Head Scratcher

How to live life
I wonder
thinking of
The Duke
Bottle of tequila
most every night
Chain smoker
Lung removed
but he laughed
a lot with his
many, many friends
and long after the end
still so beloved
Cancer ate him up
It ate up my brother, too
who didn’t do
any of those things

Lost Testament

I stopped at a
greasy spoon
for a morning meal
Back booth
Petrified
cracked vinyl
cushion
Told the waiter
I was the
risen lord
and he rolled
his eyes
Shrugged
“You want lemon
in your water?”
Walking on water
becomes problematic
with lemon wedges
bobbing about.
“No thanks”
just then an
ambulance came
squealing down
Main Street
and I didn’t
follow to
heal them

I should have

Felt bad
but I was
famished
My 3-egg
omelette
was delayed

so I stayed

and waited

There will be
other days
for making
miracles

We’re all waiting
for something

Thursdays with Ernie

One must write
when it’s time
to write
despite
the dark angels
of indifference

hovering

Mother said
nothing
would come
of it
Another claimed
it could,
that I would
rule the world
so I shuffle along
the crowded way
between the two
avoiding the gaze
of the muse
lest I be thrust
into greatness
where villainous
critics wait

salivating
to eviscerate
every phrase

hook
line
and
sinker
and

here comes
Hemingway
again
eager to drink
my wine
then slap
my back
for encouragement

uninvited

I wish he would
go away – I can
scarcely pay
for my own vices

Spymaster

The cedars were
whispering mysteries
in the easy rain
as day began
padding catlike
along the
eastern mountains
wet tracks
snaking over
the ridge line
but her approach
did not come
unnoticed,
the cedars,
old and wise,
slipped their
secrets off their
shoulder with a
sexy sway
and a smitten
westbound
wind,
ever dutiful,
whisked them
safely away

Summit

Devils and dictators
Always smiling
Joyous as crows

at day’s dawn
surveying
rows and rows
of sweet corn

Sweet tender corn
standing tall and straight
not anticipating
the harvest
that awaits

Devils and dictators
Always smiling
Joyous as crows

Smiling

Because they know

Think, Think, Think!

Pen to paper
Simple strokes
down and
up and
around
amounting to
nothing profound
and the sun
will soon
slide below
the horizon
wanting no part
of my mind’s
ponderous
pondering

For that
we have
the moon,
and thunder
in the night,
and great horned owls
in deadly, silent flight
or as Pooh
might opine,
“Oh, bother”

Out-of-Season

Four leaves were shed
lazily
in front of me
as I made my way to
Front Royal
today
but they
were all wrong
these leaves

did not tumble
as dust from summer’s
broad shouldered
shrugs
rather
they spiraled,
pirouetted
in the gentle
dance of death
that belongs
to Fall
alone
and I was
undone
by this
brazen
display of
misplaced
melancholy
arriving
not quite a
fortnight
into July
on this
long drive
and my heart
skipped,
gasped,
grasped
at that
missing thing
I can never
define
as the miles
ticked by

Cirque du Seed and Sweat

Safflower found in the rolled up cuff of my too long jeans Odd pieces in odd corners through the kitchen and family room and one stuck to the dog’s belly Safflower sprouting under the steps Finches flinging and slinging safflower in all directions while doves dart across the deck to gather this manna from heaven and paranoid schizophrenic cardinals flit in and out in a perpetual state of “Oh shit! What was that!” and the bombastic bully blue jay appears occasionally and they all skedaddle for safety and it’s hot – damn hot

Invitation

Walk with me along the blackthorn path
though narrow it is with arms that slash and prick.
Tempted you will be to turn back from their wrath
yet persevere! Peonies are there to perfume the picnic!

Fine food have I fixed
and there are candlesticks!
Nothing has been spared
and

in its naivete

my heart has dared
to proclaim my love
for you there