Black and White

The truth is a thousand voices
On the stairs fronting St. Paul’s
In London,
Except it is early morning
And I woke in the youth hostel
Because of the traffic and because
I stop breathing 14 times an hour.
I remember having to force myself to get up.
I had promised myself that I would read poetry
In public.
As I sat there in shorts and T-shirt
And some guy was throwing shopping carts
At a metal garbage can,
I read my poems to an occasional car,
A passerby, here and there,
But never at a volume any of them could hear.
I fulfill my promises in private
I sleep alone
I stay up until early morning
And I live my life
In black and white.

The Slow Sauce of Wood

If the tree could only hear itself
The heart racing through the years
Each line as four complete seasons
As snow fell and rain danced
As creatures passed and the wind blew
How water moved through its veins
And the light at morning and
Night fall caused
A squeeze of fibers

Every circle tells a story
Like awkward rock
Erosion and fluctuations in time
Speak of what confrontations it greeted
How the slow sauce of wood grew year after year.