Listening

I sit there

listening to a bable of people and traffic

loud and busy.

I sit here

listening to a single dog bark

far off and away.

And I am me

alone inside myself

in both places.

 

The Sea

The sea is hard and cold and deep,

she is cruel and careless too

but she quiets the things I rue

and when she whispers I can sleep.

‘Tis peace I find here at the shore

the smells of rot and some decay

bind to salt in a pleasing way

and life’s travails pang me no more.

The waves and tide in her abide

and wild surfs wash clean many pasts

sand filing edges smooth at last,

she’s freeing souls for one last ride.

The wheeling soaring gulls do cry

but at the ocean’s side, not I.

On Facebook

Every day

on facebook

I want to post how sad I am

and that I cry

in the night

I would like to talk about the pain that closes off my throat

but instead I write about the weather

It’s sunny today!

Sigh, rain again.

or maybe something about the fog.

Never mentioning the fog in my brain

or the rain of tears

that tempers the raging fire

my maddness has become.

I have become adept

at hiding.

Careful that no one should see

the crazy hanging out of me

like the tatty lace hem of a none too clean slip

peeping from beneath a more respectable garment

too hastily donned.

I cannot tell you where it hurts

or why

or even that it hurts at all

lest I explode, or begin to cry and never stop

dissolving myself into a puddle

So I tell you I am fine

because there is nothing else

for me to say.

Dead

On the days

when it hurts so bad

that the bird inside me cannot sing

and instead hops about pointlessly

like a one-legged seagull

balancing endlessly on the edge of nothing

When I spend days on end

creating salty seas

and smaller puddles

with tears I shed for no apparent reason

I think of you

and for a brief moment

cease to imagine how restful it would be

if I were dead.

 

November’s Rose

November's Rose

Insomnia

I creep about

inside my house

I’m having doubt

so it’s hand to mouse.

It’s 3 o’clock,

dawn’s far away,

I’m taking stock

of yesterday.

I hope my mind

soon will cease

and I can find

some sort of peace.

Another day

is bound to come

if I can find my way

from beneath this one.

 

Solitary?

Solitary?

Moss

The dampening moss

holding moisture

deadening sound

cushioning stones

blurring the sharp edges of breaks and cracks

guarding the modesty of oaks

so they are not naked in winter.

Eating moss

is said to keep reindeer from starving.

I wonder how it tastes?

green and dank and fuzzy?

Slippery when wet,

moss can cause ferns to grow on tree trunks

nourishing their roots

and holding them fast to the tree

The indians considered moss medicinal

it dresses wounds

pads splints

and can stanch the flow of blood.

I watch long strands

wafting in breezes

the trailing locks of a dryads hair-do

wispy and matted

Gentle moss,

it binds up my soul

and slick with heart’s blood

my cares slide away

peace grows

from roots tangled and trapped

and I rest

on the kindness of moss

 

Waiting

Another game of solitaire

lights up the computer

win or lose

as if it had importance

filling the endless waiting

waiting for lunch

waiting for supper

waiting to be called

the television roars to life

nattering on endlessly

spewing drivel

and old movies

filling the endless waiting

waiting for visitors

waiting for the mail

waiting to be needed

and I write

aimlessly, with no purpose

often crying

and searching for insight

filling the endless waiting

waiting for something

waiting for someone

waiting to die

 

Andy’s Riff

My friend died. It has been about 10 days ago now. He was several years younger than I, so it came as a surprise. The heart disease that he had been getting the better of for several years finally got him. He was not my friend of longest standing, but we had been friends for many years. So, I have been thinking about the meaning of life and the nature of friendship more than I usually do. ordinarily I don’t spend much time on that sort of introspection.

It is popular anymore to talk about ones’ “legacy”. Since it is popular I eschew doing it, having a perverse streak that causes me to avoid mainstream pop culture as if it were a fresh lava flow. I am a scoffer by nature. Yet, I find, here I am considering the impact of my friends’ life. His legacy. He was an enormously kind man, my friend, with a large understanding of the vagaries of the human condition. He knew a lot about how to be a friend. He was unlikely to give up on you. He was a man of generous nature who really tried to believe the best of others. He wasn’t a fool, he just took a charitable view. The number of people who have come forward since he died is rather astonishing. The common denominator seems to be, “he was my friend when I had no other”.

He was no saint, however. He believed himself to be right ALL of the time and was given to playing ‘devil’s advocate’ for the sheer sport of it. He loved to laugh and was not above a practical joke. He often rushed on, in his speech, and said things he did not exactly intend, taking refuge in the remark, “Oh, you know what I mean!”. He once told me, as I was thanking him for a rather extraordinary kindness, “Well I do the same thing for (another person) and you’re not nearly as worthless as he is.” I laughed till I cried, feeling him blushing even over the phone, and when the expected comment came, I did, in fact, know what he meant.

I have decided, in memory of my friend, to try to be the kind of friend he was. To encourage and defend others. To stand beside them when they feel alone. And maybe to scoff a little less.

 

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