poems in response to Lou Harrison’s Varied Trio

Gending

time is a wetted brush
balanced perfectly on the edge of a bowl
ready to be lifted
to glide across surfaces
with varying heft and lightness
ease and hesitation

time is the heavy hour
until the moon turns her face

time is the grinding
of bones dried
in earthen jars
the words written
on them being
slowly loosed

time is a damp fungus
deep in the earth
unsure of which way to grow

Bow Bells

time is a violence
which when struck,
emits vibrant beauty

time is a mechanism
to make you feel
virtuous or guilty
depending on
arrival

time is a carver
shaving the world into angles
right and obtuse,
increments to fill
with meaning

time is a groove
in a record
the needle endlessly
helplessly spinning
getting sharper

Elegy

time is the wringing of hands
as we get accustomed
to the inconceivable,
death as part of life

time is the mind
threatening to split
into dark rooms
and stillborn blooms

time is a staggering weight
to carry alone
like bones dried
in earthen jars

time is routine
habits, errands, joys
and
every so often
an ache

Rondeau in Honor of Fragonard

time is fragrance
lingering too long in places,
vanishing in others

time is not time present
but always time past
a window we gaze into,
misremembering

time is innocence
equally unknowing
of past and future

Dance

time is this moment
the sun is blazing
the wind is roiling
the band is playing

time is hard to hold onto
try catching every moment
time is holding onto
each of us,
try leaving its grasp
time will keep holding

time is all we have
this moment our forever
take a bow
buy a t-shirt

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