Adagio Before Dinner

Sunday, late afternoon and early summer.
Cooking smells rise from the four directions
of time, past, future, now, and forever.
The small dog dozes in shadow, as do I.

The songbirds and a ring neck dove
in the jacaranda join the breeze
and the windchimes for a long quartet.
Adagio for a sabbath of forgotten prayers.

I don’t remember you very well anymore,
and that’s no fault of mine. I remained.
There are days when I am still, listening,
and I can hear the planet turn and sigh.



J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed


Such Days of Joy

I can’t tell the story of my life,
not all of it or even part
of the wonderful truth.
I have these fragments,
shards of glass or a few gulls
on a long wire.

A freight train rose up
from the southern horizon.
I looked away and a dog
ran to me through tall grass.
The surf, just beyond vision,
was a drum with a living voice.

Everyone gathered to pray
but I didn’t join the celebration
or raise my eyes towards Heaven.
I was small and tired so
the engine broke past us
in a gust of time and car after

clattering car until I was alone
with the swirling dust and the cold
tracks running on the mounded ground.
I should have listened to the sea
but I believed that dogs and love
and such days of joy would never end.


J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed



Rain washes out all of the colors
except for red, which stands
for pain and blue which stands
for music and tears; yellow
for arguments and laughter
that keep our hearts beating
like clocks in separate rooms.

Green is the color of every tree
that will still stand and shiver
in love with the wind and cold
rain, after we are dead.


J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed

Rainbow in Carp 1.31.2016 Crop1


These Winter Evenings

In preparation for death we
send strangers away, cast
them out unfed and unloved,
scatter their families like paper
and see that it is good.

Expecting the Nightland
we stare at the harsh lights
of winter evenings; red
and green and fierce
fluorescent white – until
they echo when we rest our eyes.

Predicting the silence forever
we lean hard on the horns
of our cars and curse
the traffic, just to rush home
and tear off our clothes.

The rumble of dark water
speaks all night from the mantle
beneath us and we sit up
until dawn, forgiving the lies
about justice in the bitter,
unkind world. Then when
the sun comes up, we go.


J. Kyle Kimberlin

The Engine

We argue about flowers
We raise our voices
and the flowers stand
proudly in the withering light

From another room
they simply whisper hush

We never cared about flowers
This is just steam from the engine
that drives the great shafts
of our darkness

A wonderful machine
covered with flowers


J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed

The Stars

We share the same mind
and timid sorrows
the same lights and breezes,
the same nights in which no one
looked up to notice the stars
turning in the distant past.
We go in and sit in lamplight,
call on love and other incantations
to keep us here
and anchored to the earth.


J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed