Michael Griffith began writing poetry to help his mind and spirit heal as his body recovered from a life-changing injury. Recent work appears online and in print in such outlets as The Blue Nib, Nostalgia Digest, The Wild Word, The Good Men Project and Poetry24. He teaches and resides near Princeton, NJ.
Sky-wide phoneme inventory
and obscure lexicons,
a cut of tongue
and cup of truth
to understand you fully.
To know true meanings
and speak plain as whales tell no lies in their arias
and bees are never false in their dance.
To whisper a word to the wind
and make the hurricane stop.
To speak to my elders as they sleep
and hum like a child as I drift off, too.
To laugh in French and sing in Welsh.
To read the Upanishads in Navajo
and to say “I love you” in Semaphore.
To understand me fully cut to truth
and cup my tongue in obscure phonemes
and sky-wide lexicons.
as I rush to pack your lunch.
Eggs displaced by milk,
how old is that mango
and that Chinese take-out?
Coffee’s just between
too-cool and cold,
but microwave re-heating
ruins any savory worth.
Cats are fed and off now to nap.
You’re off to work as I prepare
to shape thoughts that
shape words that
this grey January morning.
Time nobody’s friend,
Time everybody’s parent.
Logic counts in numbers
\the heart can not understand.
A math of mistakes and matches,
mayhem until numbers combine
added, divided, subtracted, multiplied (don’t forget to carry that “1”)
Fractures of a family,
friendships add up to benefits
perks, peeks, pets
Logic can go to Hell in its own tidy little hand basket
since the heart wants what the heart wants when the heart wants what does her heart want?
(Why doesn’t she call me? What, I’m not worth even a text?)
Breathe – breath
double-check the math…
+ + – x1 – + = 2?
… (Forgot to carry my one.)
You run, run, Contrary, run from the garden –
Grow, grow, how did your garden grow?
No nasturtium, no nightshade;
passive posies and pale flaccid lilies, yes,
and the apple tree with its drooped fruit and blossoms.
You walk, walk over to the edge –
look back only once, for twice
and you’d never find the strength to leave.
Then you run, run Contrary,
run away, leave.
Leaves rustle and flutter by, leaf
leave now, by and bye.
Find your new spot,
plant your new garden –
plant there among the bones and shale.
First year fallow crops,
ashy fruits, hollow hopes –
but weed out the bones,
work the shale to soil,
bleed, bleed life into that soil.
Work until you grow new life,
until you plant, root,
grow less contrary and
run no more.