Monday, October 20, 2008

Crab Bisque Blues

Unlike some who’ve stood at a kitchen
sink weighing the world’s sweet problems,
I have no such scales, though I could
take solace in knowing why ants circle
my sink as if it’s a sinking ship, when
my stainless steel vat of dirty dishes
only waits to fill my German-made
dishwasher, which ants possibly know
and care about. Still, I do wonder why
we can’t resist watching ants, and
aren’t more in awe of mysteries deeper
than the kitchen sink---or this vast pot
in which I cooked today’s crab bisque

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Executive Assistant Purchases Spring Flowers

At six thirty sharp she rises from her firm mattress,
tucks her tresses into a pony tail, pads across the
patterned carpet to a stationary bike standing
near an eastern window overlooking the small

cemetery directly below. Each morning while
riding her bike nowhere—sweat beads gathering
in her lean cleavage, bluish veins bubbling along
her thin thighs, skimpy arms---her eyes wander

back and forth across the cracked and chipped
grave markers. Sometimes she parks in her
allotted condo space, wanders into the cemetery:
Jasper Massey, 1877-1899, is nearest the low,

crumbling rock wall separating final resting
places from SUVs and Lexus sedans. Yesterday
she walked briskly to a far corner of the grave
yard which she often fixes on from her high seat.

The tiny, moss covered heart, leaning askew:
Melissa Avery, Infant Daughter of Cary & Oswald
Avery, Left To Be With God After Only Three Days.
She Was Too Good for This World. God Took Her.

Kneeling in front of the heart, she leaves a
handful of supermarket jonquils for Melissa.
Swiftly, spike heels dig deeply into soft soil.
Her stationary bike has waited all day.

Crape Myrtle Sonatina

It’s no secret sheared shrubs
are not saucy
topics for poems,
little gained
in contemplating the bare,
bark-skinned, erect limbs jutting out,
haughty in their loveliness
trimmed to the nub,
waiting for winter to buzz-off,
spring to turn the whole world warm,
crape myrtle bushes into summer snowflakes
after Bradford pears, forsythia,
embarrassing azaleas
pink with envy.

Seasons at Odds

Before daylight today, dark skies bleak,
clouds tossed about like restless children.

A persistent mockingbird swooped around
my head as I stooped to pick up the paper.

She had been nesting in a nearby tree.
The season was out of kilter. Winter-

time mild as May caught a mother bird
off guard, disturbed my morning reverie.

Journey of the Candidates, Christmas, 2007

There they are, the whole lot of them
trudging from diner to diner, barn
to barn, house to house, in Iowa
and New Hampshire, even in staid
and stately old South Carolina,
like a bunch of vagabond vagrants
looking for a handout. And I guess
you could say that’s sort of what they are.
They smile, bow so humbly, just to get
a handshake, to see if you’re paying
attention to their very needy selves.
Today, I hear they may go underground,
just for a couple of days, you see,
so as not to upstage the kid who was
being hailed as the genuine article.
Really, it’s hard to know the real
thing in this season of so many
of them trudging around from diner
to diner, barn to barn, house to house.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Red, White, and Green

On Saturdays during strawberry season
in Carolina, the entire Gonzalez family
comes early to pick. Field owners
don't check for green cards when red
berries ripen and quickly rot in the field
in the hot noonday sun. Local townies
also show, children in tow, gramps for
fun, uncle Dave to drive the SUV. The
Smith family comes for the fresh fruit
taste, sunshine, mixing Carolina twang
with a few Hispanic words the kids pick
up in school. During strawberry season,
when the juices flow down the arms of
pretty children, joy is the common language.