By The Shore With Ink & Oranges

You turned the peel in bare hands
Grimaced at
The limonene sting
The universe unfurling
How it imperfectly fell
As if knowing became naked
The embryo inside
Weak as stained glass skin
Theses days they put on chicken wire
To bulwark the shore
For glass houses and negligently cast stones
When glory was a thing
Broken easily in derelictions
As if that were prayer 
But half sideways
The emetus with a life of its own
Written when I thought I died
The sea exhaling all around
That estuarine scour
Of brine and diesel on the page
Screwed it up - threw it away
Read the impressions
As if ink was thin as life – a tide
Below, between machine ruled lines
A few, illegible gouged words
Relentless in their parallelograms
Living in some now alien hand
Tore it out but
Irregardless of how much I erase
It is the welt you left
Littoral in reprise

The War At Easter

The milk tastes off in wartime
Clammy on the tongue 
Even when you are so distant 
You can hardly hear the metal bend
You make galaktoboureko
So thick the shape returns
Wondering why Easter
Falls in archaic calendars 
Each year on new days
As if martyrdom were inexact in its demands
I imagine Medea’s tears
In thick and sweet and distilled stains 
When she learned she ate her young
Time Is a wolf, you say
And in one deft hand
Break another egg

Death & Camellias

The fence buckles

By a camellia’s weight

A cloying honeysuckle breath

Calls wilted petals falling

As if long drought surceased

In a tea cup’s avalanche

Jawbones prow the earth

A grimace clowned and sidelong 

As if this were once a circus tent

Not a marshalling yard

Where brays anxious met

The impelling silence

Of hammers and serrations

When the earth uproots

In trenchant cascades

The ivy hideous, shivering

A wave, bent on the fulcrum’s back

In upheaval’s raw display

I wonder what pretty monsters

From desiccate honeycombs

In husk pale efflorations

From the secret earth, arise

You are the poem I failed to understand

I nonchalantly threw your coat
From the couch to the floor

Thought how the trace
Of wilted flowers and old books
Crumpled like a poem

Picked it up again
Carefully smoothing sleeve against lapel
The faded ring around the fold of cuff
Snarkly whispering
Into your secret hand

As if you wore your dog-eared pages
And I in your almost unknown thoughts
Still lost

Cummings & the whale

Poems are hard
as atom bombs
e e cummings said
one day at the beach
wavelets laurels in your hair
when Lowell (et al)
decried his couth 
unstrictured voice
your words are gulls and there
a whale, beached 
promethean, slowly dying
watching its own death
with that naive, ancient eye
a heart so slow
it measures time
in intangibles like love songs
still, while you tear
at the monster’s side
tears like quills
hoping for the ambergris
of too studied convention
I will bend
my shoulder to a poem
in the returning tide
watch it
with an evening’s shadow grace