—Public Domain Photos Courtesy
of Michael Lee Johnson
I found your life smiling
inside a four-leaf clover.
Here you hibernate in sin.
You were dancing in the orange fields of the sun.
You lock into your history, your past, withdrawal,
taste honeycomb, then cow salt lick.
All your life, you have danced in your soft shoes.
Find free lottery tickets in the pockets of poor men
Numbers rhyme like winners, but they are just losers.
Positive numbers tug like gray blankets, poor horses
coming in 1st.
Private angry walls; desperate is the night.
You control intellect, josser men.
You take them in, push them out,
circle them with silliness.
Everything turns indigo blue in grief.
I hear your voice, fragmented words in thunder.
An actress buried in degrees of lousy weather and
I leave you alone, wander the prairie path by myself.
Pray for wildflowers, the simple types. No one cares.
Purple colors, false colors, hibiscus on guard,
lilacs are freedom seekers, now no howls in death.
You are the cookie crumble of my dreams.
Three marriages in the past.
I hear you knocking my walls down, heaven stars
Once beautiful in the rainbow sun, my face, even
snow now cast in banners, blank, fire, and flames.
I cycle a self-absorbed nest of words.
GHOST I AM
Here is a private hut
staring at me,
twigs & branches
over the top—
naked & alone.
I respond to an old ‘60s doo-wop
song: “In the Still of the Night”
Fred Parris and The Satins.
Storms are written in narratives,
old ears closed to a full hearing.
I’m but a shelter cringing.
In age, nightmare pre-warned redemption.
Let’s call it the Jesus factor,
not LGBT symbols in Biden’s world.
I lost my way close to the end.
Here is this shelter in heaven,
poetry imagined spaces
prematurely still not all the words fit,
in childhood in abuse
lack of reason for bruises
rough hills, carp that didn’t bite,
and Schwinn bike rides
flat tires, chains fall off, spokes collapse—
this thunder, those storms.
Find me a thumbnail
image of myself in centuries of dust.
Stand weakened by nature
of change glossed over, sealed.
Old men, like a luxurious battery,
die hard, but with years, they
too, fade away.
This moon, clinging to a cloudless sky,
offers the light by which we love.
In this park, grass knees-high, tickling bare feet,
offers the place we pass pleasant smiles.
Sir Winston Churchill would have
saluted the stately manner this fog lifts,
marching in time across this pond
layering its ghostly body over us
cuddled by the water’s edge,
as if we are burdened by this sealed
casket called love.
Frogs in the marsh, crickets beneath the crocuses
trumpet the last farewell.
A flock of Canadian geese flies overhead
in military V formation.
Yet how lively your lips tremble
against my skin in a manner no
sane soldier dare deny.
Coastal warm breeze
off Santa Monica, California
the sun turns salt
shaker upside down
and it rains white smog, a humid mist.
No thunder, no lightning,
nothing else to do
except for sashay
forward into liquid
into eternal days
The material's out there, a calm lake waiting for us to dive in.
—Medusa, with thanks to Michael Johnson for sending us poetry today with seasonal talk of ghosts and caskets, plus a four-leaf clover to ward off the effects of yesterday’s Friday the 13th!
with Poetry in Locke; plus
Sac. Poetry Alliance
(Gail Entrekin and Stewart Florsheim);
and Vibe with the Tribe, a vendor fair in
Sacramento with a reading by Debbie Dollas.
For info about these and other
upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS
in the links at the top of this page.
Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
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the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
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(A cookie from the Kitchen for today):
leaves passing on…