hands open
hands close
hands give expression to the soul

and if I lose the use of mine
what value then will be my life

so I shall play arpeggios while I can
broken chords
like spokes upon a wheel

none of these notes mean a single thing
but bring me joy

if temporary
all things are temporary

except for one


when my hands stop working
they turn inward like claws

everything becomes a chore
longhand an impossible scrawl

something I can’t recognize
can’t read

a busted gull pecks rust flakes in the sleet
on the old iron road into the sea


bad hands

look – no hands

the limit

I was told today by a nurse
to be aware of my limitations

there is a place on the outskirts of town
called “The Limit”

I come to it regularly on my runs

beyond it lie green fields
and the gleam on the horizon

that’s where I’m headed
when the talking is done

Traffic Report

Bad traffic
between here and town,
totally static,
lights all down.

Since I got sick,
at the window I sit,
watching the progress
of traffic.

Arterial movement
in late evening heat,
a twitch of the curtain,
back to my seat.

Time moves along,
the lights are back on,
between here and town
no traffic.

clear out

after the storm the street seemed more alive
as if the trees had finally grasped
what they were all about

the people opposite picked up debris
and swept their drives bare
as I came back here
to whatever it is I do behind these quiet curtains

I had been out on an errand
and froze
in muscle skin and bone

then I remembered when walking had been easy
and ran all the way home
clear out of road

clear out

of road