Category Archives: Language

Rabbit

The sky was pallid, lacking device.

My ambition was weedy and my aims imprecise.

I walked near a garden while out on a stroll.

My mind in a spin that was out of control.

When a rabbit darted from beneath the hedge-row yew

out onto the pavement and pondered askew.

It paused just enough to acknowledge my glance

then hurried away in a leap and a prance.

My eyes then diverted to a swelling of phlox,

purple and white, and crept over rocks.

Opportunistic, these flowers that crawl

slow and indifferent of their beauty and sprawl.

A shelter for insects, this bloom carpet sum

covered terrain in a besetment of rhumbs.

The rabbit returned, hopped in a straight line,

I stood there connecting the points to design.

What wonder is here. What mystery there.

The path to discovery does not compare

the direction, the lines that we draw are just that.

Drawn from perspective, our own charted plat.

The rabbit now vanished, my lunch hour spent,

I returned to my workday with a poet’s intent.

A Prelude (for my Mother)

A single bell has rung the hour.
Our moment to remember dear affection is now here.
The overtone from ringing still quite clear.

The ringing overtones are lucid and bright.
Our memories like the matin chimes that wake.
A single bell has rung, the hour appears.

The bell now rung to mark remembrance of the hour.
The organist starts her pedal tones and song
over tones of ringing, crystal clear.

The sounds of bells and melodies o’er tones so clear;
A prelude of majestic time begins
after the bell has rung, the wrinkle of the hour.

The bell-tone sounds the hour as it’s rung.
Songs of memories flush and flare the cathedral walls
with tones of ringing bells so loud and clear.

A single bell has rung the hour in song,
the overtone from ringing, clear and strong.

*****************************

This is a poem I wrote for my Mom who passed away earlier this month. She was an excellent pianist/organist. I read this villanelle at the beginning of her memorial service, so the prelude nature of the bells and the repeating sounds would stand as a testament to her talent and life. Thanks for reading.

Bridges

A craftwork of metal and wire arisen out of a mist.

Something fashioned by a fantasist

appealing to our journey, future-made

above the clouds with hope arrayed.

A box across the creek bed, made of wood.

The romantic moonlight lit and understood

its dirt road point of interception.

It hosts a memory of affection.

The stone one with its aqueduct eyes,

peering just above the waterline.

A docile stream that’s hardly flowing,

yet moves a slight, its life sea-going.

The poet’s words are diffident,

but stand in verse, the infinite

transitions to a place of rest

spanning over rocks and clefts.

Horizons stand, all that remains

beyond the beckoning segue plains.

Reunion Rhyme – For the RHS Class of 1982

Cyclones class of ’82, how does your garden grow?  In 40 years, these plants have grown- some rapidly, some slow.  Some sprouting leaves, some spreading seeds, and flowering as they go.

A few stand tall, some standing short, some spread along the ground. A garden of mosaic art familiar, yet new-found.

Some leaves are broad to catch the rain, some narrow, small; we can’t explain the reasoning how they thrive so well – except God’s grace, we hear them tell. Bloom where you are planted, I’ve so often heard and chanted.

Once our plants were in one plat and lived among this habitat. We grew from seedlings, shoots, or grafts – thriving as we learned our craft. With help and care from those who taught our landscape grew and then we sought our own estate. We took our seedlings to create.

And here we are, a lifetime passed, our gardens grown and fruits amassed. I’ve pondered this and have to ask:

Friends from 1982, how does your garden grow? With humble grace in your chosen space, from seeds culled long ago.

With Coffee

I reached for a cup with stripes in the cupboard,

setting among the ivory porcelain others,

and after putting it down on the marbled counter

I waited for the coffee to spit and sputter.

I poured from the carafe to the cup with the stripes

and added sweetener from a yellow packet, twice.

I stirred with a long-stemmed spoon, and thus

the coffee swirled and swirled.

 I confess among the rivers in my mind

I counted the swirls encompassing time.

Somewhere there adding some milk in a dollop,

I came up with this veiled verse of codswallop.

If you’ve read this far thinking I’ve something to say,

maybe it’s just that I like my coffee this way.

Or perhaps my own struggles in crafting aright

this poem’s distraction is less of a fight.

The coffee in the striped cup has a caramel hue,

is sweetened with a bitterness aftertaste too,

Like many poems that I’ve already done,

it’s finished, and the cup sits in the sink in the sun.

Curating

When I was boy, I’d spend time under a towering southern pine. Whose needles cast a glare in the summer-lit sky and its points directed everywhere.

Now older, I travel here and there, and see the trees that stand aware and pause to take it in. The light that shimmers with the shade and curating the different shapes of leaves all made.

The oval spoon of plum and quince, or the linden with its sharpened tip. Formed to gather in the sun and rain, collected dew that slowly drips and drains.

The starfish shape of the sweetgum leaf, inspired to creativity. As poems with their structured phrase and red-emblazoned points in space.

The divided prongs from the pin oak leaf that grasps the memory of a summer breeze. The stacked order of the hickory, harkening to an autumn sea of yellow leaves.

Each one novel in its time and pressed in a book will hold its shine from birth to death. They grow, then die in cyclic breadth.

And through the time when leaves are felled, the needles of pine remain and tell with glistening light or captured snow – infinite points of where to go.

Outlier

I stared into a pitch-black midnight
to write of emptiness in the dark.
A space of nothingness and naught
from which creation sprung in might.
In the void just out of sight
a moment not content, embarked.
The single flower in the pot,
a point, a speckling shared its light.
The space surrounding it recites
in motionless time when a moment harks.
A melody repeating on the spot,
a verse then opens with a different plight.
This thing with hopes that will ignite
and focus the poet on its spark,
and in the notion we see, besot –
the outlier is neither shy nor contrite.

****

A poem of inspiration to bring in 2022. I wish everyone a safe and happy new year. May it be everything you want and need.

Prowess

It stands among the grove and scene of broad-leaf oaks and evergreens, blending with a verdant shade. A tree of average height and shape and just a piece of larger landscape.

Not much given thought in Spring, while standing tall and whispering. The leaves- rattle in a summer rain. All the trees sway and gain.

Colder mornings may entice with scraggly branches set in ice. Do we mourn the loss of Spring, a season meant to wake and sing?

A single object in a stand, a soloist among the chorus grand, coloring the land with blossom’s youth: A rebirth and eternal truth.

But it’s autumn when the sunlight dims, leaves once green, now scarlet, lend glow and fire to what once was live. Dotted here and there ardor survives.

Autumn’s prowess has arrived.

**** Photo taken by Becky Crenshaw. Used with permission.

Fireflies

The occasional blink or glow that dots our eyes

and echoes light in ink-filled summer skies.

Random, flighty bugs go back and forth,

never staying long upon the earth.

Poetry resides in likened states

upon the page, lying there in wait.

Until the dusk of summer’s memory comes

flitting in our minds and waiting on our tongues.

Then off the paper, wisping as it’s read,

circling ’round our voices, resting in our head.

The instant blink or glow that passes in our eyes

then echoes light amid the ink-filled skies.

Rain (rondelet)

The rain fell hard

upon a pile of dirt and clay.

The rain fell hard

and water flowed as if to say

we cannot choose to stay this way.

and spread amongst our lives today

the rain fell hard.

In puddles, brown –

reflections of the sky retold

in puddles, brown

these ruptured teardrops sparkle bold

wrenched from the clouds, water cajoled,

so unlike the desolate loll

in puddles, brown.

When flowers bloom,

opening up in fragrant notes.

When flowers bloom,

and singing out from amber throats,

look to the azure sky that dotes,

waiting on a quickening dose

when flowers bloom.