Poetry: My Comfort Zone


I pass sweet scented bushes on my trek to hike trails,
I listen to songs. I see the cobalt blues and pinks
of early morning predawn skies. Then sunrise.

The familiar places, benches to rest, to drink,
to ponder, sometimes to listen
and to think about nature.

No talking. I write notes in my book,
a poem about this ravine I dare not cross,
about rocks for stepping or tripping.

About finding happiness outside my comfort zone,
as they say in the voice of cliché,
about what’s a name or identity. Am I what I did?

And the viper, that snake may not allow
my passage as he or she sunbathes
and the morning warms its cold blood.


Look both ways, but tread with care. Mind the gaps where vipers rest.

Three-foot rattlesnake blocking my trail.

Sammi’s Weekender: obdurate


Dying to Self

The obdurate lad labeled shallow,
his brooding nature, vengeful plotting,
lacked love, friendship, deep perspective.

The cold-hearted brutish Devil Dog
sought glory in death, salvation through agony,
shadows to kill without meaning or purpose.

Death and destruction his insensate shield,
as he was, he couldn’t survive
in this world at peace with love.

Curses of sympathy and empathy
mysteriously hatched humanity into his soul.
The old poet sleeps feeling thoughts of emotion.


Look both ways for the glory of Beowulf.
Mind the gaps in hidden emotions,
lest the beast of Cain’s progeny kill the stoic.

Poetry: Everything Changes

I wrote two poems for Sammi’s weekender. I posted the first one Saturday. This is the second.


Everything Changes

Into a kaleidoscope
of passion we creep,
from stumbling blocks
to steppingstones,
we eventually leap
mortared passages,
segues of
unplanned journeys,
everything changes.


Look both ways to see all parts of life.
Mind the gaps where trouble may lurk.

 

Poetry: A tree, my place to be

Good luck! you say?
Felt lucky, been good,
something we always used to say,
d’ruther be lucky than good,
any day.

Ya see,
with skill some measure
will not always be
good enough,
if good’s all ya got,
ya better be tough
with a parcel of luck.

But there’s a problem
don’t cha see?
Some good
will always be with me,
not so much luck
as with skill and cunning.

Why did he say to me,
that I must live
in a tree?


Look both ways for luck and misfortune.
Mind the gaps as into every life…
Perfect practice improves perspective.

Poetry: Old Hank


Never heard of Bukowski.
Frost, Yeats, Whitman,
certainly Poe. Those guys;
and Dickenson, Browning,
later Plath and Angelou.
Mary Oliver, too. New and youngs
like Canuck Chica, Kaur.

Gone two decades plus six, old Hank,
who’d turn a hundred this year,
took hold of my poetry reading.
Also liking some Billy Collins
and Clive James. Tony Hoagland’s
pleasant prose and light but raunchy
poems been worth my time.

Poetry, a pleasure,
in the writing and for the reading,
yet brainy head scratchers
laced with metaphoric depth have
pride of place on a lover’s shelf.

Raw life, pain, and beauty without
pretentious creativity,
Old Buc’s art “is its own excuse.”


Look both ways,
to the darkness of shadows
and to the colors of light.
Mind the gaps of the matrix.

Poetry: Natural Brutality

Being one with nature,
the coexistence of life on Earth
is such a wonderful concept.

What is more part
of every life than death?

Has anyone told the fire ants,
much less gained the cooperation
of such touchy predators?

Will they forgive my use
of deadly chemicals to remove
a hideous colony
setting up housekeeping
on my back porch?

Will the bite of the rattlesnake
be part of Nature’s
delightful beauty?

I love Nature, but
I know something about it.

It’s unforgiving, painful,
deadly, and indiscriminate.

Natural selection
is Nature’s evolutionary tool
and the reason
ninety-nine percent
of all life types are extinct.


Look both ways,
mind the gaps in everything,
especially where place your body parts,
lest Nature object in some naturally painful way.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 29)

Day 29 prompt: write a paean to your pet.


Hey, Cat

The mice at the vet’s
always made me feel guilty
when they’d ask me your name.
You were abandoned, neutered,
declawed, and basically fucked
by previous pin-headed possessors.
A bit of a nutless dick,
you bitched and whined
more than any dog, but you were
my cat. I was your human.
We understood each other and
those whiny-ass special
snowflake syndrome sufferers
of your name at the vet’s office
couldn’t believe we appreciated
each other on a level no man’s
best friend could understand.

Your name was Cat. You were The Cat!
Any Salem or Heathcliff worth knowing
would hang with the moniker, — Cat.
Clear, concise, and common.

You were my cat cuz
no one else wanted you. I did.
And you me. (Sort of.)
Rest in peace, Cat.


Look up, down, and both ways for cats and dogs.
Find and mind the gaps in every relationship.

Birthday Girl is Sleeping

It’s Yolonda’s birthday, y’all. Here’s my poem for her…


She fills up my senses,
like a fine wine after dinner,
it don’t get no mo’ betta
than this, and a kiss.

She takes care of me
not that I need it, maybe
a little guiding tap, now
and then. Keeps me right.

She tells me that she loves me,
god knows I deserve less,
and what I need to know
and her glowing
septuagenarian happiness.

Fifty-four year in a month
livin’ the dream, they want to know,
how? I really can’t answer.
Truth be known,
she shudda shot my effing ass,
many a year ago.

Happy dyslexic thirty-seventh,
of which ya put up with many
shenanigans galore.
May you and we go
fo’ 54 mo’.


Happy Birthday.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 25)

Day 25 prompt: write a poem using Hymn to Life, a long poem by James Schuyler as a guidepost while following the prompted suggestions of Hoa Nguyen. Write for at least 20 minutes.


The Big Event

It is morning. Friday morning. It’s the day. The day when I risk my life.
Sitting up, I remove my c-pap mask. I walk to the master bathroom.
After peeing I wash my hands. I walk to the living room.
Yolonda says, “It’s going to be 94 today. Walk outside soon to be cool.”
I make coffee, black, with a red wine-colored maker. I add milk.
I move things in the sink and on the counter. I wash my hands.
I say, “We must complete the list. I go to the store today.” I take
the last orange. A happy fruit for a poem. I sit and type on my laptop.
The sound of The Price is Right is distracting as I read about oranges.
Back in the kitchen, I do inventories of shelves, fridge, and freezer.
She rewrites the list, an orderly plan for the store. I add milk.
I don’t see her list vanilla ice cream. I wash my hands.
I review the list for items and order. I plan movements and wonder
if alcohol or disinfectant will ever be there again. I take morning pills
with coffee and pour frozen blueberries into a bowl, then some granola
I made yesterday, and I top with sliced half-a-banana. I wash my hands.
I check the list for frozen blueberries. I go back to my lappy to read more
about the fruit and the word for the color of orange while eating cereal.
She comes in and we talk of things like food, adult children, grandchildren,
politics, and humor. I take my empty bowl to the kitchen and rinse it.
I wash my hands. I look at some sketches. Draw lines. I look at my painting.
I add green, purple, brown, and blue. I wash my hands. I get dressed.
I inventory my pockets; wallet, handkerchief, pocket-knife,
notebook and pen, keys. I put on gloves to retrieve the trash can
from the curb, leaving the still full recycling bin. I remove the gloves.
I wash my hands. I wash my glasses with shaving cream.
In the car I notice the full gas tank is on week three. I don sunscreen sleeves
and sunglasses. I back out and drive to a grocery store. I park.
I wear a blue surgical mask and darker blue, almost purple, surgical gloves.
I pull up a bandanna-like scarf over the mask. I notice others
with masks and gloves. I feel like a team player. I retrieve a cart.
The young man at the door hands me a wipe.
I wipe the cart and trash the wipe. It begins. I risk my life // for food and drink.
No rubbing alcohol or disinfectant. Too many close calls // less than six feet.
I see men without masks. Republicans, I assume. Why do they believe that?
And not this? Which checkout line is shortest? I follow the rules. I thank them
and go to my car. I load it and return cart to a stand. In the car I remove masks,
realize I wore my sunglasses the whole time. I carefully remove gloves. I wash
my hands with sanitizer and drive home. I put on different gloves
to check mail, carry in deliveries, and retrieve the recycling bin.
I remove those gloves, then I remove store items from plastic bags into cart.
Yolonda takes the cart into our house. I open delivery boxes. I wash my hands.
We discuss the overall condition of store, the virus evasion, what they had,
and what not. We buy real food. Ice cream is real. It’s too hot to walk.
I write and sketch and paint. I didn’t see a text she had sent.
I feel like I cheated death one more day, one more time. I wash my hands.
Our internet and cable TV are down. I write anyway. It is Friday.


Look both ways while shopping.
Watch for people, carts, and items on lists.
Mind the gaps before they fill with carts and shoppers.
Wash your hands.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 16)

 


Day 16 prompt: write a poem of over-the-top compliments. I added my apology.


To all the men and women, to the heroes and heroines
in worlds of history, art, literature, lifestyle, and character;
in science, medicine, and defense, like beacons of hope for humanity
you have been, each individually, a bright star in my sky.
By your exquisite example of perfection personified,
with wit, wisdom, and humor, you were my compass.

I was blinded by your brilliance, deaf to your depth,
ignorant of your veracity. Forgive my foolish denial of
truth by seeing you only as god or goddess, only as
a sunny day with never a shadowed soul, never a flaw,
never as another frail human being. When I placed
you upon pedestals and you proved me wrong,
we both cried.


Look both ways with discernment toward others.
Mind the gaps in every life as perfection is not what we think it is.