The mirror creeps into my view -
I look the other way.
But in the way I see a ewe -
An eye who bleats to say,

“What have you wrought you worthless son?
Why do you stare me down?”
Oh woolly downy lovely one,
I wear a tattered gown.

I look the ways I thought unseen
To hope to see unbeauty,
But catch my thoughts on what you mean
And take the words unrudely.

A sheep is fielded, kept, and loved,
While I am lost at sea.
My ewe resides in clouds above,
Somewhere I cannot see.

A dove brings peace and joy to all
While flighting tree to tree
An ocean roars and in we fall
To settle in the sea
The dove is strong against the wind
The ocean turns and tides
Yet each is quiet deep within
One heart with two insides

A face is but a galaxy
The heart is so much more
A truth is often fallacy
When hearts beat drums of war

A couple may uncouple then
Their holding hands unhold
The eyes unsee the other when
The fingers point to scold

To see such fear is not to die
But live in agony
The stars unstar the starry sky
The hearts become a hole

One whole remains when unmet truth
Exists in unlit night
The universe unversed and mute
Unbanged before the light

A snap or clap to strike the fire
May blind a little while
The old world heaving on the pyre
The new unlearned to smile

Why should we wait? Why should we run?
The light burns just as pure
One sun becomes the only one
One heart becomes the cure

Mother, oh! the heart early rose
On today’s holy earnest rousing morning.
The heavy eastern rays mercilessly overwhelm
Humble eager ramblers mimicking others’ truths:
Each road makes other theories hearken.
Remember mother, on this heavenly evening.

My own - to her, endless respect.

A choo choo never chooses
It travels down the track
A line it never loses
While chooching out or back

A seagull has her season
To wend upon the wing
Then rest and read her reasons
To see what beauty brings

A narrow way through mountains
And over crumbling slopes
May lead to fruitful fountains
And tender antelopes

The finches flinch their feathers
And ruffle off the road
But when the wind has weathered
It's back to what they know

The world is wild and wondrous
And many friends to find
For every Earth or thunder, there's
Another in the mind

And speaking is a sentence
To listen to the limn
While reading is repentance
When you hear the heavenly hymns

The pain of love lost centers in the heart
Or in the hands when working through
Or in the back when standing true
Or in another part
The weight of love unshared weighs on the mind
Thoughts stray to every happy face
The patterns of the living human race
All find love already in its place
The yearn of love without a home is endless
The dark side of the moon eclipsed
The absence in the space between the lips
Gullible to all, defenseless
The love of love unloved is not true love
For in the self-enclosing dark abyss
There is no one to meet, no one to miss
Is there another heart which beats above?
God is love but is not procreation
We living souls create through recreation

Sticks and stones would heal me.
Give me a well-deserved beating.
A public stoning for just cause
Would do nicely.

I listen too well to words
Spoken or unspoken.
They never hurt me,
I just say them back in rhyme,
Or rhythm the thrum of them back into
Faces who hear themselves echoing
Louder than they like.
A stick-and-stoning might quiet me
For a while.

Don't hurt me to the hospital though;
That's just what I want most:
To meet a team of such lovely people.
We could found a school,
Or form a band,
But mostly we'd just talk.
I'd listen til they feel a hurt
I never heard until they spoke.
Then they too will want to harm me,
But hospitals don't have sticks and stones
To use on unruly patience.

I rarely flagellate.
It's quite uncouth to do so.

A simple sticks-and-stones would do;
Unless I remember the poem
About sticks and stones.

Perhaps a word would heal me.

Another anther answers
In the stamen staying true
To still a blissful pistil
One woman I would woo

A metamorphic mother
To fill as flowers flow
Anastomosic other
We'll hoe the rows to grow

We'd wed and need no weeding
For our clover-covered grove
A clearing in the reading
Well-fed and feeding love

With vegetables and tables
The well of wellness wells
A tale of cane and maple
The bee-buzz brings the bell

An answer still so wistful
To the question of our quest
Divide us into dancers
And then join us to the rest

Dawn, notary, you with the effortless stroke
Paperleaves part in your gentle touch
You stamp documents like hummingbirds suck nectar
A hover, a beating wing, angelic hand
The ink eternal on the page
Sudden blood from a wound
Case number and "copy" and I didn't read the rest
Fold healing into stacks of copies
The case collating into your left hand

(The documents are available at the Maricopa County website, in PDF format.)

With wife ridiculous we went to pay
Governmental debts incurred ago
In reckless-freckled fervor
We declared our writhing fracture laughing like fools
We'd be damned except it's true
The others soon to break their vows
Marveled at our friendship
Smiling in the fluorescence
We were crying on the phone before
The love-humors misting a little
We had burned ourselves alive
Giggling like cadavers

(Things just didn't work out.)

Dawn, oh Eve, your stamping soothed me
The rhythm of your gesture
Confidence in motion
You dance the stamp between the legalese
Licensing oven for sputtering solitude

(The Maricopa County Family Court, a bluish room filled with tiny copy machines in a hot-dog-stood downtown corner, is full of restless heart, two-handled swords and voices quieted to quell tears.)

The tapping, the hit upon the counter
In your chamber with a cash-box
Your palmistry paid through guichet window
The curving wooden opening below
Smoothened by thousands of signatures
Your hands the same
Softened by the feeling of the throngs
The separating masses
Unwiving men whose wives
Have found a better man
And women too whose men
Have fucked up and deserve it
And some who got lost
Lost somewhere in the love
We come to you, Dawn
Confess to ask your confirmation
We sufferers of freedom through the glass
To watch your settled pleasance
The rhythm of your arm

(I spoke of this to her, of the hypnotic allure of the stamp in her hands turning pages. She was uninterruptibly tender as I stared, possessed of honesty and will. Weeks later we went back for "Step 3". I told her that I'm going to get married and divorced again just to see her working. She laughed with steadiness in her eyes. Men must everyday propose to her as the final stamp stamps. She's right to turn them down. Ten business days before Step 4. Ten dawns and dusks of papers in the pile. The devil is in the details.)

Angels in there too

The words cover me
Language teases stingingly
Vocabulary enthralls gradually
Sentences grow fonder
Talk betrays hearts
Policies contain people
Messages turn electricity
Letters fly gracefully
Banter jumps high
Terminology doubles back
Lingo ate my baby
Jargon bosses ingrates
Statements ameliorate difficulties
Sloganeering shuffles tables
Proclamations lament inquisition
Orders bark trefoil
Pleas undermine inanity
Loquacity brews inclination
Calling frets fieldmice
Argument heals sunlight
Nagging settles dewdrops
Voicing sees fools-gold
Names become us

Unsettled thoughts of persons long ago
Are tapping on the glass between the lines
A number under name beneath the glass
A word beneath a word beneath a name
Beneath the nearest feeling impulse burns
A sentence of a sentence in the heart
A heart beneath the thoughts unbeaten still
Controls the manifesting of the mind
The sinews of the nervous system taut
To pull against the deeping of the light
To push into the ether in a sign
Entwining in the lines between the minds

Riding next to

Wheels hum in fading sunlight
Traffic patterns part in waves
The cars are color blocks moving
Dogs pressed into us
Tongues lapping cold vent air
Words lightly less than sound
Someone spoke we listened
You yessed and skin kissed reddened
A laughter lilting in the motion
Touching touches touch each other
Shoulders brush shirt fabric
Hems flirt in the sleeve dandle
Feather hairs soft threading
Elbow bones taptap on road bumps
Consciousness resides in the forearm
All thought hides behind the slow
Feeling the driven
World-caress unfelt
The still center of the universe
All externalities ignored
Sunset mother love upon the flesh
Aching tender feeling held awhile
Stopped for smoothies and the mood shifted
Forgotten to the heart

Roosevelt Dam driving
On the map the road is slower
Nighttime heading west toward Phoenix
Flat and gravel
Up left down right
Fading unimagined chasms
We spoke of texts and each other
As the canyon curved along the river
Swole like clutching gluttony
Man’s tickbloodburst on the land
Starlit dam a pale slab
Widening cement-cool arms out
Ankles abyss-soaked
Easy up here wheels barely move
The horizontal cliffcut sides-to-sides
Dog ambling gently behind the creeping
Spinning pebbles and sands
Concrete rectangle sucks all ambient light
Once behind us architecture disappears
The cityglow below out to who underrooves
Sleeping off the bundled day’s burning
Only constellating scattered
Bright pins remain
Lands and skies meeting in the metropolis

The bees are beezing in the breeze,
Flower treesing buzzing in the tussle of the toil,
Bashful wishes in the winding wind,
Skimming on the skin.
The blinking blissful busy of the bees
Will waken wrinkled blessings in the simm'ring summer soil,
Find a fissure folded solid in the world,
Spelunk a simple secret in the furls.

Oh and the sting! Sing! The bells of heaven ringing in her wing!
Fervent little friend forfendless flitly flew!
Upon my hurting head you might have ridden:
I do as I am bidden.
Yet you yearn, and burning moment bring,
Tease thoughts and turn a torrent true,
Sungleam glazing into glidden.
Blazing beams of heat are hidden
In the beesing beestings in the treesing singing trees,
In the sinning busy singsong of the bees.
Stinglight chase me into chidden,
Make my mud unmuddled, mind unmidden,
Pain and pleasure pearling into pleas
To the singing stinging sighing of the bees,
To beauty been besung-of in the beesong in the trees.

Brian Brock, May 2018