Politely fluffed and slightly panting,
a middle-aged border collie slumps against
the coal-colored cabinets in the kitchen coolness.
Her thoughts are of comfort and resignation,
and I, for one, hopefully far from my prime,
think maybe I should join her on the tiled floor.
The coffee molting in that licked cup is stale
already, gone the steam, gone the beans,
gone the money-bagged Peruvian bean man,
never stood a chance against this batch.
Doesn’t matter anyhow the cup’s not there
for consumption anyhow, the cups
there are all for aesthetics—my fancy word
for look at me in my mood, look at
The sky is thick and dreamlike with clouds,
great battleships of cotton and luster
sailing to an endless azure tune—
on my back beneath the poplar tree
I listen to the steady whine of the horse fly.
Rain has come over the central plains in torrents,
heavy running along the window panes
heavy with oblong droplets pelting skin,
duck from backdoor to garage, to house again.
Three days of the stuff, and now—
The mountain shudders under great weights of gusts and snow,
groaning and creaking
the six English climbers huddle rope-tied
to rocks and tree branches listening for avalanches.
And I sit here,
at this metal patio table,
so arbitrarily square,
in a humid afternoon swatting flies and wondering
what I will have for lunch.
Little boy, blue jeans to the belly,
puffs his little red cheeks—
his pointed spectacles, falling down that button nose,
watch as he blows his mind into the trumpet.
he called out,
his knotted arm, knitted and purled,
pumping a bucket the size of a table.
I heard his low voice
as I walked by him,
say to his boy holding the rods
that no one’s biting these days
no one’s calling.
I imagined him, then,
standing on that barnacle-crusted pier,
two rods in hand
fishing for people.
Scooping up chums
who couldn’t tell bite from bait
and filling his bucket with the lot.
Fresh People with Aloha!
he’d call out,
his knotted arm pumping
a bucket the size of a boxcar,
his boy standing by, holding the rods.
the sigh, sighing herself
to wishful elegance,
whisking the whites to rising peaks,
she counts herself backward,
Water droplets bead up from the small slice
in this surfboard; epoxy got nothing
when it comes to run ins, when it comes to
used boards and low budgets. When it comes to
this universe; what I think I might want;
the cat who stretches himself beside me–
I got nothing. Petting the cat, he purrs
then bites me. I got nothing. Nothing but
love for repetition of actions, for
petting the cat who bites me. I’m gonna
take my board out and ride the ocean in.
I’ll pet this cat til my fingers are gone.
Evening light pales into my windows from behind the palms,
piloting in a fruity breeze to stir the pages
at my desk. I’m 30 percent writing,
25 percent sipping tea, 9 percent listening to jazz beats &
63 percent certain my poetic Muse has taken the day off.
In the azure distance sails a boat
with one triangle sail,
bowing east, heading east.
Her going is unnoticed by those practicing yoga,
spinning frisbees, balancing on purple slack-lines
at this grassy knoll at the base of the volcano.
I cannot take my eyes off her,
so sure of herself, so pointed—
something so certain of direction deserves applause.
I will thresh the mind with both hands;
fingertips of golden afterglow to select only nuggets
of naked tranquility; to
throw rugged shards of infancy behind goose-like shoulders, to cede
this habit of bare toes on dust.
In overthrowing infamy,
brevity demands we be good in the mind, good in the body,
good in the soul—and what cements
into habit dyes the soul a certain color. It’s
Fall colors warm her sweet face,
deep reds and blushing oranges snuggling
into the gentle wrinkles at her cheeks;
the low light off the fading greens
bounce from the brown of her sweater to my eyes,
the softness I cannot myself believe.
Contained in one tiny, aging human
is the breath of ages seen and past—
each petite wrinkle is a memory of
laughter and play, the meadows at dawn,
the whimpering brook of the forests, the
birdsong in the high branches of the willow.