Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nimrod's Complaint

I will never seek your face.
For I have tasted, I have seen
the flaming brand that blocks the way.
My choices lay East of Eden.
You will never understand.
Good is evil, evil good.
The rainbow arch, the sight of land
the fools who crouch in fear of God.
The spirit of cousin Cayin
the spirit of mother Chava
live forever in my mind
arbiters of good and evil.
Here is the dwelling place for me:
a steep and strong and mighty tower.
I raise it up for all to see
with stones of clay; my mortar: tar.

Monday, December 14, 2009


On this winter morning,
when I could sleep forever,
icy tendrils slip
between my sheets
and grab
this old man's toes.
If I don't get up soon,
I will sleep forever.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The beds are dry the clouds have blown
away from my sight. I thirst.
But there is nothing without to slake
this dry sponge that lies slack
on my teeth. Care and desire
have long since left. No living
streams well up within my soul
only my blood. Like slag that cools
it moves lethargic: slowly congealing.
Soon it too will dry up.
Like a prophet I search, groping
for an answer among fire,
wind, and power only to feel
a gentle breeze caressing my face
and to hear the qol elohim
(a whispered rebuke): "Why are you here?"

Previously published in Odessa Poetry Review, Fall 1988

Made for Flight

You feel the earth beneath your feet.
It gives you comfort, not like the silver
cigars in the air. Oh, you know
the odds. But just the same, you like
the feel of solid ground. And that
is who you are.

sun baked face, dirt under nail,
lungs that fill with the sweet, musty smell
of pine and manure

Those cracked, calloused hands
have seen enough abuse for ninety
years, but not so much they cannot
gently cradle a grandchild's hand
as you wander the fields together, or mend
the broken wings of those made for flight.