Sunday, June 26, 2016

In the Days Before Winter by smzang

The stark blue hills,
                   smoky soft at dawn…
Painter, poet
save them as they stand today
of the forest’s thinning,
unaware they’ve been mortgaged to the hilt
by guilty men who lack the heart
to stand up in a storm.
Even the kind hearted grow small
against the rising sun.
Smart and modern
we adjust creation until we have no home,
but I babble…
It is the hills that stand the test of time,
Soldiers fall like leaves, trees become poor poems
and those stacks that belched their smoke stand idle.
Bricks fall, fill the empty belly of the beast that fed us.
Ivy tangles and turns brown, but every evening
in the shadow of a day that’s done,
the hills stand tall in tortured stone,
They do not fear the dark.

Come morning when the sun is at a softer slant,
the smoky haze of day gives gentler hue
to hills that cup their hands
to catch the thunder.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fathers' Day by smzang

A Series of Near Misses by smzang

The razor edge
of brutal honesty
takes its pound of flesh

You wince
when it hits too close
and I
feel the sting
of martyrdom
when your aim finds home
as if ruthless truth
is not enough
there are the lies
the flung arrows
venomous as any bite
but these
are just the odd moments
of discontent
We retreat
then reunite
a truce
born of more
than pinkie swear
this better and worse.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Withering Revision by smzang

In the rush to revise
truth fades,  Like history
the vision is rewritten.

Once luminous,
it is growing dim,
that day in the sun

that caused me
to pick up my pen
and write

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Awake on a Foggy Night by smzang

the air a presence
a blanket, thick
with summer mist

The world
and all around it --
cosmos -- light and dark --
stars -- everything

wrapped in a shawl
albeit a thin one
ethereal even
so much so

without thinking
I pushed my hand
through it
and touched the moon

Friday, June 10, 2016

Poets' Pleasures by smzang

The day rises slowly
pink faced and fresh as a daisy,

It is a gift, but not just one gift,
or...if it is one gift
it has a hundred bows,

or maybe a thousand
or more    depending
on the size of your heart.

The birds and their song
the beginning, Dawn with a bow
all its own, Then your first yawn

taking in oxygen, and from there
every mile has its miracles,
gifts to be opened;

Each one is a poem
waiting for your alphabet.

Denying Entropy by smzang

True perspective must be learned
while standing on the edge
looking down, a mighty fall,

or looking up
with  feet firmly on the ground,
eyes on the sky.

It is a choice,
the dark abyss or heaven.
It has a lot to do with direction

and sometimes reinvention.
Breathe in, fill your lungs with wind,
your heart with sun

and keep moving.
Build a strong foundation
but keep in mind

there will be surprises.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wings of Fire by smzang

The cloudy halo of back street lamps
smolders in his smile.
A three piece suit couldn’t hide it,

that dockers and deck shoes
will disguise the feral cant
of brooding eyes.

His battlefields are well hidden
on the inside, so many old wounds
to anesthetize.

The scars are those
of any prisoner of war;
his words so gentle
they leave you bleeding.


First Draft by smzang

Picture this —
God creates heaven and earth,
the water and the light,
the vegetation and so forth.
Did He have a prior plan,
a blueprint that says this fits
and this won’t? Did he pluck
the petals from the first rose
and check them for perfection?

I  thought of Him today.
I do that a lot, but more so today
for I have questions.
I won’t trouble you with them
because I’m guessing
you have questions too.
Still, I wish I knew
His policy on revision
and how He feels about critique.

Loving a Catalpa Tree by smzang

A hornet’s nest
in the eaves of the old brownstone
was a conversation piece
long after the bees, and he, were gone.
Bees, hornets, it hardly matters,
There is little difference
in the sting.

Sometimes she loved him,
Sometimes she hated him.
She was glad there were no children.
When he came home,
it broke the routine, both the loving
and the hating. When he left
she blamed it on the lawn,

Nothing would grow there
but the old catalpa tree,  Even it
seemed to hate the barren landscape,
In a last ditch effort to be free,
its roots broke the bricks
of the sidewalk. The city sued her
and she paid the fine,

but she refused to take the tree down,
Its roots were poison,
its blooms a nuisance,
but they were the only flowers
that he ever gave her.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

On Seeing the Season's First Magnolia Bloom by smzang

Rainbows by smzang


steep is the curb
that tiny step from sidewalk
to traffic

from nest
to limb
each day demands
we do it

ever a fledgling
for gentle winds

and a rainbow
in the aftermath
of storm.

The Poet that You Are by smzang

On this journey to the wide expanse
beyond the realm of night
we tarry for a moment in this clime

We pause to write a poem
plant a garden,  and on a warm
spring day we dream

Here a pine tree, there a maple
each nodding in their conversation
with the breeze

Their wisdom far exceeds
our comprehension, their dreams
we can’t conceive

but even in this sluggard mind
of mine, it comes to me this April day
when sun splashes through

the window where I sit,
that in spite of all the stumbles
that we make

we do not doubt the destination.
Short strides and lagging mind
might slow me down

and you, exuberant and wise
It’s hard to say who will be the first
to touch the stars

If I am first I’ll set a table
with your pen and inkpot.
If I’m the one

that’s left behind
I will not mourn your peace,
a moment’s selfish tear

and then a celebration
of the poet that you are
kindred  on this journey that we make.



la main de Dieu by smzang

the stone-cold face
of mountains
wild aster
blue-eyed Mary
 the list is endless
the palette
a profusion
conceived in heaven
and this
the season of bloom.

Tasting a Poem by smzang

Come to the poem hungry
after a day without sustenance
when you're lonely and empty

Feel the breeze ripple your hair
Come to the poem when it's raining
mingle your tears with the mist

Listen with your heart
Taste the poem tentatively
Savor it until hunger subsides