Friday, October 22, 2021

A Few Definitions

Poetry is the trail left by a soul on a page.

The present is a verb.

Mathematics is a language that describes relationships between aspects of physical reality.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Time

You wait on the couch

I turn the faucet

counter clockwise

to fill the kettle

twist the stove 

dial to high

set the kettle down

the coil changes

colour 

black to orange

liquid hisses

 

I shape the filter

to a cone

fit it into the hard 

plastic holder

spoon out Folgers

one two and a half


spout steam signals 

water reaching boil

I lift the kettle tilt it

til it soaks the filter

brown grounds float

aroma releases

memory

mug fills

like an hourglass

counting

liquid rises 

I peek underneath

anxious, pour

a touch more

a touch


dregs drain

in the sink

mug warms palms

deep breath

you like yours 

dark and bitter

I like mine

dark and sweet

chest pounds

I steady myself 

for steps 

across the room


place the mug  

on the table

bend knees 

careful

not to spill

your eyes 

fixed to the page

I wonder

how long 

it will be 

until the next time 

we make love.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Shmatta Business

The story began

yours, mine,

one day

and will end

one day

like a book it's said,

but that cliché

never worked for me,

because the story

is not just ours,

it begins before the beginning

and ends after the ending,

you read it one way

and I read it the opposite way

like a Jew does,

right to left, 

back to front,

and I wear mine

like a hand-me-down dress

old-style 

and inside out,

when you think of it,

a real bargain.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

"America is a country of children... For years I have searched for a basis of ethics and gave up hope. Suddenly it became clear to me. The basis of ethics is man’s right to play the games of his choice. I will not trample on your toys and you will not trample on mine; I won’t spit on your idol and you will not spit on mine.... a sort of a universal Coney Island where everyone would play according to his or her desire."

from Shosha by I.B. Singer

Monday, October 4, 2021

Deer Crossing


Out in the woods

of early October,

a sharp wind shearing

pine, birch, oak

and poplar

of their leafy fur,

the damp earth 

carpeted in oranges,

yellows and reds

crunching under boot.

The trail beneath is obscured,

but the view through

the surrounding forest

is clear as daylight.


Careful not to trip 

on sleek roots,

slip on mossy stone,

we walk side by side

as we have for years,

your head is bowed,

my hand cups your elbow.

I am saying to you,

'if we had faith

this is how we would pray'.


And then sudden 

as lightning flash,

movement up ahead - so fast, 

at first I think of mountain bikers,

tearing through the trees 

on two wheels, 

fearless and wild

as a wolf pack,

then quickly doubt myself,

no, it can't be -

the impression fades

as if entirely imagined.


We walk on and we talk, 

about our kids,

our parents, the future,

the past,

watch each step,

my doubts decomposing

amid the smell of rotting soil;


then unexpected

confirmation of a kind, three

in the distance, moving

but this time distinct.

Two adults and their offspring,

the upturned tail 

of the smallest signalling

like a white flag.

We stop dead.

Try not to make a sound.

We want to freeze time,

take in this sublime 

moment. 

But it's useless, 

we are heard

and they are gone


gone 

into the remaining weeks  

of hunting season.