I want to have a lap dance with Fate
I want Fate to stand naked in front of me
and jiggle her boobs with her shoulders lifted
and her arms outstretched like Marilyn might do it
with her red lips and a sparkle in her eyes
I want Fate to turn around and arch her back
just a little bit so her butt is close to my face
and then I want Fate to tempt me
the way she did when I was ten years old
holding a firecracker in my hand
with a short fuse. I want it to hurt if I
reach out and touch her skin
I want Fate to spread her legs and inch up
close to my mouth. I want to want it so much
that I drool. I want my eyes to get out of focus
just because her crotch is so close that I can’t
breathe because inhaling her perfume would
drive me wild. I want Fate to wrap
her angel wings around my body so tight
that I feel her nipples and her belly button
and every crease and fold and soft hollow
and then I want Fate to get all wet
and then I want Fate to want me to tempt her
the way she tempted me.
I want Fate to want me to fix her car
or patch her screen door. I want Fate
to ask me if I have a hammer in my truck
and can I hang a picture in her bedroom.
On my way to the airport one day,
It looked like the shadow of a flying dog
That might have been jumping for a Frisbee.
Or maybe he was tossed up by his loving owner
The way a father might toss a baby up high
To watch it laugh as it free falls
And is caught squarely and surely
By those hands that never miss.
Or maybe he was jumping
From a footbridge into cool clear creek water
Just because he loves to swim
And he thought he saw the shadow of a fish
Or maybe he was Bungee jumping
From a cable car in the Swiss Alps,
Deputy Dawg on a European vacation
Or from a hot air balloon near Cattle Creek in Colorado
Or maybe he’d just jumped off the tailgate
Of a beat up old blue pickup in the piney woods
Of East Texas, where he loved the smell of the cows
My Grandfather fed every day with range cubes and hay
And he just couldn’t wait another second
To hit the ground running for the those trees
And those cows and that scent so strong
He could almost taste it.
What if our lives were one poem after another,
one song, one work of art, one act of grace,
one moment of inspiration, one dance in some
loved one’s arms, one sigh of amazement,
one heavenly swallow of wine or watermelon
juice on a hot summer day, one hummingbird
hovering over a red cardinal flower nearby,
one bite of buttery biscuit and milk gravy
with sorghum molasses the way they used to
make it with a mule walking in a circle around
a sugar press, an ear of corn dangling just beyond
reach and what if that one more poem, that
one more kiss or drink of wine or flash of color
or splash of cool clear water or dance with that
electric touch of exquisite desire were the need,
the temptation, drawing us on into that circle
slowly grinding the cane of this fabulous existence
a story written in the field and sweet, like molasses.
Perhaps I reveal too much of myself, too much of what
connects me to the history of man, the aching need, the
tremulous salivating magnet of lust too deeply buried
beneath the surface of rational excuses to understand
that one can only look at it like a mountain or an ocean
and either plunge on or look for an alternate route. So
give me a simple path and let me have hope at least, a
thinly disguised replacement for lust, something that will
get me through another day or month or year if I should
be so lucky. Once I walked through days like rose arbors
at a wedding, nothing but promise and peace but today
there is a bruise on my left heal and my head aches and
my heart sinks when I look into the eyes of yet another
homeless person on the street. With every smile they
offer me, I am speared to the wall of my own limitations.
Why can’t I do more? Why can’t I be a better person?
Why can’t I help others in ways I would help myself?
I would do away with this overarching swollen petticoat of an ego
always struggling with self-importance
and the the beast inside this body would charge along the fence line
looking for an opening
the new beast would draw pictures in the sand,
carve images into walls, build homes out of stones
paint with sticks, swim in hot springs, cold springs, mountain streams, oceans, rivers, ponds and lakes
the new beast would walk for days in forests and dig holes just for fun,
lay out at night under the stars, play the flute, guitar, piano, drums, paint naked women, birds, dragons, chickens, trees and drink water from a stone cup,
make cradles from trees and find peace, find peace, find peace, find peace inside.
There may be some logic to it
but I seem to remember you all
at unexpected times.
Some of you are gone now
and some just gone from my life
but still here, somewhere.
And you, you left this marvelous world so many years ago,
was it 1983, when you taught me
how to saw and nail?
We built a doghouse together.
How old was I then, do you remember? Which dog was it?
I can see you there so clearly
as if I had a Poloroid snapshot of the scene.
You were the best ever.
Why did you have to leave when you did?
I know we can’t live forever, but why then,
why couldn’t we have said goodbye
one last definitive moment,
one more reassuring gap-toothed scruffy bearded grin?
What kinds of mysteries are unraveled there,
wherever you are now and is it
or what exactly? Are you happy?
Is Momma Osie there with you?
She had to spend so many years alone without you.
Sometimes she thought I was you.
Sometimes I glance in the mirror and think the same thing.
I miss you so much.
I wish I could have been a better Grandson to you.
Now I just have to try and be
the best Grandfather I can
and I think of you a lot.
I am blessed with eyesight
and all these other ways
of feeling the world
some may have hidden senses,
intuition, instinct, premonition,
some say they sense the ghosts
of the dead, what the future holds,
maybe even the ability to read
an energetic imprint of events
long since hidden beneath
time past. Goodness knows
its hard enough to learn the truth
from books and videos,
all that hidden thought and intention
rushing along beneath the surface
an urgent, unknowable and irresistible
force moving us in many directions
that only time will reveal.
I am blessed with hearing
and so I sing and listen.
I am blessed with skin that feels
and reacts to breath and moisture
and sound and my body trembles
in excitement poised on the edge
of a cliff of anticipation.
I wander the world
in search of high place
from which to fall. You appeared
and the fall was deep and long
and the wind rushed over me,
the moisture softened and excited me
and your skin… I can still feel your skin
in my thoughts these many years past
and there are goosebumps
on my arms and face
and I am blessed.
I wake at 3 a.m. and climb out of bed
as if it were a tree-house
I lean against the trunk of my dresser drawers
and stumble round the roots
of my discarded laundry.
There isn’t much to see or do at 3 a.m.
unless the toilet can be considered
Interesting in any way.
I offer my opinion on the mundane
nature of existence
even as I complicate every little aspect
of this insanely marvelous life I treasure.
Yoga with the ladies, visits with the boys
letters and drawings and pictures
from the grand-kids,
friends, golden and ripe
as peaches ready to be eaten
and still on the tree.
In our lives we have many opportunities
for change. We are born into a firm order,
strangely resembling chaos
we are entrusted to others
by chance or fate,
that is an endless debate,
and we learn to smile and laugh,
if we are the luckiest of lucky
and we learn to cry and withhold,
out of cruelty or misfortune
we are born blind or sighted,
whole or in part and all our lives
we learn to compare our lot
with that If all others.
We come to love certain people,
places and things and
we are given choices
and we are given accidents
to adjust and adapt to
like standing in the wind
our bodies are shifted this way and that
and as we stand and look over
the precipice that is our future,
We sometimes react in fear
and step back from the edge
and sometimes we step boldly
out into the unknown
and take our chances
trusting in the bungee cord
to hold us safely
or the water to receive us
in its cool welcoming embrace
or the arms of our loved ones
to catch us before we hit the ground.
We are given parents
and we are given children and friends
and children who become our friends
in spite of all the ways
we have done them wrong
we cannot know what lies ahead
in the vast future that is tomorrow,
it is a kind of death
that we wake into each morning
and we receive it with open arms
rushing ahead eagerly
to meet our old selves
and our old lives
to see what we have become,
accountants, biologists, architects,
librarians, artists, mothers, fathers.
We are blessed by this wind
that holds the flag perpendicular
to the pole and us barely able
to keep our feet on the ground
for this wanting to fly,
this immense excitement and joy,
these lucky choices, these lovely people
who share our lives, our homes, our gardens,
our beds and fill our hearts with colors
and sounds and feelings
we could not have imagined without them
and for all of this we will never be the same.
It may be that this life is an illusion,
some say this is so and if it is
then I welcome the rainbow
dusting the horizon
with its gratitude and celebration,
and the sun joining in
and I welcome the gentle thunder
of your snoring next to me
and the warm embracing sheets
covered in bird sounds
like gentle rain on the metal roof
and the bluebonnets
so fleeting and so persistent,
I welcome the winter returning
and I regret its going away
though I welcome the spring buds
poking their tiny tender green shoots
into the gentle light
from out of darkness
and wood and soft flesh
I welcome the passage of time
and the beginning again
the death of illusion
and the dawn of amazement.