Sous-Chef

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Sous-chef

“I’ll be your sous-chef,” she said,
with a twinkle in her eye,
and she was as good as her word.

She brought me all the ingredients,
laid them out in the right order,
peeled potatoes and carrots,
sliced onions under cold water
to ensure that neither of us cried.

She added crushed garlic into hot
oil, measuring spices and slicing
the chicken into chunks.

I extracted the cork so the wine
could breathe. We sipped sherry
and talked of wind and weather,
of our time together, and how
we would grieve when, early next
day life would force us to part.

Later that night, after dessert
and liqueurs, we climbed up
the stairs and she joined me
in bed, in a sur-chef adventure

that went to my head, with me
as the sous-chef, her as the head.

Comment: Very rare, raw, naughty poem. I wrote it in the garage this morning, waiting for my tires to be rotated. It was cold, I was bored, and I needed warming up. This is one of those poems that I might regret later. I certainly hope not. The rhythms aren’t quite what I wanted, so I may re-do it, and possibly sharpen up the recipe. Your comments and advice will be welcome.

Love Poem @ 70

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Love Poem @ 70

1
We walk on tiptoe round the garden,
peeling free the sunlight cloud by cloud.

Sometimes, the heart is a sacrifice of feathers,
bound with blood to an ornate altar.

Petrus:
this rock cold against my chest.
Piedra:
centuries of stone carvings
come alive in your face.

If our arms were to meet
around these columns
of sun-warmed flesh and stone,
what would become of us?

2
Beneath my skin, the woad
flows as blue as this evening sky.
Your skin is bronzed
in the warmth of my gaze.

Yellow light bends
low in the fields below us,
each darkening pool
a warrior fallen
beneath time’s scythe.

The moon paints a delicate circle.
Its great round eye opens out
above the rooftops,
a cathedral window
opening on the sky.

Tonight it bears
the wisp of an eye lid
carved from  cloud.

Your teeth are diadems of whiteness
aglow in your face.

We tie shadows to our heels
and dance in triumph
to the village music
sounding in street and square.

3
Daylight bends itself round rock
and turns into shadow.
We flourish in blocks of flickering flames.

Dreaming new selves from roots and branches,
we clasp each creation with greedy fingers.

Dark angel bodies with butterfly wings,
our shadows have eloped together.
They sit side by side holding hands
at a table in the central square.

4
Church bells gild the barrio’s rooftops.
Our fingers reach to the skies and hold back light.
We draw shadow blinds to shut out the sun.
Night fills us with stars and a sudden sadness.

We dream ourselves together in a silent movie,
closed flesh woven from cobwebs
lies open to a tongue-slash of madness.

The neighbor’s dog wakes up on the azotea.
He barks bright colors as dawn declares day
and windows and balconies welcome the sun.

Can anyone see the dew-fresh flowers
growing from our tangled limbs?

Your fingers sew a padlock on my lips:
We listen to the crackle of the rising sun.

Easter Seals

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Easter Seals

So, I’ll put my cards on the table:
it’s Easter and the seals are dancing
in the garden, and they are ring-tailed,
like raccoons, and they’re dancing
because it’s Easter and they’re Easter
Seals after all and you can’t blame them
for dancing when their time is upon them
and they’re in season and everybody
dances when the time’s right, don’t they?,
because I know I do, and I’m dancing right
now, dancing with joy and happiness
because last night, for the first time in two
years since I started my cancer treatment,
I only peed once, at half past three,
and I went to bed at ten and dammit,
that’s five and a half hours of sleep,
for the first time in two years, and I
usually pee every ninety minutes
and that’s five or six times a night,
but last night, I peed just that once,
and I went back to bed and I slept
for another four and a half hours
until eight o’clock in the morning
and that was almost ten hours straight
for the first time in … well, you remember,
I don’t need to repeat it yet again …
but boy, do I ever feel good this morning,
and yes, I’m laying my cards on the table
and I’m dancing, just like those Easter Seals.

Comment: I finally finished my poetic journal, A Cancer Chronicle, and I put it up on Amazon last Friday. A Cancer Chronicle is sub-titled ‘one man’s journey’ and in it I write about my reactions to the treatment I received for prostate cancer. I met many people at the cancer hospice during my eight week stay, most of whom were a lot worse off than I was. I admired the courage of my fellow sufferers and learned so much about human beings and how they face adversity. I was particularly impressed with the bravery of the women who were suffering from breast cancer. They were so strong, so courageous. In spite of their troubles, my fellow patients reached out and helped me from the first day of my stay. They pulled me through the difficult days and shared their experiences with me. I will never forget them. If this book can comfort just one cancer sufferer, I will be so happy.

It’s just a guess, but I am assuming that finishing A Cancer Chronicle took a weight off my shoulders and allowed me the peace of mind to finally sleep. I do hope that this is a milestone and that my recovery will continue. Pax amorque / Peace and Love.

Yellow

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Yellow

Sunshine and daffodils
and my grand-daughter
paddling in the kitchen sink
as her mother washes
the breakfast dishes.

“Sit,” the child says and “stand,”
following the words with actions.

Yellow, she says, yellow,
as daffodils fill the screen
to shine in that far-off kitchen
a thousand clicks away by road
but instantaneous as the child
reaches out to hug the I-Pad.

Yellow, she repeats, yellow.

Soon she will see the daffodils
dancing their spring dance,
snow gone,
beside the lake,
beneath the trees,
yellow, yes, yellow,
tossing their heads
dancing
yellow in the yellow
breeze.

Comment: Another raw poem, straight from the journal, with only minor revisions. We Skyped yesterday and discovered that our grand-daughter had added another word to her vocabulary: yellow. She repeated it again and again, with great joy and energy, as she paddled in the kitchen sink.

Daffodils 3

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Daffodils

For ten long days the daffodils
endured, bringing to vase and breakfast-
table stored up sunshine and the silky
softness of their golden gift.

Their scent grew stronger as they
gathered strength from the sugar
we placed in their water, but now
they have withered and their day’s done.

Dry and shriveled they stand paper-
thin and brown, crisp to the touch.
They hang their heads:
oncoming death weighs them down.