The Dust

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

Nature’s castigation

For our sins.

(I do not miss those days.)

The Right Word

I wonder

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.

Peace, people.

Hung Out to Dry

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

Strung out,

Wrung out,

Hung out to dry,

Swinging from tenterhooks

For all the world to see.

A lesser woman might’ve

Given up,

Shriveled up,

Dried on the vine,

Not she, no for

She claimed her place,

Staked her bets and

Stood on her own two feet.

Unbound.

Inspiration and Collaboration

The work of my photographer friend, Julie Powell, whose blog can be found at juliepowell2014@wordpress.com, 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.

https://juliepowell2014.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/hung-out-to-dry-by-leslie-noyes/

Witches

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.

Afternoon on the Lake

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.

Open. Closed. Open.

Who am I to question the way a door is opened?

Push. Pull. Lift latch. Turn knob. “Abracadabra”

So what if I choose incorrectly at least half of the time?

Enter. Exit. Round and round.

When last we talked I caught a glimmer of remorse. Maybe you would choose a different door this time, or maybe find a new way to open it.

We were friends once. Invisible doors were slammed. I lost a figurative finger.

All I’m saying, is I’ll help you open that door again. We can lean against it together.

A Splice of Life

I spliced the scenes together

The early days of flickering frames in shades of black and white,

Three channels and Walter Cronkite’s signature sign-off, “And that’s the way it is.”

We begged for a color tv, if only for the Rose Bowl parade broadcast, but

I’d outgrown the delight of floats bedecked with hundreds of thousands of flowers by the time

The old RCA was replaced by a bigger, shinier new Zenith. Bonanza in color and Little Joe in

My dreams. Yeehaw.

(I owe the idea for this one, in part, to my friend LA at Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50.:

https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.wordpress.com/2019/10/08/and-thats-the-way-it-is/)