All posts for the month May, 2013

The Ghost of Gangrene

Published May 23, 2013 by rlmcdermott

it moves from left to right
and calls your name

it preys and prays
and calls you to its side
to dress you dead

the sweet deliverance
of pills that know your name

the sound of your own voice
the hidden mystery of it all
to watch death is to die

codeine has the properties of gangrene

your nerves dance like hobbled ballerinas
on toes that look like blackened twigs

your spring has been a bitter season
grown sweet before its final blossoming
roots dipped in the alkali of too much love
andante-sweet dementia-praecox
is simply another word for prayer

this is the epic of your life
to die without birth
a requiem of pain
unannounced and unashamedFlower

The Geisha’s Song

Published May 22, 2013 by rlmcdermott

I couldn’t find
my way among
the trees so
I turned back–
the darkness,
an old friend,
welcomed me.

It took my hand
and lead me down
the garden path
and I was patient
in the moonlight,
for the first time,
I was patient.

I’ve loved so
many things
the singing birds,
the summer sky,
the coneflowers
but most of all
the weeping
cherry blossom tree
that sheltered
everything but me.

I’ve lost you
but most of all
I’ve lost myself
because we shared
so many things–
the falling leaf,
the polished stone,
the tall grasses.

I’ll look for you
again, someday,
but not today–
today I’ll write
a poem and paint
a picture of the moon
and dream of gardens
where flowers never bloom.Geisha


Published May 8, 2013 by rlmcdermott

into the
she ran
blue girl
blue day

nine nurses burning
on a California bridge


filmed death
on their cell phones
and drove away alive

three women held captive for ten years

no one noticed
everyone cared

I hold my fear
in my hand
like a flower

it blooms
in the bright
light of day

lives that
could have
been so different
if they had not lived
laughing and crying
every minute
every hour
every day

I am not afraid of love
it is afraid of me
it cowers on a San Mateo bridge
in an Ohio basement
women who were loved
stolen from their lives
held captive
set on fire
and made famous
by our curiosity
Flowers in a Vase


Published May 1, 2013 by rlmcdermott

you make dinner
you wash the dishes
you set the clock
you lock the door
you go to bed

this is all about being alive
the small gestures
the unconscious acts
the slow forgetting

someone you love has died

when will love return
do you miss it more
than you miss him

even the birds are
silent in this mourning

you listen for their song

suddenly the sunFlowers