Poetry - September, 2009

Poetry

What isn't there

                                    —September 2001

The painter in overalls, he’s somewhere uptown,
his blue-spattered hands tensed on a grating.
Imagine him climbing the latticed scaffolding.

No children at the crossing for the library,
whose two dark lions drowse, even now,
imperturbable. No low light along an alleyway,

the pawn shops, moments laced with faces
in windows, in cars. The sidewalk murmurs
under our feet, worries and flutters at curbs,

until, unthought, it leaves us empty, down and
rooted, within ourselves. Insistent still: what was
but isn’t there, what fills this space with space.







Poetry

Carbon footprint

Mine is reasonably small
having always lived low,
turned off lights and faucets,
eschewed useless stuff,
reused, recycled.
I do not aspire to shrink it,
but, like the first people
in these green hills,

I want to leave
no footprint at all,
to move through life
in gentle, charitable silence
not disturbing fragile things,
cosmic balances
or the universal pulse
so that, when my candle
sputters into darkness,
the tiniest leaf is unmoved
by the wisp of its rising smoke.