Tell Me the Story of Your life

 

Maybe you want to be alone

if you need your privacy

itÕs OK

hey are you hungry

letÕs go out and have a coffee

get something to eat

and forget about it for a while

letÕs get out of the apartment

you want to go to that cafˇ

you want to go downtown

itÕs rough I think itÕs going to flood

I canÕt see anything

help me I canÕt see anything

do you like this place

what do you think about these people

do you like the cappuccino

donÕt worry everything will work out

too many problems

oneÕs enough you donÕt need another

how much time do we have

do you have to go back

letÕs go somewhere else

want another coffee

 

 

 

 

The Downtown

 

The ghost of me still works downtown

and now after twenty-and-counting years

after travelling and the downtown seems so small

dwarfed as if childish after all

I go to pick someone up at the

ballet: and the atmosphere is intact

the feeling has returned, nothing has changed

the workers are cleaning the cafˇ front

a miserable-faced woman leans on

a sculpture waiting for someone or a bus

there is a new law office, alley-like

stuffed into brick, like chives

pushed into a potato skin

there is an exclusive restaurant

thick-walled, with an untouchable

side entrance; I cross against

the lightÉlooming, the imposing

performance hall, made of marble

and salt-white like a sand

dune, pass the closed ticket

offices, one by one, and head

for the multiple doors, push

gingerly the one at which an

usher talks with a woman

in a soft voice: ŅWhat time

does the performance end?Ó

 

 

 

 

The Drowning Man

 

The drowning man is fighting me

with tooth and nail

he splashes me, I cannot see

as his arms wildly flail

itÕs just a matter of time

before we both go down

the glass ceiling revealing sky

will watch me as I drown

 

and there will be no survivors

no ship on the horizon

or convenient island

 

The drowning man is struggling, hugging

and strangling

like someone who was climbing and

now is simply dangling

I cannot carry him anymore

IÕm about to drown, myself

I better break off toward the shore

let him drown someone else

 

 

 

 

The Rodeo StarÕs Soliloquy

 

Quit chasing the wild horse

The horse will go back to the hills

I have put up my rope

My rodeo days are over

 

I will not wait in the chute

I will not tie the calf

My saddle sits on its block

All I have is newspaper clippings

 

I will not race the barrels

I will not ride the bull

I miss the roar of the crowd

I miss the flatbed trucks

I miss the concession stands

I miss the ticket takers

 

I miss the sunny parades

I miss the rainy trail rides

and the hayride fat stock show

I miss the smell of the fields

I miss the stars above

I miss the stadium lights

 

Suddenly I am no longer young

Now tomorrow has come

Many times my heart and my bones

have been broken

 

The horse will go back to the hills

and I may settle in the valley

that she may run free run free run free

The wild horse she may run free

 

 

 

 

Voice from the Valley

 

Gave it

your try

you tried

and kept

your cool

you hung

on by

the nails

the scree

gave way

and you

slid down

to the

valley

but youÕre

alive

and the

river

flows on

to the

mouth of

the ocean

listen

go about

your

business

recall

the grief

you felt

as life

bore on

and the

pleasure

the lies

about

the good

you cannot

claim

all the

villainy

in

this world

nor the

sainthood

or

heroism

you have

apologized

as you

would

accept one

a new

day dawns

with its

fears and

consolations

who said

it was

easy

or had

to be

impossible

either

hear the

bird song

it is

for you

likewise

you have

your song

in the

valley

or on

the peak

tomorrow

calls

with its

action

should you

ignore

your own

sane thoughts

or sigh

in

self-pity

at what

you canÕt

control

but tried

and failed

donÕt fail

yourself

 

© David Francis