These were a few poems I’ve been working on.
Dad hoists the trailer ball joint from the pickup
While I write in the dirt on the Chevrolet bumper
Mom tidies up our one room motel, the kitchen table
Juxtaposing into the bedroom. After grabbing the fishing rods and
Tackle box, we set to work making camp.
Dad teaches me how to cast a line into the water
I try so hard to get it far
Mom seems to have a calming tonic quality
As she reads to me during the wind storm
Which swoops in and stole our green and white
“Smoke follows beauty,” uncle Jerry says
As I run around the campfire
My marshmallow bobbing up and down
Like the red and white sphere on my fishing line
Cast in the Blackfoot reservoir. Water
Chops against a beach of mossy rocks.
When they yell and holler, “fish!”
I drop my Garfield comic book
Onto the gold speckled café table
(the one we play poker on)
And skip through the miniature boulders
To rip the pole from its holster and yank it back.
I never listen to the stories
Told around our campfire;
I always have my face in a bowl of aunt Myrna’s chili
And my hands full of tang mugs and hot dogs.
At night I sit in mom’s lap or on Dad’s knee.
They both wear hats. Mom’s
was a woven straw straw hat, straight bill
all the way around, with a ripped strand
of flowery linen wrapped around the middle.
Dad sports a sweaty baseball cap with dried
Salt stains all around its faded white interior.
It mats down his hair.
In the mornings I awake from my cozy sleeping bag
To a damp, but sharp morning. Hot cocoa
And Aunt Ellen’s warm maple syrupy pancakes
Keep me warm. We play dice and cribbage
All day, watching the poles and reeling in
Rainbow trout here and there. The Wind still scares me.
When Jerry and Myrna left for home,
In their yellow camping van
I watch it shrink along the dusty road
Rumbling through the weeds.
I don’t realize it will be our last camping trip
Together, at least for awhile.
I wore your favorite shirt of mine
Today it still has the pesto stain
From when I made you dinner
Washed over and over again
I used everything to get it out
Catches my attention in restroom
Mirrors and reflective car finishes
I see in the parking lot.
My friends tiptoe around you
Afraid your name will conjure
Emotions that will vex me
Instill a demonic possession of my body
Unable to escape from my mind
And ravage me like a lion
Riled by the circus master before
The Friday Night performance.
I once learned, though stars die their
Light can still be seen for hundreds of
Thousands of years after since its journey to
Earth takes so long. I still
happen upon your Memories,
glancing through my mind’s telescope
though you’ve been gone
Longer than your
So I still look back and glance behind me
My introspection asks Watson for his take
On the puzzle unsolved and our motives.
I rewrite the history, and imbue it on
Love stories and angry songs
So it relates to me, and sometimes I can still
Catch the glimmer of your eye
And hint of your smile in a
A Bedouin once said of his Arabian horse
I hang happiness on the forelock
Between your eyes
He spoke centuries before
A Timbered Gift was
Abandoned on the sequestered Shore
Of an Empire called Helena.
Achilles dropped from the wooden belly
Sweat dripped from his golden hair
And gleamed in the moonlight
On his skin, taught around muscles bare,
Tense, and primed to slaughter.
He cut through Trojan flesh with his blade
His lips and hands a bright red.
The bones of his enemies trembled,
Then shattered against his fists.
They sputtured weezing breaths,
Before ceding to the abyss.
Achilles caught the boy running
First with his eyes, then hands.
He gripped the lad’s tunic and held him closely.
Kill him, he thought, but knew it unjust
The voice of the devil inside.
Instead, he heaved him upon his shoulder,
Escaping them from deaths tide.
His run through the burning walls was trenchant,
Dodging the arrows, and the bodies
Falling around him like fog at sea
Nostalgia, his wife, and two children
Filled his mind
He would return to his home on the shore,
Know happiness with his love,
And fill his children’s heads with stories and lore.
He placed the crying infant on the ground
Of mortared stones caked with rubble
And looked at him, enough to see the boy flinch.
Achilles heard the bow snap
And felt the arrow cut the air
Before it struck him.
He saw the man, Paris, upon a balcony linger,
Hoist another arrow into the string
Pull his weapon taught
And wince as he let it fling.
There was no armor that protected Achilles
After the first wound
Though he wore Sparta’s best
From an old blacksmith’s fire.
The second arrow pierced his belly
Through the metal it went, and through the skin
Achilles looked down and saw the shaft
Pine from the forests of Helena
The same wood which the Trojan horse was craft.
Three more arrows took down the man
They once called a God
He lay prostrate on the floor
Of a kingdom crashing on top of him.
He barely heard the cries
Of the young boy at his left
Or of his army signaling victory outside.
The warrior drifted off, and slept.
Comrades stormed the hall
To finish off their task.
They stumbled upon their leader and
barely felt the heat of the sun
Pierce through the smoky sky.
It was bloody red, and the warriors looked on in silence,
Bidding their brother a final goodbye.
They carried Achilles through the decomposed city.
Doorways looked like gaping, groaning mouths,
And burning rooftops parched for water.
His weight upon their shoulders a heavy yoke
For the once undefeated was defeated
They wondered if their spell was broke.
In my pocket
Secure leather vaults
Always willing to open
For a dependable investor
But as a borrower
Though I have several forms of
Will never lend me cash
When Great Depressions hit