Category Archives: Prayers

Memory V

Do “is” and “was” and “will be” collide and fall into an undifferentiated heap of time?

Siri Hustvedt, “Memories of the Future”, which has been my companion and prompt throughout this series of poems.

 

When we reopen

might you also

reopen love?

Maybe love is in the

Airbnb?

 

I remember your

mouth on me, my

mouth on you, the

hot, wet inside of you, the

squish of your

sweaty breasts on my

flat chest.

 

We all want the open air, yet the

tight, kempt air of a

steamy bedroom summons our

stoppered desires.

 

White freesias pop open in their

vase of clean water, the

sun dipping behind them, a

nascent moon somewhere in that

deep blue sky we have

extraordinarily lived under

throughout these

strange months of

excommunicating our own

loved ones.

 

Warnings are everywhere, as they

always have been, but now have

bizarre power:

“No Entry”, “No

Through Road”,

“Keep Your Distance”,

“Baby on Board”,

“One Way”.

 

When we reopen

might you also

reopen love? For

just one day?

No….an increment of

shards of days from

past, present, future, those

fractured memories from which we

try to make a

remembered life?

Opening Properly

The house grows old with us, and it’s

open to question which of us

creaks and complains more as the

stairs are climbed.

 

That tap takes two or three

turns to get going and the

flow is not

what it was.

 

That light in the kitchen

flickers and fails, but a

rap or two makes its

heart beat again.

 

That radiator never seems

hot until the key

lets out a

delicate brown fart.

 

That window never opens

that window

never opens

properly.

Pilgrim

I could, of course, still walk the

Pilgrims Way, just up the

hill from me, but I have

lost the will to go on

pilgrimage, or perhaps

hope, that intangible

something to pray for.

 

But then the bushes about me

blossom as always

come what may.

A Saint for our Troubled Times?

Wilgefortis wouldn’t wed,

would rather marry Christ so

willed herself a beard and

with a beard was crucified.

 

She became “Liberata” in Italy,

“Librada” in Spain—liberated,

though in France she was “Débarras”,

riddance, which is two-edged.

 

“Kümmernis” in German—anxious

perhaps– and “Ontkommer” in Dutch but

I prefer the English

Uncumber as that

 

exactly expresses what she wanted,

what women prayed to her for–

a life uncumbered by the

wrong sort of men.

The Great Heard

Can a small voice compete with the
Great Heard? Or will it always be
trampled beneath the hooves of
heavier beasts? Can it
squiggle out from the scrum and
bleat at least one
word of love?

The Abcess of Absence

He swore he heard her on the

upper floor, or

at the door, her key

scratching for entry from the

outer dark, or her soft

snores in the night,

turning to his right,

hoping to feel her

spooning warmth to

heal his sores.

Cloud-Arks

Cloud Arks

I want to board those

strange dark shapes of the horizon

those cloud-arks

fully-freighted and

already shipping out south on a

freshening breeze

bearing me

wherever they please.

One Last Cigarette

One last cigarette

outside under the

frozen stars

notebook closed

finished with poetry though

somehow poetry is never

finished with you

Extreme of Consciousness

I wonder what will o’the wisps will

grace my last extreme of consciousness?

My mother’s breast, or the

push against for a day

playing on a birchen hill?

A first kiss? But which one?

Whose? That virginal,

immediate, desperate one or

that which reconciled life?

The first fathomless stare of a

newborn? Or the sly complicit

smile of the grown child? That

first tentative touch? The satiation of

good sex? The hand grasped in

night’s desires or terrors? That last

damnable disagreement?

Will you then mind if my

mind wanders back to my

first kiss or rolling down a

birchen hill or my

mother’s breast?

Mind

I wondered if my mind would

mind my desperate attempts to

find, amidst the flotsam of

jottings, the flutter of

post-its stuck everywhere,

unsticking whenever I

open the door,

littering the floor,

whatever it was I

set out once to do.

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