It’s not here that heaven

Posted on Jul 8, 2016 in Poetry

It’s not here that heaven
will be found,
as much as we look for it.
The animal hides in the room,
in our genes,
staining hopes
that we continually aspire to.
As for me, I’m comforted
in the thought of illusion;
The reaper isn’t
a figure to be feared.
He’s a guy in
a Halloween suit,
sent to shake you awake
from a long night of wrestling sleep;
Wrestling with oneself, as it were.
And on waking,
there, standing, smiling,
will be loved ones,
the moral of this world in hand;
Memories fast kept in their hearts;
Comforting words
on their lips;
And the missing animal,
the elephant in the room.

Will you run to the mountain

Posted on Jul 6, 2016 in Poetry

Will you run to the mountain,
to the hill with its fractures,
were just fingertips fit
as if someone had measured
and planned for the swell in your heart?
Will you rush to the water
the cool of its bed
your toes squishing into its mud?
Strip off the sin garment.
cast off your shame—
the animal skins of hate,
the knowledge!
Be like the dog
his excitement unconfined,
his intellect gladly restrained.
I speak with words
that aren’t real.
I notice nothing dreamed up
by a lonely, bored dreamer.

If you’ll block the light

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 in Poetry

If you’ll block the light,
turn the mirror,
so I’ll not see what time has done;
If you’ll fool me—
Add to the doe-eyed,
your face,
your favor,
the moon’s countenance
upon the sun—
I’ll wrap up this play.
Stand between heaven, earth,
And with a cry not heard
since your mother’s days—
With the draw
of a thousand suns,
I’ll remove this firmament,
this trick—
Hands reaching
torn asunder in ancient times,
will find each other once again.
The touch of fingers
will wake Him
from long stony sleep,
and when he reaches—
when I do—
I’ll pull you to me.
I won’t forget,
Never again, never again.
O heaven
what standard is enough?
Wrestling, wrestling
below, above.

If only I’d have caught it

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 in Poetry

If only I’d have caught it,
that moment, you know?
But we never think that quickly.
There was a dream that was Rome.
If you’d have stood in the city,
its white buildings emerging
birthed from pure soil
of the Ancient, the Sea,
built by hands
of calloused craftsman.
There one moment in time,
but then gone.
With time running faster,
you’ll need to be standing
at just the right moment,
else you’ll miss it.
Like a movie on fast-forward
this is how time works.
You sit in the theater chair
while vanity puts up monuments
just to watch them come down.
It looks as a children’s pop-up book
looks, turning its pages .
Up, down. Quicker now.
But the book is kept;
It’s a family book.
This is where you’ll need to be careful,
that word family.
Don’t let your eyes deceive,
taken in by dream.
Begin by wiggling your toes;
the only way really.
Feel the bedsheets
the clothes
of an alien world
in which you’re the little green man.
Beside you
lies your little green bride
warm and clammy
from the long, restless night
of wrestling and tossing.
Move a leg and feel for her toes
Next her ankles and legs
working a way up to her
dream-weary head.
As she whispers of mistakes
put a finger to her lips
replaced by a kiss
you’ve been waiting to give
for millennia you’ve lived
separated, and yet never really.
When you’ve both wiped
the sleep from your eyes
find that book.
Remember your hot, carnal days.
Ladders set up
that went no where and everywhere.
Hands red and sore
against rungs of passion
and war.

I’m back

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 in Poetry, Writing

In technical terms,
every moment of my life is now.

So I’m back holding my Slinky at Christmas,
With Stretch Armstrong nearby
And my chemistry set.
I can see the odd looks
as I say it to the neighbor kids.
Try it, you’ll feel smart.

I’m back to reading every ad
in the back of Popular Science,
so carefully, as if it were a textbook.

I’m back to the apartment complex swimming pool.
There’s Mary Whitehead,
She’s twisting the water from my towel.
Her friend helps.

I’m back to lighting the dumpster on fire
with my brother Matt,
burning the rubber off my sneakers.

I’m back with my sister Peggy.
She’s throwing her clothes out
her bedroom window again.
Littering the lawn.

I’m back with my brother Jimmy,
and his so perfect breath.
Officer Bruno is chasing him
up the railroad tracks during school.

I’m back in my father’s deli in Delaware.
I’m steaming a sub roll in the back.

I’m back driving my Chevy Camaro.
Delana is at my window.

I’m back in Johnson City with Jim
prank calling my future wife Christine.
She’s putting on nail polish,
The making of a metaphor
I’ll never live down.

I’m back with my Mom.
She’s negotiating a price on a van,
with Italian charm and skill,
to a price so low,
you’d not believe it.

I’m back with my Dad.
He’s trapped me in a room
while he tells me of God.
I won’t hurt his feelings by leaving.
I won’t.

I’m back in the mall.
Misty’s howling from her pet store cage,
turning us around to save her,
to save us.

I’m back with my daughter Jess,
And her funny face
And her cat, Nichol, with steps up the wall.

I’m back with my daughter Laura,
with Daisy on her shoulder.
She’s baaa’ing like a sheep
in her sisters ear
in the car
And she’s skating circles around us all
on her rollerblades.

I’m so glad that I’m back,
but I wonder why I was ever fooled
to believe I ever left
all those moments.
I’m so glad that I’m back.

Tarry (v2)

Posted on Oct 24, 2012 in Poetry, Writing

I held your feet as you climbed,
irrelevant as the lack of the

The bend of your knee,
thigh, then
form versus function,

The leaf has dropped

Posted on Jul 29, 2012 in Poetry, Writing

The leaf has dropped
too many times.
The second hand charges to its next iteration.
The dead horse has been beaten to dust.
Let us break the clay pot,
and name it a boy.


Posted on Apr 29, 2012 in Poetry, Writing

I held your feet as you climbed—ankles—sundress—irrelevant as the lack of the sun. The bend of your knees, thigh, then thigh, form vs function, sky—

ward—As my heartbeats skip, as the ladder shakes—you tarry—I overtake

you—I am inside.

My name, my name, never in vain—

—tempt me, love me, for heaven’s sake, speed my breath from above me.

Warrior – Cary Briel

Posted on Dec 17, 2011 in Poetry, Writing

Your pretty eyes
dart, gaze from behind
your mask,
your facade.
The bend of your knee
is all that I need
to sustain the day.
The angle of your ankle
subdues the monster
in man.
Strength fades.
He’s owned by
the weakest,
the smallest.
Big muscles sit
while prettiness sighs.
Little one
I will climb back
into the womb,
I’ll be born again,
what facilitation,
what imposition,
the time of the wall
that would be a door,
when you looked so comely,
so pleasant,
so accommodating,
when you overtook
by being overtaken.

Back – Cary Briel

Posted on Jun 24, 2011 in Poetry, Writing

I awake in the night to find
the yellowed mirrors surround me.
I hung them when I was old,
when I was lonely.
Where is my shiny boy, my wife?
I will carry her from the dark,
back to familiar waters.