Summer Snow

The cottonwood blossoms and casts its blooms
floating the Missouri one sunny afternoon.

A summer snow, the blooms they squall,
finding their way, the wind, abetting withdraw.

They know no course, chance the only
companion on this journey.

Much as it was when I settled down,
casting my lot to this bottom ground.

Not aware I was sowing a seed of destiny,
chance—forlorn to me;
settling instead, fear won out.

I long for chance, for destiny, to arrive,
to grab my hand and turn the tide.

Victim to my chosen circumstance,
but those days never came to last.

Still I dream of you only,
an end all too early;
was it all for naught?

Fearing loss defeated chance,
alone I watch destiny dance;

in the summer snow above the Missouri.

 

*Originally published in the February/March 2017 issue of Literary Arts Review magazine.

 

Full Spectrum

I choose not to be color blind, although
I hear, it’s the copacetic thing to do,
but why on this kaleidoscoping earth
should I choose a limit, to what I see
and how I experience everything, swimming
in and through the fluid of this optic sea.

It’s a handicap, self-imposed righteousness—

The sphere is more than a monochrome, of
black and white, the in-betweens left cast
aside, the grays, the charcoals, nothing about
them is far from right or wrong, instead they
shade the world, applying filters to appreciate
another point of view, perspective, lighting—
in any light any color is not the same
being blind to one is blind to all.

Lose the handicap, free your eyes—

Instead I choose to don the rainbow, and
bask in its Technicolor glow, wrap myself
in its warmth, accessorized with my
charcoal scarf, hands gloved with a touch of
gray, white socks, black tie, all because I
saw the allure of not being color blind.

Don’t impose, a limit to,
the beauty, of humankind.

Originally published in the September, 2016, issue of Literary Arts Review Magazine.

 

Helianthus

 

In the dialed face

of the sunflower did rest

a reflection of the sun

light giving the plant

brilliance to digest.

 

Shimmer along yellow

petals gilding the rays

feathered out in fine detail

for the wandering eye

to celebrate.

 

The flower is a palette

contrasting the glance—

light and dark balancing act—

an optic harmony

to a sun-lit dance.

 

Imagine : 2016

Ballots break the Age of Aquarius
while its perfunctory measures
greet its waiting antithesis
knelling the departure of its heroes;

Struck out was Joe DiMaggio
before a nation’s lonely eyes
raptured through political vertigo
a myth of promises lost their disguise;

Tendering chaos on axes X and Y
a generation lost to cyberspace
booming eyes with false tears cried
over children’s dreams laid to waste;

Bowled over by instant karma
indiscriminate in natural selection
from champagne bubbles’ supernova
sparkling of arrogance brazen;

Hope’s promise devastated
its concept bore suspicion
Cosell’s call unheeded
all remains forsaken—

leaving us,

still,

to Imagine.

choteau

The hills and

their sweet grasses

stood sentry

guarding time

witness to

the changing seasons

and

demolition by mankind

too stoic

to flinch

too passive

to resist

their soils

torn

riding the wind

barren plains

now sown

with

cheat(ing) grasses

purple majesty

running red

no more

does thunder

roll

unless

by

the heavens

called

 

Sideways

I wrote this poem sideways because I

Couldn’t see straight enough

To know the lines on the page

And if they were running

North, south, east or west;

They turned out to be mere guide-ons

Along this journey in a world

Structured by contradiction

Escape recognized as

Dereliction;

Or maybe I could rhyme

And lay down a beat

In perfect time –

But to do so would recognize

The stricture of my

Education, it’s failure

In my homogeny;

Lay down the sonnets and

villanelles

Forget even the bop –

All are well in time

But tonight…

These lines

they

are Mine.

red and white

I can still smell the red and white

they linger in the air

staining the hand

while its accomplice

on my palate lingers.

 

I choke back the cough-

push down the bile-

it’s all I can do-

minus virtue.

 

A boy among men

five years old

a father’s gift on

his day, to me-

a can of suds

and a pack of reds

teaching me how

to be a man

in the red and white

carton –

and can.

 

Alder Mystery

With roots entwined in the musty

Earth

a being is brought forth

Breeding

the emotions of humanity

Bleeding

when cut as we

Impervious

to the floods but let to

Rot

when exposed to elemental

Furies

burdening existence upon the

Landscape

that can be raiment and shelter

Nourishing

our physical needs while giving

Homage

to the spirit within that

Subsides

bringing awareness of all we’ve

Rained

upon the land and our kin

Foregoing

religiosity’s dire consequence with

Myth

grounding into our

Conscience

the collective notion of

Responsibility

turning the mind and heart to

Recognition

of a fluted pair bearing

Promise

their golden glory crystallized in

Winter’s

permafrost bearing

Witness

to the eternal hope of

Spring.

Quandary

Autumn leaves turn their backs
to another frontier of the eulogy
that’s one more summer past
and never to be forgotten

except

in the minds of those mired
in the worries of the future
struggling to reconcile fortune
against a stubbornness to

accept

change in all its forms and
its irascible determination to
forge ahead disregarding the past
laughing at the future and all its

pretense.

 

Riverine Paramour

There he sat, alone, his bronzed patina enhanced by the sun’s charging rays.  Mindfully at task, he read the water, and knew it personally.  Every riff, run and eddy, the children of this great river, had personality.  Like their mother, the barometer was the only true indicator of their vacillating moods.

This was his river.  No, he did not own the rights to her waters.  Nor did he hold title to the land which embraced her form.  He had grown to love her and her fickle ways.  Her currents, like her emotions, flowed without remorse.

She flowed through him, capturing his soul like no other woman.  Her kiss moistened his parched lips.  Occasionally she yielded to his advances, allowing him to plunge into her depths.   She bore him fruits from deep within, bringing nourishment to both his body and soul.

river

He shared her beauty with those willing to accept her ways.  To know her was to live, to accept the unknown and to love unconditionally.  She could be harsh, her emotional torrents exploding in manic episodes, lambasting only those closest to her.  Weathering the rapid cycling of her tempestuous moods was rewarded by brief, intimate encounters with her placid and nurturing alter ego.

Because of him, others came to love her, and to respect her frenzied passions.  Her cool waters sustained life, while her voluptuous swells brought forth sustenance from deep below.  In her own narcissistic way, she loved in return those who loved her.

There is no impediment to her will.  She is not to be trusted, but respected in her raw and untamed power.  He was drawn in by her enrapturing trance, and committed to her shores.  There he sits, attending to her whims, led only by her capricious manifestations.