It Never Ends

The day so far: still searching for that epic.
Seafaring? Great mystery of the shadowy deep?
Cataclysm? The earth opening beneath my feet?

No, just the measured stillness that slides
out of my pencil one word at a time.
The vision of my old friend, fresh from cataract surgery,

saying he can once again enjoy looking
at the stars, “connecting the dots.”
A modest return to wonder, the windows washed,

the old universe swimming into view,
a moment of darkness and silence and the awe
of retracing an old riddle, finding north,

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Summer of 1973

It is not 1973
it is 2020 and all roads are
blocked but back in the summer
of my right thumb when the roads ran free
I was $120 and a clean knapsack westbound
on US 33 smack-dab in the middle of Ohio
thumb out on my 19th birthday oh I made time
up to northern Michigan the first night
a campfire an art student Moira
who had clouds of curls she said
All art is Eros I thought Oh till I drank
like a teenager so sulked north
into Canada and the scorched dust
of the prairies stuck stuck stuck
3 days just west of Winnipeg
then into the clear cool of the Canadian Rockies

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The Hard Way

You never know people
till they die
you gingerly page
through their privacy

Those fresh, fateful photos:
mothers in mauve miniskirts,
fathers frying hash browns, wearing floppy hats

After there is nothing at stake,
you find out all that you could have given

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Self Portrait with No Wrinkles

A bowl of just picked tomatoes.
Deep green basil growing in a pot.
Yellow sun on yellow plates.
Showered body in a crisp shirt.
Shiny shoes.
Pants other than sweats.
Cello proficiency.
Window overlooking the sea.
Twelve devilled eggs waiting.
A friend request from Bob Dylan.
Pink vintage rose blooms all year.
No haircut needed.
No dust.
Loved by everyone.
Peak of health.
Rosy future.
No self-deception.

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Mutated World Sequence

My husband watches Ozark on Netflix.
I walk away to my laptop, tell him,
I don’t like any of the characters
and I don’t like the plot.

He can see how that could be true,
but he watches anyway.
The show’s been nominated.

Conventional COVID-19 wisdom says
the smart thing to do is stay home and avoid people.

We wait for a cure as hours of scripted
dramas flicker before our eyes.

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Talking Heads

It’s something to look forward to,
Mom says
of the talking heads
on the evening news,
her portal to the world.

When Dad was still here,
they’d watch together, and in twenty minutes
their own heads
would drop to their chests.

Now she nods off alone
under waves of silver hair,
the ocean at dawn

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Satisfied To Be Us

To be anywhere in the world
in any weather, to hold a book
like a child does and [moving] moves
from here to the flanks of the Vosges,
stares at a fresco by Piero
or hears an aria float out from a window
on the Coronation Route in Prague.

How fine it is to be us, to be
on the water, our thoughts as slippery,
as fluid, our moods like gusts [of dopamine]
little zephyrs of enticement,
our happiness rising and setting
with the sun, the bright seal of hope
the dimming lamp of rest.

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Being Young, 21

Being young, 21, is everything
For wisdom does not come with age
Only tired bones and fade
And maturity means accustomed to
The crumbling of a once great temple, you
Invisible now, featureless, faceless
That’s the rub of the wrinkly skinned
Who live in seaside towns, with mothballs twinned
And all this whilst the beautiful people
Run like gazelles, screw like rabbits, have such delicious fun
God, it’s just not fair, though once I was there
In the class of being young, 21

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Horizon Views

Ocean to horizon…
land to horizon…
a woman stands
between.

She stares at the distance
and dreams of where
driftwood was born
as its temporary home
snags her shore.

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