Archive for July, 2009

How I wound up in the Faroe Islands, I’ll never tell.

July 22, 2009

Havn

From pavement to gravel, then moss, then stone
in tennis shoes not hiking boots
not ideal, but good enough
away from the village–onward and up

Where grass grows thick in thrown green stalks
and tossed by winds that never stop
to breathe and feel it’s breath are one
–I remove my jacket and pretend to like the cold

Trying to know what cannot be known
something of this life at the edge of the world
Where god is welcome, but remains a guest
among more warlike rivals and less arid myths.

On the left, almost halfway, a gang of gazing, grazing sheep
at long last one takes my offered blades of grass
with dirty coats, wild eyes, and innocent faces
all sheep are dumb, but at least some are brave.

Next a field of scattered, random stones
bigger than men and older than old
axe-blades unruly warring Titans dropped
or ancient Nordic frogs who froze before they hopped.

And then, too soon, it is the end
just a speck on a speck and catching my breath
down from here, no more to climb
I want to keep going, but there is nothing left but sky.

[2006]
M.J.S.

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July 22, 2009

The Last Hurrah

Stumbling through the night
convinced there’s an endless supply
so don’t you try and tell me any different
if you did you know I wouldn’t listen

so you don’t even try
you can see I’ve got that look in my eye
so please, catch your breath and hold me tight
tighter still and come stumbling with me.

You said I had nice features
but not a pretty face
but you were kind and kissed me
and placed a rose between my teeth

So I’ll press our gathered leaves
between the pages of a book I intend to read
and you shall fall into my lap
the way I always intended it to happen.

At midnight, when all good things say good-bye
I feel like a good excuse
that’s been put to no good use
At midnight, my love, at midnight
good-bye, my love, good-bye.

July 22, 2009

on the quiet avenue

a man cannot walk alone
with his head bowed
in reverence
in peace
in disgust
in agony
in the middle of the night
without attracting notice in words from others
so then he must stop and explain himself
he is not bored
he is not unhappy
he is not in need
of anyone
he must join himself to others
to remain unnoticed
now he has an alibi
which tells the world that all is O.K.
by telling them nothing
let the man be
let me be
let him walk alone in the night
(and if you should have a curiosity of your own)
follow him
into the night
in the other direction

July 22, 2009

and when the world is nothing more

and when the world is nothing more
than a house of slumbering, stale dread
where heart and lung, once clean, now fill
with shallow hope and gasping breath
fed by a steady diet of cigarettes
exercise is running
so that hands and drugs and money might connect,
pills and powders to cleanse the blood
in imitation, a rather expensive attempt,
to recreate the way it used to run.

despite the urging of well meaning tongue
who paint the raven like the dove,
I am not so easily led into the trap
thus I wallow, wishing, without expectation
until dawn is spread across my mind
it leads my eyes to glare upon hope’s face
whose lips spoke all with single stroke
solid made transparent with simple sweep
the dark is made less, if only slightly so
as I lift the sunglasses from my face.

July 12, 2009

mind.garage.yard

A mind, once lean, now fattened
on the idlest of thoughts and ways
A garage, unswept, with no cars to keep
A yard, unkempt, with no child at play.

Someone should be whispering,
(more like a hissing screech)
“You bloody fool of fools,
growing old, going nowhere,
and you’re going there alone”

The sky clouds–you enter the house
shut the windows and pretend to read.
The tea is old, and bitter cold
but you drink it anyway.

July 11, 2009

Small Things

The dew from the grass seeps through the fabric of my pants
the fog of the night, the distant barking dog,
a feeling of crime at the leaping of fence
present, but distant
staring into one million eyes
mighty, but quivering, but calm.

Without waver, without question
I am a small and alien being
lying in the cool, damp grass
in a field so close to my home,
but so far, far from it.

Like a stoned adolescent who sees God in the smoke
and who loudly proclaims, “All is one, one is all.”
I too understand a few small things
–my place in this world, fear, gentle beings,
and this world does not really age.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

–“Lying down in the wet grass never goes out of style.”

Sing, Singing, Singer, Singed, Sang , Sung….

July 7, 2009

It’s a very old observation, nothing new here, but I was indulging myself with watching an old Pogues video, “Dirty Old Town”, and I somewhat solidified something for myself (and probably ONLY for myself): there are those that sing because they have nice voices, and those that sing because that HAVE to.

Bob Dylan is the obvious, and far too easy, example of this, but really, it does seem somewhat true far beyond that.  I’ve never been all that impressed by a good or great voice, and maybe that is because I don’t have one myself.  BUT, I would like to think it is because I am waiting for something that involves or reflects the human struggle/soul.  A good voice?  Blame God, but don’t take credit for it.  Personally, I have always thought of a good voice as something akin to a pretty songbird–something to adorn the sitting parlor, but nothing to get attached to.  A good voice does not change lives.  A good message does.

I wholeheartedly admit that my own singing voice is somewhere between a scratch and a warble, so don’t go calling sour grapes, coz it just ain’t true.  I want to be moved, and the only thing that seems to do that is hearing something that is singular, something that no one else can give me.  I want to be shattered to my foundation, not entertained.

Enough….for now.  Godspeed Shane McGowan, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, etc….sometimes, the message is the music.

To my ears, anyway.

la la la la la la la…

July 4, 2009
A Sweeping Motion

a minimum of effort
a minimum wage
i do a little cleaning
and get a little paid.
Sweeping to and fro, swimming thoughts approach
called by the dozing rhythm of my broom
like that song of sleep,
but not.

A little cosmos, it seems, and endless parallels
between what exists and the mess at my feet.
Moving, making piles, scattering remains,
a job well done, but for small things unseen.
Silent, honest work which gives me time to think
of all, many, and more than this spent day.
I do a little cleaning
and do a little good.

July 2, 2009

Point Beyond

Over and beyond
that stretch of rocks
my eye falls upon
the deep blue calm.
The same I looked
since I looked first
today, once more again,
and all of my tomorrows, I suspect.
Mark the change
of its blue-green shades,
or watch the white caps
fall to windless flats.

Never still, it still remains,
that urging, whispered question,
-Why not, boy?
-What next?
I, floating in my shivering flesh
a grain of sand, tucked well within
that same rock harbour
of my safe spent youth

Safe....for now
in safe surrounds
But....someday.
Soon, but not yet.