Friday, January 27, 2012


My oars at rest,

the boat is bobbing.

My mind at rest,

I bob likewise.

No fishing pole,

no camera,

no reason to be here

other than to

ride the ripples in one place,

this place,

equidistant from the heavily forested shore

and the one where cars

peep through the pines.

I sit back, stretch my body

long and sun-wise,

slide my eyes under their lids.

Without doing a thing,

doing nothing

gives the orders

around here.


No warmth. Not tonight.

No tenderness. Turn the

other cheek if you will,

the one farthest from her lips.

Read your book

until your eyes close.

Then fall asleep and dream.

Dream the perfect curve

of her face-lines,

the aromatic silk of her flesh.

Dream the time

you walked with her

across the field

and your rough hand found

the gentle small of her back.

Dream the trees shaking

and the daffodils blazing

and the warblers singing in the clouds.

No waking. Not tonight.


It is an obese, flabby body that I must steer

along the sidewalk, leaning forward,

trusting gravity, hoping the rest of my body follows.

Some people stay well clear. Others squeeze between

me and the picket fences, praying I don't suddenly alter course

and squash them like gnats.

I hear the snickering, I've seen the mothers, in strict lecturing mode,

hold me up as an example of too much candy, too many soda bottles.

But have I really eaten and drunk too much?

My doctor says I have growth hormone issues.

So I'm not who I am.

I'm what I’ve got.

I watch the birds from my heavy bedroom chair.

They eat and eat and eat but they're never other than bird si/e.

They need all that energy to fly, my teacher explains.

My body can't conceive of flying.

I've read where beached whales die of the weight on their heart.

But what if their heart were part of that weight?


She collapsed on a busy street.

A couple held back,

in awe of the sudden disruption.

Some moved swiftly on,

not wanting to get involved.

One man bent over her,

felt for a pulse.

A woman knelt beside him,

shouted “Let her breathe!"

Some kids laughed.

An ambulance was called.

Two heavy set guys in white

lifted her onto a litter

and into the back of their van.

It sped away, sirens whirring.

The couple convinced themselves

they would have acted

but that man and woman

were just quicker off the mark.

The swift movers on figured

nothing they could have done anyhow.

The bending man, the kneeling woman,

sighed, "God, if only there was something

we could have done."

When last observed,

humanity was a sidewalk,

with just these people

doing just these things.

Some kids laughed at that.

John Grey

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...