12

June 10, 1985 at 6:24 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

All life-long I have been lover to fire.
Nothing I like better
than my back straight to the heat,
hat off, mouth wide open,
staring up, gulping down to the full
your unintended gifts of food.

My genitals lay exposed before you,
you who must handle me freely.
Unclothed, my quivering penis
stands in life-long hard-on.
You don’t seem to notice — suddenly
down comes your hand. You pull me about
by this like a handle:
you never hesitate.

Sexless you call me
but into my lipped interior insert
your precious fluids.
The meat of your life, the bread,
these are my nourishment. Digested,
unused, I regurgitate
them up again, to the delight of your hearty appetite.

You call me strange one,
almost all head, you say.
You peer into my wide mouth,
you dentist searching for cavities
in a toothless hollow.
You inspect my very insides
till I have no secrets. You plumb me,
then you put on my hat; my mouth is closed.

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5

June 10, 1985 at 6:21 pm (Featured Poems, Poetry, Riddles)

What kind of songbird am I, anyway?
I, who have never sat in a tree
or pecked at the bark of a pine.
I, who have never nested in forest
or flown with the wind, smelling the excitement
of a flock of birds on wing.

— Why dream? I couldn’t fly anyway.
I am a captive of man.

Man
who granted me a voice
only to deny me a song of my own.
Who bids me to sing at his pleasure
running me around
until I think I must finally run out of breath.
Until I wish I could die.
Man
he put me in a rut and left me there.
And I can’t escape.

I’m not even caged.

I must be one of Hugo’s miserables.
I am a songbird,
but there is no song in my heart.

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9

June 10, 1980 at 6:23 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

In evening woods I met a snake.
coiled up as if to take
out anyone by the lake.

As night grew in I met a flea
running off so franticly
that the smallness of him frightened me.

In the dark I met a sound
ten hundred yards long and bound
by silence it knocked down.

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13

June 10, 1979 at 6:25 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

TELL YET NONE HEAR
LEAVES YET NONE FALL
BOUND YET I KNOW NO BOUNDS

COLORFUL NO COLOR EVER SEEN
NOURISHING NO STOMACH EVER FED
HELD IN HAND — HAND NEVER TOUCHES ME
FILL YOU UP YOU CAN NEVER BE UNFILLED

SEEN YET NOT THE SEEABLE
FELT YET BEYOND FEELABLE
KNOWN YET AM ONLY KNOWABLE

SAIL AN INVISIBLE SEA
BEHIND A WIND THAT CANNOT BE BREATHED

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11

June 10, 1979 at 6:24 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

Obscure, once seen I am clearly seen.
Voiceless, I tell my tale from my own view.
Dead, I never live.
Living, I may not soon die.
My world wears the unknown face.

I am the answer to the question I ask.
When I wear no clothes
I hide my message beneath my dress.
When you find it hardest to see me, I stare you in the face.

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10

June 10, 1979 at 6:23 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

I grow, yet have no feeling,
and where I always spurt ahead, I get mowed down
and it doesn’t bother me a mite.
Usually noticed but seldom used
I hardly know my purpose.
Yet often I’m painted red;
I must wear this false face
though I have neither eyes nor nose
nor mouth nor ears to hear by.
I am just me, hard and thin.
Pure growth, without sensation. By this I expose
banalities of paint and trim.

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8

June 10, 1979 at 6:22 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

Though my skin may be yellow, my soul is black.
But in its very blackness lies my value,
though the truth is I am more skin than soul.
Fated with a stiff body I sit on a soft butt,
and if I make a mistake I can always change it.
Born to non-violence, I receive much violence;
but though I face the blade often I only grow sharper.
Often-times cut — yet I never bleed.

Tall in first youth, I lose height in my old age:
butt worn with use, I am tossed away.

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7

June 10, 1979 at 6:22 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

What I make is the sound
of a certain animal
famous for the way he feeds me
at his own relief.

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6

June 10, 1979 at 6:21 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

If I am the wind I can’t be felt.
If I am a tree I can’t be climbed.
If I am the sky I can’t be breathed.
If I am fruit I can’t be eaten.
If I’m the grass I can’t be rolled in.
If I’m a mouse I can’t be chased.
If I’m a house I can’t be lived in.
If I’m a shoe unlaced I can’t be laced.
If I am night I can never become day.
If I’m the sun I can’t shine on you.
If I’m the frost I can’t fade away.
If a baby newly born I can’t be weaned.
If I’m a shut door you’ll never open me.

Yet if seeing is believing, I am seen.
What am I?

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4

June 10, 1979 at 6:20 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

I am a parasite on the body.
I bite clean through the skin and hang on.
Biting without fear, often I hang clear in the air
yet my victim welcomes me.
Somewhat male, I prefer to bite females
(although I’ve been known to bite the other kind too).
People have called me beautiful
even ornamental to see,
and my body flashes goldish or silvery
and my back a glittering beauty
as I hang swinging from my victim who loves me so much.

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3

June 10, 1979 at 6:19 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

I am one not American
and my blood is not red.
Winged, I do not fly.
Well-footed, I cannot walk.
Well-fed, you never see me sit at table.

Although my companions love to speak
I’m not spoken to.
Should I die, my mother would not miss me,
no kin folk cry their sorrow,
no friends come sulking at my funeral.

Named, I do not know my name.
Taller than this riddle is long,
who am I?

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2

June 10, 1979 at 6:19 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

Soft, yet I must withstand countless blows;
and although I take them well, they steal my tan.
Like a dumb snake I roll up my tail and head,
yet leave my middle exposed;
and I am as thin as paper, and paper visits me often.
We chatter, I travel my allotted way, and paper fakes it:

but when the blows on me come hard, it’s paper who takes it.

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1

June 10, 1979 at 6:18 pm (Poetry, Riddles)

I am one who is tall, and stands upright
and though you may say I do not eat well,
it does not matter, for I am one to be tall and thin.
For this I am famous throughout the whole world:
though a million be in line, I’m the one who’ll be first.

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