Songbook

"Songbook" is the working title for a collection of over fifty poems and prose curated from an observational diary and memoir written in 2017. Currently in draft manuscript form, selections here are being provided prior to editing for final release in 2019.


Gilt Gold

Then I had to return to say goodbye
Checked my vital pulse with rhymes

Amidst the swelling hums and murmurs
Scars from a darker time I’ll be fine

There are new branches that need tending
Neglected roots run dry deep inside

I can't prune the dead wood, it’s mine
Instead I’ll make them shine gilt with gold

And I’ll look at them from time to time
And admire my reflection in this gift to me

Old habits, fears, and anxieties
Vanity twists a comforting vine

Bloom in spots from time to time
Weeding helps the words to shine

Bukowski said, ‘Old poets may be Madmen 
Or masters, time will tell'

That Death turns away all judgement
But not mine


They

Told me to man up
Told to shut up
to suck it up
stop the tears
devolve

Told me never question
Told to go there
to take it like a man
lie in the beds I made
involved

Told me lay in graves
Told to never stop
to climb stairs
be stronger
aggressive

Told me be the better one
Told to not give up
to hold my tears in a cup
higher standards
afire

Told me to just do it
Told to not question
to tough it out
hold my ground
mistaken

Told to hide my feelings
Told me it doesn’t matter
that love is stronger
go further
til death


Swan

We can't take back that which we never had
They’re Cygnus’ song to Leda and the Wolf Moon
Where shall we go to live now, my love?

Walking along silver green sweetgrass
We will braid your hair in summer ritual
We can't take back that which we never had

Sweet sun sowing seeds from birch buckets
Along the fence they built we’ll plant the corn
Where shall we go to live now, my love?

Birch bark walls and ash poles built on bare earth
Birch wood split and stacked for winter burns to black
We can't take back that which we never had

Wild rice riverbank step from bank to bark hull
Oak boat and oars ferry farmers cross waters
Where shall we go to live now, my love?

Sugarbush moons of April fires glow there
Dark waters singing orange steel to steam
We can't take back that which we never had

The sweet doe bed on orange under pine canopy
Make pelts and bearskin rugs remember warmly
Where shall we go to live now, my love?

Our images fade from paints the sun exhumes
We can't take back that which we never had
Where shall we go to live now, my love?