habit, hope, illuminations

A river to forget and another to remember

Here again every evening, like a ritual
I hear this ruckus of seagulls,
so far inland and no signs of rain.
I search for the meaning of this anomaly –
I’ve heard this primal dance predicts
some kind of mishap – a storm, perhaps
the ground suddenly moving underneath.
Equally violent and buoyant are
the games we play with our watches.
Trying to find in mythos an escape
and a healing, even though we know
Lethe only flows in the caves of Hades.
Yet we return again and again flying
to the planes of forgetfulness
looking for subsistence in leavings.



Let the years pass you by, not infinite
an ending to this story, there will be.
Meanwhile there are tangles,
sepia days and sunlit nights.

People staring out, rain
streaming down windows, traveling
to see you, some you may never meet
some left waiting

In the end there is always the idea,
the upwards glance, the blue sky
and the possibility of a few words
written in your honor.


Dear, Rain

Today, as I sit staring out at the window,
At the water sprinkling down like confetti,
I hear laughter from a friendly gathering downstairs,
I hear my whistling kettle, that I don’t remember turning on,
I hear things I haven’t heard in a while. —
Like peace,
I listen to my heart, that has tried to tell me this recipe of contentment.
For years, I have trained myself to ignore.

You told me once, as you opened the door to the balcony,
and the sun fell on your eyes,
A little boy was you, and calm your companion.

Would you believe me if I told you, I feel, once more in the holds of childhood?

Would you step out and play?


The Restless Universe

We could have gone a few steps further
unraveling this story like a red, fiery onion
or walked backwards and started afresh
dipping our toes in the stream of simple mercies;

We could have sat all day, in white sheet covers
and looked at the sunlight falling on our hands, then hips, then toes
made invisible drawings with our fingers,
taken the time to understand their colors–

Dangled our legs on the ledges of rainy nights,
smiled and waved at passers-by from behind the glass..
watched as our legs began to walk in opposite directions
and tied them together, yes.

We tell ourselves about chaos theory and time travel
we believe in butterflies, in what ifs, in thunder
How else would we get by?


Manhattan II

A conversation between a million twinkling lights across the harbor
And my bespectacled eyes

A book on poems, the medium
Translates all that flows, in the Hudson

And it pours, a million cold dreams
The city under their weight, merges into the horizon
A faint twinkling, now in sight

Sitting on the only dry chair, me
I see a man with his black umbrella tentative and unsure

As he sits nearby and stares at my view
There is a silent look exchanged
Of helplessness and appreciation
of being here, from being here.

Manhattan will smell of that look forever.


An ode to the city

A story starts again, Manhattan
who would’ve thought, would drink up the dark
with its incessant hope and night-lights,
the drunk, the gypsies, the fireflies.

Running down mid-town on a rainy Sunday afternoon
I wanted to hold your hand and tell you
that all is white again- this city, the city
where greatness has walked for many years;

that seems all grit and grime and blackness, outside
has finally bleached us in its blinking lights.

I wanted to lean over and tell you
that the island between us is green again.