historical statue with red background

Three Poems: Classical Conumdrums

Classical Conundrums

When you live with the sword of Damocles
Hovering over your life
And whether you are on your feet
Or on your knees you are 
Still subject to the knife,
And all that you ever dream about
Is tinged with a sense of fear
And you keep your enemies as Far
As you keep your counsel near
Everything means so much:
Every moment, every tear
Every sigh.
The sword may keep you running
But also gifts you fear and
Fixes the danger in your eye. 

When you live with the Gorgon's Knot
Snarling every move
It ties you up in rope fashioned
Into twists and loops
And you remind yourself what
Has been done, can be undone
Just the same
But no matter how you try
The catch always seems
To keep you playing 
The same old game,
It is not easy to remember
That sometimes it is good 
To be caught in an eternal hammock
That keeps you where it should.
And what fixes you
Into position is 
Sometimes a kindness
That has been wrought. 
Some knots are not 
Meant to be sliced, 
Despite what you were taught. 

When all your Sisyphean efforts
Keep you rolling them bones
And every sun needs a nest
Just as every dog needs a bone
And the Gorgon's mirror keeps 
On shining back at you each
And every flaw and insecurity
No matter what you do.
And by the hopeful heroes
Sitting are Furies 
Snapping at their knees,
And you can count your last 
Chances given as one, 
Two and final three,
And when all the dryads are longing
By narcissistic pools
And each and every King and Queen
Never listens to the blessed fool,
I stare into my scrying bowl
And peek at what's in store
For a one-eyed Cassandra 
Crying there is a swordsman
Knocking at her door. 

I Do Not Tell
I do not tell the seas to stop
Nor the bombs to fall
I do not tell which way the 
Winds are meant to blow
Or how the ivy keeps on
Creeping up and over
The neighbor's garden wall. 
I do not tell the secrets
That I keep inside my throat
I do not let my heart beat 
Fast and tell stories of the
Monsters and the ghosts
That live with me inside
The tall walls of my house
Told to tip toe around
As quiet and soft as the 
Neighborhood scuttling

The game of poker that 
I play with outward society
Is not for the faint of heart
Nor the wobbling of the knee
It is called 'Undocumented'
And its stakes are very high.
Every stranger has to be examined
For red hats and a certain
Mean look gathering in 
Their eyes. 

I do not tell the sleeping
Child how scared I am 
To breathe in case some 
Icy presence decides to
Focus in on me. 
I do not tell
I will not tell
I just continue 
To exist
And when I feel the
Danger rise
I disappear like
The mist.

There Is A Certain Light

There is a certain light 
That shines down on 
The new day
It is infused with blue
And yellow and feels like
The sun coming up 
To pray. 

There’s a kind of darkness 
That I welcome 
In the night
Only found when the world 
Is sleeping not 
Looking for another 
Long and lonely 

There is room I sit in
With the shades closed
To the heat 
Of the California sun.
It gives the illusion 
Of safety when
The reality 
Is that 
I have

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