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.
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.
If I were a writer
I’d dredge up the dirt
The stuff that stifles dreams
And makes everyone cringe,
The grit that scours my heart.
I’d lay my soul bare
Take the blame.
Instead, I’m just a wannabe
Writing about nothing that matters
Where no one gets hurt.
Especially not me.
Statue of Sorrow by T.J. Fowler
I know a thing or two about dust
A Texas panhandle childhood taught me its sting on the playground
Grit-filled eyes and sandblasted legs
Days of dust
And tumbling weeds
When gray choked skies obscured and
Scouring winds grew teeth
I thought that was how the whole world worked
For our sins.
(I do not miss those days.)
Is there a better word than dappled
For the way the sunlight plays through the trees, speckling the road?
Variegated is all wrong; unless one is speaking of yarn,
And motley only makes me think of clowns or crews.
Discolored doesn’t work, suggesting there’s been a mistake, and make no mistake–
Dappling is perfection; poetry in shadowy motion.
Flecked? Checkered? Parti-colored? No!
Stippled? Perhaps. I could work with stippled.
Still, dappled comes to mind first, when I crest a hill and see the canopy of trees
Filtering the light on a sun-kissed day, painting abstract patterns on the pavement
And peace in my soul.
Yesterday I posted a link to my friend, Julie’s blog post that featured her photo (below). Just in case my readers didn’t click on the link, here’s the poem I wrote to accompany the photo.
“Hung Out to Dry”
Passion had its way with her
Swept her up
Cast her about
Until she was
Hung out to dry,
Swinging from tenterhooks
For all the world to see.
A lesser woman might’ve
Dried on the vine,
Not she, no for
She claimed her place,
Staked her bets and
Stood on her own two feet.
The work of my photographer friend, Julie Powell, whose blog can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org, inspires me. Her work is often playful, sometimes edgy, and always beautiful.
Occasionally my mind runs along similar paths as Julie’s, and I’m moved to write a piece in response to her art.
I hope you’ll click on the link to Julie’s post and my poem.
Places I’ve never been
Paris, England, Reykjavik
In my dreams I see the
Towers, Eiffel and London
And the stony crags of Iceland
Chances are I’ll never have the
Opportunity to cruise the
Seine or cross the Thames
Or ford the fjords
But they call to me
Just the same.
I’ve known some witches in my time
Not the cloistered crones of legends; although, they, too exist
Cackling over crackling cauldrons
Working at wickedness for fun and profit
No, those I’ve encountered don’t give a newt’s eye for sinister stews.
They are the progeny of those who could not be burned, who steadfastly refused to drown.
Is it any wonder, then, that men fear witches?
Happy Halloween, people.
The squirrels showed up first,
Chittering and bushy tailed
Scrambling for acorns they’d hide
But never find again.
A flash of red announced a cardinal
Who watched warily as one
Determined squirrel chose to dig
Too close for his comfort.
Another cardinal followed,
Then a blue jay asserted himself
Into the mix, loudly searching for tidbits
Among the oak leaves littering the yard.
Even a lizard crept along the red bricks
Hoping to go unnoticed,
But I spied him, as did the cat.
All while gentle ripples stirred the lake
Dry leaves rustled in the wind, and
An unseen songbird trilled an apology.
He must’ve been late to the party.