Category Archives: Poetry

The Men in the City

The men in the city
Made a deal with the women in the city
The men would work every Tuesday and Thursday
The women would work every Monday and Wednesday
They’d alternate Fridays
The deal fell apart, though, by week three
That’s when they realized the old way was better

(I’ve posted this for the fun of it. It’s the result of a warm-up exercise during Creative Writing Essentials at StoryStudio Chicago. The exercise was to select one of three titles (picked randomly from an anthology of poetry) and write a unique story of exactly 50 words. I excluded “Long May” and “In the Dark I Enter,” and chose “Men in the City.”)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry

Just Middle-age and Gratefulness

2015-07-20 Sunset

Every evening after dinner
I walk the tree-lined side street
That leads from my house

I don’t begin the walk at a specific time
Tonight first,
I washed the dishes

Then I started out
With nothing in mind
Just middle-age and gratefulness
And what to do next

Trees and worries and birds and plans
Until the houses ended
And the ball-field began

And like the other evenings
The sky grew big
No houses or trees to block it

The giant sky
One great, low cloud
And below…the sharp, round sun
Burning orange
Then setting behind distant trees

The persons driving cars
East on Ninth
–They missed it

Instead they looked at me
The guy standing at the end of West Broadway
Facing the sun and smiling

In khaki pants and a white undershirt
Like he hadn’t bothered to change
From work

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

From the Seems-like-it’s-safe Side

Donuts

The gray of the morn
Made me want it even more
Wakin’ from unconscious
Of last night’s excesses

My ol’ lady too
Said, Baby…You
Gotta go get some
So I did

I done crossed the line
Into the neighborhood
So many’ve left
Behind

I drove low
Past the falling pants guys
Waitin’ in the rain
For the currency exchange

Drove low past the cruiser
Dirty white Interceptor
Black hubs and cow-catcher
Where there’s never been no cows

Drove low past the Church
The Church of Joy
Its parking-lot puddles
Of tears, not rain

Drove low past the barred windows
Of the convenience, meat, and grocery
Its billboard bold boasting
CIGARETTES, CITRON, LOTTO, and LINK

I Drove low
And then stopped
Hurried into the lab
Were they make it

Nodded to the girl
Showed my clump of bills
Her tattoo of Magdalene
Appearing to us both

I hurried back out
And drove low again
‘Round a burned-out mattress
Discarded onto the double yellow

Then made it back over
To the seems-like-it’s-safe side
Back in my living-room and kitchen
Tossed the bag to my wife

Warm honey-glazed donuts
To go with the scrambles and bacon
While the landscaper’s mower
Hummed loud in the backyard

2 Comments

Filed under Poetry

April Morning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This morning in the dark
The rain fell steadily
Yet a male robin sang and sang
As if he knows that every morning
Will be as joyous as today’s
From now ‘til autumn

3 Comments

Filed under Poetry

Care of the Machine – Poem for April 10 – National Poetry Month

DSC_0874

The wives slept
While the men worked
Through the night

Each man at his desk
His face reflecting
The glow of a screen

The men worked
For the Corporation
–The sole employer

A living entity
Growing, consuming
And adapting

Operating, once with
Typewriters and forms
Folders and cabinets

‘Til the chief
Ordered the men
“Build a machine!”

One man created its mind
The paths into it
And the ways out

A second man wrote instructions
Shaped like poems
For the machine-mind to read

A third man built a translator
So the machine could talk
To other machines

Thus the Corporation’s organs
Became keyboards and screens
File and servers

And the men’s work
Became care
Of the machine

Which could only be done
At night
When they induced its sleep

And as the machine slept
The men worked
Through the night

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

What Makes the Wind – Poem 9 for National Poetry Month

rockford-radar_2255Z_4-9-15

I don’t know
What makes the wind

Or last night
What made it rush
With the sound of everything
Being moved

That sound was more
Than the creaking of every tree-trunk
And the rustling of every branch
More than all last-Autumn’s leaves
Pushed, scraping along the pavement
More than every particle of dirt
Blasting against the windows

That sound included
All things usually too quiet to hear
Like the straining of each blade of grass
And the ruffling of every bird’s feathers

It was the rush
Not of a freight train
But of fifty freight-engines
Off the tracks and side by side
Headlamps black and heading straight
Toward you and me

It was the wind taking over
Pushing everything
All the way down
And you and I could do nothing
But go under
And wait

Me here and you there
Wishing to be together
Praying the wind
Would not take the other

And when we came together
We prayed the wind
Would not take us both

It pounding at the backdoor
Trying to get in
Radio siren wailing
Synthetic voice reporting
A town blown through
To the west

The wind is gone now
And I hear the sound of everything…
Everything being quiet

I don’t know
What makes the wind
Or what makes it rush
But I think it’s the same thing
That last night made it stop

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Thunderstorm Dreaming

buffalo-bull-grazing-1845.jpg!Blog

On Wednesday,
One o’clock at-night
Is for sleeping

‘Til there’s a distant rumble
Then a white-sky FLASH!
Which silhouettes for an instant
Branches of Spring’ s bare trees

BOOM! OOM! oom!
Hurls from a faraway cannon
Between wheels of wood
Its black iron barrel, narrow at the front
Points upward

FLASH, then BOOM! again
And an invisible cannonball
Arcs high over the backyard
Reaching its highest point
Above my house

Where the projectile pierces a mammoth piñata
That’s not a piñata at all

But a giant, stuffed animal
A great, toy buffalo
Standing overhead in the black cloud
It’s woolly head facing west
Into the storm

From its underside
Between its black corner legs
Ice-pellet stuffing
Rains down at me
But is stopped by the thin roof

Pellets pop, pop, popping
Like kernels exploding
In a metal pot
‘Til there are no more

Just a trickle
Through the downspout
To the silence
Of the next dream

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry