Mastiff

She walks with quick, little steps,

Arms stiff,

Wooden, as if

Fearful of calamity.

 

Her breasts, however,

Parting the world before her,

They have a life of their own,

And she,

She is walking them,

As she would an unleashed

Mastiff,

Nervously aware

Of the danger they present.

 

 

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The Old Ram Rod

I am told,

As I push 70,

That I should show some subtlety,

Some finesse,

Be less obvious,

That it is somehow wrong,

Even unbecoming,

At my age, or any other,

To write of sweet curves

Welcoming thighs,

Glistening lips…

To write of the misdeeds

Of that old, bald-headed rogue,

Who always grins his

You can’t fuck flowers motif.

But,

While that billy still butts,

I’ll give the birds,

And the bees,

And the cigarette trees,

Lovely blossoms waving in the breeze,

And tired old Decency, itself

A bye.

 

I Would Know You

I would know you.

Tho we have never met,

I have dreamed our conjunction.

Only your face I cannot make out,

But, no matter, I would know you.

 

I would know you by your walk,

By the swing of hip and shoulder,

The familiarity of your stride.

 

Would you know me?

Let us say you would not;

You are so much younger.

 

I would watch you write a note,

The same underlining, the same slurs.

I would hold my breath as you read,

As when I see you walk in,

That searching gaze,

 

That sudden smile.

Would you know me?

 

If we should meet and embrace,

Your breath on my ear,

I would kiss your hair, your throat.

 

We would talk of obscure things;

You would laugh, “how alike we are!”

 

Would you know me, then?

 

When we would next embrace,

When we would be face to face,

And if, surprised, we would be mouth to mouth,

 

Would I have the courage, then,

To tell you who I am?

 

 

 

 

 

Blustery

You toss your head, your hair back with a flourish;

One of the charms of a blustery day, that.

 

You said you had lost all power for a while;

I doubted it, but you did mean electrical.

 

I walked my beagle up Mount Tolmie;

It was wicked cold, wind whipping the crest.

 

I could not toss my head, or flourish;

The wind mussed me like a lover,

 

A rough lover, with powerful hands;

Fortunately, I was fully dressed.

 

When I came down, I was almost sad,

Altho, I did feel well ministrated.

 

Someday I will essay a sonnet;

How the wind stroked me breathless.

 

I will show it to you when you next flourish

Your hair.  I doubt you will blush, but,

 

You will smile in that way you have,

And I will think of you losing all power.

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude

I passed you in the mall;

You were pushing a stroller;

You held a small boy by the hand.

 

I caught your eye,

Though I didn’t mean to,

Or, perhaps,

It was the other way round.

 

     So, in an instant,

     All our history passed before me:

     Our casual meeting…

     I needed a place to sit;

     You had an empty chair…

     Our first quiet talk,

     Sorting each other out…

     You are not merely being polite;

     I am not a serial killer…

     The first time we really looked,

     And felt the space between dissolve,

     First kiss, first embrace,

     First clumsy tangling,

     Laughing curses at clothing,

     Our first night, knowing

     It was the first,

     First child,

     And here I am,

     Not caring what comes next,

     As long as it is with you.

 

All this in a moment,

A moment in a busy mall,

A moment like a wildflower

Stumbled across in a thatch of weeds,

And passed,

With only gratitude to mark the moment.

 

 

    

Priests

Balthusian’s first love was nine years old;

All others have been measured against her;

She was taller than he.

 

In the way of children, he did not so much as kiss her.

She went off with a boy taller than she was.

Then she went off with one still taller.

 

She married that one;

She discovered he could not have children.

 

In her disappointment, she at length

Returned to Balthusian.  She said:

 

“What do you think, Balthusian,

Should I have waited?”

 

He realized that she was simply curious;

He hung on her every word,

 

Until he became quite short of breath,

Even tho he was now taller.

 

He loosened his collar,

And did not think of priests.

Boulevard

It’s Saturday, and the coffee shop

Is overrun with young girls,

And this is not even a school day.

 

It is most confusing, strange.

 

In the background, someone is singing:

Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

 

Balthusian has no broken dreams;

He harbours no dreams at all.

 

All he has is a coffee.

He refuses to notice the young girls;

He studiedly ignores them;  he says,

“They are of no interest to me.”

He pays them absolutely no attention.

 

Don’t kid yourself, Balthusian!

You think more of them, as you ignore them

Than if you recalled them, summoned them

As if from a broken dream,

 

And this

Is not even a boulevard!

Balthusian’s Love Song

I have a number of alter-egos.  Balthusian is one of them.

 

            Balthusian’s Love Song

 

You never surfed, or went by freighter;

I never left dripping when I overturned;

We recovered, and thought no more of tulips.

 

All things are erotic by moonlight;

Our encounter was no surprise, then.

Our bodies were polarized.

 

When we had finished I let go the blind;

It rattled like a passing train;

We ignored the scenery over breakfast.

 

I never pressed the shutter, you know.

Of course you do;  I know these things.

If this was a dream, it can recur.

 

I remember the back seat for gum wrappers.

You come to notice such oddments.

We lay together, ordinary as a carpet.

 

We died our little deaths so often,

Our lives were measured out in pomegranates.

 

 

Rhonda Poem 7: Postlude: Yule

This is the final Rhonda poem.  There is no happy ever after…there is only memory.

 

It is over.

And whatever we have done

Is buried in snow, vanished in drift;

Winter is merciful.

 

By the time the thaw reveals the past,

I will be ready to look upon what remains

Without desire,

Without regret;

 

Memory undefiled by mourning.

Rhonda Poem 6: Samhain

We sat in the car outside her house.

She had guests, so I could not go in.

After a time, I switched off the radio,

And we looked out the window

At the full moon and the clear sky.

We dozed.

 

When we awoke, it had snowed;

The windows were covered, the car dark.

As one, we wildly opened our doors,

Stood trembling on opposite sides of the car.

 

That night we kissed a strange kiss;

It would soon be over.

 

When I phoned later, she was out

She did not return my call.

 

We have met since,

But do not speak of our days.

 

Snow, snow on the windshield…

It still saddens.