Nothing is Right

night falls quickly
pain psychic all encompassing a
scrape on the skin of
my soul, stinging and
bleeding i hold his
hand and he vice
grips mine as if he
were not leaving yet
as if this thing we
lived in would go on and on
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OM

his lips are open only
the lower half of his
false teeth in his dry
mouth i swab it bringing
back childhood memories of
Jesus on the cross, I want
to take his picture but
my camera won't pick up
his spirit hovering
soaring above his failing
body hesitant to let it go
he hears the trumpet calling
over the sound of the furnace
and the sorrowful heartbeats
of his wife and children love
pouring it's tune into the silence
some of the children still hanging
on tight to his one good leg
his picks his crusty nose like an infant
unconcerned with protocol
his empty stomach gurgles 
echoing empty, saying, "No one home."
he is flying unaided
by mortal invention
he is making his way home

Wearing Thin

April wears thin
where she once
started startling
us warm she has
returned cold today
and still my father sleeps
in and out of presence
sometimes here sometimes
in the next world
i think sometimes people travel
in that no man’s land and come back
mostly that first foot cannot be retrieved
the second just follows on taking
the sojourner full circle back the Alpha and Omega
here tolerance both increases and wears thin
we barely tolerate ourselves exiled her far
from the lovers we have come to call home
buried back here in the bosom of old memories
emotions revisit from childhood mothers are us
and our children but still live in the 91 year old
woman who birthed these five offspring, we gather
seeking the peace that will let my father go free
we wish for the sweet relief that will return us to
a life that seems far from here, and yet how to
wish for the final loss of a clan father, our tribal
faith knows eternity we sit under some immense
wings seeking shelter and comfort while wind
blows outside bringing Spring on the harshness
of loss babies who will never know the voice of
the great great grandfather we need to make funeral
arrangement he says thinking of us with his last
strength. It is hard to say good-bye.

My father sometimes more
Lucid than any time in his
Long life at night I sit with
Him counting sheep afraid
I’ll be the one here alone to
Hear his last breath it’s not
Death itself I fear but this
Uncharted passage from
One plane to another he
Tells me stories of his life
As pastor and missionary
The wild adventures in the
Back country of Brazil holding
Church in a saloon he says and
In a building where a guy stored the
Coffee he smuggled out of Brazil
And before that of a pastor he confronted
Who was having an affair, he speaks
Of conversions painting his life to
The tune of the pumping hospital bed
His voice distorted by the drooping left
Side of his face and still I understand the
Jumble and speak with him now maybe for
The last time, I change his bed raising lowering
In fear I will do the wrong thing will hurt this
Man I love forgetting the real source of his
Long life this medical end does not fit us
But we are here awake in the night counting
A lifetime of blessings along with the sheep

The Cure

my dad wants I’ll Fly Away

to be sung at his funeral

even as those who love him flock to his side

i go to his bedside today

feel the pinch of human bond

know we are pulled toward

each other in this salad of

love oil on our wounds is

being together although we

have found that most other

remedies are easier the pharma

book of love that has rats addicted

to heroin but only when isolated

and alone, back at the rat ranch

with friends and a warm place to

run they don’t like the substitute

for love any more lose the desire

for drug, can you believe we have

wared on this drug for years only

to discover that all we wanted was

the deep contact of other human

beings a touch like and the stone

when Jesus

cradled the face of  a leper in his hands

rolled away from the tomb

just because there was no more loneliness

Mountains

 
mountains have taken
time for me, my ancestors
lived in Maine mountains
but i have been long in exile
from this ancestral homeland
tropics and ocean sing
more easily to me their
ever changing waves speak to
my life the solidity of rock
having risen from the center
of the earth, but now oh so cold
more foreign than Brazil where
i learned to read culture and land
 
but the years i trekked in alone in Colorado
lay my body down on the vastness
of some colossal boulder to listen
brought me so close to God birds
came and sat with me and when I
sang their song, trees swayed their
oneness and spoke to me in almost
audible words making me long for
home something with foundation
the om of home so strong while
there alone listening silently
to the cry of hawks as they bounced
their babies to teach them to fly
 
i wonder now if my green valley
has no solid ground but lives
like shangri-la hidden in the
mountains of my inner life
never distant only waiting for
it’s latest incarnation a dream
reality building on the foundation
of each footstep of this life i live