We’ve been told we are at war
With a virus, an invisible enemy
But our nominal president
Plays golf and tweets erratically
Swatting at Titleists
Swearing at journalists
Embarrassing most of us
While one hundred thousand Americans
And it’s not yet June.
When I close my eyes, I see your face,
I hear your voice, those words of wry wisdom and gentle humor.
For months I’ve known this day would come, still the news of your passing caught me off guard,
Hit me right in the heart.
Knocked me off my feet.
You were our leader. The one who made the exaggerated gesture—feet off the pegs, legs askew—while riding your motorcycle, making me laugh,
Even as I negotiated the curves on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
You never pushed me to ride over my head, simply let me ride my own pace.
Oh, how I’ll miss you.
I hope you’ll sing karaoke in heaven.
I am invincible
My bare feet meet the cool brown earth
And I know.
Sidewalks are for lesser beings
Tender skinned novices
As for me, I will stride with confidence
Eschewing the easy path
Embracing the dangers
One toe at a time.
When I feel sad I might curl up in a ball and sob
Or apply mascara and go out for lunch
I might dance around the room with abandon
Or sit by myself in a corner, when I feel sad.
There’s no telling what I’ll do when the self pity lands
And my thoughts go to dark places. But I won’t do
Don’t worry. I’m not sad.
I cut Studly’s hair
With attachment number three
He speaks to me still
If it’s always darkest before the dawn, then is the opposite true?
Before the dark sets in, is that when the light shines brightest?
Maybe we’d notice then, and make ready.
But then we’d always be wondering, is this it? Is this the brightest light? How could anything be brighter? We must be doomed.
Or maybe we’d just celebrate the light.
Discover Prompts: Light
Door knobs and counter tops,
Paper money and coins,
Credit card scanners and screens,
Gas pump handles, a lover’s face,
Our phones, our eyes, our hair,
Children’s little noses, dogs’ ears,
Cats, when they’ll let us,
Faucets and tables,
Light switches and silverware,
Steering wheels and guitar strings,
The panic button, if we aren’t careful.
Sculpture in Venice tackles the topic of climate change
When I march, it’s to a different beat, three quarter time, more a waltz than a Sousa piece
Oompah pah, oompah pah, the carousel goes ‘round and ‘round. One, two, three, again and again
White horses on poles, the occasional sleigh, me, trying to catch the brass ring on the downbeat
Hanging on for dear life, even though I’ll go ‘round more than once. It’s not at all like real life.
Petals plucked in time
He loves me; he loves me not
Seek daisy’s wisdom
But choose your flower wisely
Odd numbers suffice
A garden’s bounty
Yields answers; questions results
How dare blossoms lie?
(After I published this I looked back in my archives and discovered another poem I’d written with the same title. The original is better, I think, but it made me laugh. It was bound to happen sooner or later.)
After days in the desert
‘Neath a scorching sun
Failing to find sanctuary
Sporting a swollen tongue,
I fell to my knees
Intending to pray
Lord help me find water
Please show me the way.
A solemn committee
Plucked from the sky
As I lay to die
Black robed watchers huddled
‘Round my fading form
Yearning yet to mourn
Stoop shouldered graspers
Nodding their sage heads
Poised for the wake
Preparing to be fed
Through cracked lips I spoke
Syllables faint with dread
Fly away motherfeathers
I’m not yet dead.