The Flute

“The flute of interior time is played whether we hear it or not”

–Kabir

Two More Poems About Work

Work Literary Magazine has published two more of my poems about labor:
Hanford 1944
Logger

Begonia

I went out to water the hanging begonia next to the driveway
I held the hose up for a second and a sparrow darted
away to the maple tree, scolding me. Under the leaves, in a careful
nest of sticks buried in the dirt, I found two eggs the length of one joint
on my little finger, each the color of sky and muddy clay

I stopped watering and checked on them every few days
One morning a brown lump stirred, looked up and snapped open its mouth
like a tiny coin purse. Two days later, two listless lumps with bristle feathers
sticking out. Maybe Mom told them sleep was the best to way to wait for her

The begonia seemed to be take this in stride
Its waxy-ribbed dark green leaves
and coral colored flowers drooped a bit
but they still provided cover for the chicks

Now I’ve become a novitiate of What Comes Next
I hope to be ordained someday but I am actually okay
with staying in the rectory making a sandwich and drinking
iced coffee while the neighbors run their leaf blowers
and Mama bird hunts for bugs in the evening light on Juarez Street

This morning I looked and the nest is empty. I stuck my finger
into the soft pocket and was rewarded with a smear of nutty
smelling baby swallow poop. The Buddhist app on my phone
reminds me with wonderful quotes to follow the Tibetan tradition
of contemplating mortality five times a day. Here is this
morning’s quote:

The graves are full of ruined bones, of speechless death rattles
— Pablo Neruda

The Ice Dragon

Cold breeze from the sea, the ice-dragon’s licking the back of my neck while the sun glares.

The moving van is burning with cool flames.

–Tomas Transtromer

Three Poems About Work

Work literary magazine has published three of my poems about work.
 Tower Worker – West of Mt. Hood
 Sex Worker in Shinjuku
 Road Work

Grand Canal, Venice, Thomas Moran, 1899

Venice is burning!
    Come closer to me
Venice is writhing in light
    boats, flags, the dukes palace
    all under watery sun spray
    spectral and cloud real

Chopping Block Shoals, Kuniyoshi, 1850

sails tearing, stern lights going out
 waves like vermin
overflowing rails and decks
  Yoshibei leaps into the sea