End of November, Start of December

End of November, Start of December

My wife said I should write a poem

my wife said I should write a poem
with the new pen she gave me
for my birthday and retirement
which fall, officially, on the same date

a sudden, premature birth
induced by prayer and fasting
because the very next day was
the beginning of a new cycle of history

a lady with tired legs
sat down on a bus
and that was all it took
to jumpstart a revolution in thinking

and a deliverance from a dark place
that confined the spirit –
to an unfamiliar but
welcoming new reality, at last.

became, reconfigured:

my wife said I should write a poem
a sudden, premature birth
a lady with tired legs
and a deliverance from a dark place –

with this new pen she gave me
induced by prayer and fasting
sat down on a bus
that confined the spirit –

for my birthday and retirement
because the very next day was
and that was all it took
to an unfamiliar but –

which fall, officially, on the same date
the beginning of a new cycle of history
to jumpstart a revolution in thinking
welcoming new reality, at last.

November 24, 2013

Freedom Day
(channeling Rosa Parks on the 58th anniversary of her arrest)

the space where I used to live
no longer has existence for me –
no meaning, good or ill –
an emptiness that is shrinking

into nothingness in immeasurable
segments: weekly, daily, minute-by-minute.
The physical place it occupies
still stands, and people there still breathe

and live, and work, and plot,
and love – but all of that escapes
the gravity of my present reality;
stands outside the new world I configure

for the future, which beckons me,
and even for the past, which still aches
for vindication. Take two aspirin
for that silly pain. A deep breath. Slowly.

December 1, 2013

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Final ModPo Webcast 11/18/2013

Final ModPo Webcast 11/18/2013

Goodbye but not farewell

Goodbye but not farewell.
We will continue our conversations
and social media chats –
with new friends,
with old friends.

And we will continue writing poems:
together in small groups,
and at home, alone,
in the midnight hour that is not
midnight, but that
floats between isha and fajr –
the darkest part of night –
when passions die,
and distractions fall to the side.

The songwriting teacher said all I needed
was a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary –
but it hasn’t proven sufficient –

and there are no final words, anyway,
no bridge, no chorus, no refrain,
just a tight hug, a soft sigh, a tender kiss,
and a throw-away “see-you-tomorrow,”
maybe, if you’re lucky. And all my
countrymen are poets, and sailors.

No, goodbye is not farewell.
There is SloPo on Facebook,
and sudden spoon is resurrecting,
and the Breakfast Club opera is on track,
and KWH is always open,
and there are Sunday get-togethers in DC
whenever you are passing through.

And all our blogs and our websites are up,
and NaPoWriMo comes in April,
and Postcard Poetry Fest comes in August,
and before you know it, ModPo14!

more last words poems here: http://poemsbyray.blogspot.com/

Experimentation in Standard Time

Experiment in Standard Time

Autumn urban afternoons
get shorter and sweeter –

standing in the middle of I street
I await a very specific angle on the bow,
as my ship called Earth comes about:
a unique perspective on how time passes –

in the distance you can see Virginia:
how many beats per measure
are there in Standard time?

the future is reaching back to join us,
to warn us, to help us alter course
to starboard so we can pass port to port –
the present and the future,
like two ships, passing in a storm.

We post to a blog or sing a song:
we write some non-rhyming words
we call poetry –

and time is a social construct
a contractual agreement we accept
from fear of things we don’t know –
dawn to dusk, high noon
to the darkest part of night –

a 24 second shot clock.
We sink a three pointer
that leaves a vacuum in its wake –
the chain nets echo its refrain.

11/05/2013

bonus card!

bonus card!

If deer could speak

yes, we are eating, well, grazing –
it’s Autumn, so we search underneath
fallen leaves for moss and mushrooms –

and you, are you an artist
or a hunter? Humans come in two
types, you know – observers and

destroyers of life in its natural state.
We have watched you come and go,
artists, photographers, painters, poets –

and hunters, for sport and for sustenance,
killers of deer, killers, murderers
of your own kind, your own selves –

yes, we’ve seen humans, in the woods,
kill their own selves. Deer would
never do such a heinous thing –

we are different. But on this Autumn
day, today, we graze for food.
Isn’t it time for your lunch?

September 2, 2013

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

August 31, 2013 – God has ordained

God has ordained this path –
and ordered my steps in it.
I don’t know where it leads,
nor its destination. I only know
that I must follow. And so I march
down my chosen path.

Each soul has its own –
a path, a calling –
a thing that it must do,
a task that it must accomplish,
or else it fails.
Embrace it – let it
embrace you back.

Monthey, – La Place

Monthey,  - La Place

August 30, 2013 – Two Questions

Two questions haunt me,
begin and end it all –
who am I?
Why am I here?

Identity, purpose/calling:
defines the man/woman/soul –
gives meaning to this otherwise
boring sojourn we call life,
color to a dull, gray,
wintered world.

Roma

Roma

August 29, 2013 – The Urge To Post

the urge to post poems to
a blog is tremendous,
and I cannot wait for the
end of the month to do it –

but I have discovered/experienced
a great thrill, just dropping
postcards in the mailbox,
knowing they will eventually
reach their destination:
a listening ear –
a reading eye –
an open heart.