Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hand Span

It's not good for a man
to be alone,
except at the piano.
If your right hand offend thee
add a bass note.

Strolling blues,
the envy of angels,
hand span halleluiahs
crimp demons, double octaves
chase the devil from chorus
to coda.

Exchange the time clock
for a metronome
and you're home on seven

Bars and spaces
frame the soul,
long dead Europeans
and ghetto saints
lay out the truth
on black and white
keys to the kingdom. 

If Mama made you play
thank her today,
if she didn't,
she will.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nickels and Dimes

Certain strengths from bone
to age depart.
The grip is tenuous,
shifting the cup
from His Hands,
"Take and drink..."
Swallow pride to commune,
no pinkie promise,
this is cross your heart
and guard the changed contents,
water to wine,
beauty for ashes,
house boy to husband,
tattooed roses for thorns.

Our betraying kiss is
wiped Maybelline clean,
the rooster stilled at dawn.
Grace is the refill,
a warmer, fresh brewed,
the breakfast croissant
broken for you
and for many,
baskets of biscuits and crumbs
gathered here together, worth more
than many sparrows
and sums.

Abandoned headlines and folded news
obscure an anonymous  
spread of coins 
on coffee stained formica.
Just enough change
to call home,