Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maine's Dirge

I wonder if these towns have secrets. Deep underneath
the town halls, or inside the broken down houses.

I wonder if these woods have seen ghosts. We all have ghosts,
every one of us, and they are drunk, and boisterous, and lonely –

and I wonder if these lakes, the lakes visited by the black head loons, are feral.
Has the freshwater lived without the blood of us all?
Have the loons learned the quivering night-call, cutting through the silent ponds? At night, the bullfrogs bloated break,
croak –

I wonder if these crushed cans thrown on the pavement have
hidden secrets – is there an ancient fire lurking
deep below the tall wheat grass?

We are the living ghosts, haunted in our daylight –
we call this state home, through the piled snow and the brutal, cold,
open February. We warm ourselves, naked, next to wood-fires
and light our candles in the barn.

Deep inside of Maine’s midnight, we find a cold, dark place. We
are all feral children, born on cold earth,  with ears pressed to soil, braying at the moons through
whiskey bottles, and coffee brandy champagne--

and we see the ghosts rushing past in the dead moonlight of the great Maine North

Saturday, October 11, 2014

God Bless Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Step between the clumps of weed
and tangled traps of trash. Footprints
in the shallow face of the damp sand
fill with pooled water.

Look out, past the wide horizon,
the stretched, vast blue;
point to the pinpoint,  where the hazed
hot sky meets the bumping, cresting waves;

walk, in between the hordes
of Canadian  tourists speaking in clouds
of broken French

feel the dry sand hot
as it collapses around your ankle

“We’re walking to the palm reader —
                  Yes,       In between the arcade and the train tracks.
Come with us.
This beach never changes. The brine
still clasps on the wooden legs of the Pier,
as it always has. The gulls still
swarm down on scraps of fries. Empty bottles
of coffee brandy still litter the darkness 
of the Pier's underbelly.

Long ago, I thought I could see England
from this beach. Long ago,
I thought I could swim to England from
this beach.

Long ago, when I was a child,  I was a tourist
walking these sands. I had a friend who lived here. We would
eat pizza and bodysurf in the shallows…
My friend left this world.
He didn’t swim to England, or swim across the sea.

He floats above my everything, as high as the open hazed blue ocean sky.”