Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Elegy: for my brother


Born under the judgment
of an angry goddess
and her 5 o’clock hand

Born to suburban streets
you came of age
In hill & meadow

Born to darkness
born to light
before you knew your Name


His spirit was formed
before the dragons were born,
so he embraced the flame

I light this candle
in memory of my brother,
one year gone

I hear his voice
born of an owl’s wisdom,
echo from green rice fields

I light this candle
in his memory
for he hungered for justice

He loved justice
He lived mercy
He walked with integrity

I hear his voice
echo through the foothills
as I light this fire

I light this fire in this circle,
for my brother
now one year gone

His flame is not lost
it lingers in eternity
soaring on the updrafts

I hear his voice
I seek his justice, his
mercy, and his passion

He embraced the flame  


The lost little boy face in the mirror
Does not belong to my brother or my father

Those eyes are my father’s,
The tilt of my head my brother’s

That cracked grin is mine alone.

When I sing, I hear my father’s voice
When I teach, I hear my brother’s voice

When a dark voice condemns me
it is my mother speaking

I built this poem from my memories
what’s left are the stories I’ve been told

The true fictions that build a life
The ghosts that make a lifetime

And I carry these ghosts
in an old knapsack

I bought at the Army-Navy store
These old bones these old voices

This face in the mirror,
this face I carry before me

With my father’s integrity
and my brother’s courage  


Your spirit soars
On hawk’s wings
above the Texas foothills

Your eternal vision
Hitch-hiking the updrafts

Beyond the thin places
To where brothers embrace
Once again  

Work in progress