Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me of You

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Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me Of You

I have a frayed quilt, folded
Age frays fiber like a document shredder frays secrets
It lays limp as a reminder
Of reconciliation
Anchored, the weight of redemption holds it
In place
Like black vinyl held his lines for years
Before Pandora gathered the whole collection in a mysterious cyber place

(You’ve never seen it, you loved quilts, but this one you would not)
The yellow squares are a billion one inch pieces
No one will count-check behind me
The yellow squares scream louder than a caution light
The shade is one off of gauche

But it’s the story that marries peace with threads
Storytellers know
Poets do too
Fraying helps the edginess

I love every square inch
Except the polyester fabric
Which is 100 percent of this masterpiece
Sewn by church ladies
Or a grieving widow or an Appalachian blue haired lady, retired from teaching
An educated guess at best

The giver is whom I love
I wish the quilt were cotton
Breathable
Some days the man-made fiber suffocates
But sentiment makes me hold on helpless
To surrender
Hope

I can’t get away from your dying
Even the everywhere’s I used to go
To hide and grieve
Have the hollow feel
Of bristling poly-fibers

Flammable, like my burning grief
It is early
The flame still burns
But I’ve got a head start
Preparing for good-bye
With the covers pulled up to my hairline

I sang Amazing Grace to you
And then I realized
If you could remember
If you could speak

You would have preferred Bob Dylan

The prophet, the poet, the Nobel Prize receiver
You saw his greatness before the committee

Knocking on heaven’s door
Simple twist of fate
I shall be released
The times they are a-changin
Just like a woman

You Are My Sunshine and Amazing Grace
Let’s pretend they were Dylan’s version

(We needed the words of a poet
We still do)
We both know Dylan could rock

You are my sunshine

 

 

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Not Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

 

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Not Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

Nestled away from the throngs of discourse
(Still in earshot, every one )

Off shore
Where the peacemakers still
Come and go
Singing their muffled songs
Blended  harmony
Paul’s Epistle, the First One
And Ludwig’s musical composition
In the key of love

Ravenous scavengers of joy
Refuse to give up
Hungry for crumbs of hope
Cast wide their wholly nets

Old as dirt, new as momma’s milk
Music heals the wounded heart
Notes or not
Flat or sharp

Upon the raging sea

Twenty Sixteen is split right in two
Broken in halves and thirds and fifths
Thirsty for joy, parched for peace
We need more
Odes to joy

It is hard to beat the masters
Paul and Ludwig raise the bar
High and holy

But for the old salts
With graying hair, weary bones
And raspy throats
Worn out rope
Tethered to what’s left

Who never tire of amazing grace
Refuse to abandon a sinking ship
Or give up weary attempts
At writing their own

Ode to joy
Or at least
A hat tip to Ludwig

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Let Me Put It This Way

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Let Me Put It This Way

The fetal position was an option
Always
But so was one foot in front of the other
If you read this, say, 50 years from now
You should know
There were poets
Taking the pulse of grief

Of the world
Off the chart
Into unchartered red zones of grief

Weeping in unison drowns sorrow
Buoys the soul
Your shoulder a lifesaver
You shoulder a life and weep with those who weep
And write to tell about it

Catch your breath there is more to come
Save some tears for the next go round
And

Hope
Always

Love, everlasting
More

My tears speak French and Southern and pain
Fluent in make it stop
Last week and the week before that
And this
Drain the spirit and weaken the pulse
But joy
Transfusions of joy
Attend the anemic and weary world

Number two pencil, low on lead
Computer cartridge out of ink
Pens spent
The ebony ink  flowed its last drop
Words, written elude me
The timing could not be any worse
But can you hear my heart

Oral traditions of story telling would do well
To come back from the grave
Would you listen amid all the cries of pain
And tears of valid weeping
Lamentations of  Biblical proportion
Are on the rise

Would you hear the story of hope

I had to share my joy with pain
And pain with joy
My humanness binds me to your wounds
Humanity spans the globe
Crosses the Atlantic, The North, The South

The weary world hangs its collective head and cries
Sunken heads bent downward sink the spirit like the Titantic
Pain is our iceberg

And the spectrum of human emotion
Immeasurable, unfathomable
Mourning and grieving
Crying out, is it morning yet
Mercy, is it morning
Yet

And Jesus wept
And surely He is weeping still

Lord have mercy
I speak Southern and am becoming fluent in
Make it stop

Grace

 

 

 

 

Omega

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Omega

Eight lost, some stillborn
Others born, still lost
Sons and daughters of Willow
One remains or so we believe
Alpha and the in-between-ones
Are all gone
Our deposit has not been sent
Hope is a currency all its very own

We are uncovering poetry
It’s what remains now
Well into her eighties
Grief grinds its way through
Those of us remaining
She deposited words
Like shiny gold coins
Rare
Into the safest of places
Poetry, her currency

Page after aging, age-less page
Reveal what Agnes’ life did not
To me

Distance and years
Wedges like a bank vault wall
Kept me at bay

She never knew that mother penned
“For Elizabeth our aspiring poet”
On the inside of Oliver’s “Evidence”

Surprise would have attended us both
That pens are passed into spheres of
The unknown

And just after we grieved for a good long while
The gone-ness grew
The no-going-back-ness
The place where the mind comes back from a long hiatus into dementia
Just to hear “I loved you”
And now
Your poetry

Omega was the last
Black English Cocker puppy
Born alive
In Oklahoma

A sign that one of nine
Remains
For us
A sign of hope
At eight weeks
Omega, should she live
(Meg for short)
Comes to live with us
Eight others rest in peace

Epiphanies born from death
Poetic embalming of her secrets
Now shared
Beauty birthed on every page
Life revealed in death

I cannot crown my favorite line of hers
(It may take a lifetime of catching up to dog-ear my favorite page)
Alpha and omega
And poetry in the in-between’s
She rests in peace
I wrestle with regret and grief

She wrestled with life
And turned it into poetry