Bus poems

A collection of poems I've published on this blog.

And I will leave you knowing
The euthanasia room's walls are replete
with poems, trite poems by amateurs
that comfort nonetheless. Another verse
on unconditional love this, a portrait
or broken-hearted footnote. I
never did enough for you, though I tried,
when even the way you died was kind, Bear,
grey chin on my wrist, not a whisper, no
loosened bowels or pee, just a softness flown
softer. Silent now the throat with the burr
of quick wings, only quiet the stethoscope finds
along the lifeless ribs. I nibble your
notched ear once more, give up my burden,
write yet more words unequal to their muse.

Everything normal, old feather

Everything normal, old feather
and the child's rocks collected
on the porch, I'll drive the cat
to his death later
but for now I'm writing a poem.

Hearing winter prayers on the radio
instead of caressing you, leaving you
half-asleep sunning on the armrest, I'm

Trying to keep everything normal
until we leave the house together
for the last time for you to
play in the grass like the other cat
would never permit.

Why is the sun always shining
when I'm in the yard overcome
with the power of life and death?
Fragile creature that loved me so

Come, let me take you through the garden
I kept you from all your life. A scarecrow
is waiting with a needle and this mother
has but arms to warm your way.


Will it happen at dusk? Will I be
Sniffing the last Lily of the Valley?

Will it happen at dusk, while
Ringing the Solomon's Seal?

Today and yesterday and tomorrow
Everything I put in my mouth is fruit, seed, or yolk.
Blueberries, apples, broccoli and peas.

Will it happen? Tell me.
Breaking the stamen of a wasted tulip,
Curled under the maple tree,
insects a-lighting?

Or will I be sleeping, tell me,
it's better if I can prepare, life
slipping from me by morning
as I stoop to grab socks from the bin?



By the arcs of white blossoms,
I lay down. Mosquitos find me. I
smell extra good today.
The grass tickles.
The cars pass. The clouds pass.
The sky is blue.
Birds sing.

By the chamomile bush and the rhubarb,
I dig a hole in the ground.
I wish I'd known
the neighbour was hanging her laundry.
The little bundle seeps
through the cloth, it fits in my hand,
like the skull
of a newborn child.

It is so hard
to place it there.
Everything
is natural in this: the mother, the baby,
the brief life and
the end.

I will try again,
maybe next month. I am so
powerful; it's almost silly.
Mother, grave-digger, chief
mourner. Goodbye! Goodbye! God, I am
full only of grief.



Passes and tickets witnessed
the soft faces of fatigue
settle as drooped flowers do
after a time in their jars.
Trusting, finally will-less,
on slender stalks they bobble,
sleeping the long way home.



The spider on this orchid
kills a mealy bug
-- there is no meaning.



I will wait under the hornbeam tree
in the field none can see from the road
and you will know to find me here
though this place is unknown to you.

By the field a forest grows
white with birch and dark with pine.
I will wait by the hornbeam tree
like any maid of old.

You will know this tree;
you named it for me.
It is gnarled and hard,
hard as any heart old with grief.

You will walk the unknown field,
dark with grass, light with sun.
My father will guide you
to the hornbeam tree, known as ironwood.

. I waited through my autumn days;
. my wait was vain.

. I can wait no more, love,

for winter came to the hornbeam tree
and I have cut her limbs to burn.

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