The onyx days of black winter nights
I wake in the middle of the night screaming.
The cats come to my side and comfort me.
Only the gray squirrels look forward to winter.
The onyx days of black winter nights singing
To trees the acorns songs of slumbering.
I am in front of television listening to the radio.
I wait patiently for those literary electric hums;
The body is lying outstretched pining for sleep.
Jagged tears define the years in my fading skin.
A life hooked to heart machines is not a poetry.
That damn line is new yet it makes me timeworn.
I never owned anything but thoughts, or memories.
That is to say, except for a few moments, most of my life
Are golden plagiarisms. A green seesaw goes up and down.
I find myself blinded with anger on a dimly lit playground.
I was five. I had nothing in my mind but candy. I am nothing.
A wink and a nod salutes my lost memories.
It is life, the end of life, actually. Metallic green
Paint chips away on the steel jungle gym. Today I am
In my hospital bed reminiscing tobacco, drugs, poetry.
Earth Revolves Itself Once Again
—after Pierre Reverdy
Blue birds fly north.
In the backyard where everything seems to happen
The squirrel darts through our leafless lilac tree.
Outside a woman is cleaning the table; a man makes fire.
Water streams from a hose clearing the driveway apron.
A rainburst negotiates with a cloud.
The sun abrupts with striking chimes.
Watching last year’s pumpkin transcend determinism
Even now this cemetery is accumulating.
The hills darken. The dead
sleep in their blue graves,
the grounds having been
picked clean, the ribbons
faded, the pinwheels piled at the dumpster
among wind ripped tiny American flags
as garbagemen come forward for collection:
Now feel tension fail to achieve.
Tears melt into sweat.
This is the barrenness
of grief; to watch life rot
as we move ever forward.
© Geoffrey Gatza