Category Archives: Prose and Poems

Poems from my children, my friends, my colleagues, and my grandmother.

Verge of a Dream: Gray

Whatever color it is
A hovering gray
Of a sky, of a day
There is feeling of
a careful distance
From the several
window panes
To stay.
With the glass
misinforming
as an empty
sunroom will.
Whatever color it is.
A tear stain gray
in years so still the
drawn in cell walls
become by
discouraged dreams
of home.
Whatever color it is.
An age made gray
why ask
when it became
white… perhaps made
In the small agony
of surprises
each time
in the
image the
mirror provides.
Though not in lying,
It will not make
plain the next
time is not the
last time.
The finger snap
of one time
already passed.

RLB 04/28/2022

Verge of a Dream: glass shade

I saw you in the semi-darkness
stepping on the work bench
foot rest
one dark heel below the other
and the glass shade held
by the hand that created it.
Bound and belonging on
a foundaried base.
The art in reverse
On the glass, maybe cosmos
Dangling
Or thick dahlia….
The light was less so,
the Jerusalem lily unbrightened,
As though through
settled fogginess
silently asking it be
brought to me
brought to me
and no other.

RLB 04/27/2022

Nice poem — by Russell Lowell

Once to every man and nation,
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,
Offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever,
‘twixt that darkness and that light.
– James Russell Lowell

Verge of a Dream: Let questions go unanswered

With you, inside,
from the pachysandra,
a barrage of deep green
and cheering white, soothing
And electrifying
protecting ardor from thought.
On the cast bench,
all debts paid,
drawn back to the boxwoods
aside the
crushed stone path
A smokey whiskey
and black poplar parasol
matching the thick sky,
no contemplation only
an industrial puff in the air
left
From the end of work days
facing a bellowing fire
miles to the east.
Let questions go unanswered,
I wonder if there is anyone
with the confidence
To fill in what you think

RLB 03-22-2022

Verge of a Dream: To see

To see into the soul

Peak in twenty five

Million windows

Of a spiral dart

In dubai.

To see is supposed

To be to believe

And so peek at

Me figuring again

A way lift myself

into the cold

Night sky.

I don’t know much

Not even what

Not to know. Look

For love and lose

Even that, the tears

Speak way too little

When you cry.

Should David not

throw a stone

The scars that are

Left, the story

At the bar, the

Brother’s return

Letting go another

Sling to fly.

RLB 03/01/2022

Verge of a Dream: Vinca

The vinca, un-bloomed, ready for
Its’ planting, cupped in the hand.
Knees bent to the ground, the same
from which the roots will sift for
food. The white, as your skin
would be had not the sun saw fit
to freckle and darken it. There is
no reminding me of you in the red,
no rouge from the finger, so few
adornments you choose. The name
of the color, lilac, not violet, paired
with lace beneath the neck, will
be this summer’s dress.

RLB 02/09/2022

Verge of a Dream: abandoning the question

He places the gold
Banded watch from
His father on the dresser
Top.
People don’t have to
Be bad.
Her crescent
ear rings
Unclipped. The rest
Are in
The soft pink box, some
Gold trim left, though
Like Childhood,
now parts
have rubbed away.
People can be
Kind, with a smile and
An unambiguous okay.
Saturday on the main
Street, the felt fedora
The cashmere scarf,
They stroll before
Store windows,
With Christmas coming
next
The manikins are cold.
So was said, give
of yourself, it never
Will grow old.
But in the game
of freeze tag
some never heard
the word to go.
The kids will bring
Their kids tomorrow.
They ask to light
The dinner table’s
Candles and why
The bed’s so high.
Abandoning the
Question before
Can come an answer.

Verge of a Dream: It may be

It may be because of
Simple boredom you
don’t want it
Mentioned or that
Love is like the
Weather with nothing
To be done
About it.
It may be that
Question marks
Belong to you,
Like pain that gets
Respect.
It may be
You know what’s
Been seen before
and are ready to
Toss it aside. Except
For how we hurt
Ourselves, so
Much else
is uselessly
Transparent.
Give the handsome
Gentleman a prize
And send him on
His way.
I don’t know why it seems
Necessary to make
You into words.
But a mirror cannot
show what is real
which for you is
something
That falls between
Indifference and disregard.
Amidst your thoughts
Buried like water
A hundred feet below
The surface.
There are glimpses in
Which with forbearance you’re
Now a generation like others gone
Before where
Less was given than
should’ve been gotten.

RLB 11-15-2021
notes:
Been thinking about how when someone has a bad experience, for example a loss and someone attempts to show empathy….the aggrieved says something like “no you don’t get what its like to have this happen”….”you don’t know you just pretend to understand”. “you’ll never know how it feels to lose….” etc. That conversation is in so many TV dramas, police shows (I watch British ones) or the latest was Baptiste on PBS where Baptiste is told off this way even though he had lost his daughter to a drug overdose…the other person had lost his sister….My current thinking is that saying to someone you “can’t understand” is BS..people understand in their own way and don’t have to experience in the way the grieving person experiences something. I think putting another other person down for not being as injured as I am is useless and vain anger. I was trying to wrestle with this idea in this thing I wrote….in which I am saying…a loss another feels can be understood and/or imagined. What might not be understood by someone else is how we torment ourselves, how we hurt ourselves and obviously why we do it.

Verge of a Dream: Heritage of Years and tears

Doubt I’m the one to ask
For what to say to your kid.
Waiting to be a kid no more.
A hard spot, for both of us.
Far from advice, not only wrong,
but ignored before forgotten.
They’ll find their own truths
The heritage of
Years and tears.
Only friends only friends
Only they
Don’t mind what’s said.
With flesh and bone
worth
So damned much more
Than gold.
To get by, you’ve got
To try
things you’re told.
And hear
how many times that
The ice you’re walking on
Is this damned thin.
Should you decide sometime
To give in and look
back, maybe what I say
Will be mostly true. There is
more luck needed than
Ever ever you get.

RLB 9-29-2021

Verge of a Dream: One candle

It kept burning.
One candle that
Held the wish.
Maybe to keep
The others from
The dark.
A shrug unapparent
To most,
for the gift
with your name
on it.
Maybe to build
Humility.
A heart may
Hold me along
With another.
One Anxious child
Amongst the smiling waves
On the gangplank
Shudders, color of
The white life saver.
Maybe it hangs like
Decoration not
To bob in the cold
Ocean.

RLB 07/17/2021