A MEMORY OF YOU


Here I stand in the light of an early Indian summer sun
Look through my eyes where it’s just peaking up over distant hills
While you and I stand searching for lions, tigers, sharks, and dragons
Of my imagination where we as children used to run
When you and I were just 8 years old and were addicted to having fun
Running barefoot with stubbed toes across lawns and dirt roads
When life itself was easy and at the end of the day
It always ended on pillows where our curly haired sleepy heads would lay
No one ever warned of changes or the future foretold
Where we met so long ago before fantasy windmills and rainswept windowsills
Blocked the view and destroyed the fun
When we didn’t own a car
But from where we stood we needn’t and didn’t go far
There was no need to feed the adventure
For it was just you and me
And we were completely free
With love enough in our hearts for any 8-year-old to share
When life passed around us without any care
Without any conjecture and life left no scar
Lions, tigers, sharks, and dragons did not mar
The landscape that we ourselves made
In our memories, as we were running unafraid
But now the game has changed
And I look now, searching through the mists of memory for you
Back in the years when all was said to be true
And wonder where the time went, and life was rearranged
Then life changed, and I stand alone now with just a memory of you

Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn, all rights reserved 10/26/18

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TRANSLUCENT


Translucent
It was five o’clock in the morning
And there’s rain upon the roof
It fell hard without any warning
When it swept down the road
Rushed up through the woods
Caught the grassy fields by surprise
The wind bent the bushes and the trees
Then all was strangely gone
And, for some reason, in the midst of it
I recalled ancient tales of Beowulf
I remembered his meeting with Grendel
A descendent of Abel’s killer, Cain
Then the death of the Hag
Who did her seductive best, but lost to his sword
Before a dragon felt the cold steel
Then the rains washed it all away
Nothing was left for me to ask to stay
Not at five in the morning
When the rain came and wet the roof
Falling hard without any warning
Sweeping down the road
Catching all by surprise
Bending the bushes, trees, and me
Then was strangely gone.

Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn 9.29.18

BACKWASH


BACKWASH
Walking backwards in my mind slowly thru time
I find myself stranded, just another body standing in line
A pathetic piece of flesh and bone
Left alive to review all the scrapings my handmade in stone
Until the carving knife broke from all the writing
And I found that my life was not so exciting
As I had envisioned it
But drinking made it seem to fit
The surrounding air and places I had the train boarded
Without thought of where the trip was going or how sorted
It would be
But I would soon see
The bridge left broken and bloody near that meadow in years past
Where death took a friend and then came the revenge that failed to last
In my heart, that day as the vomit filled my mouth with backwash
And life about me began to sway and I felt the sting of a lash

Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn: written 9.9.18 first draft

A Long Time Ago in the Great Faraway


It was a long time ago in the great faraway
When I came to the understanding that I could no longer stay
We looked the other way as I stepped out from her front door
Harsh words spoken, then silence, nothing left to say, so I guess we settled the score
The tale had been said, actions set, and there was nothing more
We turned away, not wanting our eyes to meet again on that terribly sad night
When anger made us say things that later didn’t seem so right
Emptiness then lay where once love for each other had been so tight
But we said our all — then silence fell — and we knew there was nothing more
So we looked the other way as I stepped out from her front door
The porch light turned dark behind me as I walked alone in the rain
To where my car sat, my anger melting — and then I began to feel the numbing pain
The key in the ignition, the engine hesitated, coughed, stumbled, and then sudden died
And I sat alone in the long faraway and in that sad silence, I softly cried. 9/1/18

NIGHTFALL, THE LOVERS’ DANCE TAKE TWO


NIGHTFALL, THE LOVERS’ DANCE 2
I recall the night when a hot summer rain came
And settled in with a breeze bringing coolness to the room
Where two lovers met and when they left never were the same
In an old cheap apartment in downtown Sarasota
Where they danced to a scratchy record
It was missing the label but played
On an old player, he’d found in the trash
While drinking from cans of stale beer
Rescued from a refrigerator that barely cooled
But without cares, they drank in a dim light
Coming from the only bulb left working in a corner table lamp
And somewhere in the world, a wall was being torn down
Somewhere a child was being born
Somewhere someone was dying all alone
As they danced
They could hear water dripping from pipes in the wall
Falling to the concrete foundation two floors below
Somehow the couple had found each other
Names were not needed that night and in a simple embrace
Shared the last cigarette in a crushed pack left tossed to the floor
While singing a song neither knew, but sang anyway.

© 2018 Poet in the Rain: Gordon Kuhn

THE VISITOR


The Visitor

She came in the still dark of night
Silent, gentle, and turned off the tabled light
Leaving the apartment in a soft and low-level glow
From the moon creeping in thru a blanketed cloud
Peering thru grime swathed window panes allowed
Casting shadows dancing on paint thirsty aged walls
That overtime had seen good and bad life calls
Soaking up the laughter, anger, and the tears
And she slipped in and out of her clothes there
Lit a cigarette and offered it up to share
It glowed and lit her face as she took a strong draw
Her beauty was in that room and was all that I saw
While the moonlight swaddled us all around
Outdoors the rain began to pound the ground
We sat locked in stillness and listened to the rain
Where in the naked quiet that surrounded us, we shared our pain
And, in truth, I never knew her name.

Yesterday’s Child


The following poem will be in Standoff. The book, Standoff is a group of poems and short stories

 

Yesterday’s Child

Yesterday’s child was born with a patchwork brain
Filled with paintings that would never be brought to view
For a painter, a drawer, he simply could not be
Overrun with songs that would never be sung
For they melted or collapsed before being born
Adrift with poetry that would struggle to be heard
But some broke through to live a day
Yesterday’s child was born to others to view
While about him his life slowly colored with stain
His sense of security and being loved flung
To the woods where sense lived in the leaves
That surrounded and filed the world with color

Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn

Rehearsing


Rehearsing

Another morning has come to greet the sun
Chasing the night away as coffee brews on the stove
A cup with spoon to swirl the cream in to blend the clouds away
As I sit and think of questions that I cannot even form
I wonder about the woman down the street who lives alone
In a home being foreclosed on even as the year has come full circle
Her son is college stuff and flunking out as he goes to class
Neighborhood children run barefoot laughing as they pass
At my comment of concern for nails and rocks and wiggly worms while
The Church of the Holy Hypodermic will ring its chimes
At dawn, lunch, and dinner time, a mile away as I listen and decide
That the ringing bells are as lonely in their song
As is the old man in the darkened corner house
Alone, staring at a wall, waiting in silence for his time to die. 2/18/2015

In the Dark


In the Dark     Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn, all rights reserved

Like a dog in heat he was single minded in his searching
While he roamed the empty spaces nearby ocean waves that crashed upon the shore
The sea fog coated the land and hid him from the safety nearby
Weakly hunting a place to lay his pain racked head
The cheap wine had gotten to his mind and left him stunned and all for dead
Lying in the dark on a rotted floor of an old shack he found by the ocean’s side
Before he fell into a cruel and empty sleep
Enlightenment curled up around him like a coating of smoke
From a fire burning deep within his soul
While others unseen around him in shadows kept hidden
They also slept the deep and troubled sleep, in open air, hiding from the sun
In a cave of despair they all slept where no one can see within memories thin veil.

12.25.17


Ragdoll Chronicles 12.25.17
Robert Langdon had just sat down with a fresh cold can of beer in his hands. He plopped his sock covered feet onto the scarred coffee table and snuggled a half-eaten bag of chips close beside him on his recliner. Using his remote he flipped through the channels until he found an old murder mystery movie. He was in for the day as far as he was concerned. But then the phone rang. “Robert,” his estranged wife’s voice jumped from the earpiece startling him. He brought the recliner fully up tossing the potato chips onto the floor and spilling his beer.
“What?” To say he was startled would be missing the mark. This was his day to rest and relax. Why was she calling him?
“Robert, did you forget that you had the day today to take Chase fishing?”
Robert quickly ran through the calendar and his mind. “No that’s next week.”
“I’m sorry,” a familiar sarcastic tone assaulted his ear. “No dear, your week, this week, this weekend, this hour, this very minute, you were supposed to be here to take Chase fishing.”
“What? Are you sure? I think you’re wrong. Besides that I just settled in with a beer bag of chips and a TV program and,” he glanced outside hearing a clap of thunder, “it’s raining dear heart.” This last was delivered with a sarcastic curl to it.
“You promised Chase to take him fishing, rain or shine. Now get your ass over here and take him out like you promised to do. God what sort of father are you.”
“I’m the kind of father that wants to sit and watch his program on TV and not go out in the fucking rain.”
He heard the deep sigh from the other end of the line. “It’s raining Denise. I can’t take the kid fishing if it’s raining.”
“His name is Chase, he is your son, and he is not just a kid.” The words came hard and biting. “Now are you going to get up and get over here and do your duty as a father?”
“Denise I didn’t want to be a father in the first damn place.”
“I realize that,” she sighed. “I wish I had known that before we got married. You’re not a father your sperm donor.”
He smiled. “What you seem to have liked my attention at the time.”
“Chalk it up to youthful stupidity on my part.”
“Yeah,” he smiled.
“Don’t start. He’s waiting for you.” He heard her call Chase.
“It’s raining Denise.” There was silence on the other and the phone. Then he heard her call their son again.
“Wait a sec, I’m not sure but I think I heard the door slam.”
He sat back in his chair prepared to kick the recliner back and took a sip of beer. A few moments passed and then Denise was back on the phone. “Your son just left the house. He has his fishing pole and a slicker on and he is heading down the street towards the river. Now get over here.”
Robert brought the recliner back forward, sighed, and hung up the phone. There was no getting around it, he knew that. Might as well face the music and get dressed then go get the kid. But he wasn’t going to take him out in the rain fishing. There was a bar down the street with arcade like games and a pool table in a side room. Most importantly there was a large screen TV. The Kid could play games in one room and he could watch a football game with his friends sucking down beer and eating bar peanuts in the other. Denise did not need to know. He would give Chase 10 bucks to keep his mouth shut. He’d done it before. He stood, yawned, scratched his groin and then began the search for his car keys while muttering to himself, “Damn ex-wives and dumb assed kids that don’t stay home in the rain.”