Pedestrian Rush Hour

Bargains galore,
another mall
collapses into itself.
Everything that’s left
was unwanted at any price.
But now, marked up
they soar,
Helium balloons
headed for the stratosphere
then higher still
for the ‘out of business sale’.
An escalator discount,
the balloon
is losing air.
Crowds line up
to pick the bones
never realizing
they’re getting nothing
for something
and giving up
everything.

From the Book of Tears*

Prayers for our Australian friends:

Having swallowed
the drought-dried leaves,
the joeys and koalas,
the dingoes, bees
and honeyeaters,
the flames devour
all but memories,

Fury and form collide.
Even the stars
vacate the sky.

One hears
the evil roar,
hears sighs and moans
of an ecosystem dying.
Thick smoke claims both
sun and moon; the flames
outshone only by the light
of friends helping friends.

 

The title was inspired by Bush Poet Merv Webster’s
Book of Laughter and Tears.

Merv, we are praying that you and Chrissie and family
are safe from harm.

David Redpath has depicted the conflagration here:

The Heart of Fire

The Sun at a Steeper Slant

“To face the weather and be unable to tell
how much of it was light and how much thought”
quoted from.Wallace Stevens in Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas

The thing about autumn
is when you take away the poetry,
pare it down to its bottom line,

you still have the colored leaves,
the ease of twilight’s peace, the bounty
of a harvest done.

When the air turns chill,
the warm hearth is even more
than crackling fire and cider’s kiln.

Come January,
when the mercury dips,
and bare limbs quiver in the wintry wind

a skyward look
reveals a slanting sun.
As the axis tilts, I feel  language

waxing poetic
as if atoning for the pallid star.
I see Jack Frost’s kiss turn to snow

and it occurs to me:
Autumn is truly lovely
but winter is reality.

_______________________________________________________________

“Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas”
by Wallace Stevens

 

Surprisingly, the Weather

Surprisingly
the weather has nothing to do
with this poem. It was only when
I looked up from my writing that I noticed
the sun coming in the window.

I laid my pen down and reached out
to catch a sunbeam. I saw it, I felt it’s warmth
on my hand, but when I tried to hold it,
it slipped into some other realm.

I ended up with a handful of air
and a warm feeling. On a Monday
in the middle of January,
I am thinking that is more
than enough.

 

Bombs Bursting in Air

The windows shatter,
Shards of yesterday spill out
like pieces of a puzzle
jumbled and mismatched,

Fingers bleed
from trying to set the picture straight;
splattered fragments
hold visions of tomorrow.

I beg for answers
but prophets avoiding my eyes
stroke their scraggly beards
with bony fingers

and offer wise toned murmurings,
something about this being a season of paradox.
We wear the soothsayers’ doom
like a ragged blanket.

Too far removed from its time,
we speak of war as if it were the answer.
The keeper of truth is history;
it must be tired of the repetition.