mr. parker

my art teacher

the man listened

looked at what I did

sure there were other kids there

making better representations

in life sketches & paint

while I flung down

trying to force fat fingers

shape stuff from my head

& this cat got it

understood the frustration

of getting it down

the ideas vision

even if the flesh was weak

he was willing to follow

& that was good for a while

but like all jealous lost adults

children have to have hierarchy

& they thought themselves

better than me

surrounded the artist

to let no one else in

looking over their shoulders

thinking only they

could love the man

needed the attention he had

the sickness

when the sickness takes hold

bites to the bone

there was nothing I would not do

to keep you close

nights wondering where you were

but knowing deep down

& it don’t help to know

right now I was the clown

I’d sworn never to be

seeing others torn into two

wanting to keep on this half life

half love forever chained

to somebody who doesn’t love you

in the way they swore to be

& it don’t help to know

you know how this will end

being foolish is little different

from being the fool

who doesn’t know what is coming

tomorrow the next bend

this sickness will drive you to

no warmth

Larkin

had it just about right

my mother would flit in

out of my life

appear & disappear

leaving me standing

watching her back

vanish into the crowd

tell me she loved me

then be gone

my only evidence of her

for many years

were the holes

made by her high heels

into a fresh asphalt path

I’d see these every day

on my way to school

wondering if & when

I might see her again

leaving nothing

no warmth

nothing at all

but emptiness

possibilities everything laying open

walking down your stairs

after a night sleeping together

driving into the city

dropping you at your work

me going to mine

when all that meant something

we were building a dream

picking you up

taking you home

looking out the windows

to the possibilities

everything laying open

& all we had to do

was to keep picking up treasures

young lovers in love & lust

that’s how life seemed then

Chance encounters

if you listen to them

which you should never do

they will tell you

men are hard work

difficult & dangerous

& yet

we were leaning over a pole fence

staring down at Bilbao

bright lights of the city below

& after a short hello

in French Spanish German & English

he talks to you of his life

his visits here & there

the life operation to come

he cannot tell his family for fears of

& all I can do

is wish him the best

to all of that

& his travelling beyond

thinking how easy this can be

to be truly met

if we are only strangers

travelling

there was something

there was something

about auras

how we could mix them

make us a stronger team

there was something

about dreams

how we’d always been together

mother son sister lover brother

everything past

& to come had been

there was something

about wishing

making the future turn out

the way it need be

not for greed for love

& it seemed

there was always something

about Do

rather than Be

letting life create itself

taking a breath

accepting the river

the streams