Friday, July 03, 2015

Found Art

—Photo by Jennifer Lagier

—Jennifer Lagier, Marina, CA

Gangly mutants sprout at orchard edge,
proliferate along ditch banks.
Sticky stems bend under the weight
of brown fried egg center
fringed with bright golden petals.

During the lean years,
I cut handfuls of wild flowers,
displayed them in a mayonnaise jar
circled by yellow pollen
on my red kitchen table.

These were simple times:
free, cheerful blooms,
muscular youth,
uncrushed aspirations,
unsullied future.  

  —Photo by Jennifer Lagier

—Jennifer Lagier

Cloud remnants swirl across summer sky,
curdle on contact with blazing sun.
Clotted mist rises, floats like celestial foam
backlights cypress silhouettes.

Morning and I are unsettled, run hot and then cold.
One minute, my sweatshirt seems insufficient.
In the next, I am struggling uphill, stripped
to sleeveless vest, reddened, roiled in sweat.

The day is uncertain—
promise of glittering bay,
al fresco champagne brunch,
obscured by incoming fog.

 —Photo by Jennifer Lagier

—Jennifer Lagier

Mist lifts off the Pacific,
leisurely skids across blue sky,
obscures rising sun.

Fog rivulets mesmerize,
flow inland to accumulate
against dry mountain tops.

The trail is mysterious—
winds between kudzu and oak,
disappears within rattlesnake grass.

Found art embellishes forest floor,
a heart-shaped assemblage of pine cones
arrayed beside well-travelled path.

I accept this discovery as good luck omen,
welcome bird song, scolding squirrels,
screech of spiraling hawk.


—Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL

Solo, I am clock maker
born September 22nd,
a Virgo/Libra mix insane,
look at my moving parts, apart yet together,
holes in air, artistic perfection,
mechanical misfits everywhere,
life is a brass lever, a wordsmith, an artist at his craft.
Clock maker, poet tease, and squeeze tweezers.
I am a life looking through microscope,
screen shots, snapshot tools,
mainsprings, swing pendulum, endless hours,
then again, ears open tick then a tock.
Over humor and the last brass bend,
when I hear a hair move its breath,
I know I am the clock waiter,
the clock maker listens—
a tick, then a tock.


—Michael Lee Johnson

Single life is—tequila with lime,
shots of travelers, jacks, diamonds, and then spades,
holding back aces—
mocking jokers
paraplegic aged tumblers of the night trip.
Poltergeist define as another frame,
a dancer in the corner shadows.
Single lady don’t eat the worm…
beneath the belt, bashful, very loud, yet unspoken.
Your man lacks verb, a traitor to your skin.


—Michael Lee Johnson

Jesus walks
Southwest side
Chicago nighttime city
in bulletproof vest
stores closed,
blasted windows,
mink furs stolen,
a few diamonds for glitter—
old parks, metal detectors, quarters, nickels, dimes,
coins in the pockets of thieves, black children
on Merry go rounds, Maywood, IL.
danger children run in danger
in spirit, testimony,
red velvet outdates Jesus' robe.


—Michael Lee Johnson

Transition, is song, passages.
291.5 pounds, age 66, 6'4', gross as a pig waiting for
          butcher's cut.
Aging chews at my back, my knee joints, chisels, slivers
          in dampness.
Legs are corn stalks burning; twist fibers, bending, late
          October, Halloween night.
Good news, 67, lost 38.9 pounds this year, rocking gently
          shifting my pain away.
I am no longer a beagle pup, an English cocker spaniel
          chasing the bitches around,
no longer a champion bike rider, yo-yo champion, nor
          Hula Hooper dancer or swinger.
Now I expand my morning stiffness with stretch rubber
          bands, legs lifted high then down.
Wild mustard, wild black rice and the Mediterranean diet
            have taken over my youthful dining experiences.
I no longer have nightmares about senior' discounts, or
          meals on wheels,
          part-time bus driving jobs, or aerobics.
When spices are in season, I out live my postponements
          to my grave.
Screech owl, I am an old buck, baby hoot on a comeback,
          dancing my ass off.
Transition, shedding old lose snakeskin.
Still listening to those old hits, like Jesse Colter, Waylon Jennings,
          "Storms Never Last."
Transition, is song, passages.


Today's LittleNip:

Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry.

—George Braque


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors from two very different parts of the country! Jennifer Lagier was featured in Medusa's Kitchen on Aug. 29, 2014, and Michael Lee Johnson was featured on Jan. 7, 2015.