You Say You Are Dead

You Say You Are Dead

The cloud of it makes for gloomy dust
that settles on drapes upstairs where
a vow was made to clean

The creaky steps used to be a music
and as a joke you went up and down a step
like Shirley Temple doing tap dancing:
up the stairs to the room where
scintillating were the tones
of color and voice

The cloud of it makes memory dust
and a vow to clean. Why do you always

put your love on the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner. You don’t have to
be that clean. There is no
death in a vacuum. Just dust.

Nature abhors a vacuum but you’re OK
as long as you’re of the deadness that
stills the house dumped on
the wicked witch of the west
in the tornado of Dorothy’s dream.

Pray tell, how does deadness speak without
wetted words of dread and dampness blanketing as a fog.

If you can not give us words, why do you
haunt us with desires unspoken. If you
will not ask us, how do you know
we will not grant it. Never mind, shush.

You probably would ask too much or too little.
What can we offer the dead but silence or a party. You could chose one.

— Douglas Gilbert


Free Verse Selections, ” The Season After Winter “

The Season After Winter

By “Zawmb’yee Nuje”

To walk
the beat of the beating sun light show
beat metered by trees
light tune for strollers and lovers
warm for sitters and babies
babble day in the park
parked at a joy spot
spotting a squirrel
squirreling away memory
ripples and fluttering birds
of a feather tickle day, is to
spring up, jump
hey there

there above the wall, still see
the street in chatter-walking glory
as we saw

and we drank in the day
springy stepped and steeped in joy
walking by

by benches flecked with
picnickers carousing, singles,
double-troublers, troubadours
some at ease, one at an easel
painting scenery
of us

to be warm

— Douglas Gilbert

Free Verse Selections, ” The Goddess of Hurricane Irene “

The Goddess of Hurricane Irene

Girl, I put a note in a bottle
for Hurricane Irene to carry away:
don’t know where you’ve gone again

Country girl, I know
you always liked to
climb into the sky on your slinky tree
when you were like a cougar on the prowl,
could move me purrr-fectly well

but if only you hadn’t
always moved away
though playfully
you seemed to know you moved me

but I could never track you up a tree, and
only thought that cougars could fly

Maybe if I’d wrapped you in corn silk
and known the kernel of your heart
you’d have thought me more than husk, but

I’ve put a note in a bottle
for Hurricane Irene.

Bechance, once, I saw you do
a whirl-wind dance on the bridge
your hair like glancing rays, you
crossing with the sun and with your smile
and I thought you’d stay in the city
be giddy with me in the wild dance
in the curl up

Surf’s swirling on the beach so I
put a love note in a bottle.

Oh folksy girl, for you I’ve cared; don’t know why
you’d ever say I’d be a tiger suitor
whose roar would make you
more nervous than
“a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”

You’ve covered over the bridge of our relationship
and moved to Vermont where storms never reach
said we’re washed up, but

For impossible things I’ve
put a note in a bottle, started to
“nail jelly to the wall”
way back on the boarded up farm
and I’m looking for a tornado, because

Take note:
you’d always said you’d love me
when pigs fly, and
hurricanes reach Vermont

— Douglas Gilbert

From the Loneliest Person On Earth

Writing On Paper

I am so sad that all my papers have turned yellow, and
I’m not even sure if they make pens anymore, but
I remember how much you used to
love my letters and cherished the one
that I dropped from
the cruise ship of loneliness
into the ocean like the TV
twilight node episode with
the globe from outer space that said
“to the loneliest person on Earth”, but
you are too lovely and kind to be that
and I don’t know why you would write
a reply to someone who is silly enough
to throw bottles into the ocean that
many mock as pollution, but I
should not pay a fine when my flotsam
is so finely written in script for
the loveliest person on Earth who
would stand on the beach
and retrieve me from a bottle

— Douglas Gilbert

Free Verse Selections, ” Mountain Man “

Mountain Man

by Zawmb’yee Nuje

Mountain Man,
I have seen you soften
my love went fishing in your stream

and I have seen
in glistening glint and gush
the river on your face, and such.

I have seen you soften as
we harmonized the howling winds, and
softened moonlight’s omens much, so
cold could never bite our heat

You’ve seen me
wander in your forest where
the wind and water sing to me, but

You might know
you splash my soul
as kindly as an otter.

Could I tell you Mountain Man
I’ve seen you soften in your rain,
and in your brook

your cute little wiggle
makes my waters giggle.

Oh Mountain Man,
you rock me

— Douglas Gilbert

Free Verse Selections, ” No Knowing No”

No Knowing No

Seems I’m not even worth no-ing anymore —
rambunctious youth gone into cantankerous age
old without authority
not worth yes-ing ever since
the yes-birds flew away
taking the money and taking her,
she who said no, no, no, but
seems the seemly seams of time would
stitch the pattern’s no-liness, though seems

if she
could appear here to hear me
give me a cute little no-no again, to
no me as a romp and roll, if this yes, then
I’d be joy-yes-ly wild, and
knowingly wily ha

— Douglas Gilbert

Free Verse Selections, ” Perp Walk With A Psychiatrist “

Perp Walk With A Psychiatrist

So this is the walk of the tiny talk, bits
smaller than small talk, hallway chatter.

He’s a professional of jumping conclusions
who silently sees
he’s a knight of Freud’s Merlin
a runner for jargon dragons, and
for private unspoken
ernest humsmuggery

I smile and he seems to smile dumb
like a baby in battle babble, and
distracted in the hall, looks for a fiefdom.
Tiny talk to his office door.

He’s the shrink
who quirky faced smiles to himself, another
symptom for ink, but
irked in feigning sympathy, thinking:
if I can get through this day
my wife will be waiting

I say, how is your wife?

Pish tosh,
it’s not about me, its
about prescriptions, and I

say: it’s not about me either.
Tiny, tiny, say-so, say-so
blah, blah, blah

Maybe his wife will make him
mock-turtle soup. Oops, at door
a winning smile

He sits at his desk, looking down.
I seek a window view.

I climb out onto a ledge, and
fly away. I have
wings you know, and he
has guilt enough to
pop his own small pill that
the government plan pays for

Pish tosh,
it’s not about me.

If you hear me now
you’re nuts, though a
casual cashew is OK for you, just

don’t binge at all, ’cause
it’s a tiny symptom –
you know, billions of calories:
obesity is indecency

My prescription for you:
have an orgy of spirituality.
I am an angel
winging it

— Douglas Gilbert