Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Sonnet #346

 These concrete shells are made of bones

All these cities, grand and tall, the lime

inside the mixture is the mess of time

where seashells settled ages before Rome

mixed their dessications with the ash 

of death, volcano wheezing, and stirred into

a city. We sit on dead trees. We're piled onto

a pavement that is driving overpasses

Where dead sea creatures settled down

and the falling water washed them clean

where oil is removed from broken soil, drowned

in some disastrous flood, stone pressed scream

until all the death oozes out of them, so we drive

Our mezzanines of crushed cemetery lives

Sonnet #345

 The feeder of the jay is the feeder

Of the mice, and the feeder of the hawk

And the feeder of the worm, so talk

About the cardinals when they come here

Celebrate your thrushes and warbling friends

For slipping in the grass the mouse comes, too,

And behind the mouse, the snake, the feral who

Will leave their kits alone to fend behind the shed

A simple action in the yard creates a


That finds another faction that seeks them dead

We place our lovely feeder on the fence line

And stand behind the window, seek cardinals red

We have brought the war to our fair grass

And we think it so adored, a fluttering, a flute, feathers pass

Sonnet #344

 We grow, even as we think we shrivel,

Where our bones decline, our backs sink

Our joints ache and stiffen, we drink

too much, now, and sit and swivel

in our office chairs, and wash our mugs

quietly in the office sink, and we think

that we are done growing, just faded ink

worn out days and prescription drugs

And we are still growing, watch your nails 

twist, and watch your hair extending out

and listen to the words that all fail

how they blow into the corners, shout

quietly where they can be most frail

And leave their tendrils in the must and grout

Sonnet #343

 I tried to break my black demands and broke

Upon the pain that comes, the head that splits

The twisting guts, accustomed as I was to it,

The dark and bitter, until I returned and broke

By my addiction, I swear that I will change, I will

Abandon all the gloom and growling things

And sleep untroubled and becalmed and sing

To the morning without breaking or spill

All of our darkness, all of our agonies, all

Become a habit, become a place in our head

Where we return and balance out our falls

Make sense of them, how we make our beds

And lie in them, and grow accustomed to routines

And any change that comes to our darkness stings.

Sonnet #342

 I hear the ocean in the shell

But not the pumpkin: there, I hear

The cicadas of late summer near

The soft rustle of beetleshells

Opening and closing in flight.

I found a dead cicada, too, and listened

To the shell, and heard the wind

I expected to hear something light

A whisper of ghost, perhaps, or else

The dull hum of their mighty horn

As just an echo of the mighty belts

Of summer, and the pumpkin torn

From out the patch too soon, I felt

Like listening, oh little hollow shells stillborn

Sonnet #341

 The weight of a grapevine is greater than vines

The trellis bends where branches thicken while

the leaves burst and then they fade while

the fruit thickens, thickens, and turns from green to wine

And all of this is just a drop of weight, 

hardly counts as half of all the pull

where hornets build their nests and full

colonies of ants rise up to suck the sweet

where their aphid farms grow, I know

the birds build nests there, and the lizard

sings in twilight on the vine, a whole

world waits for grapes to be delivered

Oh, hungry, hungry caterpillar, swollen

on the vine, cocoon thyself, there, 

Become the seeds, all seeds, flung into the air

Sonnet #340

 If the hand that extends to save you

Will not lift you up, what’s the difference?

Still your feet are dangling, and wince

Where your arm is held in place, you

Know you can’t escape now, the fall is here

And this savior come to lift you likes

To let you know that the hero time is here

But will this mighty strong one hikes

You up a little higher past the edge?

Maybe just a handhold, let me get a finger

Loose enough to get a grip? Pledge

Fealty to heroes, and maybe he’ll swing her

Up a little, promise to fawn, promise to sing

Their praises, for the heroes are fragile things.

Sonnet #339

 Nothing will touch what is held in a clenched fist

The treasure sealed there will break before

The treasure can be shared unto another

Seal away your treasures in the tombs if you


The same as a fist, let time crush the beauty

That you can never see with hollow heads

Perhaps the insects that devour in your bed

Will appreciate the flavor of the treasures, bounty

But the end will be the same, only the dead,

Only the closed fist, punching away and breaking

My child, if I could put just one idea in your head

It would be this, an open hand hits harder, everything

Will break, but the treasure held openly

This is true strength: to be a dandelion throwing