Far East Meets Westside

I found myself on the westside of town the other day, and with a few minutes to spare before a meeting, I took a trip up the hill to check out the view from Mt. Echo. If you have not been there, go now. Or go when there is sun, at least. I was smitten. The next morning, while working out at the West End Y, I suddenly quit my cardio machine, grabbed my coat and scurried off to catch the sunrise from Mt. Echo once more. It was still dark when I arrived, so I had to guess which hill the sun might rise over. While seated, I began to meditate on our daughter Shannon, being half way around the world. How her day was already over, before mine had truly begun.

Far East meets Westside
For Shannon

The solar god will not be moved
‘til after half past seven.
But I wrap my body,
whisk past my pooch
with a secret he won’t share.

I’m going to watch the sun
wake up the dawn
from the Westside.

Yesterday, I took an impromptu turn,
down river from the city core,
and found myself hovering high
over currents, watching
whatever good things and waste
were coursing through murky veins.

Today, I return to the scene
of my crime of passion –
a thirsts for sunrises
to sip and swig,
a cocktail of light, an added swirl,
a tinkling of winter, not stirred.


I linger,
the waterways as frosted
as flakes in my cereal.
A tug boat creeps through ice,
like a caterpillar waiting
to float downstream on a leaf,
instead having to push
through muddy slush.

Suddenly, noting the S-bend,
I think “Shannon.”
I think of you.

I am a half day late
in wishing– namaskaram –
your East taking so long to get to me.
Your light, the eastern one,
taking so long to saturate me.

I wait for the rays
that traced your face,
gently nudging at 6 a.m.
rolling you over
in a bed still strange,
to also cuddle mine.


I perch, envious of this vista
possessed by the Westside.

I turn away only once,
to study sturdy columns
in the pavilion behind,
then spot in the distance
a man and his dog, a second
mongrel at the rear.

My sunrise rendezvous with you
will be now interrupted
by dog slobber and needless talk.
I rotate back to the river,
always to the water I face
for sagaciousness found nowhere else,
and catch a glint of color
as if a miner has struck pink gold.

Unnamed hills shake with delight.
The echoes of your life
across time zones and miles.

I stretch out my mittened hands,
take in your offered radiance
send it back to you.


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God Was a No Show

Changing up my usual blog post for a poem:

No Show

God didn’t show
for work this morning.

I figured She knew I was coming,
as I rushed through a shower, blow dry
and feeding the dog

As I pulled on boots, gloves, scarves
to brace against cold I knew would melt my heart
if only I could get there

And then, the bells rang,
I closed in at number six
stepped through at seven
was seated by number eight

And I waited. Me and Benny
the homeless guy with his forehead
resting on the back of the walnut pew.
Yeah. It was gonna be that kind of day

And yet, no God

I tossed off my hat, unzipped my coat
ashamed of its smears of city dirt
But God forgives, if She shows

So I waited and stared
waited for the sun to rise through the stain
of glass, stained by sin, no doubt

The donkey outside brayed
The semi-truck dumped
buses rolled
an angry man on the corner yelled

I just kept hoping if I sat long enough
God would show up.
I tried to will Her here
I tried to make the pews levitate
because I noticed they had leaves
carved in their sides,
leaves that looked like wings,
and thought the benches could fly

And when I couldn’t makes the benches fly
I stopped waiting for God.
Truth be told, I had to let Her go too
on top of everything else.

And once I released Her from duty
a sort of teary calm came over me
and Benny lifted his head
maybe he felt a draft
or God walking out ahead of me.

12/30/14 1:21 PM