Monthly Archives: February 2016

Last Poem

This is not my last poem.
For verification, ask my wife.

I wrote these lines last,
although I conceived them first.
Then I went ahead, wrote another poem,
and came back to finish this.

I am still alive. Typing — can’t you hear?
Technically, this can still be my last line in my last poem.
The debate will be sealed when all the facts are known.
I may not be there for that discussion.
I won’t be there for every discussion that follows.

If forensics show this to be the last poem I wrote, please know:

1. I did not believe that at the time.
2. I had no urgent message to communicate.
3. Like you, I have regrets, unfinished projects,
unfulfilled desires. I am not satisfied.
4. I fell short: expected to be better, stronger,
higher, more joyful, richer and … You get the point.

To end the poem, I understand
all of this is temporary.
But again I may be wrong.

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The Moon

The moon is considering a change of orbit:
to hide, go on a strike; pack its many suitcases,
turn off the lights, cut the wirings,
turn its back, and take a dive.

It has been offended since we learned to talk about it.
It is an affront to its well-being
that we have been invoking
its name, color, mood,
taste, and even its feelings.

It is appalling that the moon can be shiny white,
bloody orange, a sad messenger, a fierce lion
made of silver, and a lover
decrying loneliness and abandonment.

We also speak of the moon as joyful, majestic.
Or a loaf of Afghani bread, a ball of Swiss cheese,
and when we combine the two we refer to it as a pizza.
Some say delicious, others say amore.
We offer it up for slicing —
in halves perhaps, as we talk about half and full moon.
It can be skinny or fat.

It can be invisible, present or absent.
Its appearance is tracked down
to align a calendar insisting on dragging its feet
up and down the lines of time.

Citizens of nations see the images
of their jailed heroines or exiled kings
on its surface. Last time I checked,
I saw both many things and nothing.
I could make out mountains, clouds, waves,
light, rivers, trees, races, space flights, prose,
math equations, and also saw nothing
but a round shape begging me to get engaged.

When the moon is full and looking its best,
we are told our evil side is on display
and without a leash.
The wolves howl the most.
But we are able to cross the desert at night,
under its light.

The moon is a cold-blooded planet,
suspended midair, staring at us
like a mute witness
or an innocent voyeur – an old man who doesn’t age,
of foreign origins, yet has recognizable
facial features. He reminds us of someone we have known
since we learned to look up, a grandpa perhaps.

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