a few million elegies 

on the death
of dopaminergic neurons
in the substantia nigra
pars compacta
resulting in the condition
commonly known
as Parkinson’s Disease
there is no known cause
and no known cure

I’ll be up late again
tonight
I have a few million elegies
to write

starfish

take me to the village store
they may have found a cure by now
for love
and other things

and if they don’t have what I need
I’ll wander down some lonely street
and when I feel quite out of reach
sit upon the shore
and look for starfish

somewhere on the ocean bed
a sea star makes its own repair
silently regenerates
the starfish

Sea Dreams

In every storm and raging sea
you will find a part of me
that screams at my infirmity.

But with the calm that follows after
comes a voice that quietly whispers,
a cure is coming, a cure is coming:

sea dreams,
to which I listen.

Diagnosis

It used to stand for Department of Police,
Public Domain not private grief.

Now PD means incurable disease,
to my mind no less a crime than murder.

Not a death sentence, the neuro said,
fingering his black cap with due solemnity.
I could have cried when later on,
I saw him laughing in the café with a friend,
though his grin fell through his chin
on spotting me, so that,
if anything, I felt bad for him.

Yes, his face dropped like a murderer
through the trap, as I stood there
without guide book, without map,
unmanned, undone, uncomforted,

detached,

gazing on a city-scape of ruins.

[first posted 3 Dec 2013]

basket case

no one saw me open my arms to the wind
nor did they see me
in the shoulders of the apple tree
nor hear what I said
and with what feeling I said it

and when I crouched upon the garage roof
again nobody noticed a thing

but when my arm shakes they notice
and when I drag my leg
and when I struggle with bags at checkout
the entire queue and the
whole damn universe too notice

and there are worse things they notice as well
believe me I can tell

so I shall stay in the arms of the
apple tree all day
until I have a basketful of poems
and nothing left to say
and then I shall find fifty thousand ways
to say nothing again and again and again

and after that what then

shall I introduce you to
my ragamuffin friend Parkinson
close associate of the devil
and with me till the end

[first posted 20 July 2013]