Poetry: Maybe It’s Me

Chairs out behind the pump house,
the backs gone. They’d be about right
in a junk yard. A real find
when I was a kid—
for our club house.

Roofing tiles, black ones; a small
paint roller, slightly used, almost
worthless; long barbeque tongs—
dirty and slightly rusted; large
branch loppers with rusted
head blades; a ball and a dirty
red shop rag; pointless lawn art
(nice try) unfinished, broken, or
toppled over. All placed
helter-skelter and neglected.

Signs of good intentions;
orbs, artful things; lights
that come on at night; a small
one inch plastic skull;

wildflowers of the
post bluebonnet variety,
pretty yellows, reds, pinks,
some with brown eyes in yellow
bonnet-like petals; pine cones
on the ground among the needles.

I’m in a pleasant and lovely—
if very neglected, garden
of my family—

sitting at a plastic picnic bench
with bird shit, some dirt and
a roofing nail, slightly rusted;
I’m where mule ear prickly cactus
grows among mesquite trees
and bushes, thirsty pines or
some variety of xeriscape trees.

A green ornamental frog, fat,
a foot tall and lying back against a tree,
its foot or flipper broken, kind of a
chunky Buddha sort of frog,
neither smiling nor frowning.

Several cats, one dog; weights cuz
strong men live here with her,
the artist who doesn’t do much
art anymore. I don’t know why.

Vacant seats around empty tables
that the cats think are theirs. Lots
of green now with many
colored wildflowers that will
not last—it’s Spring in west
Texas—a tough country
even for horses, cows, dung
beetles, and snakes.

And for people. And
for flowers when it’s hot,
lucky cuz right now it’s not.

Took a break but
I’m back with wine, reading
psycho poems by crazy
poets (and sipping red wine
after I fish all the bugs out)
who delivered some mighty fine
poetry in verses that hurt.

The wind blows a bit of an
easy cool Texas Zepher. Some
long black chimes are hesitantly
singing with chirping birds,
who seem to be bitching
at something—

Maybe it’s the cats.
Maybe it’s me and the wine.

Look all around when in doubt, look both ways, cuz poetry is all about.
Mind gaps lest you step on a frog, a cat, or a big mean dog.

 

Poetry: Outback Cowboy

Where ignorance is king,
where men wear silly expensive hats
and spurs and can hardly put
a coherent sentence together,
that, what I just said is not true,
these cowboys are on top of
their game.
I am always confused
if you’re wearing spurs,
where’s the fucking horse—
or cow? Always confused.

I want to sit on my back porch
on a rainy Wednesday night
with a cool porter
and listen to Seger
and write a poem
about how I feel. About life
or death. About important shit,
like vanishing telephone poles and
parked cars and garage doors
and the Stepford wives or
Beatles and Stones and old dogs
eatin’ chicken bones.

I’m not a branded Texan,
ah got no gun or rope,
no horse, nor spurs
in my immigrant collection.
Just Bob; this notebook,
a few memories and
confused convoluted feelings
about everything except the rain.

And boring people
who are interesting, and interesting
people who are not and why
none of that matters.
On my back porch,
where ignorance is king
an’ old Bob can still sing.

Look both ways when you wonder about what you think.
Look for gaps in cowboy hats, that’s how the light gets in.

Poetry: A Friendly Jab

On break, having coffee,
at a walk-to place from work.
Age came up.

Larry could always make me laugh,
a raised brow or expression,
his subtlety with humor,
the ability to play it straight
with a sincerity of stupidity.

We volunteered numbers,
all 40-somethings.
Larry looked serious.
“I just have one question.”

He’d set the bait. I knew better,
but one must play along.
I took the hook,
lest all fun be spoiled.
He looked straight at me,
and patiently awaited my response.

He was from the Buckeye State.
We met as underage roommates.
Both junior Air Force enlisted. Later
each married Texas gals
both opted for university:
Larry to UT, I to A&M.

As roommates, Larry thought me loud,
badly behaved, and unworthy of him.
He was classical. I was rock ‘n roll.
Incompatible, but no harm done.

Twenty years later
while wrapping up military careers
as Air Force officers,
he was a chopper pilot who served in Nam,
I was a B-52 crew dog.

When our paths again crossed,
we were distant friends, no more.

I asked, what’s your question, Colonel?
He asked, “If you are younger than I am, why
do you look so much older?”

I’m older than Larry now.
Rest in peace, my funny friend.

©Bill Reynolds

Look both ways. Mind the gaps.
All the best stories are past, or soon will be.
Remember.

Poetry: It’s Not For Everybody. Is it?

I almost never wanted this – to be a writer,
but I write, I drink too,
seldom too much
anymore.

That’s not discipline or pride,
it’s from bein’ too fuckin’ old.
Thinking of words, I write them and then
I point, and I say, “Hey look, I’m a writer.”

Quite certain that of the many who
thought they had taught me English
as an academic subject, who gave me
perhaps deserved grades without motive
with one exception, may groan in their graves.

A good man, Thornton looked at me, “Why
are you even here?” I think he knew.

School was mostly bull shit. I learned little,
but it was still involuntary servitude crap
I never wanted to do again. Not like that.
Even college.

Today, I might not kill them,
but they might think I would. Back then,
I thought I needed them. Now I know.
One or two might scare a bit. Maybe.

A few. Very few. Assholes are not
educated out of it. But I write.
Look at me.

I think I always liked it (writing that is),
but nobody ever (till years later)
said that I was good at it. Maybe Thornton
hinted. Even Miff W. said, “You know,
college is not for everybody.”

Maybe not Miffy baby, but it was for me.
Surprised? Don’t be. You motivated me.

Look both ways, maybe with some bitterness and sarcasm.
Find motivation in the gaps.

Monthly Poetry Report – May Poems

I write two kinds of poems. The daily poems are first drafts. The others I try to improve and I post some on this site.

Ideas for poems (and for everything else) pass quickly, and my notes are usually insufficient to reconstruct ideas or inspiration. When I try to use notes, I either loose the true, deeper concept of the poem, or I can’t decipher what I wrote. Thus, I often write out a more complete, but still unfinished and unpolished, work before it flies off like a lost sock.

At the start of May, I was burned out after April’s effort and I struggled to recoup my writing rhythm. I did no Limericks this month as I had hoped, but I’ve not given up.

There once was a lady from Texas…

Here are the titles for May’s 31 daily poems.

  1. No Pass Given
  2. They Are People Too
  3. Effort
  4. Now
  5. Goodbye, John
  6. May
  7. Little Blue Circle
  8. Walk in Circles
  9. Off-key Birds
  10. The Charge of Thoughts
  11. The Birds Meet
  12. Thanks, Moms
  13. Drunk Poets
  14. Library Thoughts
  15. By Saturday
  16. House Guests
  17. Dawn of Promise
  18. Why is it Like This?
  19. After Midnight
  20. Retired Too
  21. Yes, I Drink
  22. Too Much Nothing
  23. Channeling Chinaski
  24. Euphemistic Bull Shit
  25. Man Up
  26. Little Mocker
  27. Monday Morning
  28. And…Um, but: whatever
  29. Ain’t It Funny
  30. A Rare Cat
  31. Waiting

Have a wonderful and inspired June.

Bill

Looking back to May and forward to June is looking both ways.
Mind the gaps, the deep ones can be dangerous
and the shallows hide interesting secrets.
Live, love, and dance; I’ll join you.

Poetry: A Place for Weeds

Jim was watering his experiment
for his ag doctorate, Grasses of the Brazos.
The good ol’ country boy let his smile show
when I observed and laughed at him
for making a big deal out of a bunch of weeds.
They were not flowers or cash crop plants.

Jim said, without looking at me,
“a weed is just a plant out of place.”

Over fifty years now. Where did they go?
I remember Jim
and his greenhouse full of weeds at A&M,
we’d go spray water on them weeds daily.
Later Jim would defend his dissertation about
Brazos Valley dirt and river bank weeds.
Doctor Jim was a dirt man, agronomist.
Just a plant out of place.

Jim got his Ph and D in dirt.
Then, he moved away to California;
who with his high-pitched, out yonder,
Texas drawl, old Jim
was decreed Doc Jim, the good-old-boy
from Meridian, Texas.
In his own way, he became
a plant out of place.

Many times, I have been a weed,
a person out of place,
or so I felt.
I needed to be in a different place,
to feel unweedly,
wanted by anyone,
or not. Was I where I belonged?
Or, was I just another plant
out of place?

Was I
in the place I was supposed to be?
Bloom where you’re planted,
that’s what they say.
Weeds need to grow everywhere,
but it is nice to find your space.

No longer, am I,
a plant out of place.

©Bill Reynolds, 5/23/2019

Look both ways crossing but look all around for misplaced plants and people.
Mind the gaps, weeds grow there.

Poetry: Salty Meditation (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-nine

Today I am writing to you from the boonies of Colorado City, Texas. My Monday morning challenge was to produce a meditative poem from a position of tranquility (it is like that here this morning, but I’m snickering), on an emotion I have felt powerfully. I’m not sure what I did, but I felt that.

Salty is a state of mind
on the inside;
on the outside,
Salty is all personality
one must acquire
a taste for the attitude,
with peppery retorts,
for a bit of salt
poured
on the wound,
for the taste of a tear
on my lips,
off your cheek,
on the rim of my Margarita,
or on my hands
with lime juice
for shots of tequila.
Today
my state of mind
is Salty.
© Bill Reynolds, 4/29/2019

Look both ways, attitude follows attitude. Mind the gap in meditative morality.