Ithaca 4

Birds play ocarinas on the roof
as I lay here and bargain with the truth,
on my island in the dazzling blue,
crickets doing whatever it is they do.

Ulysses once stood upon this shore
and tried to rouse his mariners once more,
there were no sailors left to raise a sail,
warriors grown thin and worn and pale.

Truth must have its way from time to time
and bludgeon you discreetly from behind,
I’ll deal the way I’ve always dealt with truth
while birds play ocarinas on the roof.

guillemots and herring gulls

call me from the street to play
like you used to yesterday
I have locked myself away
nothing new to say today
find me in the sitting room
sitting in the sitting room
used to be a pretty room
full of junk and old heirlooms
growing old is not worth spit
nothing works the way it did
especially the pills they give
awfully bitter pills they give
guillemots and herring gulls
have a lot more fun than us
they can peck and steal and cuss
no one ever makes a fuss
perhaps you’d only fly away
if I brought some treat your way
pretty bird don’t fly away
please don’t  ever go away
call me from the street to play
like you used to yesterday
pretty bird don’t fly away
don’t you fly away

white gull

a white gull wails
on a windy beach
some place in time
if you can call it a beach

I wouldn’t call it a beach
I’d call it

broken stones
on the earth’s bare bones
with icy breakers
that have no home
black icy breakers
on a broken beach
so bruised and broken
bruised and broken

a white gull wails
inside this room
it hovers low
its shadow looms
this bare white room
this lonely room
so bruised and broken
bruised and broken

Cage birds

I tried to explain and tried to explain
but ever the same words came:

Like a white bird ascending from the fire,
so love moves beyond desire.

But she laughed at me time and again,
and so I tried a new refrain:

Like a white bird flying in flames,
so desire returns again.

A scornful look, an icy stare, no laughter,
an empty chair.

Two cage birds on a table.