ball,
Casing the scene, waiting for the
Answer, or another start.
Warm water had rinsed
Clean all childhood dreams and
Cleared his heart. His
Chest ended sighs, void of
Burdens they had shared
Days ago, as his last ploy
Pushed them apart, perhaps with
Intent to shield ignorant flesh from
Shattering fragments, atomic breath.
“I know you don’t love me” uttered
Callously, through stoic glare.


Walls had slid out of place, floors
Angled straight down icy cliffs, caving to
Nothing so palpable as stormy hell,
Nor poetic as lonely emptiness.
Everything lost its name without departure.
His Robert Rauschenberg poster,
Fragments pasted helter-skelter,
Remained, a flat reflection of
Quiet decay.

Attempting his usual joy, his

(the days of wine and chatter
swing lazily across the front porch)

World slid away, wrapped around his

(burnished light streams
through the dining room window
dappled by leaves of perfectly
pruned magnolia trees)

Ankle with a serpentine choke-hold.

(the cozy warmth of his new gas fireplace,
(where they had cuddled that night)
appropriately and exactly outdated
to suit the age of his house)

He
Watched,

(the music of Chopin and Mozart
waits, stacked neatly on his shiny upright piano,
over practiced, under performed)

Watching his perceptions
Flow helplessly along and away and
Out, where ever anchors go in bottomless pits.

(dreams unadorned…)

Echoes of clanging steel canisters
Coded everyone’s thoughts, so
Only he could see the conspiratory, stale
Faces pretending to smile. His
Hollow cave strained with leering alibis,
Empty of furniture to rest upon.
Until now. Slumped form,
Droll doll, dry of bubbling spring, his
Question had been answered, washed
Swirling through wretched
Tubes of a shower drain. The

Pained heart beating
Before this vacant house would
Ask, echo-less, “Why?” as
Long as blood flowed
Through thin, tenuous
Skins, holding days
Trembling in place.

For B, the beating heart which will never heal, after our once happy, goofy, loving friend, M disappeared before he took the life of his body six months ago. The astonishing swiftness with which this hearty, spirited man was emptied of soul will remain an eternal unanswered question.

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