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 24)

Day 24 prompt: write a poem about a fruit. Where do we get the word for the color when we mix red and yellow?


A Norange by Another Name: Orange

What shall we call this yellow-red color?
Geoluhread was, but is not right. From China
came five centuries ago the answer, a round
citrus fruit. We shall call it orange, as is the fruit.

See the color, not persimmon, pumpkin, or tangerine
they are all orange. See textured shiny bright rind
hiding yellow seed, white albedo pulp and triangle
segments of juicy sweet meat for kings and queens.

Feel the firm round breasted textured shape,
softly, almost spongy, heavier than an apple
with a protruding nipple or navel or pedicel
from the flower of past blossoms mating.

Smell the fragrant fruit, the peel, the acceptance
of inviting sensual aroma used in fine perfumes
or arousing essential oils. Hold the orange
to your nose, near your lips, take her home.

Taste the tangy citrus flavor after peeled,
soft, bitter skin is removed, baring mixed taste
and aroma of sweet bliss, a robust exiting,
acidic-sweet flavor sliding into your mouth.

Hear the soft sound of bursting flavor,
for quiet wet eating, the soft thud when
dropped or tapped. Hear yourself masticate
briefly before swallowing treasured pleasure.


Look both ways for the common and the rare.
Mind the gaps, by any other shade, tone, or hue, and orange is still orange.
The fruit came before the color.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 20)

Day 20 prompt: write a poem about a handmade/homemade gift.


What Matters

For the man who has everything
or who could, if he would,
make (don’t buy) to please.

Amazon does not have your heart
nor your hand, and Bezos does not
need your money. In the end, it’s you
that is my gift, so keep it simple
and easy. Go underboard, if you’re able.

Spend less. Write or read, sketch or draw,
don’t buy me a book. Read one and tell me
all about it. Write me a four-line poem.
Sketch a joke caricature of me.

Write a note that says you love me,
put on lipstick, kiss the paper, and send it.

What I want from you is a bit
of your time and attention. Just briefly.
From you to me is all that I need.

Here, let me hand you this notebook
and this pen, in the time it would take
for you to scribble a quickie phrase…

I’ll be happier, no internet search required,
a treasure like no other will I have,
and you will feel better too. Trust me.
It’s not that I ask little,
it’s that I want you. I know what matters.


Look both ways and slightly behind.
Be safe. Mind the gaps in your masks.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 19)

Day 19 prompt: write a poem based on a “walking archive.”


The Spring Draw

Spring replaces Winter’s browns and grays
with shades and hues of green, some pinks
and whites in the trees. And more rain,
and wind to help insects spread pollen,
the whole point being new life, hope,
and promises of Summer to come.

Even the trails lay a carpet of green grass,
soft to my steps, comforting. To the sides
more color and tones of red and blue,
orange and proud yellows mixed with white,
every color and shade seems bright.
Both quiet and loud, and deer appear,
rutting passed soon we’ll see fawns running.

I pause often to photograph or admire
this gallery of natural art, walking on my trail,
some path remains, limestone rock
for stepping or tripping as creeks and washes run
wet with rainwater, animal prints in mud,
views obstructed by leaves fresh and green.

There is beauty even in the old dead trunks
of former mighty oaks, with knots and holes,
still standing tall and proud, some down
yielding to stormy winds, the promise still
of awakening even the soil of the Earth.
I sit to rest and to ponder or brood,
to drink and to stare and admire,
and to pity many who have seen
neither tree nor forest, nor felt the happy
heart of a Spring calf.

I walk Texas trails in Spring before
Hell sends Summer to scorch, and it calls
for cream to screen the rays of sun. Before
wet clay turns to dust and water runs rare.
Before the prickly pear cactus turns
its brilliant yellow flower, then to an apple red
bulb, then to a new cactus head. So long
as I am, and I can, out I shall go to treat
my senses to the many glances of nature.

“Me imperturbe, standing at ease in nature.”
Or, at attention, as I want to miss none of it all.


(Quote: credit Walt Whitman)

Always look both ways and all around, up and down.
Mind gaps and ravines in natural beauty if you seek pleasure.

 

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 18)

Day 18 prompt: write a poem that is an ode to life’s small pleasures. I did a semi-sonnet of 14, ten-syllable lines.


Ode to My Pillow

You hold my head up with a pleasing touch
you ask nothing, I take you for granted
dressing you only encased, on a whim
I hold you, or tuck you between my legs,
or force you to support me from behind.
I turn, and show you my boring back side,
throwing you to the floor, replacing you
when you get old and dirty and baggy.
I bend and stuff you, your silence supports.
You hold my tears, each a precious diamond.
In nightmares or pleasant dreams, when I call,
I wake for no reason, I find you there
for me. You bolster my brain, hide my mind.
I sleep with you, and you ask for nothing.


Look both ways to fluff a pillow.
Mind the gaps under your head.

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.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 15)

Day 15 prompt: write a poem inspired by my favorite kind of music.


I Want a New Song

Boom! Old bods holding young hearts,
hot funk, cool punk, a shimmering light
and the smell of colitas up
from green river, in the age of jive
it’s got the same soul.

Play rock & roll at my memorial
and stand her in the doorway when
I join Buddy, Richie, Patsy,
and Jim. Let me hear Ricky
and John, a new wave dance craze.

By my own device, a prisoner here,
I may check out any time,
but I’ll never leave rock & roll.
Bury me in pair of pink sidewinders,
but first, save the last dance for me.

Dance with me, dream of me, dream on;
Dream On! Sing along with me, let music
take me away when it’s raining
and the players are playing,
but I’m still gunna live forever.

I can feel the rain. I’m Alive!
On a hippie trail, my head like a zombie,
stars fading, but I linger on.
I want a rock & roll song.
But there ain’t no use in pretending.


Look both ways, but music is present in my past.
Mind the gaps,
those spaces between the notes.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 11)

Day 11 prompt: write a poem in which one or more flowers take on specific meanings. I wrote three poems, but only posting two.


That Special Flower

Bluebonnets taking over the crushed granite trail.

March is an alarm clock
if you’re a Texas Bluebonnet,
the official flower of that State
everybody knows.
We have pride of place artfully
set in many homes but few yards
of natives and transplants, alike.

By legislative decree, all species
are official, and abundant,
thanks to Lady Bird who said
plant a tree, a bush, or a shrub.
Our blue pedals and white top
mark spring weather as we make
bisexual moves for next year.

We marvel at our neighbor,
Indian Paintbrushes or Blankets
complimentary red and yellow
color of 200 species or more,
as we compete for turf in arid, sandy,
dry soil. It’s Texas, after all.

Crowding where others fear to grow
we push our blue until we turn purple,
near the end of our time, then struggle
and exit the stage for later bloomers.

True Texans must be pictured with
children and pets and flowers all around.
They hunt bluebonnets with cameras,
and drive miles to wait in line,
to see and capture scenes
in the perfect photo or painting,

and they name everything after us.
What’s not the lone star is called
the bluebonnet whatever it is.
It’s nice to be so loved, but our
magical time is brief, yet meaningful.
Here comes the sun of the Texas
Summer following Spring.


Married to Bluebonnets

Texas Bluebonnets mean Yolonda,
and art on our walls, and spares in boxes,
they mean Lady Bird behind so many
wildflowers, like Indian Paintbrush,
or Blankets, they are what early spring is for.
They tell us it’s that time of change.

Close up of Indian Paintbrush seen on my walk.

In Texas, it’s Spring baseball (but not this year)
and bluebonnets and with their blue and white
caps that turn purple (purple bonnets?);
and the red, orange, yellow tease of
200 varieties of Indian whatever wildflowers
that are the first up, pushing their
primary colors quickly into the world,
making seeds to make more flowers for next year.

They mean the toughness of my adopted State,
the arid sandiness and limestonish mix
to be followed in the last few weeks
of spring with more crazy beautiful
flowering weeds, and the colorful,
awesomeness of prickly pear cactus
flowers that remind me of Silvia Plath,
and her poem about Red Poppies, yet to come.

I smile at the flowers, partly because of beauty,
and partly because of what they mean to me;
another season with a new reason, but mostly
because of who they remind me of.


Look both ways but keep your eyes on the road.
Mind the gaps, each one is there for a seed to make a plant.

The mix of early Spring wildflowers.