Sitting

close-legged in the James Center Starbucks i

channel my inner alchemist writing

molecules into dreams

and posing painfully

as another drip in the puddle

of humankind, my best sad delusions

melting into visible air breathed

over a single blade of grass

crowned with a frozen halo,

a

yearning or a universe trapped

there in the mud beside a stream

that flows where herons stalk

lost summer and only the

indigent and the inspired

tread the river-paths. The truth is i

love this place not two skips

from hell’s half-acre but

sometimes, lost in the ebb and curve

between railroad tracks and

monogrammed yesterdays i

wonder if the whisper

of the Devil can still be heard

above the hum of the wi-fi;

if those who sojourn in the

Burnt District of this

numbed century still

feel its scars and its sunderings

although

some things it seems haven’t

changed at all: men

are still shaped

by the subjects they should have learned

in grammar school and poets

still prefer windows and the

real truth of it is, i guess,

that here where the trains slow

and the James flows on uncomplaining,

herons have always stalked

lost summers, and ice,

like mankind’s worst

delusions, will always

melt

one sad drop

at a time.

 

observed

herons stalk the edge of
civilization; the river
sings a marbled song
of fire and forgotten glory while
the sun casts about the rapids;  geese
fish from the shallows, men
from the bridge.  stones bake;
clouds come and go
like the old women searching
the banks for change and lost
youth while a train slows
with its mourner’s whistle and i
lean in on the verge of
wildness, watching.

Hollywood

We hike through a gray Indian
January scratched by skeleton
branches looking down
over the rocks where
a train tangles its way
between the river and the
dead.