Posts for June 7, 2021

Category
Poem

Viola

spurred petal, soft viola
tethered before Litha
knoll with tiny hearts
warm my flesh again
Uncertain days
Travel in a still place      


Category
Poem

summer

Root beer and doritos for breakfast
I’m sending up smoke signals in a cicada summer
smelling like how childhood felt when
grasshoppers were abundant
and everything the sunlight touched was ours

We used to drown the silkworms
in buckets of paint water,
and our father didn’t mind
because otherwise they’d kill the trees
and that was god’s creation

Us cul-de-sac kids kicked cans
until mothers called from front porches
“dinner’s ready, come wash your hands!”
Sweat-smudged faces running
with promises to return, bellies full

Weekends spent watching the sun set
over a glistening aluminum-cool pool
smack in the middle of the cow field,
so high up you could watch the storms roll in
for hours before hearing the first thunder crack

Seventeen years of winged carcasses
now sprinkled in the turn lane
of a car I only just learned to drive.
Shining like shattered glass waiting
to cut the next branch and lay in to the future


Category
Poem

Half-Past Four

The stems
of last year’s four-o’-clocks
are bones in the flowerbeds.
Sturdy, but hollowed-out. Scoured
by time and rain. My brain shorts-out
a little
when I touch too many of them.
Something echoes; or hopefully does not
portend.
I keep at weeding, sweat-beading, neighbor
making polite conversation; until
drops weigh too heavy, falling inside lenses.
Lungs labour on liquid air. Hair clipped-up
tight, trapping salt, scalp itches.
‘Time to take a break’, said as much
to myself as anyone else. Time
to let things green at their own pace.
Time
to leave the bones their own space.


Category
Poem

There

It was there when we first met;
when smoke would bring out
the essence of you,
innocent like a child.
It was there glowing between us,
a mirage with pink edges,
humming a love song.
         Beat by beat
it quieted,
reduced to dust particles.
It was there upon floorboards.
It was there falling into cracks,
until it was not.


Category
Poem

Backyard Strawberry

I ate one that you had been growing
standing in your backyard 
with the sun behind thin
white clouds spent for the day
misquitoes 
fed on us while I tasted something
pulled from my worn memory

I thought about how there wasn’t 
any kind of plan for any of this
what we both were doing when we
stepped out into the world as fatherless
men pretending that we didn’t need anyone

it wasn’t until we had been chewed up
by the things we believed we loved
because we didn’t know
any different that it was wrong
to hate ourselves

most of us
spend our lives
doing most of it wrong
because we
listen to those who don’t know
the middle of the night
us
fevered
with wish and dream and hope

but following you around your garden
looking at the state of your tomatoes
tasting the lettuces as it goes to seed
checking the Budwieser slug traps
with the two women who fixed us
laughing with one another inside
I knew that we found whatever we needed
and I was happy
for the four of us


Category
Poem

Showdown

Nestled in clover
the rabbit gave him
skank eye.

Tethered by a leash
my terrier strained

Quivering all over
Instincts pulling him

Rabbit taunted
Terrier not daunted

Suspense broken
We approached

Rabbit sped off
Leash restrained terrier.


Category
Poem

unstuck in time

Yeah
that’s my problem
all my lyrical memoirs 
are too

embarrassing now
cause no one believes such
an old poet ever

hitchhiked alone in the Keys
spent a night on
a shrimp boat storm crashing so

hard I thought we’d split
apart and sink
no one would beleive about Crazy

Louie from Saint Lewis with his
dusty boots on my dashboard all
the way to Phoenix and

what about Naked Melvin and the 
spear fishers, Sideways Walking
Mary who’s dead now and

what about all those
“Moon-Barkers” why are they mostly
dead now too

I never liked
them  anyway  could I be that

old?


Category
Poem

untitled

Outside corner, left eye

Here we go again. Leaky eyed Luca, my son calls me

Always keep a tissue

Granny lost a brother
Mom lost a brother
I lost a brother

It’s just a twitch
Comes on when I’m stressed

Driving lessons

Big Mommy lost a son
Granny lost a son
Mom lost a son

Leaky eyed Luka 
What can a tissue erase?


Category
Poem

To whom it may concern

Writing a poem is in some ways
like prayer: conversation
about divine presence and glory
beheld; meditation on grace
and gifts and gratitude; contemplation
of wants, needs, shortcomings –
the ultimate list poem.


Category
Poem

Trapped in the Middle

I stand
in the middle of a road,
sandwiched between two sides,
invisible walls pressing in 
suffocating,
invisible forces pulling both ways,
tearing me apart.

Stretching infinitely,
there is no escape.
Look forward, look back,
but only see the sides.

My foot edges towards one side,
then retreats back.
Don’t expect me to choose
one or the other–
I walk the middle line.

Come see me perform
the precarious balancing act,
dancing along the tightrope,
trying to escape these chains.

I don’t take sides.
I move forward
with blinders on.