Thank You, Jane

Reading Jane Kenyon
is my chosen
defense against
the cold wet
darkness outside
that is insidiously
sliding into
my soul
How easily she writes
of cats rolling on
sunny rugs and
poppies shouting
from far fields
and even on less
pleasant subjects
her words feel like
a healing balm
There is an ease
there, a warmth
in her flow that
becomes a cozy
cocoon – a true
testament to what
great poetry can do

Love Never Dies

He couldn’t give her the moon
Whoever hung it put
it out of reach
The only object
in the night sky
he could give her
it seemed
was the town
water tower
so he climbed it

Pledged his love
there

on a cloudy night
beneath the
soulless glow
of a flashlight bulb
in
large
leaning
letters
of Apple Red
Rust-oleum

“Ricky
+
Jolee”

And he prayed
she could see
it from her place
up in heaven

Remembrance

My third great uncle
Levi was captured
by the Rebs at the
Battle of McDowell,
a mountainous backwater
of the war with
bullets just as real
and wounds just as gory
and they shipped him to
Andersonville

He’s there still
Part of a national park

Grave number 9762

And my dad was a disabled vet
and I am too

Everywhere you look
The wars are never through

The Sun Also Sets

The sun is setting
and I let him go

Freely I released him

No tearful plea to grant
more day     I understand
He must stay on track
for his scheduled
appearance just back
of that mountain yonder
where farmers and
soldiers and
school bus drivers
in far away places
will lift their heads
from their restless beds
at the first glimpse of his
bright shining face and
here

above me
the moon will nudge
the slumbering stars
and proclaim
their time
to shine

A Study in Green

Green is the dream
of the desert and
green is the lush
growth
growing
over the
graves of
the brave
war dead
and those
freshly printed
American bills
filling the coffers
of defense contractors
and green is the envy
of the plenty held firm
by the few
and the color of the eggs
and the color of the ham
in the simpler world
of Sam-I-am
but green isn’t green at all
to a colorblind man
so . . .
what of it?