—Michael Estabrook, Acton, MA
the walls are covered with tiles
like in a subway station
so I guess I’m in a subway
but some of the tiles have holes in them
and there are snakes
some snakes crawl through
the holes in the tiles
my father shows up
comes walking towards me
and he’s stepping on the snakes
he doesn’t have a choice
they cover the ground
No doubt a modern Medusa
would have wires for hair
rather than snakes
like the mythological Medusa
because today everything
has a wire in it
and when wires get crossed
when things go hay-wire
it is likely to be much more fearful
than snakes in this modern
we try to live in.
I have often wondered
what the ancient poets would've done
if they had computers or recording devices
or a smart phone like the one
I'm talking into right now. For example
would Paradise Lost have been five times longer
if Milton had a smart phone and what about
Homer’s Iliad, would he have
added more details about the battles,
more characters more scenes more blood and guts?
Interesting questions we will never
have the answers to, at least not until
the physicists figure out how
to travel back in time.
At the club pool
squeezing the last rays of sunshine
out of the last days of summer
but I’m not anxious
about the coming fall
because I’m not returning to school
not going back to work
seeing as I’m retired, relaxed watching
as the woman in the orange bikini
surveys her domain
and the wasp
beneath my chair
continues building her nest
of dried grass.
At the granddaughter’s softball game
when one of the mothers
asks what I do now that I’m retired.
Chores and yardwork I respond
but my wife adds, he’s a poet, written books
and is all over the internet.
That’s nice, the mother says,
my aunt writes poetry too
and my mother’s
second cousin’s girlfriend’s son
was a famous New England poet,
ever hear of him?
And that’s exactly why
I don’t tell anyone I’m a poet.
A PERIOD OF MADMEN
—Michael H. Brownstein, Chicago, IL
Blood rising through the werewolf, the wolfman, the dragon tamer, the killer of lizards, the lovers of osmosis.
Yet he cannot let go. Moonlight knows nothing of the sun’s heat, nothing of a snow burn, nothing of the scars binding one enemy to another.
But he can hear its frantic heartbeat faster, faster, faster until—
Dawn wakes the blue sky with a whisper and the full moon slips away into the shadows.
SONG IN THE HEART OF THE LAND
—Michael H. Brownstein
let your heart sing
follow the path of the melody you like best
and when you stumble, no regrets
the pebble within reach a fairy rune, a fairy ring
let your fingers hold it tight
let your heart sing in response
let your melodies come alive
let the pebble shine fairy light
and, yes, the path you own
is the path you need, the path of everything,
and when it takes you home
angel cake, good news, fairy thrones
A SORT OF HAIKU
—Michael H. Brownstein
next to you
Thanks today to two Michaels who are not strangers in the Kitchen, Estabrook and Brownstein, for their fine poetry as we gear up for the weekend. Michael Estabrook writes that we say “coalition of cheetahs, clutch of chickens, colony of bats, caravan of camels, cast of crabs, crash of rhinos, congregation of alligators . . . and what might be the best appellation applied to a gathering of poets? Convocation? Cluster? Chattering? Collection? Clutter? No, no, perhaps cacophony would be the most apt descriptor. Anyway, Michael Estabrook is one of the cacophony, his latest collection of poems being Bouncy House, edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2016).” Check it out at dougholder.blogspot.com/2015/02/bouncy-house-by-michael-estabrook.html/.
The Story Roundup workshop is happening today, starting at 9am in Angels Camp. And tonight Allegra Silberstein and Carlena Wike will read in Davis at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 7:30pm. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.
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