Archive for ‘Doug’

April 21, 2018

Reluctant Spirits

by HemmingPlay

A woman I know,
a believer, told me
she saw angels hovering
over our house.
I can’t see them, but
it wouldn’t surprise me.

Sitting by your bed
through the long nights,
feeling you slip away
a bit at a time as the cancer
races through you,

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January 23, 2018

On Missing You Too Soon

by HemmingPlay

I find myself imagining
how the differences will
play out…
The unfamiliar,
lengthening silences,
stretching into the dusk.
The way dust devils will
gather in corners, waiting
for something that
will never come.

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January 1, 2018

And So It Begins

by HemmingPlay

And so it begins, again,
that urge to shrink from
the cool touch of machines;
the hushed offices,
the looks of concern,
the competent compassion.
Maddening, imprecise precision–
“the blood test found something, we
need to do more tests…..
something’s there
on her scans…”
a blurry, thicker patch there,
spots on bone, lung, breast, too.

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December 27, 2017

Snowflakes and Ashes*

by HemmingPlay

To this brief journey,

to this time-travel adventure,

to the utter absurdity of our

helpless leap into the future;

to all the surprises and the pain…

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December 22, 2017

An Ordinary Day

by HemmingPlay

She had wanted to
sell the house.
She thought
he’d go first
leaving her alone.

Everything happens
on an ordinary day.

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December 18, 2017

Lazarus, After

by HemmingPlay

Lazarus never smiled
after he rose from the dead.
For 30 years, until he died again,
he was haunted by the
unredeemed souls he saw
in the four days he
journeyed in the afterlife.

Laughter died stillborn in his chest.
That was what he told neighbors—
when he talked about it.
But, it was hard to speak, and
had been since that day.
His throat was always dusty
and his tongue thick.

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December 9, 2017

Epiphany

by HemmingPlay

When the sun comes up like thunder

I knew a guy.
Cancer survivor,
worn down to the lacy bone,
thin, with dry skin.
But a light shone through
his stretched parchment skin
like some kind of
organic fire.
The brush with death
left a calling card.
“I’ll be back” it said.
“You won’t know when.”

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November 29, 2017

Rock Bottom

by HemmingPlay

Hemmingplay

I’ve seen it, several times,
although much later.
It’s in the eyes
of men who
all had owned real estate
on the hopeless end
of Rockbottom Drive.

I didn’t want to find out
for myself what
was behind that look, though.
My dad made sure, as
He let me visit the address once.

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November 13, 2017

It Is Something To Have Been

by HemmingPlay
Karma-New-Orleans-Louisiana-USA-4

“Karma,” New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. An impressive sculpture is located in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which is found at the New Orleans Museum of Art. It is made by Korean artist Do Ho Suh.

I am well past my 20s,
that golden time
when I only saw a little—and even that
with optimistic eyes.

I’m past the days of cheap
apartments with friends and wine and roaches,
lentils and rice for breakfast,
or leftover cold pizza.

I’m beyond learning of
war and death and pestilence.
The visitations of grief
have marked me, too.

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November 11, 2017

Endings

by HemmingPlay

It’s easy to see the beginnings of things,

not so easy to see the endings.

With eyes like cameras,

the silent guide

can tell you things

you will not believe.

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November 9, 2017

I Wanted

by HemmingPlay

I wanted to be Steve Jobs
I wanted to be Joni Mitchell
I wanted to be Leonard Cohen
I wanted to be Carl Sagan,
Bobby Kennedy.
I wanted to be that person,
the one they’ll say years from now,
“yeah, whatever happened to him?”
The way people do, about certain
Rare, shining talents, like Joni, or Steve,
Or Carl. Mystery
that can’t be explained.

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November 9, 2017

Beatle Me

by HemmingPlay

1943-2001

If I were a Beatle

I’d be

the quiet one–

catalyst

bare-foot pilgrim

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October 29, 2017

Touching Glass

by HemmingPlay

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The Earth rises and roils the seas,
smashing warnings of
end times
against the land,
afflicting
sticky-tacky neighborhoods, with
houses all the same,
shaming complacency.

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October 29, 2017

A Fantasy of Permanent Youth

by HemmingPlay

I’m racing the inevitable,
my only weapon an
optimistic fantasy
of permanent youthfulness.

The 1970s are to blame.
My generation is to blame.
We started this crap,
pretending we could play
where, before,
only teenagers and children could.

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August 30, 2017

Touching Glass

by HemmingPlay

The Earth rises and roils the seas,
smashing warnings of
end times
against the land, afflicting
sticky-tacky
neighborhoods, with
houses all the same,
interrupting complacency.

read more »

August 11, 2017

Second Coming

by HemmingPlay

In response to current events…

W. B. Yeats

audio: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/play/77066

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

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August 6, 2017

Perspectives*

by HemmingPlay

We see what was always under our noses

only when death’s fingernail

scratches the window pane, asking….

Not today? Ok, then. Not today.

But nothing is the same.

We had an orchard when I was a kid,

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July 29, 2017

Broken

by HemmingPlay

In the Mountain Stars
Light shines through
broken windows,
into broken hearts
once the bleeding stops.
Age awaits us
with the patience of
a sleeper agent.

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July 29, 2017

Borrowed Dust

by HemmingPlay

This body is nothing but
borrowed dust
Animated somehow and passing
along this unmarked
road, from who knows
what to who
knows where.

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July 20, 2017

Songs in Sand

by HemmingPlay

And still the waves
slip ashore,
singing their
conspiratorial whispers
between grains of sand.
The wind slides in
from the deep,
empty places,
haunted and lonely,
cold and clean
like a wet finger around

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June 16, 2017

Cry Havok!

by HemmingPlay


“Horrors of War” by Peter Paul Reuben’s
.
We wake again to news too normal,
in times that wrap around us
with tentacles of putrid decay.

Today death drove in from Illinois and
visited a spring morning.
Last week, workday
carnage in a warehouse;
Bombs and blades and bullets fly, as
humans again forget themselves,
and cannot forgive or love…

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May 23, 2017

Feeling Umwelt

by HemmingPlay

Hemmingplay

Some days it’s all about limitations,
And while it’s no use complaining,
That’s never stopped me before.

I feel like a blind man living inside a kaleidoscope;
A glutton with but one taste bud left;
A monk who’s forgotten what he knew of God;
A tin-eared drunk waking up just as angels
burst across the heavens in song.
I’m a coma patient wrapped in wool,
strapped in a closet in a blackened room
in the back of the basement.

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March 14, 2017

Innocence

by HemmingPlay

Everyone but God, if you believe, is
Innocent of tomorrow.
Caesar, full of swagger, innocent of the daggers of friends,
Mary innocent she’d see a son murdered, slowly, while she watched.
Me, innocent about everything, including
whether a satellite will fall on me, or
I’ll get a certified letter that
immortality, six virgins and a chocolate cake
will be delivered on Saturday by 10 a.m..

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March 6, 2017

The Ticking of the Clock

by HemmingPlay

12pic

We sat by the fire and you put your bare foot in my lap.

I was looking out the window, lost somewhen,

then whisked back by the slenderest of ankles.

I came later, to find you asleep, naked, on your stomach,

Red curls spread across the pillow. I

uttered a silent, joyful, primal prayer,

and we were moving, oblivious, as of old.

Then you were ripped away.

I rose, anguished, from sleep.

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March 2, 2017

Water Child-A Ghazal*

by HemmingPlay

In Mystery

I was a relentless swimmer as a child, more at home
under the surface, leaving it only for air, wishing for gills.

In the pond’s murky realm a few feet down, the big bass, motionless,
eyes swiveling, waited for someone’s last mistake.

In the muddy shallows, the sun warmed the water most,
small things hatched, safe from mouths in the deep water.

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March 1, 2017

Book Available

by HemmingPlay

For sale now on Amazon http://amzn.to/2lQnNoL

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February 15, 2017

Spring

by HemmingPlay

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Put your ear to the air.

Tune your senses to the long rhythms…

The sun is daily higher,

It knocks harder on grave’s door:

Beneath in the icy ground,

Life warms from near death

Shudders and swells and pushes against

The things that would keep it cold:

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February 13, 2017

I Was A Horse

by HemmingPlay

cropped-the-leap-into-the-unknown.jpgI woke up this morning from a dreamy grey half-sleep
with the February rain dripping off the eaves.
A memory floated by that in a previous life
I was a horse. No question.
A big, brown horse with
soft, knowing eyes. I had been abandoned

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