The Pumpkin Tide
I saw thousands of pumpkins last night
come floating in on the tide,
bumping up against the rocks and
rolling up on the beaches;
it must be Halloween in the sea.
After that night
a snow storm came and
Knocked the power out for a whole day and night.
I couldn’t leave the house.
It was lonely.
Mom and I had to heat up snow
so that we could flush the toilets
and boil water.
Two nights before then
I tried my hardest to get drunk
so that I could read my poems
in front of everyone.
I almost wish I hadn’t
because maybe then I would remember more of it.
Glass after glass
of my mom’s Lake Niagara wine I drank.
When I walked through the back door
of the coffee shop
I suddenly became aware
of how drunk I was.
Everyone was packed into one room
and all of their eyes
smelled the wine on me.
Last night Nancy read my cards to me.
I shuffled and noticed
the dozens of hats on the walls,
paintings of women unbuttoning
and an old snap shot
of the wise-eyed grandfather;
seeker of the soul
in a blade of grass,
The blue, cracked linoleum
under the kitchen light
possessed the loneliness
of deep oceans,
She flipped the cards over one by one
and now the words she said
will remain there forever;
in the dust,
in the eyes,
in the broken linoleum.
“It’s going to be a struggle.
All the saints are upside down
You can’t love everyone.
The path is there you just need to get the hell on it.
You must make it real.
Breathe for your own sake”.
Hold me up to your ear
and listen for old ghosts who sing a murmured song.
Their comradeship will slip like glass marbles on linoleum
(the blue shooter; the owl’s eye of my heart)
through the spherical pink echo
of my hollow conch shell mind;
Once quick and housed secure,
Now quiet and longing for the sea.
Every chorus will scatter out of the ivory flesh,
and linger throughout empty mansions.
The windows closed and sealed will hum with its resonance.
Car doors slamming,
phones all the time ringing,
and never being answered.
Who of you will respond
in this barren shadow oven of a house
filled with death beds and pianos?
Throw my dusk shelled mind over board this ship,
with its mast of no color,
for another chance to house something keen
Amid the oceans of emerald prisms,
the ship will plod on
while the waves lap like dog tongues
licking away the salt logged frames
that buckle beneath the weight of a sea-sick crew.