Give you good night.

Give you good night.
I say this twice. Same words –
With no “So anyway” before them.
I really want you to understand
To receive
To be given a good night
For your hours to pass quietly and with no
Sense of the time passing
Maybe I know what’s coming
And I’m wishing for it not to happen
Not to you
Not now
Maybe to the next guy
One who’s not so nice to me.
So anyway
Give you good night
Like I said before.

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Barnardo hath my place.

Little green lens through which I look at these things
Through the bottom of this green bottle
I see
The lines of choice and fate
Barnardo stands where I should have stood
The river of fate carried him to the shore
I should have stood on
And carried me here.
Barnardo receives what I could have had
He laps up my rewards
He basks in adulation that ought to have been mine
I cannot really blame him (though I’d like to)
He had no more control than I
He didn’t hold me back with his oar
Or even know my name
It was the water that carried him there
And me here
And no matter how hard I swim
I will never stand on Barnardo’s land.

Give you good night.

These are my last words in the play
You will not see me again
I will go to my bed
And dream of a ghostly king
And a new one
And one who should have been one
And one who could play all three.
I will wake up to an entirely new world
Wherein I am no longer a Dane
But subject to Norway
Who I will guard with equal diligence
And dream into stories
I am Francisco – I dream it all.

Stand Ho!

Be still
Make a stand
Be a stand
Immobile like a support
For music, for light, for plants, for books
Hold up the sky for a moment
Keep the earth below your feet
Be only in that spot
As the world whirls around you
In the whiz bang sonic book
Of the rushing world
I will call loudly for you to hear me
Into the swirl, into the vortex
Of stillness rushing through your ears.

I think I hear them.

Over the grass
Over the mountain
Under the bridge
Little voices growing bigger
Getting closer
They’re whispering
They don’t seem to care if we understand
They’ll just make those sounds
Shape those words
Aspirate those ideas
Until they are here
At our feet
Or at our ears
Or towering above us.
They sound small from a distance
But it could be that what is coming for us is huge
Or it could be smaller than gnats
But I don’t think they’re happy
Those are accusatory whispers
Coming over the walls
And in through the cracks in the floorboards

Not a mouse stirring.

All is still
Even the air has settled
And will only move a fraction to pass from lung to lung.
It is a frozen stillness
Like a breath, held.
Normally, the world whistles and sways a bit
It rustles, it scratches at the walls
It’s music, abstract and irregular
But comforting somehow
Life, moving through the walls
Blood, moving through the veins
World moving through the sky
Has it all been suspended
Everyone poised where they stand
Sniffing into the future?

‘Tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart.

I stumbled into this freezing night with this ache.
It was a small dissatisfaction at first, a “Damn. It’s cold.”
And “Why’s the moon gotta be dark like that tonight?”
I kicked at the stones
Knocked a few loose pebbles quite a fair distance
But somewhere in the silence
The dullness grew and covered me
And before I knew it, I was weeping
And I couldn’t tell you why.
Was it for a love lost or un-pursued?
A dream I let pull loose from my fingers?
It’s like my heart started with a case of the sniffles
And by the end of my shift, it was wrestling with terminal cancer.
I hope that what troubles me here about my heart
Is not contagious and that I will take it with me
When I go
Or better yet, I could leave it in the long dark corridor on my way away
Where it can shrink and shrivel and disappear.
If I have to, I’ll nurse it under my covers
And hope that it flies away in my dreams.

You come most carefully upon your hour

One step at a time
One foot before the other
You take each minute seriously.
Reverently you approach the hour of your arrival
Each breath, a prayer
Each step, bringing you closer.
You note the stones in the pavement
As you cross them
You see the panes in the windows
The temperature as it shifts slightly
Along the path
You want to memorize the stars and the clouds that obscure them
You want to record this smell
This sound
And when the clock strikes the hour
You wonder if it will ring forever.