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by Ken Manheimer last modified Apr 27, 2020 11:22 AM
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Sometimes I want say more than I am able. And sometimes when I try I wind up with more than I expect.


please stare

please stare

worship a thousand tiny gardens 
swim some luscious summer lake
& drive shadow's frantic storm

[years ago]

Suddenly more obvious

We wander the aisles of a well-lit store,
and the bookshelves hum,
"here's a world", "here's another".

Browsing the nooks and crannies,
you crouch, grazing intricacies,
and I crouch beside and steady you
with my hand on the small of your back,
and you curve slightly towards me,

Your tummy too I hold,
your hands hold mine on you,
and urgency that's been lurking
appears, suddenly more obvious
than the brightly lit shelves.

Holding hands to belly, we lean,
cheek to cheek we balance,
we move close and closer still.

Time, for once, leaves center stage,
yielding to us, grace.
My every motion is towards you,
and yours to me,
and we cannot falter,
for in these moments (timeless),
no direction is away.

[2006-09-22, 2006-10-20, 2007-04-18, 2007-11-26, 2009-05-12, 2014-08-19, 2018-02-24]


Never Helpless

Black Widow, comic book heroine,
""I'm... never... helpless""
we see her think, as she
maneuvers her comic bonds
to be severed by the comic blade
instead of her.

And as I stumble,
clutching my gut and my heart
I have to remember
I am not helpless.
I may be flailing,
but I've surmounted that before;
and miles from an unknown home,
maybe I will still recognize its signs.

No joke, it takes some doing
to recognize the ties that bind
and those slow blades
that life throws.

[2002-07-14, 2002-07-17]

All that you can do

True as you can be, you have taught, love.
and, that truth isn't all -
 to love you must brave
 doubts and fears, and even loss -
  because love is what you do
  when you let each other close
  and even closer, still.
A kiss; and truth, is all that you can do
 and even that is not always
 (but, I hope, not always not)

[2000?, 03/30/2006, 04/29/2006, 05/03/2006, 10/20/2006]

Reached down

One moment, on the couch,
i reached down to hold your hand.
Receiving your face, instead,
it felt like you gave to me
your entire self.

[2002-04-01, 2005-06-16]

forever walk

walking slowly from the barn to the mansion
each step its own
each interval enough unto itself
no effort required for the current timeless bit
no effort for the ever that i walk.

[2003-10-02, 2004-06-30]


The world is spinning, it seems,

Connection upon connection brings us further
together as if we're all around.

But we are.

If people survive
becoming one big family
we might survive anything.

In this midst
I count your blessings
(like, arriving home, safe)
among mine.



Memory, i protest, is a promise in bad faith.
Like the residue of fading dreams in morning's light,
divorced from the wisdom of their discovery,
it fades, and shifts, and yields to the highest bidder.

In the midst of shadows,
earnest or disloyal, i still hope
to sometimes stumble on simple truth,
and have it be familiar.

[2003-09-22, 2003-10-04, 2006-04-29]

trusting breezes

it's encouraging to know
that the gentle breeze
modestly threading through
the traffic's frenzy
and dull roar
can be far more fierce
than man-made engines
ever could.

[2003-10-04, 2003-10-14, 2007-04-18]

No ledge

knowledge on which
 to put
an excuse for
       of that my
mind can

Full fledged ling born:

Peopling my dreams
 will come.
   Infesting my illusions,
 vague half-fulments
"But what now?"
               I say:
  "I hope a poem."

[2007-04-18, 2011-05-29, 2018-02-25]

Scout, a Reverie for Winter as it Passes

Swaddled in my cloth cocoon
I wander into the chilly world.

Leaves rustle, the stream gurgles,
shadows tilt and weave.
In the crisp cool sun
quietness surrounds me,
large and lasting.

Diving into open space
I admit quiet
and turbulence.
I revel in twinges of cold
and sole liberty
of this vast world.

From and to
this eternal expanse
I return

[04/10/2002, 06/16/2005, 2009-03-17, 2011-05-29, 2011-10-17, 2020-04-27]


in finite mercy
is left handed.
it complements
obligation, liberty;
reverie, loss.

spins in mute splendor
as absent gods
give and take
with unbridled generosity
nothing at all
and everything.

[2003-01-08, 2003-09-26, 2006-03-30, 2007-11-26, 29-2011-05, 21-2011-07]

I would

Oh I would
make a poem of this now
this here
I strain against,
to cast out your stain
from proud moments that I
yearn to share with you.

When will this taint fade
and once more my loneliness
not a begrudged cloud encroaching,
but instead, an old acquaintance -
failing to entertain,
but through no deliberate malice.

[2003-08-12, 2005-04-09, 2007-04-18]

I do

I tell the world three times: Ok. Ok. Ok.
Three times, a binding agreement.


Always shine

"Recall the rain gift." she said,
"Always shine."
A goddess whispers through cool beauty,
"Why moan about the wind?"
Language sleeps
and moments are a place, a dream.

[years ago]

Dancing in St James parish hall

Dancing in St. James parish hall,
dusk in the garden, quiet on the street.
The abating light eventually
supplanted by the strange, warm glow
of the hospital alley's vapor lamps.

With nothing to prove
we reveled in the ease, the joy
of our mutual dances, and we
expanded ever so
into soft loving whimsy.

[2001-04-22, 2003-08-12, 2007-04-18]

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