Category Archives: poem

Keepsake

I’ve been sorting through old keepsakes,
some photographs I’ve found are faded now,
these echo sounds of places where I didn’t go – faces that I do not know
I can’t decide how to store them all –
The sepia memories of what you saw,
The air your family stories hold
should last as long as when you told them.
And what you did is what you wanted
To do, and nothing worse hindered you.
Scenes of travel – and songs of yore
Some motets in your mind’s reservoir.
Carols sung in a cavernous forum
were more than just some Ipsem Lorem.
Choirs of men and women singing
Relationships brought into being
How, lovely – snaps you strived to make
No different than our own keepsakes.
But yours dwelled firmly in His grace –
and dwelling in your family’s place
Devotion and hymn live with us here
Led with your baton, and your voice as clear
as when you walked into a room.
My minds-eye sees you, feels you too.
How lovely, this reminiscence sounds –
Even if an echo now.
Listening to you in my head
puts my thoughts to this poem’s thread
of places where the music soars
and you’re step-singing an angel chorus.
The keepsakes of your melody in harmony with the little things,
And now they’re ours, for all to sing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a moment of selective focus

Seeing narrow and close

the fresh rain that hangs like tears

from a florid pome and blurred green surrounds it.

The pinnacle of small details – the tip of a pen pressed

at the page or the placed dish inlaid with memories.

The indentions of your slow intake of breath fills me as you read

the texture from a leather-bound book.

Obsession takes a toll, roughshod over the global view

of landscape and horizon. Still and fixed,

the single moment aches in a story with pain

and the point that tarries after a kiss in the foreground, surrounded by rain.

***

Sometimes unusual wins

Wiping my soles of a green gradoo,

Wishing for catenate rhymes to accrue.

Columnar phrases we whisper at night,

Jointing and cooling, crackling on sight.

Opening comments come up the next day

Out of our comfort, then die away.

Though smiled in response, your eyes will avert

Gathering mettle you hoped to assert.

I’m always hopeful for those might-have-beens,

But with the gradoo, the unusual wins.

*****

Picture by me: basalt formations from The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, March 2019

Gradoo = cajun slang for “stuff you scrape off your shoe.” Also, a delicious side dish with spinach, onions, cheese, and garlic.

This poem, a sparrow

I remember counting birds on summer mornings,
before the heat settled in,
I’d circle the house.
and count the sparrows and bluejays,
a robin or two and sometimes a cardinal.

A task that kept me focused
each and every morning – on small details
like the poetry now.
I looked for colors,
with hope that this time
I might see yellow in a warbler, a goldfinch,
the multicolored painted bunting
or hear a gleeful song that the mockingbird pretends.

The ominous black crow was not here, though venturing
near the field behind our house – I would hear caws
that echoed.

Tick marks on the page were used to tally,
and sparrows always led the count.
A swath of greys and brown, with patches
of blue and red, and always hoping for yellow.
The darkness far away.

This, before the summer heat settled.

Last Request

Brother, let’s go out and visit the fair,
the weather is nice and our friends will be there,
Laughing and joyously roaming around
The fun and the revelry crackle on air.
Brother, let’s go out and go to the fair.

Sister, let’s go to the market and shop.
It’s early and sales are beginning to crop.
I need some new shoes that will go with my dress.
-palpable joy with a buzz and a pop.
Sister, let’s go out to market and shop.

Mommy, it’s time now to take me to school.
Wednesday, we learned all about a gold rule,
Teacher said Tomas was kind to his friends.
Kindness is always the way to be cool.
Mommy, it’s time now to take me to school.

Father, I’m going with Lizzie and Nance
We’re meeting some girlfriends for drinks, then to dance.
We’ll have a late dinner, somewhere downtown
I may not be home till the morning, perchance.
Father, I’m going to eat, drink and dance.

Dearest, it’s Sunday and time to go pray.
Our brother and sister were taken away.
Gone down in their pastimes, the losses are cold.
Dearest, our action – this every day:
Banish the hatred that caused this decay.

That’s me

Bukowski, Rossetti, and Poe
All wrote good poetry, so
Drafting a page
Earned them a wage
Back when a writer could crow.

I write some verse nowadays,
No one knows me anyways
Posting on blogs,
I write and I slog,
My poetry sucks more than slays.

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

Written in response to a prompt by Chelsea Owens to write a “terribly bad” limerick about a poet who takes himself too seriously.  I don’t really think this is a bad limerick, I kind of like it and there’s the rub.  🙂

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest