Learning to Float

Illustration for the poem "Learning to Float" by Robert Lutz

I am a decentered circle
my weight shifts and shifts
and falls and falls

I am trapped by my instability
weighed down by my weight

How much a star must suffer

No loose ends swim in my waters
I tie them all to my belt
dragging the load of certainly with me

Always upstream
never with the current
that is my path
my determination
my choice

My will is strong
but its content

All I have is drive
but I channel it
into empty ravines

Remembrance and regrets
they too are part of venture

Life is too overwhelming
as that a single voice
could ever capture it all

I love you precisely because
you possess a strong commitment
to challenging paradigms of oppression

Float untied
The knot’s a noose

Should I fly
yes I should
I should sore like an eagle
but there is no flight
no reaching up high
without learning to float

Which birds are stupid
enough to fly carelessly
their flight is perilous
but skill carves out
a space for safety



Illustration for the poem "Distinction" by Robert Lutz

I graduated with distinction
From the school of forms

My presence marks the absence
Of morning and another dawn

Look me in the eye and
Tell me what you see

I am bare
I am empty
I am texture
I am rigidity

My somber mood runs deep
My growth happens at
The level of roots

My crown is the sky
Birds rest on my skin

I am exposed
I am different
I am other

Do not mistake thick and black
For stuck and opaque

Do not confuse fickle and white
With agile and pure

I stand out
I don’t stand down

Leaf of Absence

Illustration for the poem "Leaf of Absence" by Robert Lutz

She has taken a leaf of absence
from the old tree by her house

Darkness and light switch off
pumping melodies into her
musical veins

She is swimming in loneliness
in the company of her kin

No one sweeps in dreamland
after they scatter the ashes
in the wind

They just brush off the foliage
to reveal the colors of fall

Green moss and blue sky kiss
brown bark and grey mountains


Illustration for the poem "Driving" by Robert Lutz

I don’t drive myself
I still spend a lot of time
on the road being
driven by others

“Others” is a loose term
losing is too
narrow a view
there are other turns too

Turning to and from
points and place marks
marking departure
pressing arrival. Now

To drive or not to drive
the point home
begs the question
whether there’s a question

Asking too much
anticipated strangers passing
through and judgment
coming when the lights are late

Being on time
in timely matters
much too little
or much to matter

Pavement flying by
bus bye here I come
going again
gone a ways away

Always away never
here and now I must
make the turn or
head on straight on

On too far too long
longing too much
to belong, “Don’t be
long!” they say

I say stay far
closer, “Belong!” you say
but I hear you no longer
tail lights long gone