Tag Archives: Poem

What Can You Say To Men Unwise

I stumble from a shaded court

to find ten years have passed

before my eyes

a blue car turns against the light

I meet the driver’s eyes

and here we are

the two of us

who only know one thing

I’ve never broken any bone

I’ve never worn a sling

a blue car turns against the light

a knight against a king

what can you say to men unwise

but look them in the face

I stumble from a shaded court

to find I’ve lost a race.

Over The Lake

you traveled down
to the side of the lake
to meet a girl
you once saw there
under the surface

you said to me
I’m thinking
love
you said to me
I’m thinking
marriage
down on the dock
over the water

i said to you
no
that was
a reflection
of a girl

the jealous lake
stole her image
from above
you were only looking in
to its heart

but you traveled down
to the side of the lake
but try as you might
you couldn’t find her

I traveled down
to the side of the lake
to meet you
at once I saw you there
under the surface

years later
at my marriage
down on the dock
over the water
I couldn’t look down.

pink yellow wood skeleton

i forgot to tell
the dream i had where grass turned
up into sparrows

but i lay in bed
and told about the one where
i jumped off the roof

onto an old house
pink yellow wood skeleton
and floods took my car

these are parallels
this is what i meant to say
they run alongside

Lost A Shoe

The old man touched every fencepost
On his walk down a sandy road
His fingertips leaving blood
Red on grey wood

The old man lost a shoe
Two miles back
He hated his socks
So he got rid of them too

A young woman down the road
Fighting five zombies
Was wearing
Both her shoes

She was waving a fencepost
She had pulled out of the ground
Which had torn the palms of her hands
Red on grey wood

“Hey man would you help me
With all of this?” she cried
Breaking the fencepost
Over a zombie’s head

“Sorry I can’t
I lost a shoe two miles back”
said the old man, standing
As still as the fence himself

“I am going to die
At the hands
Of walking corpses”
said the young woman

“Also, you are carrying
A fucking sword.”
she added, flailing her arms
In a circle of dead men

“My feet are sore.”
said the old man
It was true because
He had no socks

But then he could no longer
See the young woman
And something great
Reappeared from within him

Like something pulled
From the ground
Something he thought he left
Two miles back

The old man
Drew
His
Sword

Later he and the young woman
Walked along a sandy road
He turned to her and said
“I need to get some socks.”

The young woman examined
The cuts on her hands
Wiped them on his coat
Red on grey wood

Part of the “Orphan Ascends In Green” series, a collection of poems about three travelers on an island overrun by zombies.

The Grey Man

The grey man
Looked like soot
Looked like ash
From far away

‘Oh you puff of smoke
Where have
you blown in from?’
said the old man who saw him

The old man couldn’t tell
What he was seeing
But he knew right away
It was all true what they were saying

The old man felt like his heart
Had been turned to paper
And set on fire
His blood looked like ash

And he laid a sheet
Over his wife
And the sheet
Had been turned to paper

The rising smoke
Looked like
The grey man
The ash looked like blood

‘Oh you puff of smoke
where are
you blowing to?’
said the old man to his wife

And when he saw
The grey man again
He knew right away
It was all true what they were saying

Part of the “Orphan Ascends In Green” series, a collection of poems about three travelers on an island overrun by zombies.

Split In Two

S.Murakami dived into the hotel pool
Framed perfectly by two palm trees
The exact middle of which
Lightning could be seen through

The symmetry of which
Made her feel as though
She had dived into a machine
For which a switch had been thrown

The water cut her in half like a scissor
It looked that way from above
Like she had been split in two
It looked as though a switch had been thrown

The swimming pool lights
The exact middle of which
She dove down through
Like lightning

Coming out of the water
The world seemed as though
It had been split in two
It felt as though a switch had been thrown

Part of the “Orphan Ascends In Green” series, a collection of poems about three travelers on an island overrun by zombies.

The Dead Had Seemed Like A Wall

The dead
Had seemed
Like a wall
Or a border

Or a barrier to cross
To become
A red blooded
Living man or woman

The old man had swung his sword
Whistling through tissue
Bone and cemetery dirt
Just behind the eyelids

S.Murakami fired a gun
She could not look directly at them
But at tree branches
Against the sky instead

The orphan grappled with them
As one would with a bundle of ropes
Or as a baby with the act of being born
Or as a kite that curses the string and loves the wind

One by one the dead lay down
At the feet of the travelers
The silencing of a snake’s rattle
The hush of a grave’s displaced wailing

The sword was put away
The gun was holstered
The orphan’s hands were washed in bottled water
Their weary eyes glimpsed a red fox

In the spiraling delirious green
Of the trees
The fox, like a spot of blood on tree bark
Barked three times, startled

As if to say I am your blood
The beating of your heart
I run under this island
You are living men and women

Part of the “Orphan Ascends In Green” series, a collection of poems about three travelers on an island overrun by zombies.

Like A Hand Into Gossamer

The old man’s wife
Gave him a sword
In the back room
Of her antiques store.

Under the green curtains
By the round metal fan
That was old even among
Old things.

She had a dream
The night before
Give that sword away
To the man you love.

The fan stirred the curtains
Like a hand into gossamer
Under her hair
Over the back of his fingers

“This sword was made
During the Momoyama period.
It is worn form the belt
With these cords”

She had him stand
Shoulders bowed
The sword hung still and quiet
He whistled once at her

The old man looked
At his wife
At the long grooved blade
At the sherbet curtains

The old man looked
At the backs of his fingers
Old even among
Old things

He wondered how
They could hold
Such a thing
As a sword.

Later that night he would dream
His wife had turned to cloth
And was blown out the window
By a round metal fan

He woke startled
She reached for his hand
She wondered how
She could hold
Such a thing

Part of the “Orphan Ascends In Green” series, a collection of poems about three travelers on an island overrun by zombies.

S. Murakami Turns Around

S. Murakami turned around to look
At the red haired orphan sleeping,
In the back seat of
A 1979 Lincoln town car

His head looked like a bundle of fire
The leather seats tan and clean
Sunbeams migrated on his skin
Saltwater was the silent ghost

A feathered band
Wrapped around his head
Collected his sweat and alien dreams
With cloth and plume and quill

“He has to come from somewhere.
I found him on the beach
But he says he comes from nowhere.”
She furrowed her brow.

The old man driving chewed on a cigar.
He steered with one hand
The dashboard and his sunglasses
Agreed to be the color brown.

“Agatha Christie disappeared for ten days once.
When they found her, she was living
Under the name of the woman
Her husband was having an affair with.”

The ocean passed them by
Like a Polaroid of the ocean
Someone kept dropping
Past the windows

“You look like Agatha Christie.”
S. Murakami said
She opened a bag of candy
And poured it into her hand.

“You look like a carrot.” the old man said,
Around his cigar.
There was no one
On the road ahead or behind them.

“Anyone who could see
Or care about
Your spiky hair
Is long gone off this island.”

“Or too old
To appreciate style.”
S. Murakami put a piece of candy
On her tongue and stuck it out at him.

“You forget I was around
When punk rock started,
Before you were born.”
It was true, he had been around.

“But it didn’t get good
Until after I was born.”
S. Murakami turned again
To face the road.

Part of the “Orphan Ascends In Green” series, a collection of poems about three travelers on an island overrun by zombies.

Found Cedar

sisters, hide yourselves
under ghost lights, bits of string
in tall green grasses

someone has hung a
pumpkin behind those tall trees
and called it the sun

dangling from the house
you built from found cedar
in your father’s shed

sisters, remember
you can’t live above the sun
despite what they say

The Crows Of The Ocean

you and I
the crows
of the ocean
sang songs
of devotion
then folded
our wings

but you and I
missed the split
in the sky
that told us
the story
of the day
we would die

you and I
the crows
of the ocean
sang songs
of devotion
then folded
our wings

aki aki

the monkey say say
“aki aki” from a tree
made of your ribbon

i know how it is
tied it to another boy
he showed me the knot

you two glorious
lonely kite strings are tied and
tethered to a phone

ring ring ring hello
the monkey say say “aki”
once twice then hang up

“aki” means no calls
no calls to your ribbon tree
baby the rules changed