Roundels

A plum plops
Into a rain barrel.
Night spills over its rim.

Plum branch
Reflected in a rain barrel
Like a woman with plums.

Before sinking
Even a plum ripples
The moonlight.

Bird singing
Above a rain barrel
Amplifies fair weather.

Plum splash
Rings the bell
Of sleeping rains.

Three faces
In a rain barrel
Like Emperor and sons.

One after another
The water clocks
Of summer rot.

Plumb imperfect
The rain barrel
Rounds out nature.

Moss to the bilge
Sinks a barrel
Deep into summer.

Washing its face
The rain gazes
Into its own eyes.

From the spout
The green wine
Of the sun runs clear.

Hate

Hangs heads
Hardens hearts
Has holocausts
Hinders healing
Humiliates humility
Harasses heroes
Honors hubris
Highjacks humanity
Heeds hogwash
Hatches hoaxes
Harping honesty
Hurling harm
Hastening haemorrhaging

I Live in Her Smile

My wife’s smile is like two apples,
Her smile smiles with courage,
Her eyes smile inside her smile
Like the echo of love between lovers.

My wife’s smile opens Spring windows
Like the flowers for which we wait.
Her smile is the peace of the house
And the sunlight after a storm.

Her smiles elevate me to higher ground.
They are like kisses from afar,
Negative test results for my anxiety,
Poetry awards to prise my heart.

Windows and Mirrors

    faces of sad and happy life 

      lightning in crystal

   thunderstorm traps

frost-seed granulations

     water at freezing and melting

sunlight through museum panes

    the glare of volcanic glass

a bird’s reflection in its shadow

pearl of time in the face of night

    last looks at last faces descried

the binding of souls

bridges over limitless waters

view from a window at Le Gras

 time driving backwards

     mannequin transmissions

the vague “she” of poetry

nakedness dressed in its reflections

   sunset in Emma Bovary’s eyes 

blue mirrors of Shallot

the soaring of Zeno’s stillness

the flight of the alone

the surgeries of Dr. Glas  

the surface of vertical

the spaceless dimension

of duration

buried in glass

flower store windows bare

barbershop empty

travellers on a Greyhound

morning     the breath gone

Three Keepers

Rinat Dasayev

Dasayev’s save against Scotland
Off a glancing goal-bound header
In the 1982 World Cup
Was like a release in the fabric of space
And a save I now save, in tribute.

Gordon Banks

How do you save the shadow
Of a bouncing ball?
Raise your hand up to God.
How do you save a moment in time?
You save it forever.

Thomas N’Kono

Le chat noir had to save his team
While saving his race
In Europe’s arenas of racism.
He gave hope that hate could end
A goal worth saving.

Dreamt Barbershop

Passing a barbershop I see my father.
He’s reading his newspaper, as he often did.
He looks trapped by the mirrors
In which he worked, like a living specter.
I ask for a haircut and shave
But my father doesn’t recognize me.
I’ve grown too old to be his son.
As he cuts my hair, I feel the same touch
And his same skill with a razor.
We talk about sports, as we always could.
After the haircut I pay and leave.
I don’t wake the barber from his dream
Or myself, from my own.

Nonna Sewing, Sewing

Since childhood I’ve been unraveling
The spools in nonna’s sewing box
Needles for the handiwork of the moon
Pins for the sky against the sky
Thimbles for the chalice of the invisible
Measuring tapes for night’s endless garment
Scissors for the unseeming of space
Scraps for the patchwork of time
The white thread from the black
And the blue and white threads
She passed through the eye of a needle
Unspooling her own life in shadow

Extra Time

Let’s save the world,
Let’s play the earth into its net of stars,
Let’s put one goal up for humans
And zero for the enemies of time.

All you goalkeepers, let’s save the goal,
Let’s save the earth in its net of stars,
Push asteroids clear of the post
And intercept each crossing moon.

Football fans and players,
Together we can save the earth,
We can pass love through a ball,
Kick ignorance to a lower hell
And play with joy on celestial fields.

Diego Maradona

Who was Maradona?
He didn’t even know.
He kept trying
To be so many things.
He was dervish and dancer,
Panther and pirate,
Magician and juggler,
Monster and deliverer,
Animal and Angel.
Then one day a ball
Hung in the air,
Defying gravity, and he died.

Paolo Rossi

Scored through the eye of a needle,
Into the mouth of a fish
And the fishermen’s nets.
He scored through laundry lines
Like day moons in sunny blue,
And in the memories
Between fathers and sons
He scored into forever.

Father Time

Have the trees lost their leaves
Or am I seeing through my hands?

Have the leaves fallen
Or have I risen from the ground?

Have autumnal abscissions concluded
Or am I like you, deluded?

Have I reached old age
Or everlasting youth?

I don’t know. I don’t know.
Where I’m asked, I’ll go.