Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Two Cafes Ago

Two cafes tried their luck
selling their treats - things
that go well with coffee -
doing business
in the decommissioned church
on the corner.

Neither lasted
more than a couple of years.

Empty now
and the shadow on the bricks
where they took down
the cross
reminds me of more durable
nourishment that preceded
the coffee sellers.

Steve Isham

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Nonsense Rhyme

Nonsense Rhyme

My bundle of letters is
under the covers
where it is dark as night.

If I could read
all I would need
is a little reading light.

My bundle of letters is
under the covers
where I haven’t any light.

But since I don’t read
there is no need

and it might as well be night.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Denim Pedigree

Short shorts
with big holes
sistered by high fashion
fathered by hippies
grandfathered by Elvis
cousined by hobos and tramps
uncled by road gangs
great grandfathered by gold miners

god-fathered by Levi Strauss.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

In Consequence

Susan from England (I think)
as well, an apparent time traveller
at our Saturday book stall
in Hobart Tasmania today
enabling vivid
evocations of a decade earlier.

More like a pleasant low voltage jolt -
by passing along a friendly nudge from
a poet I do not regard as
Inconsequential – despite the appellation,
none-the-less as ephemeral to her as to me
(Susan an internet game player
said they have not met in non-electronic reality)
his name passed her lips
but evaporated in today's extraordinary heat
as sound perversely does.

If you read this friend,
let’s reconnect -

you are harder to track than I expected.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Commandment revisited

Which command in holy writ
has most ‘small print’ embellishment?

number four
Remember the Sabbath day

is there enjoined 
for ox and camel
goatherd and garment maker
spindle down
each to their ease -
to bask 
reclining in shabbat shalom.

To break Sabbath then 
it seems
is to oppress
to steal hope 
to rob health
from a woman in the next tent
who stitches a new shirt for Moses.

And who stitches my new shirt?
She seams in China - Honduras - Bangladesh.

Ask me tomorrow if I give her rest.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Marion, your face at 60

Sure I see you as you look -
a loosening of flesh
with lines written by a procession of worries
from life’s stories you’d rather not have known
(though you possess a persistent sort of beauty
unique to women aging well)

Still the face I see is inescapably smoothing
de-lined by memories' images accumulated
year upon year since first I saw you
seated and still in a small hall, Sunday
at Stones Corner 40 years past.

In those early months you cast
your Song of Solomon eyes toward mine
soft pomegranates budding
from beneath your loosened shirt
I have the photo still
among my treasures.

No need though
or for those other snaps
from years stored in shoe boxes

To see
four decade’s
cultivated sources
like rejuvenating lotions
infusing your face at 60
- all the fullness of you.

Those early faces present still
resembling perhaps your timeless self
as I shall see it in the Kingdom we long for.
Intersecting identity particles
making up the true and constant you.

Connecting the Dots

above these three small
pearls . . . hangs a wordless space -
like companionable silence . . .
suffused with the unspoken . . .
a weighted space
between old friends
in conversation started long before.

See trinity
in god-scape redolent of unspoken words
companionable silence
. . . before the world was spoke to life
. . . before the Word
on dusty feet

comes calling out to Lazarus.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Celestial GIF

In deep of night I see
                                a meteor streak
                                                       as though shot
                                                                             from Orion's bow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

No need to thank me...but hey, for my boy...

2 Samuel 17:27, 28; 19:31-40

King David's somersault career
includes him leading a straggle of loyalists
parched, starved, weary, and on the run
from traitor son, Absalom.

Later he's rescued in the wilderness
unpacking an emergency drop
from friend Bazillai the Gileadite.
Rations so generous
so succulent
a three thousand year old
manifest records

beds - sleep
basins - bathe
earthenware pots - drink

wheat & barley & flour  - bake
dried grain - snack

beans & lentils - simmer
sheep - roast
cheese from the herd - savour 
honey & curds  - bon appetit

At episode end
Bazillai turns down David's
thank-you invitation to Jerusalem
pleads that 80 is much too old to
savour delights at the king's table
or hear the high notes from
singing men and singing women
with music from the psalms.
But hey, says Bazillai how about you do for my son instead -
whatever seems good to you.
Not so, says David, in the gracious repartee of ancient kings,
I'll do for him what seems good - to you!

Topic Taboo

No go.
Down shutters.
Default disconnect.

Twenty first century
savvy people
like old tribal clans
have off-limits places,
locations prohibited
by legend and lore

of the tribe.