Poet Commentaries

Compiled Dark and Quiet. Light Sabbath reading.

Sounds of Silence

in the perfect night

a low dull echo
of muffled grayness
as the leaded line
fathoms the empty
of the barrel

over this a gust
too gauging depth
drawing out the vacuous
that the plumb line
has somehow missed

the widow smiles
and draws out one cup
she lights again the lamp
that dances and flickers
to the rhythm of the dark

she sits waiting
for a kind interlude
soft steps in gravel
muffled creak of stoop
and the slosh of an amphora

it was yesterday
her barrel was drained
the cost of perfect darkness
carved out of a cave
her tomb purchased

these tones and sepia
that inspire the dirge
drawn from nothing’s teat
thick black notes
that sound of silence

the bat sees
in the spectrum
of sonar


in school gymnasium
muffled chaos

Those black recessed bricks
full of echoed exclamations
and muffled hues.
Put your ear against them
and you will hear yesterday
as waves on sand and grit,
wind through dune grasses
and tiptoeing shadows.

Every definite article,
first person pronoun
and long strings
of comma’d adjectives
and explititives

the black holes
until the bell tolls

Damn Straight

At the aquatorium
the squeak of skin on glass,
the echo of running feet,
childrens’ laughter,
and the hum of conversation

you can’t hear the fish

Damn straight it’s narrow
and metamorphic
bending around granite
drawing curves in dust.

Here some places are just
one sole on tiptoe wide
with fallen scree to port
and a chasm starboard

Old relics of man throughout
broken stairs and railings
heaved pavements
and geodetic markers

(on the sixth day God created
order eaters
chaos straighteners…
“that which is crooked
can’t be made straight”)

Strange how close some get.
Sects here and there
just outside the path.
Temples built adjacent
but not in,
pretending to be gates
to the straight and narrow.

Briefly they may walk along,
their white dorsals
a beauty to behold,
but I cannot hear them
and I know I can’t breath
in anger and lies.

I walk on
hedged around
from the dangers
of that order.
Chaos takes faith
but it is an atmosphere
I was made for.

Past the gate
lies a perfect mayhem


The sloop slushed.
The woodwinds spent;
their reeds cracked
and all breath taken.
The hum of contrails
coming off the sail,
rudder and hull.
Percussions begin.
The wake catches up
and with the crests,
they beat the hull.
Sheets snap
slack lines plinked;
the tiller a wood stick
in a void.

There is no metronome
that can keep beat to
“dead in the water”.
The composer smiles.
The maestro taps
trying to bring order
to reams of full rests.
The whole orchestra,
nothing but a restless shuffle
drifting listlessly
with but misplayed
sporadic coughs
and scraped chairs.

They are trained
for pulling just so
on rudder and line,
loving their part
but you can’t pull
in perfect languid,
and no score is written
for breathless

Alone and unseen
in the inside of a shell
I place my ear on the hull,
the mast and halyard
and understand the worth
of nothing played well.

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