Thursday, February 16, 2006

Strange Who You'll Meet at the Twilit Diner

She’s my lack of blue skies
Acid burns and valentines
Trouble comes with two faces
Betting on the resting places

I met her at the twilit diner
All smiles and thick eyeliner
She called it her disguise
To hide her from dangerous eyes
She sat down and spilled her history
I’m a sucker for fish bait mysteries
We went back to my place after
And rewrote a brand new chapter
We awoke the next morning with a stranger’s laughter

I was a salesman in a faceless town
A five o clock shadow weighed me down
I was sporting an agenda of the senses
Always willing to peek behind fences
I was a bad boy peddling good times
She was a preacher’s daughter in her off time
Some of the best poetry starts with rotten rhymes

She’s my lack of blue skies
Acid burns and valentines
Trouble comes with two faces

Betting on the resting places

Sunday, February 12, 2006

River Games

I awoke early
From a wood thick dream
And went down to the river bank

The flow of waters
Melodious and muddy sang
Over stones and sunken tree branches

My mind so created
Of dreams and poetry interpreted
These sounds elemental as voices ancestral

Again full of life
Of wisdom, and of instruction
A marvelous reward from this river’s game

Learn By Heart

If I close my eyes
I still know the way
Through blinding snows
Or pitch black nights
Wild wilderness paths
Can’t scramble the way
If wolves track where I've been
And beasts hidden in caves
Threaten to devour me
And still my journey
If prayers go unanswered
I’ll be safe without guide
All I know of love deep
Inside I know I learned by heart

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Folklore of Twilight Illinois

Black wing song
crows discover earth
alight on a soft ray of morning sun
pray until they become men
men who fed on divine secrets
and fly off into eternal skies:

Oak trees shiloetted across the countryside horizon
stand tall like the rumors of an arriving new earth

Is it real or Is it fantasy?

Life Imitating Art

In a local bookstore
I bumped into a couple I
knew on their way to
the local cinema.
He’s a friend from
writers group,
she his wife.

(insert small talk here)

After goodbyes
off they went to
watch celluloid fantasies.
I back to my
mortgaged three rooms (and some cats),
and a work in progress
asleep in a notebook.

(that I hoped one day
to win the Sundance film fest with,
a film that would change the lives
of cinema couples everywhere

I back home to a quiet evening dinner

(soup and pasta and sugar free Jell-O)

with my Lovely Wife

(who prefers videos to crowded movie theaters)

and the nightly news,
just before sleep
and dreams
of box office success.
I awake in the morning
and go to the J-O-B,
where I daydream
about being a writer
of notable esteem.

Since we're feeling nostalgic

Career Plans

When I was a small child
what I dreamed I'd grow up to be,
depended on the day and the mood I was in.
It was always difficult to choose
one of the various occupations or from myriad of vocations.
I could be launch pad rocketed to orange Mars
after reading a few of Ray Bradbury’s pages…
or become CEO and head inventor for Milton Bradley or Parker Brothers…
I could be a number one K-Tel recording star.

Then there was the promise
of astounding friend and family
with my Doug Henning flamboyance,
or Marshall Brodien sleight of hand.
As fate would have it
I would end up with the dream come true
of a life’s calling, stocking empty shelves at the Ralph-Mart
for minimum wage and an endless supply of low self esteem.
How can you put a price on that?

Another Era, Another Day

If only I lived in the days when men wore hats, women sundresses. Everyone traveled by train and couples danced away the evenings at supper clubs. In days when one would get their news from a paperboy hawking fresh print on street corners and radio was the main source of entertainment, a tickle for the imagination. Reading meant Bradbury, Fitzgerald and the Sunday funnies. Saturdays were made from Friday paychecks. Everything closed down on Sundays. And most importantly to kiss and hold hands really meant something special.

To hesitate is to think...

Pause is the remedy for fury.
But the thievery of cold hard cash
is the fuel for an angry moment.

For what person who has toiled
at a dead end job only to have
what little earnings saved
stolen by the price tag
of channel after channel
of cable entertainment.

Whole channels dealing with murder,
24-hour stations of deception and trickery
and that’s just George W. Bush
on the nightly news.

Almost every channel
up and down the broadband
serves up lust as love.

Truly if one would hesitate, think
and delay turning on the flat screen,
cease the wasted hours in front of
the family plasma,

surely anger would dissolve.
Ignore the pixilated world.

Read a book!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Second poem

Snow Falling on the Front Balcony
A slow drift of Sunday afternoon sky
brings about this transformation
from dreary simpleton day
into first of season magical blanket flurry.
Covering the last few brave fallen October leaves,
this snowy grace covers a sin of
plastic snack cake wrapper that some clown
carelessly cast onto a drowsy earth.
A wonderment stirs my lackadaisical soul
the suburban equivalent to snow gathering in the woodland
here which is not the city, here that is not the country,
a somewhere place strange and in-between.
This version of my 2nd floor scenery
all condo fashionable in the numb suburbs.
Real like monopoly money is real,
like the lead dog and thimble,
plastic like red houses and green hotels,
these surreal fringes I now call home.
Makes my lifespan feel silly.
me without ownership of an inch of earth to call my own,
no forty acres and a mule here.
Just a simple pleasure of snowfall on the front balcony
a miracle moment
which mercifully town hall
hasn’t figured a way yet
to price and tax.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Two new poems from this season

A Frost On Late Harvest

The October backfield of soybeans is brown and wasted away, row after row of sweet corn, Indian corn stalks bent over with the dead weight of rotted ears like old folks with bad backs. Fruit trees destroyed this far from August; apples in decay at the last days of November chill, pears near frozen. There’s a frost on the late harvest. Milk cows undernourished, chickens with nearly no feed. Inside the farmer’s wife is at rest in recovery. Her husband seated bedside playing nurse, reading poetry aloud, Wordsworth, her favorite this far past autumn.