This all has to do with immortality, right?
This all has to do with immortality, right?
The Rocker Tossed A Rock
The rocker tossed a rock about
A re-election. No metaphor here,
Or if it was, the audience didn’t
Get it. Is he smart enough to speak
Metaphorically? A representative, female
Former runner for president, tossed it all
Aside saying they were waving
A tar baby in the air. A tar baby? Really?
One side is crying foul. The other
Quacking like a duck.
They Sit and Stare From a Distance
They sit and stare from a distance. Is it because they are
simply being respectful or does the culture dictate that
they keep their distance or are they just being unfriendly,
for whatever reason?
She entered into their territory. She stood talking to some-
one from somewhere else, someone who actually walked
up to her and said hi. She saw them speaking to each other
and then looking at her. Am I just being
paranoid? she thought to herself. She was an invited
guest and they weren’t being very courteous. So, during a
lull in the chit-chat, she excused herself, made her way over
to the group and introduced
herself. One said, “Oh, yes, I know who you are.” Another
asked where her husband was and a third just sat there staring.
Again she thought to herself, I’d get a warmer welcome from
a delegation from North Korea,
Syria or Iran. The problem is this was church. After she
left, they sat there grousing about the significant down-
turn in worship attendance and how far they were behind in the
He Feels His Head Weighing Heavy
He feels his head weighing heavy
On his throat, pitching forward.
His cheeks are flushed, hot, pulsating
And his eyes burn.
Twenty-two hundred miles on the road
In personal, record-setting time
Thanks to threatening snows blowing over
The mountains into Boulder,
And a gazillion tornadoes coming up from
Texas and pushing him down the
Road (They just got out of Lincoln, NB
Before the twisters hit.)
And if anything good, in his mind, came
From the tail-wind, it was the
Average of 37 miles per gallon in a ten-year-
Old Camry and one
Segment of the trip averaging 40.4. As he
Looks back through the rear-view
Mirror, he sees debris (Is that what that is?)
Flying everywhere and
At least five bodies and a lot more body
Parts flying up to the window
On the driver’s side and then falling back and
Down hitting the ground just short
Of his rear bumper. He thinks about what
He saw fleetingly out of his
Left eye — body parts, bodies, families, heads
Weighing heavy on their throats
Pitching forward unable to speak just sporadic-
Ally shriek, otherwise uttering
Guttural sounds of something almost unimaginable.
Cheeks flushed, hands on heads, horror.
So many eyes burning from salt water gushing
Or no tears at all, just desert dust
And dryness. He looks forward to the road
Ahead and wonders
Why he cared about gas mileage, why he
Concerned himself with his
Heavy head and burning eyes, why he gave
A rip about any of that at all,
And why he actually e-mailed family about it.
This is a haiku written by our six-year-old grand-daughter, Avery Dahl. Avery lives in Boulder, CO with her mother and father, eight-year-old brother Braden and one-year-old sister Natalie. In addition to being a poet, Avery is an actress, a visual artist and she enjoys sports.
Summer is so hot.
Birds chirping up in the trees
Flowers are blooming.
I’m really emotional these days.
I’m hoping it’s just a phase.
I don’t know if things are right.
I think that’s part of my plight.
I’m insecure I’ve been told.
I’ve tried to act strong and bold.
I’ve acted positively.
I dream dreams negatively.
I do the things I hate.
I hope it’s not just fate.
I’m feeling old as sin.
I’m thinking about all I’ve been.
I’m thinking about what I’ve done.
I’m thinking about what I’ve not done.
I’m thinking of sins of commission.
I’m thinking of sins of omission.
I’m told I’m my own enemy.
I think I’ve committed blasphemy.
I don’t mean just swearing.
I mean something much more daring.
I mean the use of words.
I’ve used in ways absurd.
I have hurt the ones I love.
I have shot down God’s dear dove.
I know I’m narcissistic.
I don’t mean to be simplistic.
I’m forgetting God’s family.
I need to think in we
and not just me.
My daughter knows I write poetry and sometimes use the haiku form. She got me a tee-shirt that gets a lot of comments and laughs when I wear it. This is the haiku printed on the shirt:
Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense
Juxtaposition is an essential part and the above haiku certainly has that. Some think nature is an essential theme of the haiku form, but that isn’t true although mine have been about hiking in the desert of Arizona, the mountains of Colorado and the forests of Michigan. Here’s one by me today:
It is a fun form
to create in one’s mind’s eye
but can cause sadness.
Skin splitting dry dustiness rises off the trail.
The dog gags and coughs up phlegm from his partially paralyzed throat.
Some sputum hangs from the hairs on his chin. Fleeing a
storm in the Rockies, they stop at a rest area after moving steadily,
determinedly, resolutely through 345.5 miles
of fog only to step onto damp grass in the dog run. The three of
them including the dog inhale humidity.
Quotes from Pulitzer Prize winning poets are etched, chiseled,
carved all around the rest area. There’s more than
corn in Iowa, and Iowa wants travelers to know it. Maybe it’s
something in the water. On the way back to
the car, he stops, looks up, feels the mist on his face, closes his
eyes, breathes deeply and the scent of
flowering lilac wafts up his nostrils. He is reminded of Orange
tree blossoms in the desert just the week before.
He opens his eyes and sees tiny droplets on his glasses. He
wonders how long it will be before he
misses the blinding brightness of the Southwest sun.
The dog doesn’t gag as he jumps into
the backseat. They drive to outrun the tornadoes moving
northeast from Texas through the heartland
and then across the waters of Lake Michigan possibly knocking
on their back door if the dune doesn’t protect them.
At least they will be home by then to hunker down together.
Five Letters East of Famous
It was a case of mistaken identity —
exchanged group e-mails among mutual
friends and acquaintances over issues
near and dear. Inevitably, some didn’t
know friends of friends. This was one
I had heard of him. His reputation preceded
him. He had no idea about me, but instead
of just asking, “Hey, who the heck are you?”
perhaps imagining that to be rude or too in-
trusive or just not his style. He was a man used
to finding out things, so he just Googled me.
Not knowing my middle name, he was five
letters off and I’ve turned out to be five
letters east of famous and lost in the big pic-
ture’s shuffle, though he was at a disadvantage
and wouldn’t have found my name anyway
because I’m barely Google-able
except if you get lucky. He is pretty well known
and after looking at the wrong initial, concluded
the same about me. He apologized profusely for
not recognizing immediately one of my fame and
stature in the highest echelons of academia. He
said he really wanted to be my pen pal.
I couldn’t be his facebook friend because my
face isn’t anywhere to be found and I may
be a twit but I don’t twitter or tweet. So, in the
most academically sophisticated and bon vivant
response I could imagine, I replied,
“Surely you jest,” and then laid
out the details of a well-lived but not famous life.
I sit by my computer, plug it in so the battery
won’t run down while I wait. Hey, you got mail.
He said I was famous in his book, which I haven’t
had a chance to read, and I burst into song, “It’s a
beautiful day in the neighborhood,
a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?” put on a cardigan sweater and
Converse All-stars. Hey, I’ve never been on T.V.,
but I used to be a Presbyterian minister.
Travelogue II On the Road Again
We passed through high plains, flat as a pancake
northern New Mexico into the topsy-turvy, windy
windy (with a long “i”), uppy, downy Colorado.
We had just exchanged seats. She’s driving; I’m
scribbling, trying to jot down notes for future poems.
Sign says, “Bumps Beware.” The road is rough and
I have just discovered that, while not a Pentecostal, I
write in glossolalia. Maybe that makes me a
Pentecostal man of letters or perhaps just a man of
illegible letters. Life has leveled in Trinidad (We’ve
come so far so fast and so much has changed.) The
road has smoothed, the paper has stopped jumping and
my hand has steadied. I’m back to being a middle-of-the
road, mainline, middle-class, mundane minister
right here in anything but mundane rather sultry, exciting,
exotic Trinidad. I run in my bare feet on the hot, hot
sand like Dudley Moore and dive into the blue, blue water.
In my mind, from one to ten, it’s a ten.