Monday, May 21, 2018

Hope Cemetery

Do a double-take.
Read this sign again: “HOPE Cemetery"
—clear, bold, and large.

Is it not true?
With death, unanswered questions become answered questions. What remains for hope's good work? 

Hope Cemetery
Bob Komives

In life, hope has much to do.
I can live with hope to lose weight, but pallbearers will know: I did or I did not.

You and I might hope to get rich.
Will we?—a boring, unanswered question. Did we?—More interesting, perhaps, but—simply—"no" or "yes." If alive and already rich, we hope to stay that way. Yet, beneath a tombstone, such hope likely turns to smile or frown.

As to afterlife
(no matter our belief and hope) we can agree nobody looks around heaven and says, "I hope I get to be here."

In quandary I asked clear-thinking friends for help. One suggested I misread the sign, but I have faith in the quality of my double-take.

"Perhaps the message in the name is for us—not them," said others. “As we pass by we remember those who have passed away, but we should also remember to treasure each day, appreciate our ancestors, our heritage, the continuity of life.” I like these thoughts but have difficulty calling them hope.

“It is obvious”, said another, “the graveyard is for jerks, scoundrels, miscreants. Our hope is that they will stay dead.” I try to be open to this view, but—as a city planner—I think of how such intentional land use would destroy tourism and real estate value.

I warm more to a suggestion that resident graveyard hope need not be profound. “Mundane items that haunt us while alive may persist into our grave. For example: 'I hope I remembered to turn off the gas on the stove.' " That thought may well hit coffin-nail on the head.

But yet another suggestion 

allows me to puzzle no more:

  In HOPE Cemetery, hopes do co-mingle.
  Both the living and the dead hope
      to be remembered well,
      to be remembered clearly.
      by those who once explored and opened paths
      that remain open before us,
    and remembered
      by those who will advance or retreat
      0n paths we leave behind us.

Bob Komives :: Fort Collins © 2018 :: Hope Cemetery :: 1613 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Seams of Ambivalence

Ambivalence has seams I but faintly see.
Do they
(as they seem today)
let exiled excitement seep in?

Or the other way.

Do I watch 
while precious, small store
seeps, seeps away?

Seams of Ambivalence
Bob Komives

Bob Komives :: Fort Collins © 2018 ::  1801

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Night's Sound of Rain

Night's sound of rain
     on roof and skylight
calls back rhythm
     on tin-tile-thatch,
     on canvas-nylon-wood
     on twigs and leaves--
          old and new.

Night's sound of rain
calls upon concern 
     for those who want tomorrow dry,
brings celebration 
     with those who crave it moist,
brings new and repeat anticipations.

Night's sound of rain anticipates 
     morning's first step outside,
     impossible to remember smells
          of vitality and growth
          of burstings and birth,
          of aging, disrepair, and putrefaction,
          of renewal,
          of perfumes that beauty hides when dry.

The hour has come.

Rise up to it! 

Night's Sound of Rain
Bob Komives

Fort Collins © 2017 :: 1710

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

I Must Have Some Secrets

“I must have some secrets,” she once told me.
She is still shy
—still private.
Good and bad,
she diverts them
to a calm lake
somewhere inside.
I say, “Tell me,
that's what words are for.”
And, at her best,
she may drip out a drop.
She says, “Hug me,
I need something more.”
And, breast to breast,
I now feel in a flow
the noise of leaky words
can neither channel nor claim to store.

I Must Have Some Secrets
Bob Komives

Bob Komives :: Fort Collins © 1994 ::  ,9408

Friday, October 13, 2017

A More Truthful Confession

Ah, Genius of Science,
I confess I owe you much
for chasing off my curable ignorance
and my primitive superstitions.
here lingers
   an armchair romance,
      a well-couched prejudice,
         a naive daydream,
            a more truthful confession:
A favorite few came back.

A More Truthful Confession
Bob Komives

Bob Komives :: Fort Collins © 2017 ::  1706