By Alan Cohen


Surf

The morning, a cocoon, light and quiet
Football and the school year start today
The fiscal year in a month
The calendar year up ahead in an astro-logical darkness
All separately revolving, interlocking spheres

Out of phase, I am also out of time
Send my double to work
Maintain my solitude, contemplate
As the fullness of summer, warmth, ambition
Yields to apples, colored leaves, rain, dusk

Yet nothing today has really changed
I am strong, leaves are green
Fog has lifted
The glorious sun, like a trumpet
Fills the world

Let the world be various, then, at odds
Short of war, conflict creates opportunity
That it be full of fools and liars
Ambitions great and small
Spawns stories

Best to watch and comment
Our days of contention largely over
We live on the hilltop in peace and love each day
Hear something, in the distance, loud and foolish,
Pounding like surf below


Rights

We have no rights
Just responsibilities
And so we try to retail what we are

But however certain it is
We can remake the world and twice as vigorous
Nothing stops fate, friends, or fever stopping us

Offering ourselves like cantaloupes or squash
We can be left to rot
Insides exposed to the sky

No law or threat can make the world benign
Or fair
Or sensible
Or care

So it is what we can present
And how and when and where
That helps us dare
To share until we’re gone


Two

Two hours of cloud, two hours of sun
Not possible to predict which will come when
It isn’t a matter of control
But learning to enjoy the conflict
Never to seek comfort

We live inside
Watch out windows
Through reeds
Past clouds
Over fields, lakes, forests

A deer may suddenly surface
A chipmunk, a dove
We cannot be a hawk, soaring
Can shoot the dove
Can’t share the sky with her

If we love, it is across miles of desire
Miles of historical divergence
We can hybrid in the middle
But cannot cross the frontier
Biology has set between us

Loving the impossible
That makes life bearable, beautiful
Perhaps a painting of vegetables is not vegetables
Perhaps a poem is not a party
But probably they are; we are


Author bio:

Alan Cohen
Poet first
Then PCMD, teacher, manager

Living a full varied life
To optimize time and influence
Deferred publication, wrote
Average 3 poems a month
For 60 years

Beginning now to share some of his discoveries
Married to Anita 40 years
in Eugene, OR these past 10