From The Sidelines

I don’t know why
I can’t fly

I had the dreams of the super-hero
because I so much wanted to love everyone
and help, though you are a special case,

but when a fool has no power
or a Hollywood studio
with special effects
at their wreck and call,

there is only the drab
loveless existence in
the fantasy of being alive, and

how could I be alive
if you could never love me
as I am,

as I speak
as if I were deep

and I can not be
anything

while these
silly things

that don’t
let me be, that
don’t let me sing are
extant

because I have
never known how

to speak
what I know
about Love, and

I could be loved
if I could speak
what I know:
a tiny bit of wisdom
that only I feel must be
somehow relevant to the one
who waits for my message, but

I don’t want to be a pawn of the universe

I want to know her now
so that I can speak at last
the secret message

I don’t want to be a puzzle piece.

I want to reach the love that is mine
just because I am me, and

why can’t the Universe
let me love, even if

I’m not a super-hero.

Where Do Dragons Hunt In Bhutan?

Cold and loneliness
are in the room,
snow outside
with paw prints

All light bulbs unscrewed,
neither love nor
the electric bill
can not be seen
in television’s flicker light

The electric heater is off,
snowflakes lugubrious
paw prints gone

In television’s flicker light
she sees valleys
rice fields, swamp
jungle,
sees a tiger lunge
watches deer in dense leaves,
seizes a moment to
witness a Himalayan climb
peeks at peaks;
all these
she has seen
on TV

Now she wants
an automated
computerized
rice cooker

With a better job
beyond Thimpu,
perhaps she
can get this and more —
see a movie about dragons who
watch soap operas and speak Hindi

she
meditates upon
sad weekends
awaiting inspiration

Walking in the snow
she goes to work
to work on herself
inside

The snow is melting
and she is
warming
inside

Without a light bulb
or a rice cooker
she will return
when the snow falls
in Thimpu again
to dance
in the snow
with a lover

Could It Be You Love Me

I don’t know why you would
follow me out onto the tight rope.

You scare me
more than me
with questions of sacrifice

What will I do
if you fall

I have the balance bar. I will lead you back
after the catch of us, and I
will give you your own balance beam.

Next time catch me, or
on windy days we
can take the rope bridge.

The other side can wait for crossing.
Today there is a picnic.

But before we eat,
I have prayers
and questions

about Love
about Balance

But maybe not today.
The day is
too warm, and you
too precious for philosophy

eat please
and fall in Love

today there is
a picnic and a kiss.

Chalk

I was drawing with chalk on the sidewalk unappreciated
thought I saw you peeking behind the corner,
but a sudden rain washed all away,
too many falling sky erasers lately.

When the Sun comes out,
hide where I can find you
in secret sand-castle places
under my blanketed regrets,
surfing for your love
in seaweed long ago washed —
salty youth.

Give yourself away with a giggle, but
wear an adult smile
naked.

Draw me, and
dance where I can see you.

Never too many peek-a-boo days
for sunny buffing stuff,
birthday suited or not.

Cat Wine

She’s wondering
if there’s been
nearly enough verse in a year
to fill a potion glass with cat wine

If then, perhaps, half a tale more
will be enough this year
to lick happiness
catch the tickle feather
teach puppies to meow and fly,
pussies to howl at the moon,
or play with a ball invitation
where the poetess has
the Cinderella glass
half full enough
to dance with the
Prince without portfolio
who owns a pumpkin farm
where a couple of stars can
twinkle in rhythms like
a rhyme wine glistens

Reading Orange Leaves

I have the hunger and growl of the bear,
but I don’t look kindly at the winter.

She was reading in the park
with a glance to the autumn sky
as she turned a page, barely noticing anything

I watched a turned leaf fly that windy dappled day
and it hit her in the head. I said
are you OK because
even such a gentle thing as a leaf
startled her, and she said

I’m just reading in autumn, but then
many leaves landed like bookmarks, and in the pause
autumn made her look up at me as
I helped her clean her book:
leaves in the leaves, a little silly

It was glorious as if laughter were a future,
and as if for the winter
she would hibernate with the bear.

Dreams

Where has she gone?

I knew her in my dreams, and
she often made appointments
though I awoke before I
could get an address
and I wasn’t sure if
I was kind enough or
just lost in savage lust, but

you know how dreams are wonderful
and I am so perfect there and
so is she

Aren’t we great.
I like to think so, because
when I dream of her
it seems so much like paradise that
I imagine it could be true

Oh but
could no one wake me

Oh let me imagine a sunrise
even if I’m in a cave

Beyond a snore
I am certain I could sing if
I could awaken

Tea

Climbing away to a mist beyond foliage
where leaves leave peaks alone
naked at the top
no tea leaves to read

Wandering up
lost from you, climbing
away to a mist, I had hoped
something would
move me like you did a day
looking up, window listening
to true katydids play forelegs
at tops of oak trees, when I
seemed home, as if from the kitchen
you were coming to a boil with
true approval and encouragement tea.

Mountain climbing where
leaves leave peaks, I had hoped
to let spirits of you sanctify
meanders in the cold with gracious thoughts,
those hot dreams of you that infuse the stew
I carry in my backpack, mostly filled with
drudge stuff, but your precious memorandear
was tucked into the rear pocket made for
precious notes like gems amen, something
to hold for incantations against pebbles
in the shoes and grace for stumble stones
that haunt the winding up mountain path

Broken trees below the snow line
broken hearts above
misty mountain hawks
splintered memories clawing

Blue skies and fluff at the mountain top.
In a cloud I saw your face, a
tea cup and a dove, but

I heard myself scream and
saw the grief of my breath
form wispy puffs that fly away

But those sorrows are not of you,
though you do embrace every sparrow,
and when you’d not know
the name of the bird, you’d
christen it cute and lovely like you are

Winding down
there are birds in the sky
and no stumble stones, but
only the scent of tea up my nose
the feel of a memorandear in my pocket
There is sweetness to the air
your valley is near,
could be I’ll stumble
by your house to leave a note
or ring where I learned that
fresh tea is sweet when brewed
for an occasion where eyes meet

and blinks become flutters
a stuttered word divine, because
what would be affirmed in the steep
is the scent of wafting play where
seeping things flow out into
the rivers in two cups
fragrant with cinnamon
and swirly with a word
whispered in the mists
before silence goes to bed

I’ve seen it in a memo.

Ding dong.

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If You’re Going Off

Have you flown on
like a feather in a whisper?
Maybe you’ve gone off.

But you can’t go off without me
’cause don’t we always go off together

Don’t we go wild together
celebrate the unity laugh
fall onto a stunt mattress

If you’ve gone away,
if you’ve gone astray

tell me that you’ll be careful
remember we’re substantial
in silly ways with safety nets

Stunt woman,
if you’ve gone to seek a beach,
take the care road to the shells
and toe in the water to

listen for an ocean sound, but
if there’d be rain, let it be musical:
a pitter-clap and applause.

If be there sun
let it not burn though

if there be fog
let the fog horn be
triumphant like a fanfare, but

I’m not sure what do about the grasshoppers —
maybe chocolate.
(not sure if grasshoppers like chocolate)

For every whisper, a breeze;
for every breeze, a sail;
for every sail, a ship;
for every ship, a destination.

For a destination
me and a tickle,
and a last jump, because

I don’t want you to fall
into anyone but me
when I’m real soft and cushy

The Adventures of You

I told you not to go to the South Pole
because I don’t want you to freeze

But your freedom is dear to me
and you are so happy with adventure.

I want you to be
gleeful with a dog sled,
race with the wind.

I think the angels
will warm you, and
professor lover dear
I love your research
of life, of snow, and
of me.

I will tell your peers, that
they must publish your papers
in a Journal, just because

I say you are worthy
of truth, and
the data is glorious:

let them look, and
if they give you a prize

I will be ecstatic for you,
but as I gift you with me
I hope you’ll duck into
the cloak room at
the Noble Prize ceremony
and kiss me, because
I love your work
    Books by Douglas Gilbert
      on Amazon™

Amazon U.S. or https://www.amazon.com/Douglas-Gilbert/e/B00LQC6FOQ

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