Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DISCOVER part II (ode to the earth)

m u c h  like the silver moon
glimmers in the meadow
and the starry night
dances in twilight’s gleam
painting ancient pictures
on an ancient canvas
of heroes and myths

m u c h  like the golden sun
sets fire to the ocean
and the life with in
to the painted sky
and the ancient birds
dominions and kings of the clouds
all in reddish galore
an explosion of terrifically
beautiful color
and to those ancient birds
humming their ancient tunes
with the trees

m u c h  like the fuzzy bumble bee
pollinates from a golden sunflower
and collects the nectar for her young
and to that golden sunflower
that glimmers in the silver meadow
and catches fire under
the blooming sunrise
and as the winter approaches
begins to deteriorate and fall back
to her mother’s womb
like the sun every night
and the lifeless body of
every beautiful carcass
plant animal human

m u c h  like the drift of an autumn leaf
and the snow of a dandelion seed
soaring through the silver meadow
so is the discovery of life and death

Monday, November 28, 2011

DISCOVER part I (i was there)

i   w a s   t h e r e
when little 7 year-old jacob andrews
looked up to the esteemed, autumn sky
painted blue on a canvas
of the harvested earth
the sun a golden flame shimmering
with waves of red and orange
the emerald grass, blades cutting through
the cracks of the ancient design
the trees, mahogany tall and thick in their splendor
speaking in their ancient tongue
whispering fictitious tales to each other

he smiled at his old grandpa-pa
with his little lit-up 7 year-old piercing blue eyes
that made even the damnedest souls 
dance in spiritual galore
he smiled back with that half-smile
his old soul dancing in birth
and decay

they stood on solid ground
on the green grass that stretched
for miles on an empty field
the blades of grass weaving and waving
in patterns of puzzles: unsolved
discovering un-discovery 

i   w a s   t h e r e
when little jacob andrews and his
old grandpa-pa stood among
the old trees just listening 
they got down on their knees
and began to dig deep
little jacob andrews held in
his tiny hand a red acorn
and dropped it in the hole
planting a seed of discovery 

i   w a s   t h e r e
when little jacob andrews
watched the little red oak tree grow into 
something not-so-little 
something tremendous and alien
a monster of beauty in form
the branches like arms stretching
towards heaven
he saw his face in that tree
his aspirations, the branches
his heart, the roots
his soul, the autumn leaves

he watched those leaves for many moons
following the reddish-orange fires spread
and float all around the fields
the earth pulling them back towards her
back to the womb from where they came
their gravestones will read
he caught one in mid-drift making a wish, 
his eyes piercing into the decaying beauty:
the veins were like a map of the living 
and the dead, 
the wind was like a compass
for the souls

i   w a s   t h e r e
as the tree stood taller than
any tree for miles
in the fall as the furry brown squirrels
stole the red acorns and collected
them for the approaching winter
in the winter, when the white snow
buried the thick, tall oak 
in a blanket of crystalline white
making it look nothing extraordinary
just ordinary like every
snow-covered tree

in the spring when the hummingbird 
discovered the tree and when the 
dandelion seed heads sprouted
up around it, 
when jacob andrews pulled 
one from the ground and blew on it
watching the cotton-like fluff
spread the seeds of dandelion snow
near the big hill in the backyard
that overlooks the little lake
with a small, forested island in it

and a month later when 
the dandelions bloomed, 
jacob andrews uprooted one,
twisting the stem around his finger
pinching the flower with his thumb
and sang momma had a baby and its
head popped off and laughed
as the flower was de-headed by his
prepubescent humor
and when his grandpa-pa
yelled at him for uprooting 
the dandelions because they were 
mother nature’s reminder of
the beautiful mundane things this 
world has to offer

and in the summer jacob andrews
wanted to explore the forested island
so old grandpa-pa
and jacob andrews went on a little
hike carrying wood up that
dandelion-covered hill like jesus christ
carried his cross up mount calvary 
they carried it to that little lake
as little old grandpa-pa was heaving,
his joints aching, his gray hair balding,
with the little life in him,
he wanted to explore with jacob andrews
his brow was dripping with sweat
as he pounded and hammered away
starting a bridge

he stopped, looking at his 
grandson square in the eyes
piercing blue into  piercing
blue, and he told him that
they were selling 3/4ths of the land
that their home was to become
a graveyard

i  w a s  t h e r e 
when jacob andrews threw a fit
and when grandpa-pa smacked
him in the face
and kissed him where he smacked him
saying, “son, graves are homes for
our bodies, and bodies are vessels
for our souls…”
his voice was calm and collect
almost like a song in tune
with the world at this moment
as the sun was spotlighting him
he continued
“sometimes the world brings
gray clouds that turn to thunderstorms
and if you look at the world with gray eyes, 
you will only see it in
shades of gray and you’ll never
see the rainbow in the thunderstorm
because son, sometimes the rain
brings on the blooming”

i  w a s  t h e r e
when grandpa-pa, got up
leaving his work unfinished
and walked over to the tree
kneeling beside it
whispering to it
with his last breath

i  w a s  t h e r e 
when the ancestors and brothers
of the oak tree were dug up
and sacrificed
when the grass become not
just grass but “hair of graves”
and when that oak tree became
haunted with ghosts and lonely,
somber melodies hummed in the wind

i  w a s  t h e r e
when that unfinished bridge
became broken from years
of decay and rotting wood
when jacob andrews’s grandson
jacob andrew the III discovered the
lake, and the tree, and the grass,
and the dandelion

the tree housed many ghosts
that night, as jacob andrews the
I listened to it
but he, magnificent oak,
wasn’t screaming
wasn’t crying
he was laughing

and when jacob andrews
sat down against the tree
he watched it dance naked
under the harvest moon,
stripping red yellow and orange
he listened to him speak old-wives
tales about the dead
and even though jacob andrews
gray hair was sprouting out
of their grave and his eyes cold and
dead, they were still piercing
blue sapphires painting pictures
of a well-lived life
he whispered to the tree
like his grandpa-pa with his last
breath and a leaf unattached itself
like a detached soul soaring through
the stars and heavens and
i  w a s  t h e r e

he was buried at the base of the tree
his gravestone read
back to the womb from where he came

jacob andrews the III grew older,
like the tree,
his body ancient
and the graveyard became
and lively with death
they cut down the old oak tree
and jacob andrews the III and
his grandson bought the wood

i  w a s  t h e r e
when they carried the
wood stained with memories
over the hill to the lake
and built the bridge
that carried them to the other side
discovering un-discovery

Monday, November 21, 2011

Money (an ode to my cat)


is my cat, golden brown,
white, and mahogany 
she walks through brown-carpeted halls
her kingdom, her terrain,
fat and looking for week-old crumbs
on the un-swept kitchen floor
too lazy to crawl downstairs
and consume her cat food 

Money slurps up the water
from the empty bathtub
she prowls around the house
chasing her shadow on walls
and sees me watching her,
she meows, meows and meows
until I walk over and give her
her everyday fifteen minutes of fame

Money is a beautiful, annoying beast
she tries to distract me when 
I watch T.V. and read and study
jumping up on my lap
her brown eyes beg me please
please pet me
when my door is cracked open 
while I sleep, Money knows

she must have some kind of
must-go-wake-him-up radar
I let her jump into my arms
and I pet her before I let my dreams
seize me from my wake
she licks my face, and I kick her out
her clawless paws pound on the door

Money hurts her leg and
she prefers not to walk much
we move her food and water bowl
and litter box upstairs
her leg heals, and she goes about 
her business consuming crumbs
her fur clumpy, meowing at her domain
a paper box in a paper world

Money loses a lot of weight
our other cat, the skinny white one
becomes the fat one
Money stops meowing
and her decaying flesh
starts rotting inside of my heart
her eyes grow very tired and sad

Money, my cat, can barely walk
her back legs become paralyzed
my thoughts become paralyzed
hope becomes paralyzed as she
refuses to eat, my brother and I 
take turns holding her in our arms
and we march like a funeral parade
out of the door Friday, November 18th

Money looks so beautiful
cuddled into my arms
rain falling from my eyes
her rotting flesh, dirty fur,
painful eyes are so grotesque
in the most beautiful kind-of way
her brown eyes beg me please
please pet me

but I kiss her head and
don’t even hold her
I run for the empty house
not looking back, too afraid
everything will turn to salt
and dust gathers on the walls
that used to display shadows
of life, they crumble dead onto me

I leave my door cracked slightly open
but nothing wakes me