Through slanting doors and broken windows
odd furniture in dim rooms
old books and roses rotting with age
I follow you,
charts and crumpled maps and paper
glitter like a lost hope–
Sudden sky and wide water
reeds along a shore
under a silver willow you call to the other side.
No limb or vine to hold my feet
my boyhood swept away
to a green recess of memory
nothing to pull me back
only rock and sand, sky and air bathed in amber light,
Peace, I am with you
looking in your old eyes, stretching out a hand
sinking in a river of night
transparent stones on the bottom of a lucid pool
I glide in bright shadows
in and out our one and separate selves
All Photos by Rayn Roberts
Apparition by RR
Why Transgender People are Dangerous
Never mind the roller coaster ride,
you’re on it now, can’t get off
It’s gravity’s got a terrible side
got nothing to do with God at all
God doesn’t really give a toss
if you die next week from a simple fall
God damn gravity that evil threat
Gonna getcha right soon, gonna getcha you bet
Not too sure why I stand at all
If I’m gonna get killed by a natural law
“Hells bells”, say I to the kids and wife,
“I’m takin’ to bed for the rest of my life!”
There’s a method in the music, the buzz
Filling the trees, a sizzle, a scream
The clicking and the ringing of cicadas.
Where some leave off, others pick up
The cantos of love, a hum like a dream
That is all of summer and seventeen years:
“Here, here, I’m the one, I’m the best,
Here, here, I’m the one, forget the rest!”
It’s an old serenade, it does not let up,
It defends, drives off birds that come
To make an easy meal of them, it assails
Fox, wasp, raccoon, boy with butterfly net–
In the end, all the songs whirl into oblivion.
Their bodies wash into rain-gutter and trail
Dried up, cried-out shells of what they were.
Other singers rise in a coffee shop in town
Worn thin by years of blinding night labor
Soul-broken, lost, jubilant, newly in love
Sick of love, but madly in love with sound
Looking to bend an ear, the poets file in.
Autumn and an open mic are about to begin.
Note: Depending on the species, cicadas live underground for 17 or 21 years. They emerge for one summer to mate. Males sing, females do not.
They listen & select the loudest singers.
This poem is a slight re-vision of the first in Jazz Cocktails & Soapbox Songs.
The need to return to origin
True as the need of home
Rush of red shoreline kelp
The coupling of crabs, flash
Of Garibaldi in tidal pools
But a reason for rock foam
Breaker gull sky– unknown.
Each salty breath brings me
To being in you, Uterus of
Life and Death, great Mother
You hold all my answers
Teach me just who I am:
Many, but one, isolated in
An interconnection of Love
Never greater than now
These unbearably clear days
Blood-burst of mystic ocean
The wonder of hearing in all
The endless hum of gestation
Spun in a womb of silence
The mantra of waves.
Photo, Cape Flattery, by Rayn Roberts
Painting by KATHY COLLINS from exhibit at Tsuga Fine Arts