Category Archives: Poetry

The Searcher

 

treasure chest photo
Photo by Robbert van der Steeg

While I was searching
for an allen wrench in my garage last night,
it occurred to me
that my life has been an endless
search to find one thing
or another. A serial quest,
a persistent stance
that tears at the peace
I might have had. Whether or not
I find what I’m looking for,
the search is renewed
and the activity continues.
I don’t know if
I will suspend the search at some point
or if I will pursue it
through death’s door,
but perhaps its worthwhile
to cherish those few times
when I surprised myself
by finding treasures
that I wasn’t looking for.

The Shape of Things

wave photo
Photo by N@ncyN@nce

After a day of early autumn
yard work, I reached
for a glass of water
in the kitchen. As I
paused in between thoughts,
I noticed a warm breeze
billow the shear curtain
curling it around a ceramic
frog with a scrubbing pad
in its mouth. The graceful
movement reminded me
of catching ocean waves
when I was a teenager. I
used to compare the beautiful
rolling waves to the girls
walking the beach
and the tapering cove
undulating before the setting sun
and the rounding feel
of a wet surfboard in my hands .
I smiled to think that perfectly
shaped waves still can catch
me in these early days
of fall.

A Season of Fire

forest fire char photo
Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
In the stew
of char and drizzle
lost abodes of all sorts
the dead and homeless
the completion of a cycle
we search our story
for a motive
or at least
a lie.

Nothing
is what we imagine
in the richness of the summer
sun, our fables outgrew their cover
a tinder of misunderstanding
the importance of ‘us’
the misguided
attempt
to live
in the
center
of the universe.

At season’s end
wonder
will have to be
enough.

No Place to Hide

broken windows photo

“If God lived on earth,
people would break his windows.”
-Yiddish Proverb

Hear the tinkling of breaking glass
slight at first,
then louder
like voices in a cacophony, roaring
in an unending crash of all things.
Every opening
every pore
are your windows
losing their grimy glass.
The morning light pours
in, slicing your binding sinews,
rattling your dry bones
summoning the hidden ghosts
from your grieving corners.
The mystery is unbound, crashing
ravaging the neighbourhood.
Nothing is safe!

All will be well…

All will be well.

There

distant wooded landscape photo
Photo by markpeate

Growing up
on the edge a Midwestern town,
I used to stare
out my front window
across a lowland
about a half mile
before a wooded rise
that caught my vision.
It was etched by rails
that ran along a stream
all the way
to the stockyard.
I felt that there
was a secret
mystery
out there
but I was unable
to determine what it was.
Sometimes
I would search
that area on foot
season after season
to no avail.
Now,
I stand
in a hazy distance
looking back
across a lowlands
at a young boy
who was searching
for something
he already
was.

The Lie

Never trust a man in a blue trench coat…”    -Tom Waits

He was waiting outside the gate
in a trench coat and hat,
hands in his pockets.
He came to discuss
the terms of extortion: He tells you
that he will be moving into your master bedroom;
he needs the extra space.
He will be attending your pool party,
you are to introduce him to your friends as a your brother,
make up any name, he says.
He’s just come from his villa in…
you are to make that up too.

At first, you are able to ignore him.
You make casual small talk with your friends.
When he grabs your drink from your hand,
his robe opens, revealing a huge, hairy belly
with snake tattoos that seem to move;
some of your guests turn away in embarrassment  and disgust.
Others laugh nervously
and try to engage him.
He vulgarly insults men and women, alike.
When the tension rises to the breaking point
he pushes you into the pool, and laughs like a jackal.
All your guests start leaving.

As you dry off, he says “I think that went well.
Sit down and let’s plan our next soiree!”

-Edited-

Another Migration

monarch butterfly tree photo
Photo by Damian Gadal

Wind chimes carve
large swaths out of the air
announcing the doors of Paradise
will be closing for another era.
A red-speckled salamander
in his window well fiefdom
searches for maps
among a library of debris.

Have the monarchs
left for Mexico by now?
Moving
in a slow avalanche of translucent color
their chorus imposes a silent hum
upon the second earth.
They carry living embers
to wacah chan in Palenque.

Sitting in lawn chairs, we ripen
as we have done so many times before.
Our cocoons are threadbare.
We waste away into long shadow-fingers
falling across the setting orange-peel sun.

The smoldering summer thins-

unfolding wings
fan slowly to dry
in preparation.

Crackerjack Land Assassin, 1936

dust bowl photo
Photo by Kansas Poetry (Patrick)
He showed up on a Saturday afternoon
on Main Street at the edge of the dustbowl
in a ’29 Ford pickup with running boards rusted through.
None of the farmers nor their wives were fooled.
Said he was looking for work
doing hauling deliveries for local undertakers
and wanted directions.
The fact that he could spit tobacco with pinpoint accuracy,
wore a sash around his bib overalls,
and had ninja stars for eyes was wasted
on no one.

The breeze started to pick up at dusk.
He rubbed silt on his face and neck
and cartwheeled along the edges of the wind storm.
For five days straight,
nobody saw nothin’.

Photo by USDAgov
Photo by USDAgov

Photo by waterarchives
Photo by waterarchives

Photo by ashleywilson2
Photo by ashleywilson2