Thoughts Are Clouds

summer sky

Thoughts are clouds on canvas sky –

Some go idly drifting by,

Moved by whim or circumstance,

Shaped as concepts meet by chance.

Others draw conclusions there,

Intention giving studied air –

Captured by the artist’s mind,

Reflection paints each view refined.

Lest your work of art be marred

By thunder-heads, be on your guard;

Better than the stormy strokes

Are lovely thoughts that hope evokes.

I Cried Today at Staples

barberry-rain.jpg

They asked me what kind of file folders

I would like. I eyed that wall,

boxes of files stacked like bricks

propping up crumbling dreams,

and I couldn’t stop them,

hot tears welling up unbidden,

indecision and nostalgia and sorrow

in liquid form. And I knew

it wasn’t the file folders –

not really. It was more

that after the check-out counter,

after smiling and making small-talk

with a smiling employee about

the weather and the Riders game,

after fighting traffic

and stopping for an iced frappé

on the way, I would carry the bags

and drop them off

with my son

at their new home,

leave them deposited there,

file folders marked ‘Memories’,

‘Fears’, ‘Regrets’; even the expanding

style can’t hold ‘Dreams I’ve Dreamed

for my Son Since He Was Born’,

or ‘Have I Given Him Enough

to Make Him a Man?’ So I stood

in aisle 4 and let the tears drip

until the labels swam, inked

puddles to be filed later.

Reason Swirls

frozenpuddle.jpg

Reason swirls in

rippled tidal waves,

schools of thought

propelled along rip tides of random compulsion;

Mind must master momentum

or be dragged to Davy Jones’ locker,

misled by swanky salesmen.

Lies ring true when artificial authenticity

sweeps senses out to sea,

when truth is misplaced

on the shelf next to pulp fiction.

The undiscerning dragnet

will troll for all species indiscriminately;

not every fish is worth the fry.

 *

‘…take captive every thought…’

Through a Glass Darkly

happybird.jpg

When you look through my window, what do you see?

Does your own reflection distort,

distract from my own?

Or do those dark eyes

perceive my frantic efforts to achieve meaning,

see through the fragile skin

to bones as stark as grave?

Can you see past the crumbs,

past the messiness of life in the living,

to the heart beating love

and fear

and sons and daughters,

meetings and givings,

turmoil and rest?

And I wonder –

Have you mastered

the mystery of your own survival,

do you know where

hope hides

when the discomfort of the stretch

comes?

Can you tell tales

to keep nightmares away

during unending Arabian nights?

Do you wonder

about me,

the way I wonder

about you?

Perhaps

this glass between us

distorts how I see you,

how you perceive me.

Perhaps

there is only

this film of silica

keeping us

from

knowing the other.

If this glass were cut,

would we bleed

together?