Standoffish

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Your poems are standoffish, he says.

You put fences around them to keep

People out,

‘Trespassers Prosecuted’ signs to keep

Your poems secure,

Guard dogs patrolling the perimeter

Snarly with menace.

Call off the dogs, he says

Open up your poems.

What are you afraid of?

People got to walk around.

Let the sunshine in.

You’re supposed to listen to your writing coach, right?

Okay, okay, I say

As I take down the tall palings

One by one.

Put up a Welcome sign.

It’s a little scary for me too.

 

Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?

 

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My body alarms me.

It rings two or three times a night.

Who’s in charge here anyway?

Poetry flowed from me

Like water from a garden hose.

Days were diamonds.

My feet horses’ hooves.

Nothing defeated me.

I was sharp as Sherlock.

Prolific as Zola.

I had two hounds.

The wheels turn.

Accept, my friend tells me, Embrace.

Loss is gain.

Now is the new normal.

Lop-Sided Moon

wolves

 

The bus shelter at the end of our street grinds its teeth at night.

Sometimes I sit with it, hold its hand, listen to its tale

of drunks and suicides,

of lycanthropes baying at the full moon,

of lonesome Lotharios weeping in their fists

 

I talk to it too about my problems

Of the jig-saw days when pieces don’t fit

Of the times when your heart races

Like a wildebeest on the veldt

But latches onto nothing.

 

After a while we both settle

 

and I head off home

beneath a lopsided moon.