Mistress of The Dance

Sometimes it seems that death is losing patience.
Sometimes, her indifference gives me chills;
not unlike a girlfriend wanting her own space,
still the knowing without dying makes me ill.

I know she’s been here since I found my first breath,
but like a sibling that is easily ignored,
her presence in the background is never quite forgotten
until her dance steps finally take me off the floor.

For some her presence offers up a simple peace,
for others she’s a terror beyond words.
For me my fear’s about the work I’ve left undone
but to think this current vessel could’s absurd.

To think that keeping death at bay is arrogance
I recognize as foolish, even humorous.
I’ve witnessed many fantasies of stalling death
from late night campfires to movies; it’s in all of us.

As my partner in this dance of life I recogninize
now, how fragile is the very choreography
that slows or trys at least, to minamize
the moment when my partner’s finally done with me.

Her presence has been always, but my noticing
is more frequent since I walk these hopeless halls
and see the litter of the disrepaired and broken down
left still staring at these yellowed ivory walls.

I’m a transient member of this frail community,
committed to escaping with my soul intact.
But the moments when my partner hovers over me
make the days seem like I’m starting to lose track.

I’ve started naming holes and cracks worn in the floor,
observed on walks I labor through five days a week.
Hanging from my walker I greet every one.
She laughs because I can’t get them to speak.

A tracheotomy has helped to make my roommate mute,
when we visit, he writes I talk, we get along,
and I notice my dance partners’ fairweatherness
since the whore of death will dance to every song.

embi 2/12/14 & 3/21/14

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Early Morning Drive To Work

A nailclip of a crescent moon,
a pulltab in the sky,
if we try to pull it open
will it blind our inner eye?

The cold silver of the crescent
impaled on icy blue,
beyond our reach except in dreams,
like the ones I have of you.

Embi 6 /27/10

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Taking Out the Garbage

What is today, after
getting through last night?
Are there more surprises,
will we have another fight?
Sometimes the circumstances
require the help of others.
So when hope begets a hero
and gratitude gets smothered
in the anger of the moment
and overwhelm becomes rage,
we see it all around us;
self righteousness at center stage.
Where is love when we need it?
Cuz fury has an appitite and
it doesen’t help to feed it.

Broken down not working well,
not me the ranches’ truck.
When it sometimes doesn’t work at all,
my wife sez that it sucks.
It’s good to have the focus there
rather than at me
but at midnight forced to wake her up,
she’d like to murder me.

Just taking out the garbage
shouldn’t be a big production.
Making sure that it gets done
means constant mass reduction.
If everything is working well,
there’s not a second thought.
But if something breaks and goes to hell
the curses go for nought.
Does doing well in her eyes
mean I stop and apologize?
I do so gladly for both our sakes,
cuz these things happen and
all of us can make mistakes.

Embi 5/19/10

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Elderberries

Too soon we are elders.
When did that occur?
I see a picture of my sister
holding my grandaughter.
One glowing, one fading,
both captured in time.

In the gym, in the mirror,
sometimes I see myself
and am startled, again.
In my minds’ eye there
is no wheelchair, no
treachia hose to the ventilator.

My bicycle to nowhere
is peddling me to Carmel
by the sea, by a dream.
My double tiered walker
is my motorcycle down
the hallways to the hiways.

Most visitors are polite,
positive, supportive and
encouraging. Some are
more candid, perhaps
more realistic. None are
seeking enlightenment.

But isn’t that what elders
are for? Wisdom in a
wheelchair? I suppose
anything is possible. How
to be of use, to contribute,
from here, with what’s left?

Embi 2/27/14

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LIGHTN’ UP

When you run into trouble
and you’re down on your knees
and the devil is laughin’
doin’ what he please
*Light’n up, we know, yes we know
Right on up let the light show
Light’n up

If your money’s makin’
a hole in your mind
and your banker sez money’s
too hard to find
*Lightn’ up………

If your woman’s lookin’ at
some other man
let her know that you love her
as best as you can
*Lightn’ up……..

We all have our worries
some even the same
when we don’t help each other
we get the devil to blame
*so Lighten’ up…..

Reach out to your neighbor
take time, do your part
when we all work together
we show the garden in our hearts
*and Lightn’ up …

embi 5/14/10

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Junes’ Song

It’s the simple things we know and love
that can never be put down
like your laughter on the wind,
So good to know you’re still around.

I’m so grateful for my time with you,
you’ve given me a home.
Now my best friend always rides with me
Even when I walk alone.

CHORUS
Time and sand I understand
can never stay the same.
Don’t waste the wind,
the rain the clouds,
The weather’s not to blame.
Time, take the time.
Time, embrace the time,
Time…..

I’d sit for hours in the sand
I’d hear the shadows not the sun
while hope was just a ride gone past
without dreams of anyone.

Now I take the time to paint the waves
with movement towards the shore
and hold your hopes as if they’re mine
I don’t know how to love you more.

CHORUS
I never dreamed you’d be the gift
we’ve all been waiting for,
with our together held in place,
teach me how to love you more.

I’ve given you my time to come
With a promise from the past
It’s our word that holds our time in trust
And shares the dream we’ll build to last

See CHORUS below

CHORUS
Time and sand I understand
can never stay the same.
Forget the sun,
the moon, the tide,
the weather’s not to blame.
Time, take the time.
Time, embrace the time,
Time…..

Embi 4/2/10

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Baby Hands

I now have the hands of a baby;
slight grip, unsure and wanting ,
reaching to hold, hoping to grasp
while exploring the new limitations.

The left hand has to hold the right
hand just to reach the spoon left in
the coffee cup, to stir the French
Roast fine grind into suspension.

The suspense of this disease is, which
part will begin to declare it’s inability
to perform it’s, completely taken for
granted, natural God given ability.

The forefinger of my left hand just
hangs, unable to lift to point or push
my glasses back up my nose. I use my
thumb. Raising my arms has become

a challenge. Sometimes I have to
ask for help. When no one is present
I ask for patience, which is also, some
times, not present. Learning GRACE

in the face of daily, minute by minute,
failure is a Karmic duty I did not
anticipate. Learning, fortunately,
continues, like it or not. The boot

I wear, eight to twelve twice a day,
is helping to keep my left foot from
becoming like my hands; curled and
confused, like a curious new babies’.

embi 3/2/14

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Home Again, Home Again

I can’t help but
notice the noise
of silence.
It holds the sounds
of all things
but none
are heard.
Cerebral
echoes.

The overloud clarity
of sunlight
that warms the breeze
scattering old leaves
and new petals,
too early
blooming,
while the muted
shade cools
that same breeze.

The courtyard
setting of painted
concrete, peeling
its barn red skin,
butts against
dead orange
stucco walls
and sliding glass
doorways where
wheelchairs
and aids
pass.

A row of houses,
backs to the tracks,
sat acrosss the street
from my block
where my house
stood, four houses
from the corner.
My couriously
enlightened family
had room for
dreams.

At night
in my upper bunk,
I would let
the rythmic clacking
of the trains
and their whistles
take me to
faraway and magical
places.

Today, when I hear
the growl of a motorcycle
fading away,
it becomes my
midnight train,
taking me to
faraway and magical
places.
I’ve always loved
the wind.

Embi 2/23/14

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Wail Watching

I’ve heard the music
of a whale singing
to its’ pod, the carols
of the coyotes’
moonlight ensemble
and the crickets’
banjo staccato,
all sharing their part
of our mother’s
symphony with
the blues of a barn owl
alone in the night, and
the jazz riff of a gibbon,
contra puntal to it’s mate
with the early mornings’
minor etude by the
ringneck doves
orchestrating the gift
of sound held dear
but
the high pitched peal
of fear,
the sawedged strings
of rage,
the percussive shatter
of pain
the brass horn howl
of rage
the amplified echo
of hopelessness
all compose the other
side of that same
symphony.
Each day I listen
for music
but what happens
in these halls,
hurts to hear.
So I listen outside of
the everyday,
where my memory
and imagination
gift the miracles
I heard at home.

Embi 2/20/14

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PEACE

I pray for peace;
even as I write
I look
for that place
apart,
where the settling
of the soul
resounds.

The mantle
of the whole
enfolds and cradles
me and mine
in certainty
and calm
with the flow of
the golden river.

Floating amongst
the souls
of the blessed,
I see invitation
and sanctuary.
Inspired reason
alone, enough
for harbor.

Flowing on
and in
I lay down
and let go
my fears
and discomforts,
disintegrating self
in the current.

Oscillating rings
of sound vibrate
my cells,
like the echo of
bells in the canyons
of the city,
sharing me
with the river.

My sound is
lifted and sent
to freedom beyond
bodies and walls,
garnering purpose
and place in
the ether
of space.

I am gathering
my will to live
on with the now
in light and grace
flowing within
and without
a final
resting place.

embi 1/18/14

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