Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be Done With It

be done with it
the shape multiplicity takes
its variegated textures,
melding wood and metal
revealing itself
incidentally through
hue, shape and texture
until form and
the shape of content fail
often against their will

hand it back to them
partially assembled
tell them it’s over
for now
until order reveals itself
and you’re not stuck
with the same old solution
to an identical problem
repeating itself ad nauseam
migrating downward
as if repetition was needed
to make its point

in its place may come something
almost as relevant
for the time being
as it is now
while you wait
to see it unfold

just a bit longer now
and the sudden shift
of a subtle breeze
will reveal random coruscations
the mosaic light creates
passing between leaves

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I’ve pitched hay
half-mad with
chaff stuck between creases
and under sleeves

picked blackberries through
thorns hanging on
barbed wire fences
bordering steamy meadows
seething with chiggers and mosquitoes

nailed sub-roof
three stories up
swinging a hammer
side by side with convicts
from the state farm

pulled slats of steamed-
dried wood from the
the bin of a veneer dryer
through merciless mind-numbed
endless summer days
counting down the redundant hours
in the trance of 103 degrees

but at this age
the stultifying oppressive
sodden days are an affront
to patience and endurance
as leaves slowly wilt and coil
in the boiling inferno choking
life from fragile tissue
enduring the hell of transient existence

Thursday, October 13, 2011


touch gently
speak softly
hold closely
know silence
seek solace
find peace
in the
rhythm of
ordinary things

show kindness
give generously
live freely
love openly
live among
those you
know and
seek what
defines you

know truth
despise lies
be supple
as grass
rough as
bark stand
sturdy tall
and strong

find humor
in serious
things and
joy in
simple things

know humility
act sincerely
speak truthfully
and kindly
accept what
you do
not know

behold mystery
unfold at
fingertip in
the stilled
motion of
light on
cusp of
incoming evening


Life --
the whole
daft enterprise
subject to
the wiles
of chance --

who will care
for thee when
there is no
more of me

Friday, August 19, 2011

One Less To Lay Store By

for each day
passing in its way
one less remains
to lay store by

none to be
as this one
full and round
shaped to the

rhythmic contours
of simple routine
burnished like an
old handle shaped

to the hand
of one familiar
with its heft
swung in a

slow easy stride
we come to
know as our own
passing on the way

through another day
full and simple into
its close but one
less to lay store by

Friday, July 22, 2011


a time
that was
has met
its end

what held
seemed firm
and forever
the center
about which
all turned
in its

not to
be lost
in sadness
nor forgotten
in legacy
but enduring
in memory
with all
who remain
among those
who assume
what is
theirs in
their time

until all
yields to
the transient
moment we
know as
our own

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Simple Requests

bring to
me the
sum of
all things

a collection
of begnine
innocents content
and happy

the amount
of rain
water in
a bucket

the smile
that opens
the possibility
of endlessness

an amount
that multiplies
itself twice
over again

a laugh
not stolen
from a
lie untold

an array
of slowly
dissolving violet
blue sunsets


we know
what cannot
be told

that alone
is enough

each day
a new sensation
facing gray

what remains unanswered
is always why
not how
or when


if purpose
be divined
it is
to seek
insight into
shifting light
where paradox
rotates about
a core
but we
bound by
fateful decree
merely sense
what stirs
in our
midst a
moment longer
than an
interval would
permit time
to unfold
at fingertip

Against The Grain

to all
who thought
an easy
route could
be found
through a
field of
grain wet
with rain
no trace
remains where
where they
came to
claim what
was sought
by easy
gain free
of pain
and ill
boding all
in vain
the lesson
gained that
no one
passes this
way against
the grain

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


to get there you cannot hurry
let the dust settle in your wake

as you enter the shroud of
of night shattering light

fanning out before you
breaking through to

the other side parting
the way as you pass

fenceposts as markers and
milestones of progress on

the route that has no name
signals and no turns

to alter its course
accommodatating your way


when all that was
rests serenely
in its place
a persistent question
will emerge of
why this was
how it came
to pass as
all moved in
accustomed manner through
a maze of doubt
inquiry persistence and
confusion of where
why and how
it claimed to be
life in its myriad
forms and infinite variety
held in mystery
part wonder and dream
enfolded in fantasy
wrapped in delusion
running full and free
while time could not
pause to rest or
collect what fell away
in its cyclical rounds

Rite of Passage

night drones on

a man walks the tracks
alone past what
he has forgotten

light is neither
symol or necessity
in a ritual

consummated as a
rite through which
he must pass

before he is
absolved and

Take This

take this

it is all
I have of
what could not
be possessed nor
denied of what
became breath passed
on from whence
it came gathered
among the lost
in a galaxy of
glimmering moments lamenting
the loss of
all that was forgotten


than possibility
might conceive

than reality
could believe

than cutting
edge conceils

fused in
beginning forming

into probability
in time

unity and
disparity within

tolerated by
deference referred

inference become
something of

formed separate
and alone

Saturday, July 9, 2011

At 73

I rise
to fall
no more

kiss away
doubt and

moving inward
as I fan outward
beyond imaginary

venturing to the
core knowing the
will of my

conditions I make
are mine
to hold and possess
in the narrowing inverval
accorded my

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tactile Image

sometimes it’s
so close
it can
be sensed

the image
dissolving into
the solvency
of essence

the stylus
etches its
way through
a labynrith

of dreams
enveloped in
possibilities yet
to be

we are
what we
sought to
become but

the mirror
knows what
is yet
to be


to see
is to

to listen
is to

the essence


if not here

if not now

are we
the one
we know

what rests between
what is and
what is not

a void to
be filled when
emptiness contains all
that can be held
but not possessed

how will you know
when the last word
will be heard


as this
is written
an image
fades into
an opaque

a gray
countenance gazing
at the
possibility of
transcendance into
the fixed
aura of
redemption where
despair clings
to words like
a sodden
mossy blanket

what devours
commands the
transient hour
molding light
into a
graven image
whose likeness
is found
in mirror
and crag
etched into a
mottled wall

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Saturday Morning Missionaries

they move in
on a Saturday
morning before noon
with their pamphlets
and bible ready
to dispense lessons
in guilt doubt
futility and death
all in one blow
as I reel
from each punch
to the soft
spot in back
of my soul
while they prattle
on in their
confident and commanding
manner rattling off
arcane questions Reinhart
Niebuhr couldn’t answer
attempting to entrap
and ensnare me
in a knot
of fear at
my weakest moment
with the question:
“If God is good
why is there
evil in the world”?
to which I reply
“To thicken the plot”

Friday, May 6, 2011

For A Bottle of Wine

years of study
practice earnest apprenticeship
dedicated to the quest
to be the best
given away for
a bottle of wine

preparation sacrifice dedication
performances trying circumstances
recompense credited to
“experience” given away for
a bottle of wine

endless nights riding
trains through barren
plains chasing pieces
of dreams that
vanished in a bottle of wine

critical abuse ignorance
anxiety fear and doubt
all failed to ignite
but for persistence
and given away
for a bottle of wine

trying circumstances testing
resolve of other's
inability to adapt
ignored but for
a bottle of wine

others won prizes
celebrated in faint
praise thinking one
day it would be I
gave it away for
a bottle of wine

time was kind
my way made
unswayed by errant
dreams and shallow
ideals keeping will
coping and enduring
without yielding to
fickle whim faithful
to the last
bottle of wine

what are dreams
but to be
squandered in
quest trial and
error testing the
best discarding the
rest to be
savored in the
last glass left
in a bottle of wine

Friday, April 29, 2011


(To A Distant Fire)

to the
rust red
velvet hue
stained into
blue western
view I
raise my
glass in
tribute and
gratitude for
all that
is renewed
in subtle
silent grace
resplendent as
a tapestry
suspended over
a distant
scene drawn
into its
simmering embers
waning in
the brief
interval searing
the moment

David Sermersheim

Thursday, April 14, 2011


leaves scatter
words fly
what matters

one of
none comes
what matters

promises made
all kept
in matters

we twist
the thread
of days
into years

what remains
of what
there is

David Sermersheim


quite to
his surprise
I was
almost his size
except for his
hat and shoes
and for these
he paid
his dues

David Sermersheim

Long Pond

gray November afternoon
stalking the woods
above Long Pond

dry leaves and
twigs snapping underfoot
a gentle lope

down the slope
to the water
line as a

sudden rush of
wind turbined through
opened wings soaring

at treetop on
approach to a
soft landing on

a jade surface
a congress of
gaggle chatter and splashing

before settling down
to serene elegance
drifting idly in

circles of bliss
passing one another
each in his

place aware of
his presence in
a moment suspended

in silence not
to be again

David Sermersheim


when I am older
I’ll have a garden to tend
where bees gambol
in a ‘bee-loud glade’
with abundant shade

fritillaries will cavort
in bright yellow sun
caper and dance
over red and blue zinnias
nodding in a gentle breeze

my hands will be rough and gritty
back wet with sweat
and no one will care if I fret
about roses rhododendrons daisies
and the rest who will
spray their colors joyfully
in an endless season

what we think
is ours to make and mend
is leant to an innocent
for a moment
wrapped in a timeless dream
imagined at home
in a remote garden
one step short
of paradise

David Sermersheim

Taconic Hills

a fleeting shadow
brushes a craggy hillside
as a shroud
clearing a way
in advance of
its wake on
an unimpeded passage
silent as a
mirage whose presence
might be imagined

a soul could
die here living
on dry bones
and empty thoughts
riding on air
drafting through Oblong
Valley draws

David Sermersheim

First Time/Every Time

each time you begin
it is the first time

not to be as before
as the act is formed

anew in its own
time and not to

be again else its
origins are betrayed

in the act of becoming
breaking the link in a

chain formed of itself
from a voice speaking

within the silence of
one who makes his

way alone enshrouded
under a cloud of doubt

the more known
the less done

keep ignorance your ally
and innocence your guide

Sunday, February 20, 2011

We Join Hands

we join hands
music flows
softly between us

an endless stream
of silent song
without beginning
or end

in the silence
between us

Let Us Go

Let Us Go

let us go
you and I
to where the
water meets the sky
and be one again
before all is done
and winter’s dim dark chill
draws down hard and fast
and we cower
from each sullen blast
of rancor hurled
in hostile fling
against what endures
through tentative hour
while waning dreams
fade faster than
feeble ambition
can sustain
abiding the angular course
to quiet realms
of solemn darkness
in peace

David Sermersheim

Tuesday, January 11, 2011



the sound
follows a stone
tumbling down
and away
from where
it held
a moment
before breath
slipped away
from what
is known
but unseen

I follow
its impression
on the
soft cushioned step
of the one
who guides my
way toward his
evanescent domain