and the birds

i built a castle for you

made from fantasy bricks

crystal pink and jubilant

some of the windows

just framed by stories and things

not of any worth

the walls my twiggy arms

at times scuffed and bent

but strong

when the winters came

the foundation

a mere pond thawing

no life just murk

so i gave you pillars

adjusted from my short legs

lifting you from your knees

as you held tight

to the roses and wine glass

in your hands

and the birds

i could never get them to sing

for you Mutter

my throat unable

to find its stolen words

when the singer dies

the laughter in between the rays of the sun was missing i only noticed three days back when no eyes had shown glimmer or soul all were downcast and on the path cutting through the park the brown quilted fuzz on the cattails had fallen off and the wind and bird beaks carried it off to pollinate and line the nests for spring but the gravel under my low top white converse didn’t sass back with the crunchy feisty sound spurting from each tired step today was the today i had been counting back thousands of todays to my early youth of pink cheeked days by the legs of soldiers brothers wounded in battle combating through life while my post toddler mind wondered why the choir lead was laying down asleep in the blue and silver box as his wife and daughters cried over the flag blanketing him and while my shadow creeps under the shade of the upcoming crabapple trees i came to know this is what happens when the singer dies

slumber, i’m here

mbrazfield (c) 2021

slumber, i’m here
see by your
side 50 years
b’tween oh what
the shit we’ve
seen words fed
me like a
bird later i
met your friends
among podiums raised
to you old
man western Blvd
we walked the
Hollywood falling bridge
west scoring beer
with publishers checks
me scoring in
other ways but
i got the
gist of you
don’t try you
said i said
let me see
you liked whores
i liked bus
stops pigeons in
the night we
both liked dive
bars hard boiled
eggs at half
past nine tough
you challenged me
but not before
the ham on
rye beer on
tap my imagination

waterfalls in John Wayne movies

in the city
there are no waterfalls
just runny slimy drips
on rusted pipes
amid the feet of children
who dance
some of us conjuring wishes
between bus lines and  electric poles
there was poetry in hips of maids
testosterone sonnets from metal lunchboxes
in the city pigeon shit awning
ten jewelry stores each selling
radios from Lebanon
waterfalls in John Wayne movies
fifth grade wishes Wonder Woman
jacket and a pink Barbie brush set

self

orange peels fresh in the sink
my finger tips scented by their honey
outside the heat lectures the breeze
little birds lined up fluffy down ornaments
i ask myself
self what will you do today
and i answer i dont know
you do that everyday self
arent you tired
and i answer yes but not like how you think
the birds are still
the window thick but i can read their beaks i know theyre singing
and i say to self
self how about oatmeal
the Irish kind with a little cream and fresh peaches
starring with blank eyes
at the punk rock collage
stirring the cinnamon and sugar
my 4 year old self giggles out from the jar
pig tails tan corduroy dress
bare tiny foots and a Disney coloring book
self instructs me to stand
and i walk away from her

erosion

my roots never grew
i stayed for a little while
then climbed on the first wind
that blew through this soul of sand
my grains turned pale gray
tumbling through this earthen hourglass
alone in the company of droves
of other discarded lonely vagabonds
from what i gathered
love had stopped rooting at the dunes
when i finally got there

defectors of defeat

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
–A Farewell to Arms (1929)

i not ever one to stay settled
not in a chair nor a desk or a flipped car in the middle of the highway

i not ever one to cry fold up or whimper after the first punch slap or ranting curse

gables decisions transfers petitions bus stops late nights running away to dark alleys

broken arms scraped face bloody nose bruised halo twisted wing midnight summer clouds intrigued

books parks veterans of various fights  teachers preachers women brothers fractured holy lives

war with peace along the edge we’re marched too soon where time has earned the essence of our hands yet not the moxie of the spirit

the birds would sound

Baker Beach fog cold wet knees

sand deep cut wrists

knuckles bleed

cold sea wind seeps

into the cracks of the spirit

was around the time

we broke our peace

seagulls screeched wildly

above our coal black energy

you the pulling south

i the fleeting north

umbilical cord

severed forever

Artemis took this orphan in

taught me how to hunt

other creatures

such as i

for crazy cannibalistic 32182314155 rites

and wandering in every downtown desert

dawns spent in tunnels bent

from the neck down

every now and again

the birds would sound

toasting to paired up

cooing doves

that have flown away from me