Heatwave

It is so hot
the minute hand stopped
to wipe the face
of the clock.

Not an unusual thing to do,
nor was there need
to give it a lot of thought.
In retrospect

maybe it should have considered
the action more carefully.
Here we are
with time on pause,

heat rising from viscous asphalt.
There’s not even a hint of breeze
and the clock has stopped
at 98 degrees.

 

The Night I Wrote the Perfect Poem

At 2 a.m.
when the wind
was whispering perfect poems
into my sleep fuzzed ears,
I jumped from bed,
not quite awake
but highly motivated.

Knowing
that I am but a vessel,
a vassal that holds the pen,
I proceeded to transcribe
the perfect poem.

My hand was guided
by a greater force,
My soul was on fire.

When the poem was written,
I plumped my pillow
a little higher
and lounged instead of slouched,

never doubting
that in the morning
during my daily rituals,
my Colgate White
would polish pearls
instead of teeth.

I reached for the tablet
on my night stand
with thoughts of reading
those treasured lines again.
Alas, no poem appeared;
the paper was bare.
It was just a dream
turned nightmare.

Epiphany while Eating a Peach

The orchard a sensation of sweetness
grown ripe, an inkling of my insignificance
as I savor that first taste.

There is a certain joy to realizing
how happy I can be
with peach juice on my dress.

This moment of knowing I don’t know the breeze —
not the birds nor the blooms that dot the green hills.
I know only this sudden smallness that recognizes me

as I stand here aware and alien, separate  and yet not,
eating a peach at the end of a stormy June. Sharing
the tree with monarchs and bees and one spotted fawn,

unknowing of all I don’t know, but, at last,
fully conscious of the possibility of flight
and this hunger to touch the sky.

Summer Squall

A felonious aberration,
that soft pink sky turned red
with morning;
the innocent flowering
of dawn gave little warning.

A disingenuous incantation
that first faint rumble of thunder,
the distant streaks of lightning,
air gone stagnant  like the breath
of some malingering snake oil salesman

hovering, hulking,
lugubrious in the summer noon.
A dark’ing sky,
austere, bereft,
ensnares the atmosphere.

The warring gods attack,
obtuse and cruel they duke it out.
Beguiled by early morning’s smile
we hunker now, waiting
for the storm to end.

 

 

 

Recollections

Aunt Mae, thin as a reed,
but not nearly as supple
saved everything…

she save photos and programs,
old clothes, shoes she’d outgrown
and dentures in a can.

Not one for mincing her words,
she was noted for her sharp tongue
and her rich kitchen,

She baked and roasted, sautéed
and toasted, and was well noted
for her generosity.

As I mentioned, she saved everything
but we, her closest kin
were hard pressed to explain

why she kept that antique coffee grinder
with handle missing, coffee beans
still in its drawer,

and one old spare tire on a rusted rim,
worn thin of any tread, and busted
beyond fixing,

but we were sure there was a reason,
so, as a matter of respect
we kept them too,

or maybe, in truth, we keep them
just to cause consternation
to the next generation.

After all, why deprive them
of the pleasure of such a find,
and the glory

of creating their own story
about Aunt Mae, whom none of us really knew
until she was gone.


 

 

~~~~

Poets’ Great Beyond

In journey to the wide expanse
beyond the realm of night
we tarry for a moment in this clime

We pause to write a poem
plant a garden, and on a warm June day
we dream

Here a pine tree, there a maple
each nodding in their conversation
with the breeze

Their wisdom far exceeds
our comprehension, their dreams
we can’t conceive

but even in this sluggard mind of mine,
it comes to me this summer day
as sun splashes

through the window where I sit
that in spite of all the stumbles
that we make

we glory in the destination.
No doubt we’ll find a pen
and ink pot waiting.

 

 

~~~