Why'd they cut the grass in this park?

It's lost its cultivated wildness
and the picnickers made mad without spoons
for precious moments when they drop
while fingers pry in the next-to-earth wetness.


When I meet you again
I will collapse at your beauty.

It's okay.
I'm used to it.

But I don't get up
until I remember-
or you remind me-
that you've collapsed too.


- On Finding an Unknown Word in a Verse -

What strange command did this poet utter
with this word?

Am I sent to the dictionary, or
will this poem simply not approach me?


My words to you are now like
rain falling on a bare roof
in an empty house.

I can hear them
but you have moved away
from the deafening.

And they can not be gathered
where they spill.


I'm always speaking to my audience-

The poem itself is how
I want them to listen-
not always what I want to say.

Problem is
I'm listening too.

So, who's speaking?
Are there any refreshments?


From time to time I need to
turn, and turn, and turn.
Children bump into things-
squeal, fall down.

I wait for something to swim
into focus, something to grab onto.
Flotsam that's a piece of myself
that came loose, and always stayed behind me.

A few quick spins, and I can change direction.

Sometimes, there it is.
I have always found love this way.
Now I need to find out why I leave it behind so often.
And what is back there.


When you begin
You prepare to fail.

Love, anomaly of success-
never learned this.

In love, or out of it,
starting or finishing-
we fail to remember.


I need to sit and wonder now
I need some time alone
I've managed years remaining blind
And never moved far from home.

I've passed them by
Their faces turned
I've hidden eyes
Whose glance would burn.

A thousand days of slow disorder
Have come and gone
A million hours of time's dishonor
Were shadowed by the sun.

I need to sit and ponder now
To steal some time alone
Within a copse of family
Within these paths of scorn.

I need to move outside
To swim in an ancient wind
To wet my face in aged dew
And cleanse my feet with dust.

And find a group of new
Rebels, laughing out loud
For the energy of youth
Exiled from its yard.

I cannot throw this heart
Which wants to soar
Into another land
Over any borders here.

And yet I call it yours.


Someone lost the words to say.
And climbed up on a large chair
to see where they went.

But they were not to be seen.

Someone crawled and looked in corners,
and delved into shadows.

But they were not to be found.

Someone took a walk outside
to see if they were lost in that world.

But there were only other words,
though they sounded the same.
And their echoes were hollow.

As was someone's heart,
when he went to fill it with you.


Moments, wandered into, keep filling with pieces
of what was our puzzle.

And the road back to you is beyond thirsty
and long.

And you will not be there if I turn to take it,
carrying pieces all the way.

Pieces there will be no room for
in my pack, now.

Yet they come offering-
small jewels of regret.



I want to feel your voice
bouncing in my eyes,
play with your words
like sparks in the still heated air-
and join the evening song
spinning down
from the center of the sky.


The moon, like a wisp of cloud
Alone in the early late blue.
Suddenly round, shaped.
Dimpling the membrane of the sky.


- Calypso -

Of all the things wanted, and wanted well,
this skin, to touch, to see, to wonder with,
was the first.

Found, stumbling, from the dark,
raising up from a crouch,
but, yes, foretold....

The hypnosis of the kiss.

The inbreath kept dizziness- full and naked beside me.

Keeping unknown.

And then, climbing balconies and lilting ballads,
singing with unsolid voice into the breeze of a summer.

And then a fall of being found, discovered once
and again, and naked knowing.

Off to regain the journey, not sadly but alone.
This time recognizing the musk of a glance
and the soft of the dark.
And the willing to find them.

Until a false safety in a pledge
and a false border
around a false tribe
without true blood.
Until blood, and true blood to spill,
to offer, to take, taken.

And found, again, forgetting wounds,
clothed in forgotten bandages,
opening other sights, smells, remembrances.


And the willingness to offer them.

Often coming home late,
too late to know the way,
and naked,
too naked.

Ignored as madness.

Or found again.


- Lacrimae Sitis -
- For Ann -

Recently, it has been discovered that salt water exists on asteroids- the tears of eternity.

I wish I could gather all the things I ever saw myself being, but it seems that all of the ropes are out of my hands. And since I can't regain the vision, even the sight becomes forgotten. And yet I still strain to think I can crawl a little further on and finally see over, finally feel the light from a long dream ago.

The ability to measure any distance is also a gauge of the future.

Sometimes I also feel that I've told it all, in pieces here and there, in shards of memories placed in mosaic along the time I spend with another. But what do I do with the gems of your tears, and the dew of your words, mirror-smooth upon your softness, warm against my fingertips, and alive between my lips?

Small machines, scurrying over alien soil, are already our eyes and tongues.

My fear is the kind that silences the cry for help, that fills the territory with long paths in uncertain directions, traipseless distance.

Truth is always something freed from an obsessive longing.

But I always want my sadness to be a knowledge, since it is the earth beneath my feet, and the melody between my ears. And I guess I wish it to be the wind at your back.

But how cruel wishes can be.

Only a child would put an alien in a closet.

My sadness is deep, but I know there is a happiness on the other side, a simple turn away, but I will clutch the air until the poles reverse.

And I always wish, inside down deep, that it could all start over, that every sad and wet tear would prism the world anew, butterflies in the breeze, sun on our skin.

Rings in our eyes.


- Thoughts Towards the New Year -

It was all at once -- and yet --
Not a day has gone by....

Only a new year, again.
The shining machine forgotten.
The door closed.

Lost --
sudden words --
paths to
remembrances --

Passing soft through errant fancy --
A sound oft-distanced by silence.

Bunches --
gather this sole blessing on.

Leave that elf alone --
he dances with lizards.

What of all else,
bright year,
shed of ages.

Gatherings in seldom fewness --
blown leaves over sandlots --

Lately --
wet checks.

Back, it's almost all back --
all else still continues.

Begun always again --
The newer year is at dawn's call.

What follows down must melt.



Although it is all being constantly gathered,
carefully, or clumsily,
there is never time to weave it all in,
or discard it.

Nowhere else to put it.


Did you see that?

You will in a few years.
Or you won't.

But who's to know?

Leave it here.


It is a stuffy and close heat in here
against the dank night.

Sweat is a tender skin,
keeping in a flushing warmth,
mostly unstructured longing,
itches of the day.

Skins and membranes without kisses.


I Want You To Know

Oh, I want to kiss your lips
Kneel and squeeze your hips
Lay you down and roll over your thighs
Bite your back and swallow your eyes
I want you to know how
Much I want you here now.

I want your toes in my hair
And your hands everywhere
Sudden spins of time and space
And all those lights sparkling in your face
I want you to know how
Much I want you here now.

I want your color and
I want your sound
And I want all your hunger
Of your body and your mouth
And I want you to know, how
How I want you here now.

While the stars gather 'round the sun
Waiting to drop from the sky
When you clasp the night with your cries
Sing me the words of your joy
And wake me in your morning.

I want to signal your tongue
And brush your cheeks with sighs
And nuzzle your belly
And balance you between heat and pain
I want you to know, oh how much
I want you to know me here now.

I want you to know how
I want you here now.

To know you've found me.


More Thoughts Towards the New Year

Another season captured
with its pains and joys-
the year old.

If there were no thoughts in shining remembrance-
There would be little future.

Having turns to take-
makes the straight more true.

Giving through to sudden impulse-

Begun in little trimmings-
The sails out at sea-
The tides in our years.



Shellie could always just reach out and grab happiness,
and bring it wherever she was going.

It had trouble, keeping up, sometimes.

I know she brought it, introducing the stranger, to me.

And while they say you can't take it with you,
I think she kept a hold on a good chunk of it.

I love you, Shellie.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and evermore shall be, love without end.



Since she's been gone, I've been waking up crying.

Unbidden tears. (Who would bid such tears?)

Sprouting like seeds from the soil. Wondering why.

Every morning since she's gone. Unbidding.

One foot unstepping.

One eye unopening.

Half-tongued words falling with no warmth to buoy them.

Loss is so usual, half of the world.

She was not, she was.


Her softest of all touches is gone.
Kisses whisper into the empty air.

She was the faerie queene
 Removing me to wondrous lands
Clothing me in the clouds
 And feeding me the earth itself
Walking through silver showers
 Amidst shadows of the moon
Dancing the day in silken shoes
 To waltzes of the golden hours.

Her magic of time is over
And I've walked on
 Under the unwarming sun
Tales of her realm
 Sprouting behind my steps
Blossoms for the path.


It is not simple to grieve.
It is all of the world at once.

It is not simple to hold emptiness.
When it once had form.

If you hear me talking, listen.
My words need to take shape beside you.
And it is not simple to speak.


A year and it's gone.
The quiet unsettled without her.

One can even imagine the dark
that has her in it.
Even desire to be there
where, incredibly,
one would find her warm.

Life remaining
clamors in countless days
marking the earth's cycle
keeping our own death secret.

And now, we kneel on the ground
that keeps her
and her noisome death
below us.


Trying pieces of every day
Fitting each to single dreams
or fantastic moments

Incidents of plenty
scattered in fields of need

Only a step ago there were
fairies here
awakening to the dew

Motions of the skies
closing the space between
their bodies


New year on. Comings and goings.
The usual suspects.
The standard sighs.

All of a once and awhile.
Small time for long ages.
Casting lines in murky water.

Every moment hurrying
towards its forgetting.
Simple discussions. Glances.
Nods and waves.

We begin again again.
Tracing empty memories
in unknown colors
under warming skies.

Always and never 'til
back and forth.
Were there armies poised
or shores ahead?
Explore. Expire.

Suddenly the air will soften
and edges mire.
Leading into fog
and trusting echoes.


We grow on
Hiding all pains
Moving hesitantly
Inside distress

More and more
We cry out
Unable to halt the voice
Aching forth

And limitless days
Yield to endless nights
Cordon haze of stars
Still behind the sky

Happenings of remembrance
Times of re-life
Images of beginnings
Ceremonies of ending

Ghost touches
Phantom scents

Long passages
over jagged landscapes
Short breaths in exercise

Vivid stars in blackest voids

There will be days ahead
With no answer for the
Days behind.

Nights in silence
And hours in shade.

Time itself shakes the sky
Moves the earth
Quaking reminders
Form the years.

A decade on.
All is change.

©Wade T. Smith - Cambridge - 1994-2012