Table of |
EVALUATING HOW I’VE HANDLED
THE IMPORTANT MATTERS SO FAR
I’ve gotten 207 right, 77 wrong.
Where this stands on the scale
of good and bad I don’t know,
but I’d be content with it being
average, no more intrusive than
a man who carries his briefcase
to work and back home every week.
A friend who died young once said
“I have so many things I want to do
and I’m pretty sure I won’t have
the time.” He didn’t, but he did more
right and good on the importance meter
than I ever will in this life so far.
It’s a sweet consolation and I’m grateful
and today I’ll leave the briefcase behind,
a gift to myself and 208 waiting for me
by the front door, humble but beaming.
The porpoises are jumping in the waters
just off the beach, leaping with relish
their unrepentant show-off moves.
A man walks down the old street, eating
his lunch of fish balls on a stick—
a little boy trails behind on a battered
tricycle, a dog walking along side
fascinated by the entire contraption
and the boy’s mother giving him plenty
of room to drive as he sees fit.
Above a local campaign poster of one
councilwoman Wong someone has written
on the wall in Chinese ‘The world can still
astound’—I write the same just above it
in English, showing off like the porpoises,
my strokes charged like dorsal glitter.
THE CONGA LINE
My friend of years ago
played the conga drums
and had everyone dancing
together smartly from one end
of the street to the other,
the pathways garnished
with tall palm trees, leaves
vivid green, swaying
with the people on even
the hottest of days—houses
multicolored and rhythmed
to every slash and shake
the body makes in abandon.
Marlins leapt from the sea,
sharks skimmed the surface
to better hear the commotion,
parrots congregated on the piers
and my friend pounded away
until the early light of night,
strutting home to the arrival
of the grateful, macho moon.
MR. OPTIMISM WINTER
If you must be lonely
do it by yourself.
There is a joke in there
but I'll have to be diligent,
work hard to get the laugh
to outweigh the hurt.
The night is as dark as sisters
and I can't fly. A whole
universe and one miner's light.
I'm not waiting forever,
and I still think anything is possible.