Firsts

September 22, 2020  :: 0 comments

twenty-four hours eggs and grits and hot coffee small shared silences Too old for milk and sugar, I was 12 when I drank my first cup of black coffee. We were at the diner where Old 54 runs into Trinity Mills. No sign, no name, just the diner where Dad and I always ate breakfast before heading to the lake. …

in matching capes

featured in the poetry forum September 19, 2020  :: 0 comments

red riding hood and superman
spin together
negotiating who saves whom—
man of steel offers to kill
every wolf in the forest
but red has known
too many woodsmen who believe
blood is the solution to every fear
who wear brawny biceps
like a mask
and she doesn’t want to be around
when he catches
lois and jimmy getting it on
in the archives of the daily planet—
not that lois doesn’t love the suit
but playing second fiddle
to every quake and two-bit super villain
leaves her feeling less than special—
and red doesn’t want to be around
when fifty pent up years
explode

she would teach him
what it means to be human
the kryptonite of desire
to live
so the lack of a caress might sting
like the punch of an exploding star
so anyone might love him without fear
without adrenal aftermath of falling
and caught in the nick of time
red could love him
for twinkle and laugh
if only
he would share a dream or two
if only he would let her inside
his fortress of solitude

editors note:

Ultimate fantasy; super fan gets super hero in super love. (We welcome Alan to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

fieldstone

featured in the poetry forum February 13, 2020  :: 0 comments

chipped
and placed with the care of spooning lovers
whispering rise to a pulse of flowers
a yes to summer’s green
a wall that whispers let go
to gold and crimson leaves
whispers sleep to everything
beneath the snow

imagine a wall
so confident it doesn’t have to scream
go away you are not welcome here
a wall that stitches seams together

low and humble
sinking beneath the surface of a small pond
crawling out the opposite bank
winding between maples and oaks that one day will
grow large enough to dislodge
a wall whose beauty will not be lost
in the scattering of its stones

after Storm King Wall by Andy Goldsworthy
1997-98, Fieldstone, 5’ x 2278.5’ x 2.7’, Storm King Art Center

editors note:

Let’s build more of these. (See the inspiration behind this poem here.) – mh clay

When the grieving mother asked, the rabbi replied

featured in the poetry forum October 26, 2019  :: 0 comments

We are not jazzless angels
every harp note perfect and predictable, every chess game
a draw. Freewill cannot dazzle if every foul choice turns gold.

Hunger gnaws and starvation
waits
a mountain lion invisible against the rocks.
Claws celebrate emaciated flesh
so we plow and plant
but the god equation is not so simple as
a good life equals a good life. Rains turn
on a butterfly’s hiccup.

Sometimes children lose hair to chemo because water flows
through lead or perhaps a gamma-ray spun off from a distant star—
capricious freedom. Mothers could die
young enough they never pose difficult questions nor lose
young names in setting sun.

Suppose the world a coke commercial, everyone
singing, holding hands, and sweet fizzy drinks didn’t make you crave
another and another until insulin shots circle like vultures.

Beauty sans purpose is boring as certainty. Healthy forests
need wildfire and satisfying years need
2nd period bullets, outlawed loves, unjust lash. Bombs clinging
to hopeless chests, desire for more more
trumping children of the poor.

And what of love?
Imaginary, impossible
if we did not throw while the coin spins high
all our money on the table.
Place your bets; hold your breath.

We do not have to, crust will not collapse. We get to
say maybe, just maybe, bend the universe imperceptible—
hallelujah a prayer of sweet,
sweet sweat— muscles obeying best they can or not.
Revel in unpredictable effort.
Pity jazzless angels— no reason to wake except to praise.

editors note:

Natural selection or improvisation? Yes, place your bets now. – mh clay