Night Skyjpg

after the film


during the last full summer


we leave the sad theatre

there are charcoal clouds

there is a marble moon

there are stems of lightning

                in the north skies

there are xeroxed clouds

devouring the wind

there is an eerie saucer

of surrounding stars

there then is the moon

falling in a surf of pewter


during the full last summer



jean in the pines lives in a house

with whale windows that birds wish

they could fly thru .. she lives on teas

on effervescent air & so she seems

as a pine as tall & swaying in treble winds

though i did say she was a pine & oh a mature pine

                even among the arrogant hills ..



coleen told these scandinavian stories once ..

                once in iceland she fell into the butter lights

                coming in waves from the afternoon sky

                beyond her new friend’ house, paul’ house,

                where she first became forced to carry

                that diary light in her for all of a summer


the subsequent autumn coleen said of norway

                when she was not making movies in her mind

                of ice bays, islands, & fjords then she would visit

                homes isolated outside of oslo or bergen

                and she would skip the homes to look inside

                the greenhouses that everyone had & where

                everyone was growing flowers instead of vegetables


there were certain black charms in the winter night

                in stockholm’ endless nights that coleen would often infer to


coleen’ spring story denmark .. once a week

                upon leaving copenhagen by bus & when

                in the outlands, she would speak the tao

                with all the emerald plants & country mammals







                coleen collected cool climates

2 or 3 things


in the ceiling of our sky

                there is snow & stars

                when i meet suzanne

                at the café

                and she is chestnut

                of hair of eyes

and when she speaks

she conducts the conversation

as a maestro

                in silhouette against ivory walls

                she flows andante to scherzo

                another day

                suzanne speaks

                and within her voice

                is a viola



friend adrienne, corporate maven,

just in from los angeles for a few days

for a short week to visit to visit

her double family with her grecian man


i saw her, i talked her

in a magazine place

she statued in demin

and she diamonded a voice


then later, during those few days,

she collected & memorized the air

she photographed the sounds

she stole the beats & buried them

in chambers behind her left lung


then later, flew back to los angeles

leaving a trail of fluorescent tears



now gone jobim, antonio carlos,

o bossa nova, the new beat,

and he wrote the narcotic love songs

because he knew one must sing

of all the bitter splendor that one feels



the aunt is the killer

                in farm summer farm winter

                hog, cow, vegetablen or chicken

                know the joy of her killings


the uncle is a stony man

                who is seldom to speaking

                though when he or if he speaks

                jade not word falls from his mouth


the grandmother in 1955 wanders

                to the back of the bus with others

                of color .. all whom play the game

                that soon some day will be tested


the father left in 1959

                but one day he will descent

                and then thru his right hands

                he will reveal some many mysteries


the mother was born in memphis

                in beale street in the mississippi

                amid black birds, broken shadows,

                and reluctant mid-heaven melodies




saint louis shouldered against those mud rivers,

                the missouri the mississippi, is not unlike a sandburg chicago

                with its grit bustle of planes, trains, buses, barges, & cars

                but also more of a gateway, an arch of entry for millions

                of corporeal beginners


district of columbia, the district, is subways, parkways,

                the beltway, lafayette’ grids, & jeffersonian elegance,

                art & cuisine & music & m street & negro hip & white cool (cool)


santa fe is a round town that is not tall

                and it has buildings & people in tones of brown

                .. a calm capital located in an east west corridor

                of the sun’ orange thoughts



baby, baby brother

how i do not envy you

growing up in a house of women

sister, mother, grandmother, aunt

with an ark of female furies

so i apologize & i know you got singed

more than once twice but you furied back

because everyone must find their peace


now, now you drive an ambulance

for a company of war ..

you wear the green suit

and salute the other suits

but mostly you are the first face

for those ones in health furies ..

an escort rushing them toward

the wards of peace



once i saw those routes in kansas

i knew where they would all end,

in a dimness called the past ..

yes, we know that the young winds

of kansas reside only to shake

the mnemonic body + how the mantra

of the landscape easy suggests

the value of review ..

and my sister lives in kansas –

leavenworth, some town of prisons ..

she so is also a jailer, a warden,

of a vagueness called the past



yes, i do live in a beautiful one room estate

though every day the stampede of clouds arrives

and then yesterday the cat gifted me something dead

something precious, yet on tomorrow i will wake

to the cries of blushing roses


CHECK THIS OUT >>> an audio reading of this poem:
let associations rise like a flock of birds –
minor white, 1978
men was published and brother was published:
xy files: poems on the male experience ▪ sherman asher publications ▪ 2001
ode was published:
the practice of peace ▪ sherman asher publication ▪ 1999
thanks to:
nancy fay
jean m johnson
elizabeth mccann
barbara rishell
adrienne rommel
sherri silverman
janet waltz
mary young
magdalena yuill
this collection was written from october 1996 thru february 1999
©2002  AuthorHouse Publishers