Planet Ahead

April 23: Unmoored

Unmoored is free

till there’s no place to land

no outstretched hand

no past to recommend you

–nor condemn you–

your name a strange ring

that doesn’t quite cling

to these uncharted depths.

Time to take a big breath

go under

and swim for the shore.

April 22: Prosaic

It’s neither life nor death,

just everything in between.

I only want assurance

that you’re getting what I mean.

If necessary rearrange

the words, add punctuation

subtract the rhyme

and save some time

delete imagination.

Don’t hedge;

go for straight talk

with a dull edge:

Indulge in the prosaic.

 

April 21: Darkening

Towards dark

the clock hand dips

On its mark

sunset fatigue slips in

Curtains are drawn on the day;

the sky’s pink stripes turn to gray.

When night comes,

it is a mercy.

The waking hours

invite rash words,

and tears,

and abrupt changes of course.

Tonight we sleep,

to let the darkening hide remorse.

April 20: Susceptible

Times aren’t lean,

but everyone’s feeling mean.

A thinning circumscription

reigns in what we possess–

the self and all its mess.

Ugliness oozes where patience has bled dry.

Wordless needs are met with a scornful eye.

The damage we’re susceptible to–

it comes from me and you.

April 19: Bridge

Every morning, my boy walks

over the bridge to school.

He vanishes around the corner,

meets his friend,

then becomes visible again,

crossing the bridge.

They pace their way up the arc

heads down

then looking around.

Feeling the weight on shoulders

and arms and backs

of their age and education.

Buttoned into uniform state,

black pant legs flap, stiff collars straight.

I hold my breath, remember where I stood.

It’s hard to be a kid, going on adulthood.

To dress the part and learn the lines

after screwing up a thousand times.

To cross those bridges, plant your feet on the other side.

April 18: Snakebite

Does the snakebite sting

from fangs in the flesh,

the burn automatic

simply somatic?

Or is pain received wisdom

a tale spread through the kingdom

the urban legend of venom?

If you believe in the hurt,

you’ll believe in the cure.

When the poison seeps through,

there’s no telling what you’ll do.

April 17: Commitment

There is an icy pond,

its opposite shore you commit to reaching.

You commit to reaching it on foot.

On foot, walking the diameter on your rubber soles.

Your rubber soles are slick and packed with snow.

Snow, clumpy and fresh-fallen, resting on the surface.

The surface covered, its grays and darks invisible from here.

From here you gaze, you size up the goal.

The goal, tufts of grass peeking around the frozen rim.

The frozen rim winks its challenge and widens.

Widens to engulf, then defeats.