soundless the sun

soundless the sun

this time of day.

i walk so slow-

ly not needing

to turn

my awe into words.

not needing even

to call it mine.

 

and i think of Vincent

and believe

that having died

he’d be now more

at ease and walk

with me as slow

as this.

 

i’d like to show him

the tree i stopped

in front of, the one

whose leaves i loved

and will

not describe

except to say they turned

 

each one

 

in the wind

like tambourines turning

light green dark green light

green dark

and we’d walk

 

past the tree shadows long

across the lawn

note the mallard

couple oddly

in the grass along the path

how the sun

splatters paint so thick-

ly on the picnic

tables and

i’d ask him

what color he’d say

 

the wind-

 

ruffled pond was

and it would take him

forever to answer

it’s my privilege

it’s my privilege

to be watching

a huge stretch

of the bay outside

this window,

noticing more

the sheet of water like steel

pocked by a trillion

hammers than

the two coots floating

in the foreground;

that is until a third

breaks the surface

without a sound, just

appearing—then

a fourth, a fifth,

and a sixth, all popping

up—seven,

eight, now nine of them—as though

the ocean—ten—

were hatching birds.

 

until i count twenty-three—

floating there,

as if nothing

had happened;

the orange-grey smears

and daubs

of a new day

behind them—just floating

calmly

in their ragged brotherhood,

as if they couldn’t give a shit,

as if the world

were not remarkable

I want the big

I want the big

payoff. The big payoff

is death.

What? No

the other

big payoff—not the death

one, the one 

I'm killing 

myself to get.

Free this Morning

a collection of poems

(selections below)

when the plovers fly

when the plovers fly

low across

the salty pond

there are two

of them, the one

 

and the reflection of

the one.

at the clothes-optional

hot springs

i saw someone

naked from behind

 

man or woman

i couldn't tell

 

i needed them 

to turn around

 

to know if

i should be turned on 

you have a theory

you have a theory.

you look for evidence.

you come home

each night 

and tell your theory

about your day.

she's seen you

through some dark times.

your theory loves you.

she'll put up

a fight at least,

when you ask her

to move out. 

6 x 9 paperback, 143 pages

© 2018 by Chris Dingman