Monday Haiku….the beckoning call

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the beckoning call
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Winter’s icy voice,
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an apathetic hiss through
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gangways and alleys,
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the callous slicing
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across streets and tender skin.
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there’s no reprieve in
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this frigid metropolis,
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stripped naked when ice winds sneak,
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under window sills…
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through mortar and psyche…
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stirring the blackened mold of
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toxic memories.
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it’s the helplessness
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against this relentless howl…
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the beckoning call
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of the white season…
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the rerun of fatal fears..
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of hibernation…
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i dream of the womb,
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in amniotic innocence
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pregnant with Hope.
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i believe in Hope,
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I believe in Redemption
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and in Renewal.
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to erase my eyes
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of each cruelty i’ve seen,
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and sleep… until Spring.
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respite…….the day the leaves fall

dear friends…these two poems were always planned to be companion pieces, i was just waiting for ‘the day the leaves fall’ to combine them. oddly enough, the day ‘respite’ posted, the wind played it’s part. this beautiful instrumental played it’s part as well, the second poem was written to the tempo of the music. if you pick it up, passages in the poem should coincide with crescendos in the song. ty, and i hope you enjoy!
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respite.
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the still Autumn wind
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suspending leaves in… mid fall,
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resting in blue sky….
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the day the leaves fall.
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because only a milisecond

separates stillness from storm

shrill winds suddenly howling as

sleepy worlds sleep, stripping

bare all we know.

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each Autumn leaf

and warming palette of life,

my safe womb under canopy

is such beauty discarded.

trampled like litter,

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along streets

and on sidewalks.

because

everything changes,

the day the leaves fall.

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and the squirrels

they quicken their forage

fast finding bounty,

and begging for handouts,

before first frost concretes soil.

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because

everything changes,

the day the leaves fall.

a flourescent white sky

is falling upon me

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is blinding

these eyes, has

brittled these bones.

the ground shifts unstable

my thoughts are unsteady,

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foul memories haunt me

the feared shapelings of doubt.

ghastly spirits gather,

like ghosts they’re in hiding.

and lurk in grey clouds,

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bleeding in

and… bleeding out.

because

everything changes,

the day the leaves fall.

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oh

sing your song to me

my sweet songbird of seasons

beckon me Homeward

my loyal siren of Love

i hear your melody,

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as i stand pale among trees.

our colors erased,

and our hearts are in doubt.

cradle me warm in your

down feathered embrace,

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nestle me closer as

the winds now are scowling!
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because

everything…. changes,

the day…. the leaves… fall.

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timthumb

on a good day

an instrumental to read by
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on a
.. good day,

………i’ll wake

……………up in the

……..M o m e n t,

..not

…struggle

……..to keep

…………my anxieties

…..from spiraling,

refuse to

…hear the

……incessant

………chattering

…..doubts,

keep

..my

….haunting

……..memories

….at rest.

on a
.. good day,

…….i’ll believe

……………your L o v e

……will always

..rise on

my

..horizon,

………steady

…like the

sunrise.

on a
.. good day,

……i’ll keep

………..my ego

……H u m b l e,

..reminding

…….myself to

…………remain K i n d

…………..to those

…who aren’t

on a
.. good day,

…….i will

……….celebrate my

………..H u m a n i t y

……….in this

….cruelest

of worlds,

and

….remember

……………T i m e,

……..that most

.precious

….of commodities

……..should never be

..squandered.

on a
.. good day,

i’ll cling

….tenaciously

…….to my belief

……………that P e o p l e

…………..should prosper

………before

..profits,

……a philosopical

….misfit in a

vicious

….economy.

on a
.. good day,

i’ll hum

…my S e r e n i t y,

……..even as i

………….clench these

……….eyes shut,

…..my skin

screaming

……. to split

….along

unforgiving

seams.

and

on that
.. good day,

……..i can

………..reach H o m e,

…..cleanse myself.

..from each

…..absorbed sin

………in this uncivil city,

call on my Sister Moon to send the day away,

find my B l i s s in the hush of night

and finally hear this open H e a r t,

find W o r d s to express my T r u t h

and bask in the J o y

of all that i hold dear.
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dear friends…if this poem posts, it will be a minor miracle.
my internet service has been down for days as the geniuses from ATT,
try and figure out what’s wrong. WP is still not allowing me to
comment or ‘like’ a post, so my apologies to those i faithfully follow
if i’ve missed some of your work.

Monday Haiku: the Winter bell tolls

the Winter bell tolls
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the first morning frost,

an indiscriminate shroud

of hibernation.

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white season of fears…

of my foulest memories,

weigh heavy today

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as unforgiving

winds strip trees of their shelter.

red and yellow leaves…

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Autumn’s last heartbeats,

become litter along curbs

and i want to… sleep.

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Sleep…the last refuge

and escape for the weary,
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i just want to sleep…
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‘aint no cure…Haiku

stopped at a red light
this hot and humid morning
a clean well dressed man

decked out in Ray Bans
and Rock and Roll attitiude
plays his air guitar

right on the corner!
i guess we’re his audience
’cause he’s not all shy

strummin’ his windmill
and doin’ his best Pete Townsend
impression for us

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it’s September now
there is a shift in the wind
of changing seasons

Autumn will arrive
overnight without warning
perfect hand holding

and jacket weather
a painter’s color palette
of richly hued days

but this sun loving
psyche is seeing red flags
among the colors…

my conditioned response
of winter’s foul history…
soul draining darkness…

lonely bitter winds
through this heart and empty arms…
of sad memories

better left buried…
sunless days that never end,
the grey after grey

white season of fears…
the unfairness of Winter
following Autumn…

so the light turns green…
but i’m not ready yet to
give up on Summer!

i say farewell my
street mime air guitar hero!
and i thank you for

snapping me out of
air conditioned stupor
down go the windows!

because there ‘aint no
cure for my Summertime Blues
but sun and hot air!
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fade…a clarification

dear friends…i thought it was important to make clear that this poem is a story, it is fiction and it has nothing to do with my day to day, loving relationship with my partner Scout and i. i guess i muddied the waters a little bit when i spoke about my momentary melancholy, it happens to me from time to time for no apparent reason. i just took the opportunity to put those feelings into words, and that’s what this story is.

so sorry if i created any confusion.
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this poem is meant to be read as this song plays in the background
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even in the small apartment they shared
he could now carefully manipulate his body
so that no part of him ever touched her in passing
in the cramped kitchen, reaching into the fridge
at the sink, rushing to get ready for work

as if her skin didn’t grieve
the absense of his touch, as if she
couldn’t truly remember when he didn’t need a reason
to press up against her, just because he needed to
as if her lips, didn’t miss parting for his

she’ll admit to being slow
to fully absorb, what had changed between them
or maybe it was just her easy nature again
smoothing over the rough spots
blaming herself, for whatever might be wrong

at first she thought
it was just another mood he was in, a phase
she would wake up any morning now, and this could all be gone
back to when they shared more than expenses and a place to sleep gone… without a word spoken about any of it

it’s not that he was unkind, and it’s
not that he would say things that would upset her, he knew better he just never said anything right anymore….
yet they both played their charaade in public, it was
when they were alone together, that the silence screamed loudest

in the dimly lit rooms,
filled with 40 watt bulbs and questions that could never be asked end tables crowded with yellowing memories, framed pictures of their early years together, smiles and endless chatter during their torrid romance when everything seemed possible

when… he said everything right, all the words
she ever dreamed of hearing from a man
all she ever imagined a man might make her body feel
and now he flinches, at an accidental brush across his arm
like her presence… is an imposition in his life

now, it’s a fear that grips her chest
when she dares to face the possibility of this truth
she’s learned… she takes comfort in the hollow pain
her loneliness a reliable lover now, she stays
because it is far less frightening, than what she doesn’t know . . .
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because no love should ever just fade…
there is no reconciliation in apathy
no healing in the cruel silence of ambivalence
an unsteady self is left shaken
attempting to answer questions that pleaded to be
but were never answered
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because love
deserves more than
a cowardly exit . .

Friday Prose: The Brooklyn I Knew

dear friends, i thought i might use Friday to revive some of the stories i wrote in prose, before embarking on this poetic journey of mine. my eyes have difficulty reading prose these days, my own included and i find myself curiously detached from these stories i once felt so invested in. (i’m not sure why that is )

i wrote these to to be read concurrently, each story informs the next, and the events seem unrelated until the end. it’s how it unfolded, as i lived it back in the 60′ and 70′ in Bushwick, Brooklyn. two of these are very early reposts, the last story was never posted and is quite long so it will be posted in two parts.

please don’t feel compelled to read these on your busy Friday morning, feel free to if you want to read them at all to take them into the weekend. thank you and i hope you enjoy them.
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I Was a Poor, Pimpled, Uncool Sulker.
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My new neighborhood bore no resemblance to the manicured fenceless grassed yards, single family house 2 cars in every driveway, ethnicity free Long Island town where I spent the first 12 years of my life. There were languages here and English spoken thick with Italian and German accents by old, crabby grey haired woman in black mourning dresses and rolled down black stockings who promptly at 7am bent at the hip, were scrubbing their stoops and sidewalks in front of their buildings.

Everyday and all day delivery trucks roared down the narrow one way, steamy asphalt streets blaring their big horns, belching exhaust and rustling litter along the curbs, barely missing kids darting between parked cars chasing balls and playing tag. Young mothers pushed big wheeled baby carriages and old ladies lugged shopping carts, choking the already narrow sidewalks. Heavy doors slammed behind people slithering past other people bunched on stairways listening to songs scratched out on small transistor radios.

Like a gargoyle I watched all the comings and goings, the backwards and forwards of incessant car and human traffic, scared of everything that moved. Unfortunately for me, absolutely nothing stood still on this unfamiliar Brooklyn street, this continuous canyon wall of four story buildings that swallowed whatever thankful breeze there might have been, choking everything but the noise, the noise that never stopped.

This was not a particularly human friendly environment, there were no trees along the straight line of streets that you could view for miles.

Not a single one.

The small concrete ‘yards’ that fronted the four story, continously connected buildings on either side of the stoop were just wide enough for four steel garbage cans, the other side was empty. That empty space was handy when it snowed but not for much else except wind blown leaves and garbage, it was walled off from the sidewalk by thick, foreboding wrought iron black painted fencing. Each building had their own scrolled designs, each topped by tri corner spears that if you accidently rubbed the palm of your hand against a tip you’d get a nasty scrape for your stupidity, as intended. The stoops were lined on either side by wrought iron railings, uncomfortably wide for a kids hand.
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My tomboy sister found this out the hard way, slipping off one the railings monkey climbing, losing her balance she was impaled on one of the spears. Folded and in shocked silence she lay there motionless as adults came to help but the aid proved difficult, the fences were over four feet high and it was impossible to remove her without causing further damage. Some wooden milk crates were found, placed front and back to gain leverage and she was eventually lifted off.

She was lucky, she needed only a few stitches to repair the three inch tear in her belly.

I was a poor pimpled uncool sulker at 13, an emotionally mixed up mess of a kid spending the first weeks after school ended that year in ’68, sitting alone on the top step of the 10 foot high stoop to my building at 232 Jefferson Street scrunched in the shadowed corner of the doorway, day after airless day. I sat in the same spot and in the same position, long arms looped around my legs, acned face resting between my knees just hoping that no one would notice and praying hard to be ignored.

I sat, shaken to the core scared; yeah, divorce does that to a kid.

From my perspective the best place to take all this in was from my third floor window. It felt safe there hidden behind the flimsy white curtains and the view from that vantage point allowed me to eventually recognize daily patterns, things people did each day. I was thankful perched there, thankful that at least something began to make some sense because so much had changed so quickly for this kid.

Divorce is a tragically shared family trauma and my mom, desperate for some privacy of her own in our cramped railroad style apartment filled with cheap mismatched Salvation Army furniture, decided that I needed to be outside, you know to soak up some sun and meet some other nice kids my age.

So of course I sat there on the stoop alone for weeks.
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Written April 2012, edited March 2013