Oklahoma

Picture of Oklahoma

Hell beckons me home where the promise of comfort soothes my restless feet and calms my aimless heart. The demons speak in familiar tones reminding me that I belong to this desolate, dying land where only the slightly insane can exist but never live. It is here that generations regenerate the myth that this is somehow  a reality worth preserving.

It’s a strange and difficult place that grips my throat and clinches down on my gut, a constant reminder that it is both my lifeline and my impending death.

Strangers

While I could not cry in front of you,
I cried once for you – in front of strangers.
But then again it could have just been
the vodka, or life’s regrets – perhaps
it was only allergies that caused
such a commotion of compulsion.
Who knows what God’s thinking in
these rare moments of humility.
I suppose we all must pay our dues
for living and dying and breathing
and trying. Who knows but God,
the devil and that damn song
that keeps playing in my head?

Sitting at Powell’s

I sit in this bookstore
where I feel detached
from the young and
too young to be the old.
Miles away, memories
come in with the fog
and rest their toes at
the edge of the water.
The only promise of life
is the sound of fury
from beyond what
only the lost can see.
I can only hope my
ghost is always there,
walking the shoreline
and dreaming, neither
young nor old, but
timeless in this melody
that never leaves us.

O’ Majestic Tree

There was a big old tree in the front yard where I grew up. From as early as I can remember I climbed that tree and could spend hours up there just watching the happenings around me. From the stray cats to the kids out playing and the cars going by, I sat, unknown to anyone, observing our little piece of earth. A thousand stories played out in my head that are all now mostly forgotten. That tree, along with my buried pets, was the toughest thing to leave when my parents sold the place. I don’t know if it’s normal to miss a tree, but my dear friend, I do miss you. 

Here is one of my earliest poems – as I was just getting started writing (so many years ago).  

O’ Majestic Tree

With your arms held high, you come so close to reaching the sky. And with each season, you carry many colors in your embrace, as the grass below admires your grace. The wandering birds have a home in you, while your blanket of leaves catch the morning dew. And when I get lonely, I climb up your sturdy body, and you comfort me. How dear you are to my heart, O’ Majestic Tree. 

O' Majestic Tree
Here I am with my boys on moving day – it was the last time to climb the tree.

Catching Plane

Checked baggage.
Shoes in tub.
Gate found.
Time to spare.

We roam the airport.
I reach for your hand,
as if you are still three.
You pull away and grimace.
After all, you’re 11 years and 12 days.

I choose People magazine over Us,
Reese’s over Snickers,
glance at you,
looking at caps.

When was it, exactly
that I put you down
out of my arms
for the very last time?

“People with children…”
they call.
We board.
Baggage stowed.
Seat belts clicked.
Electronics off.

You place your head against me;
asleep before we depart.

Note to self: Remember this; it could be a last time kind of moment.