Take it and leave it

The things I take and the things
I leave, escape the webs
Of the words I weave. The waltz
I trip on iambic feet
Rips it’s skirts on the sharp and neat
Box edges. Such
Is the nature of much
Of departure’s detritus
And wedges.

It annoys me that things escape –
So assertive in their heaviness as
They are. This past I leave and
This past I take – it, too, dashes
Through separated clauses; gaps
Left ajar. No matter. Just a few more
Boxes. When I go, I’ll just leave this
Tacked to the door.



91 Days

91 days, and still
my dreams are full of leaving.
Just a few nights ago I dreamt
Again, of that last box
That needed to be packed
After all the rest were done
Hundreds and hundreds of boxes
All reduced to this one.
And yesterday it was a suitcase
The last, on the final day;
And in that dream I found
Patent leather shoes, deep maroon,
From maybe twenty five years ago,
As good as new. So I put them
In too. And strange letters of farewell
From earlier goings away. But then
I had come back, to stay.
Night after night I sort through my things
Frantic not to leave anything important
Behind. And through the day
I ransack my dreams, searching
For that desperate something
That escaped all those boxes
Sleepless, to find
What it is that
I’ve left behind.

Amaltas: Masks of Summers Past


The pleasure of daffodils
Worth the words of that couch-lier
Danced springbright until
The light one early evening caught
The shine and glow and fire
Of Amaltas. An empty vase
A mirror, a mask – it’s not
As if reflections on summers past
Cannot be painted and worn. It’s just
That sometimes the pleasure of
The Amaltas
Cannot be borne.

The green and gold bronze
The all seeing eye; rivulets
Of yellow run down the ivory cheek.
Of all the things left behind, I
Carried a face to face the lost things
I would seek. It’s not
As if reflections of Indian summers
Can’t be worn. It’s just that sometimes
The memory of Amaltas
Can’t be borne.


(Amaltas is the Indian name for Laburnum)