decisions

December 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

now,
I don’t know what
it is like to step out
of this body and
into another

no, I don’t

I also don’t
think it impossible
exactly –
it may be that
I just lack
the ability to clear
my mind enough
to allow that kind of thing

then again,
if I had the gift
I know I would be
fraught with my usual
indecision
faced with the same
immobilizing confusion
that I have
when my wife hands
me the folder we keep
the takeout menus in
and asks me to choose dinner

I would sit cross legged on the bed
flipping through page after page
of unnaturally glossy
portraits of
steak and chicken and pastas
and soups and sauces
until she started in
with the drumming of fingers
or impatient sighing noises

finally, if things went
as with the menus,
I would just
jump into the first
body that came along
to end the frustration

and then
my lovely bride would
spend a quiet Friday meal
with a nun
or perhaps a package
delivery man (most likely
hunched over a bowl of
butternut squash soup
and an order of onion rings)

her hopes of a normal
evening
as deflated as the
body draped over
a chair
awaiting my return

the lamp of morning

December 14, 2012 § 2 Comments

the lamp of morning

when I saw you
holding the crystal up
to the column of dawn
I wondered
what it was you saw
because
as I readied
myself for another day
of mystery
not knowing what I’d have
to face
you were so sure
about yours
the orb in your hand
multiplying the light
in spiral waves
that seemed to cleanse
the air of worry
I looked up as I said
goodbye from the hall
a moment,
as you turned
and smiled,
that held the lamp of morning
before me

to bed

December 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

so
there I was,
the kitchen island
my only support after
eighteen hours of
the way it is
I popped a wedge
of lime
into the neck
of the bottle,
watched the amber fizz
and wondered about
the mad directors
of this world
and the amount
of energy they waste
tweaking their stories
to drive public
consciousness
all this worry
all the concern of
the actions of others
the balance of fairness
and slight
the rules and again the rules
arguments
and dissertations
bellowed
by the swayed
all of them barely able
to stand, having dragged
themselves through
the swamp of their day
an acidic swallow
as I pull the blind down
another as I fill
the cats dishes
a third as I turn out the light
I set the bottle
next to the sink
the lime resting in its
final home, and
me,
to bed

focus

December 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

if Monet were to walk up,
set his kit down
in front of me
and gesture to the
landscape before us with
his hat
maybe then I would understand
capture it fast
before it’s gone
or if I found myself
in a room with Miles
and he was in the mood
to show me, then
I would understand
soulfully is how to
tell of all
you’ve seen
Emmett Kelly I’m sure
would have a few things to say
but he wouldn’t say anything,
not Emmett
but, then I would understand
the eyes, that
is all it takes
sometimes, to
explain
the music
the majesty
the art
in time, it will all
fall into place
and I will learn
to focus on the masterpiece
and learn how to
speak of it
in ways it deserves

to contend

December 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

it’s hard to set it down
hard to
set it down and
walk away –
having…

almost a spiritual
understanding
of the dynamics
of mutual
need

but, if you take the time
to really think about it
facing the cold alone
is not that
new of a concept

just ask a Yeti
always depicted knee
deep in a Himalayan
snow bank
fisting the air like
an aging rocker
left behind in the
stadium of his mind

or the spruce,
who, as a seed ,
was deposited just
a smidgen
above the tree line
where he was made to grow
apart and yet
always in sight of family

yea,
it’s hard
but, if you set it there
out in the open and
walk away now
it will be there

for
the next fractured
wanderer
who happens by this way

2012 Fred Whitehead

knots

December 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

if I were to
go blind, I could still
trace these senses back
along a knotted silver thread
I would
feel the years
between my forefinger
and thumb
until I came
to the largest one
I would pinch
it until it left
indelible, an
impression,
a vermillion mark
for a particular August
then work my way
forward again
counting the knots
of all the milestones
you were not here

2012 Fred Whitehead

Sonoma reconfigured

December 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sonoma reconfigured

deep,
the scent of orange
a beautiful distance of embers
the others (at large also)
the moon:
griefs

witness

December 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

wait for lapis
blue drawn curtain
take the
hand that needs
to be
whispers drip lilacs
tip
to the cheek a greeting
luminous
newborn eye
of indigo night
witness to
sacred union
this

2012 Fred Whitehead

dancing before the jaws

December 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

another offering in a constraint style I’ve yet to find or invent terminology for. The poem uses only the letters in the title. The other rule is I write down a line that comes to mind, use it as the title and I don’t change it, forcing myself to see what poem resides in the line. O.k. enough explaineology of the phraseology. Here we go:

dancing before the jaws

he sang for his God
he sang to his God
he sang as his God
watched
him dance
as the jaws of hatred
tore at his heart
he shed tears of dread
he heard the wind of fear
in his head he drew nearer
to him the dead
that went before
spinning
in a trance
waiting for the words
as to
what to do

I, the wreck

December 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

ah yes…
forcing its way
into my
attention
is the fact
that the
signal to noise ratio
of this day
is most definitely
crowding to the side of
noise

like the passengers
on a tour bus
with the faces and
dispositions
of hookworms
all rushing the windows
to see
a wreck on a curve
in the road

the bus keeling
toward its own demise

there they are
feeding on the horror
energy enough,
I reckon

to get them
through
until
the next
dark offering

2012 Fred Whitehead

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