Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: travel

Rich brown, rich blue

Context — August highway desert dreams.

 

The straight-line gray with yellow racing stripe
extends from tire to edge horizon view,
with buttes like pioneers’ wide ferrotype
and endless skies of southwest Xanadu.
A Belgium distance left of desert weave
before arriving at next port of call,
heat shimmers try to make you disbelieve
you glide on dehydrated fireball.
With cirrus streaks at 12 clicks off the ground
to beckon nimbostratus thunderhead
you know a monsoon’s brew will dump earthbound,
saguaros quenched to stand encumbered, fed.
In quiet times closed eyes are commandeered:
eyelids Sonora’s panoramic seared.

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Piling together our comfort-inducing trifles of transit

Context — Thoughts of inequality haunt me. This version came as we were landing at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg.

 

A mustard light shined through the dingy glass,
augmented by the bulbs of chandelier,
illuminating tilework with last
adulterated dusky rays. A tear
began to well on iris, as to wilt
its floral lens so often tinted rose.
For there an overwhelming sense of guilt
to winter thus my spring bud view had froze.
Grand Central Station, thousands treaded through,
and purchased Dunkin coffees, three bucks each,
a sum in minutes, were it to accrue,
enough to fix a shortage, let us teach
Rwanda’s thousand hungry pupils met
so distant from our well-intentioned fete.

Gifts of Thirty: Epilogue

Context — Someone wonderful turned 30 last year. I described my gift in 5 sonnets, released over the course of this week. #5 of 5

 

By now you see I’ve drawn from infinite
array of possibilities for week
in which we’re both equipped to smile when it
becomes reality: I don’t misspeak
to promise you two tickets to the place
your heart desires to go, with me in tow.
I only ask your child within embrace
the opportunity to dare and grow.
To pilot, kite surf, chow, scoot, lounge, or glide,
to meditate or read, withdraw from web,
or rather to immerse ourselves inside
a tested second life’s first flows and ebbs.
Let’s make you free for seven days, to start
the year you steer your life to pasts depart.

Gifts of Thirty: Option 3

Context — Someone wonderful turned 30 last year. I described my gift in 5 sonnets, released over the course of this week. #4 of 5

 

The third is an escape by all accounts,
vacation to an altitude or sea,
to forest cabin topping giant mount
or jungle, lake, savannah, tundra, scree.
We’d swim or scuba, expertly traverse,
backpack or hire a motor scooter as
required to your adventure sense reverse
and start your thirties with offshore pizzazz.
The continents seek your attention, so
your challenge is to pick where our first trip
will be, to be looked back on as tableau
of nature’s splendor ’round our partnership.
Agnostic to the flora, fauna that
surround us, know you’ll be my habitat.

Gifts of Thirty: Option 1

Context — Someone wonderful turned 30 last year. I described my gift in 5 sonnets, released over the course of this week. #2 of 5

 

The first is a pursuit of family:
a liberated week in which we both
fly to a spot where I’m the inductee
who meets and greets whom you’ve to date been loath
to introduce me to. You’d get to see
the people whom you hold so near and dear
in time and place where their improved esprit
would, over recent heartache, domineer.
Location, certainly, would be your choice
though now I’d think an Arizona or
Chicago sojourn best for such rejoice.
I’d see firsthand your mirth as we explore
the bridges where your family divides
and places in your heart where it resides.

Rediscover the Wild West

Context — I love the southwest and wrote this to invite classmates on a December road trip with me through northern Arizona and southern Utah. Sonnet 28, 11/22/09

 

A land of browns was painted scarlet where
thick dust and rock were worn by water’s course,
six thousand feet of strata shining, bare
the gorgeous gorge from Colorado’s force.
Beside the Canyon flood and sandstone fought
beneath the hooves of hunted Antelope
to shield themselves from surface sun onslaught,
a slotted labyrinth of orange and taupe.
Escaping nature, they carved home from cliff:
the Anasazi “House Under the Rock”
had just one thousand years of life, what if
more words were left to pick history’s lock?
December tenth through seventeenth, succumb
to desert solitaire. You ought to come.

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