ONCE MORE ROUND THE MAYPOLE

ONCE MORE ROUND THE MAYPOLE

In leisure he revisits
things seen but never noticed in his youth
though they lay but a short arms length away

Cow with ingrown horn
then a saw-wire from repair
now metaphor for defense gone wrong

The deep snow forts of play
two Fahrenheit degrees away
from smother and a crying mother

Frost on a winter window
a forest of trees of finest lace
meant too cold to go outside today
now the music of the spheres in form

Best not to be a poet young
very little would get done

A STONEBOAT STORY

A STONEBOAT STORY

Rough planks across two wood-beam runners
low and tough enough to tip a heavy rock on
or haul the cleanings of the stalls in winter

Learning to stand in loose-kneed balance
full speed behind fast homing horse
across the frozen tracks and turds
on the way back to the barn

Buff off of Oahu teaching me to surf
I think “Just like this”
until the big wave comes and says “Not quite”

ROUND TABLES

ROUND TABLES

He loved his neighbors, but not out loud

(Only by default could we tell if he was proud
men did not hug their friends or children then)

There were no women in the bar
and all the tables round and small
heavy with ashtray and pilsner draft
where they talked code till closing time

Politics of any stripe meant you are my brother
The weather, whatever the weather
meant I love you too

LEONARD COHEN AT EIGHTY

LEONARD COHEN AT EIGHTY

There is a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in

Anthem

Growing old does not dim
the magic that you hold
for you were always old

That women want
to sleep with their fathers
Freud would not consider odd
(though nuns may call it God)

but no matter how many cracks
you or the light might see
growing old is still
not all it’s cracked up to be

so you’ve fought
depression all your life
and perhaps you always will

but for mere boys who must compete
it’s more depressing still