Saturday, December 4, 2010

School Daze

today I go
to the upside-down
school again

where right
is wrong
wrong is right

and everything’s equal
simultaneously at
all times

Monday, November 8, 2010


so near
you can hear

close enough to touch
but just out of reach

when you see it
it’s gone in
a wink a glance

perhaps imagined
but not forgotten

only to reappear
when you least expect it
need it or want it

this fan dance of the mind
is a game an illusion

created by someone
for his amusement
not mine


Sometimes it comes
in clusters,
complete statements
without prodding.

Other times it has to be
kneaded, pushed
coerced, humored,
“bribed” and encouraged
by any means available.

Most of all it takes
and an unshakable will
not to give up.

Monday, October 25, 2010


we live with enough to satisfy
not much needed to get by

do well with less and
use what we have

without undue duress for needs
that ruffle the restless breast

nor ask for more than we
can provide to gratify our

curious quest round the
bounds of this modest quarter

and need no more than
what is full and enough

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tatting A Fugue

(To Sarah)

the string ties itself
into a knot
pulling the motif
of the subject
into an exposition
of the design
looping over, under itself
gradually revealing
an answer
in the turn of the
emerging shape
down, around, through itself
yielding a counter-subject
in the transposition
of the gesture
turning, curling, circling
tying itself into an
episode of intersecting lines
feeding into the
second exposition
a cyclical variation
of mirrored gestures
in inversion
reinforcing each strand
in a tightly-wrought design
slowly fulfilling its matrix
unfolding in the fingers
before your eyes

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Word Garden

we entered the
garden where each
bud and bloom
was tendered and
formed by the
careful hand of
a master unable
to part with
his beloved child

now they gather
worn faded and
torn in a shabby
shed on a
sagging shelf
leaning one against
other faded blooms
withering in a
dustbin of antiquity

Sunday, September 26, 2010

At Seventy-Three

the day arrives
and evolves out of
the contours
of its own accord

what can be done
will be done

what can't
will have to wait

what rushes by
will learn to rest

Summer Nights

hot summer nights
restless passions stole
innocence from prying
eyes probing shadows
bearing witness to
minor crimes in
young hearts’ quest
to burst vessels
running with hot lava
coursing through seams
stretched to bursting
straining against elementary
strictures of lofty
rectitude and high
virtue beyond reality’s
touch simmering in
heat of desire’s
lust to break
the chain of
consequence at any
cost when reason
grapples in the
iron claw of
will and desire
set in their
way not to
be swayed in
the narrow spasm
allotted the hour
to ride free
open and wild
at least one
time sparing nothing
at all cost
gathering what may
fall into the
fold of spent innocence

Friday, September 10, 2010

This Too Is Not Enough

we are
what we left

live to be
not to

yet this too
is not


this is not the place
that bore me

nor the land
I came to know

through toil and strife
where deceit unfurls

its banner high and proud
while the code that

united all under noble rubric
is torn scattered and blown

by the wiles of an unruly wind
while those who came

and made their place
among the others

are crushed under the
heel of makeshift cause

by those who took
more than they gave

setting chaos adrift
on a sea of lies

Saturday, September 4, 2010


it isn’t post
lintel sash or beam
but the foundation
upon which more
than one depend

transparent as light
intangible as air
born of impulse
out of necessity
not of need

but life whole
and complete fully
contained within itself

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


a pair of Fritillaries
float drift and glide
dancing on air
weaving interlaced designs
around one another
in arcs
of becoming
on an invisible strand
like lovers consummating
in a spiral
of forgetting
who they are

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fern Rock

stolid stone sentinel
from which fern
and sapling sprout

proud memento of
a tumultuous age
bearing scars of

season’s wiles on
its ruddy countenance
creased by rain

pocked by ice
lashed by wind
burnished by sun

standing as symbol
fulcrum and anchor
balancing stasis and

change on solid
base and end-
point orientation as

I pass on
my round about
your domain returning

the way I
came with questions
that abide silence

whistling in wind
at treetop sifting
light and shadow

concealing more of
what waits to
be found


Fox Drive
(Ca. 1948)

hundred men strong
gathered at dawn
in a circle
round rolling pasture
cudgels in hand
drawing the noose
tighter around the
unsuspecting quarry safe
in their den
stunned to alarm
by sounds above
and around on
the ground where
they ran freely
now testing for
a breach in
the line circling
their waning freedom
on blunt edge
of roughhewn
club opening fir
splitting bone
spitting blood stilled
into a pile
of wide-eyed wonder
at the sudden
end in a
contest of uneven
odds and I
standing in stunned
silence at the
slaughter of innocent
predator at the
hands of placid
farmers aflame with
revenge sworn to
a silent code
that answered to
the call of
blood in warmth
of noonday sun

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Future

the future approaches
rattling its sword
secure the door
against encroaching knight

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sweet Sprig

sweet sprig of
youth’s gentle flower
more alive than now

angel’s timorous image
is hardly contained in
spring’s emerging hour

Should You Pass This Way

should you pass
this way
all would seem
as it was
when time could be
taken to wonder
wishes had no limits
and dreams
found a place
to dwell beyond fear
the source
of all things
soft gentle and supple

Of Origins

who knows
we may
be distantly
one of same
though neither would claim
same to be

of boundary
we abut
yet do
not touch
each savored share

we nudge
perhaps nuzzle
just to
the muddle
where edge
meets notch

but parts
do not
fit to
join a

The Mill

warm sleepless nights
walking the tracks
past the place
where sweat poured tears
down backs bent
to tasks like
bad habits unbroken
totting lives counted down
in heavy hours
punched on cards
clocking routine in
systematic rounds
through dust heat
and musky peat
rising off logs
curing in brine
to be rolled on
lathes slicing transparent pulp
ribbon-thin like skin
stacked in layers
awaiting the dryer
pressing essence out of life
into crisp slateboard slats
recording memory
in simple steps
frozen in stasis
for those who passed
points of no return
without recourse
choice or escape
from the place
where poignancy rings
in echoes from voices
of a thousand sons


as he goes
his shadow falls
ahead of him

to the side
and back as
if his will

commands its place
near then aslant
forward side to

side as patterns
in a dance
the couple glides

arm in arm
embracing rhythms woven
in their stride

around and around
returning again as
one within two

the shadow seems
to say ‘without
a past there

is no presence

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises

Do you suppose
that when you die
God will know
the flag you fly
-- Methodist
Muslim too
just to name a few?

Do you suppose
all of those
will have their
separate, distinct and unique
Heaven, Hell and Purgatory,
with space reserved
especially for you?

Some places will be
better endowed
with comfort
and eternal bliss
-- fewer rooms
of fiery doom,
pain and everlasting suffering.

And what of the 72 vestal virgins
promised the righteous
bearded ones,
nestled in the bosoms
of nubile concubines,
lounging about
in the heavenly gardens of Babylon?
Others are not promised these.....

Where will these chambers be found
by the curious wayfarer,
wandering the
Celestial Realm,
set adrift in a sea of eternal bliss,
heretofore only imagined
by ambitious prophets,
preaching gospels of promise
to a craven apostles,
driven mad by
ambition, dedication
and uncommon zeal?

How will all of these souls
find each other,
secure their place
ahead of their brother?

Don’t tarry,
don’t delay,
be on your way,
this very day,
to your place,
-- a special space --
or a room
in eternal doom.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Between Us

when you find this
we will be alone
in a place known only to us
where time has no bound
nor takes measure
of moments spent in silence
where words unite
two as one
you in me
I in you

Simple Pleasures

what we enjoy
is bad for us

that least desired
is good to use

the balance is
cruel compromise

constricting the senses
quelling restless quests

simmering in every breast
never at rest

restraining what lies
within easy reach

is harsh and mean
becoming more as

time narrows the partition
between opposing poles

less though more we
gain in moments rare

of joy and bliss in
pursuit of simple things


in a silver bauble
suspended by a thread
I view a panorama
through the lens
of a parabola
moments before it joins others
nestled in
pillows of clouds
clustered in a pool


fragile white crystals
light enough to lift

lithe enough to loft drift
and flit on whim of wind

carried far beyond the place
from whence they came

to settle beneath above
and around us

cradled between hands
admired in moments

transparent and light
as white could be

Sarah's Birthday

you are to me
what yesterday was
to today before
tomorrow has a name

you move through me
without touching

being without speaking
as silence is to song

in words sung from
the one that makes me sing

What Remains

all that remains
after rancor dies
is the silent
dignity of words

what remains after
passion is spent
is the humble
admission of emptiness

Ought of Naught

a zero
makes a
circle where
the sum
of a
whole should

the ought
of naught
drawing a
line joining
ends around
an imaginary

gathering all
of nothing
into one

Saturday, February 13, 2010


in a silver bauble
suspended by a thread
I view a panorama
through the lens
of a parabola
moments before it joins others
nestled in
pillows of clouds
clustered in a pool


we join hands
music flows
softly between us

an endless stream
of silent song
without beginning
or end

in the silence
between us

On Single Wing

a ragged dragonfly
or two perhaps
in midair mate
ride on air
gliding effortlessly
on gentle currents
beneath the spreading canopy
of a gnarled beech tree
soaring in arcs
merging with late
afternoon light
at one in flight
circling weaving touching
down resting
as a scrap of torn leaf
rustling about searching
for a ride
on freedom’s flight
catching a draft
up and away
out and around
dancing in interlacing orbs
floating down
until it rests
as one among us

Should You Pass This Way

should you pass
this way
all would seem
as it was
when time could be
taken to wonder
wishes had no limits
and dreams
found a place
to dwell beyond fear
the source
of all things
soft gentle and supple

It Makes No Difference

it makes no difference
if you get up late
(or not at all)
can’t find your pants
wear different socks
miss your bus
walk in the rain
lose your way
come to work
do nothing but complain

it makes no difference
no one will know
who you are
what you do
or what you have done
who or what you know
(or don’t know)

it makes no difference
what you believe
think or say
no one will listen or care
if you tell the truth or lie
about what you do
(alone..... in the dark)

it makes no difference

David Sermersheim