I Can Sing a Rainbow, Too

Coruscating colors clash and confound
Me as I look at the world around me
Contained within four walls
And framed by sash not raised up to show
The flabby pale and pasty thing within
Never firm anymore despite how firm a grip
Upon it might be taken

The old longing rises yet again
To mimic taking in hand some
Long thing and working it back and forth
To make pregnant some furrowed places
Or make a good attempt at the same even if
The fields that might once have been planted
Are gone so long fallow that they
Will not take the plow and can yield no harvest
Save some small misshapen thing that might
Have featured well in the circuses of years past
But no more because we think we have
Grown past such tawdry entertainments
Although few if any of us will look away from a
Spectacle that presents itself

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Hymn against the Stupid God 189

Old Jeremiah could at least believe
The god he served would give him a reprieve,
But I that faith have long since had to leave
For seeing Stupid God delivered praise
By many mouths across too many days.
In wilderness and scorched by summer rays,
In empty lands and frozen by the chill,
In office chair with pen in hand until
My fingers bleed, I rant, but still
The words I give, I give to no avail;
My throat grows hoarse, my wrists ache, and I ail
And falter, bloodless, growing deathly pale
Because my hope now far away has fled
And creeping death approaches in its stead.

This is not the one I mean.
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

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Hymn against the Stupid God 188

The scop-work sings that fate goes as it must,
And it is tempting to sit back and trust
That fate will work in ways we see as just,
But Clothos has to pay for what she spins,
And Urðr does not get her weave for grins.
Greed is rightly named the root of sins,
And they are sinners all who power seek,
And all of us will suffer virtue’s leak
As it will seep away, fed by a creek
And feeding mighty rivers in its turn.
The water gone, the landscape then must burn,
A drought descending, though people for rain yearn.
And Stupid God cavorting laughs the while,
Seeing what transpires with a smile.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

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The Bus Will Come

I know the bed still calls to you
And you long for its embrace
But the shower has attractions, too
And not just a clean face

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Your mom and I have got to go
We have places to be
And so do you, my darling dear,
And, yes, some folks to see

No, we’d rather be with you
Or have you stay with us
But we both must work and earn our pay
And you oughtn’t miss your bus

Your teachers miss your smiling face
Your friends will want to see you, too
And there are things we cannot teach
That need teaching to you

So get up, bathe, dress well, and eat
Your glorious day awaits
Make sure you catch the yellow bus
It’s coming; don’t be late

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I have not been followed by
Anything that could flee from me
Driven by my backward glance
Instead, when I follow Orpheus
Approach the threshold of the living world
What I see clings more tightly to me
Swallows me more greedily than any who
Have drunk the broth that I prepare
Few as they have been

So inviting…
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

They occasion no worry
Being no maenads
And I not mourning my wife
She lives yet, and well
And my hand-plucking is nothing eagerly sought
But they may be dryads
Their trees growing stuntedly twisted
Gnarled in bark and bough from infertile soil
And being watered but little
And that of salty waters

No branch grows straight if tended thus
No bole proud and sturdy
No spirit succored from such sure
And what can wizened whispers thus created do
Save sing discordant hymns in despite of the gardener
No more harmonious than the awkward and halting chords
Fingers find upon the fretless boards
Quiet voices ringing in the silence only
Because they hold so closely to the ear
Clinging desperately where they have held purchase
Drawing darkness after them and with themselves
Underworld brought over and unreleased

The threshold might as well be a wall
Founded so deeply and built so high
It cannot be crossed

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It’s Still a Kerrville, Hill Country Christmas That I Love

I am far away, now, from the limestone hills of home
Where oaks and cedars, cypress and mesquite, rise from the riverbanks
Listening to the songs blown by breezes across the bass’s dwelling
Dancing in intricate rhythms of which Avie would approve
Sparkling in the night with our pale imitations of the stars above
I had thought it silly, long ago, when my voice was higher, and
I joined the warbling sopranos and altos breathing out
Their paean to the season and the city
Lookin’ for a Santa Claus down by the Guadalup’
As I and they made ready to take on spikes and four-point racks
Dolphins and mustangs and scorpions as we fancied ourselves then
Struggling to lift up our voices, light as they were,
And in later years, when I had donned the blue and gold,
Their hues changing over years to darker tones and back again,
My thoughts were darker yet amid the lights that sprang
From trees acorn-grown and steel-wrought beside the streets
Or tall beside where a fountain stood and a gazebo stands
And they stayed darker when I went away
Visiting far-off places where the languages shifted but still extolled
The season’s glories, whatever the weather
In later years, when I, beaten down, returned to that place where I was raised,
I found forgiveness in all the feasting, let my heart be lifted
Where once I had pushed it down, and if I struggle still to let it rise,
Ascend the old trees whose knees poke out of the current beside
A tranquil place amid the rush and flow, overlooked by learning’s shrine,
Scale the rising landscape that strives for green in every month and finds it
Under gray curtains when Aestas has fled for other lands
Only rarely hiding it under a white blanket, and less often for long,
As the old ones note who speak of such things over cups of coffee of a morning
And whose words I still hear in my heart when I think back on it all
From where I now sit, having sought greener fields for a time and found
They are not so much to my desire as my old home
To which I return as I may, less often than I might like,
In any month, but more in the old tenth when
Older, finer clothes are donned again beside the water and
By an earl that runs from north to south and
By a baker of no small renown on the state’s longest highway
I realize, perhaps not too late for me, that
It’s still a Kerrville, Hill Country Christmas that I love
And I look forward to seeing it again

Is it any wonder?
Image from the City of Kerrville and so public domain

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