28 March, 2010

Your Scar

My fingers roam
the soft flesh of your brow,
feel a minor ridge above your right eye.
It’s a small scar
not like the scuff of soldiers’ boots
or the woodcutter’s axe in a tree.
It’s an almost invisible seam
from a long-ago car accident.
No train derailment.
No plane crash on takeoff.
No guy taking what defeats him
out on you.
Just a collision from behind,
your head jolted forward,
smacked against the windshield,
a wound, some blood,
five minutes waiting
for your heart to slow,
your head to focus,
your eyes to turn toward
your father at the steering wheel.
It’s the tiniest healed incision.
Nothing like hearing in a hospital bed
how your old man didn’t make it.
Or your mind reliving that cruel impact
every night until forever.
It’s a trivial scar
that marks the constant anniversary of
everything, everyone’s okay,
it happened, let’s get on with it.
I hold you close
and kiss that scar,
ahead of time if need be.

~~ John Grey
By what
nick of luck

am I not
that magpie?


Going into the storm -
Not choosing is a choice

Tom Montag
The Wrong Guy

When you’re with people,
it’s a tossup whether to be
fully revealed.
First impulse is always
to clutch yourself to yourself
like you’re your own baby.
But when you start concealing,
you run the risk of concealing everything,
until there’s no one left
to receive advice,
to ignore it as best you can.
So, realizing
that one shame shouldn’t
bury another,
and a blush is just
the blood flow of a smile,
you said, “Yes, I’m going out with him.”
Then for the longest time,
you could feel their eyes
burning bible passages on your chest
while their tongues hurried back into cold storage.
Finally, one of them blurted out,
“Well he is a good looking young man.”
You slipped those words on your head like a tiara.
It shone so bright
that, for a moment,
no one could read
the stifling regulations of this world.

~~ John Grey

Spring snow melt—
River rushing through
One ear and out the other

~ ~ Bob Arnold

14 March, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom

Here by the water's edge,
listening to what the sea brings,
I know deep down
even a grain of sand sings

wondrous things.

~~ Vassilis Zambaras
Haïkus au fil des jours

bibliothèque -
     le soleil passe en revue
          le dos de chaque livre

bookcase -
the sun reviews
the back of each book

dans le ciel
     et sur la colline
          le même nuage

in the sky
and on the hill
the same cloud

grisaille matinale
     des pelures d’orange
          sur le trottoir

grey morning -
orange peel
on the pavement

lumière d’aube
     rien d’autre
          dans la toile d’araignée

dawn light
nothing else
in the spider web

ticket de bus -
     juste assez de place
          pour un haïku

bus ticket -
just enough space
for a haiku

pelouse tondue -
     combien d’années de purgatoire
          pour génocide de pâquerettes?

cropped lawn -
how many purgatory years
for daisies genocide?

horoscope du jour -
     elle choisit
          d’être Taureau

daily horoscope -
she chooses
to be Taurus

ménage de printemps -
     un pépin de pomme
          sous le canapé

spring housework -
an apple’s pip
under the sofa

~~ Damien Gabriels