My poem For a Distant Muse appeared on Spillwords earlier today. It might seem familiar to regular readers since I posted it here last year but it still deserves some views on their platform. Some might even press the little heart button to indicate approval. A Spillwords account is not needed to give me a little love.
My gratitude to Dagmara and all the folks at Spillwords for accepting my work.
Back when I used paper money,
I’d always arrange the greenbacks
with the dead white men’s faces
looking at me, right-side up,
by descending denomination—
Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton,
Jackson and, if it’s a good day,
I’m sure I’ve wasted more time orienting
the bills than I would have spent
digging them out from the haphazard.
It’s like trying to write poems
with the same number of lines
in each stanza— a futile effort
at bringing order out of chaos
but sometimes it works.
(Written for the Living Poetry Prompt: Quirk.)
from the eastern redbud
litters the parking lot
where I walk a tightrope
of concrete wheel stops
like the boy I was long ago
confident as a balanced egg
that the tilt of the earth
won’t pull me askew
this first day of spring
Happy March Equinox, the first day of spring for my fellow northern hemispherers and the first day of autumn for my readers south of the equator.
Had our roles been reversed
it would’ve been romantic—
her tossing playful pebbles
against my bedroom window
Me inviting her in
out of the morning cold
where she asks forgiveness
for dumping me
It would’ve been cute—
a story worth telling
But begging her to take me back
by attaching a note to a thrown brick
may have been a bit too much
(Written to yesterday’s Living Poetry Prompt. Definitely not a true story. Honest.)
My Favorite Season
It’s not when the leaves turn or the snow falls.
It’s not when the flowers bloom or the days are long.
It’s when the McRib® is put to bed
for it’s ten month hibernation
and the green milkshakes all appear
with a school of crisp fish sandwiches—
Deep fried protein from the sea,
tartar sauce with extra pickles—
Then a frosty mint delight
sprouting from no earthly garden.
Let it kill me on Good Friday—
then restrain me in my tomb.
I’ll come back out Thanksgiving Day—
for a tangy barbecue fueled doom.
“There are eight sides to every argument,”
she said while sliding through a four-way stop.
But I’m a programmer, paid to think in ones and zeroes,
ons and offs, trues and false, though I see her point
as the car stops spinning and she accepts the direction
of chance. At this time of night we’re alone on the road,
in a shades of grey world— white snow, black ice
and muddled slush.
As the winter sky rotates above us. I try to impress
her with my astronomy, naming the cold sharpened stars
of the Winter Hexagon— Sirius, Rigel, Aldebaran,
Capella, Castor, Pollux and Procyon. “Even the bees,”
she reminds me, “know better than to put seven sides
on a honeycomb.”
(For this week’s Living Poetry Prompt. Title stolen from J. Michael Straczinski’s Babylon 5.)
Today is the 215th anniversary of Elizabeth Barrett Browning‘s birth. Earlier this week I spent some time online with the good folks of Charles House talking about Mrs. Barrett Browning’s poetry. As is our tradition, we wrote a little poem together inspired by her and by the budding spring outside our windows. It was a sonnet, of course.
Piercing through soil
and last autumn’s leaves
pale green swords
greet the spring
Wrens sing to unborn flowers
crocus and daffodil
listen on the warm breeze
melting the last of the frost
Yellow flags unfurl
covered in dew
this bright morning
dawn a new year
Hemispheres aligned with the sun
spring for us has finally sprung
I’m proud to announce that my poem Kudzu was just published at Whispers and Echoes. I’ve been following W&E for a while now because they post excellent short poetry and I’m honored to have been included. All my gratitude to Sammi Cox.
Outside the leaves were falling and they cried Too soon! too soon!
On a concrete continent
spaced with bland billboards
the poet’s eye obscenely seeing
its surrealist landscape of
cinerama holy days
and protesting cathedrals
from Lost Angeles to Heaven
promising Free Elections
They writhe upon the page
drugged store cowboys and las vegas virgins
where the world rushes by
in a blather of asphault and delay
roads radiate into air
like the labyrinth wires
of a telephone central
and yet gobble up at last
to shrive out circus souls
the also imaginary
wafers of grace
To honor Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021), I offer this poem of lines entirely stolen from A Coney Island of the Mind.