A Sun A Flower
Last summer in the vertical heat of a noon sun.
I walked – my doctor had told me to walk – the streets near our house.
Under beating rays, sweat beads came easily, trickling my temples.
Each corner familiar, same sights same pace, a ritual.
I was never so happy as that summer (colon cancer notwithstanding).
My gift: the days and weeks of time, alone, with friends, for me to fill with words and music.
Withstanding colon cancer I walked the streets near our house.
My slow pace delivered contemplation, new sights same place, a ritual.
The vacant lot on the new street waiting for a house.
Nature meantime filling out the space, expansive verdant rampant.
Deep in the green tangled growth smoldering ochre shone.
I waded out among the weeds, closer craving intensity.
Such earthly suns seared the wax dripping from my wings.
Today outside my window the lifeless end of grey winter lingers.
This photograph of Black-eyed Susans makes me smile.
A Poem about words that we use sometimes and sometimes don’t mean.
Pleased to meet you.
I promise to tell the whole truth.
And nothing but the truth.
Of course you’re the only one.
I don’t normally do this.
Till death do us part.
So help me God.
Give me your telephone number; I’ll call you.
It’s not as bad as it looks.
Sure I’m qualified to do this job.
In God we trust.
I’ve done this a lot before.
I’m a virgin.
I like this kind of work.
For ever and ever.
I was here on my own.
In sickness and in health.
So help me God.
I can’t live without you.
I’m not a virgin.
The whole truth.
That looks great on you.
We’ll be able to save your leg.
Just stay with me.
Eat the crusts of your toast it will make your hair curl.
You’ll be fine.
The swelling will go down.
I’ll only be a minute.
This sort of thing is easy.
When I get the money, you’ll be free to go.
There is no way that could happen.
Hang on tight.
This will be
A poem about the cancer I had in 2017 and the surgeon who helped me. I wrote more about my experience in a piece called Stupid Cancer.
The Magic Woman
Masked, twitching tined tools.
Her eye-bead rolls to me.
Trained Target, spit, spite, spied.
I squeak behind the bowel fleshy camouflage.
Cornered without corners this oozing cavity.
Her knife, I fear its edge.
Sharp as a line drawn
Steel needle between me and visceral dark
Her cut misses. Widely.
Am I not today’s prey?
My home is her target.
I am borne away like Dorothy, house and all.
A poem which became a song about clueless love. Listen to the recording of Humming.
Humming (because I don’t know the words)
Looking at your face emerging from the sideways place upon the pillow by me
You’re equal parts of beauty, mystery and heart and that’s just what I see
There is no guide to lead me through the woods that hide the secrets of a woman’s love
I have to trust my gut and show you I will put my faith: it’s you I’m dreaming of
And I’m humming, because I don’t know the words
Feel like I’m humming because I just don’t know
When all around me starts to fail and it might fall apart, then I cling to you
If a harsh word leaves my lips I see the mark it makes but your kisses pull me through
Remembering the days your summer dress bright in evening haze: light embracing
Or stood cold in line for buses, bundled up and warm with wine, my heart racing
Life. No one prepared me for this.
Mmm, is this really how it goes?
Feel like I’m humming because I don’t know the words
I’m humming because I don’t know
To fall in love and stay in love and stay the course
To hold a child and help her walk away from you
To kiss the knee that’s bruised, calm the force
To heal the heart that aches before it breaks in two
No one prepared me for this.
Is this how it really goes?
Feel like I’m humming because I don’t know the words.
I’m humming because I just don’t know.