A nickel’s worth of poems

Poetry

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Spontaneous combustion

Wish I could again write like that
effortlessly unleash a torrent
of costly associations, stream
the sampled music, splice
the layered images, brew
a good cup of coffee, cure
the cat’s fleas, stay up until 4 a.m.
instead of getting up at 4 a.m.
meeting myself behind
the bathroom door, strangers
of uncertain pulse dismissed with
our morning rituals.

*

Stopping to look at Mars

Straight and true, a fuming arrow
breaking apart at the
shroud, stack driving
through a nebula of
tetroxide red
tons of food and water
pounds of hardware
dividing, diverging Time
delay before multiple
detonations The explosions
failing to equal
the imagination emerging
in streaming pieces, diving
in an arc ending in ocean
blurred echoes still
expanding Vows
to carry on Maybe
you’ll be
aboard and maybe I’ll be
there to greet you

*

The Forest of Edgar

Hanging raindrops
hung from branches
and tips of leaves
plane trees spared
by the bore beetle
hanging raindrops
suspended under a skin
of surface tension
occasionally dropping
toward some distant planet.

*

Bent Chromosomes

Turning thoughts thus
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / turns them into rungs
depending on mood
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / into prison bars
anchoring a wall
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / fingered raw
to decided which way
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / the day will crack
the fat of morning
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / in the skillet
to be devoured or
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / burned, buried
under the agitation
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / of leaves
bracing branches
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / perhaps trembling
veins of twigs
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / bleeding thoughts
not-quite-new growth
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / support the snapping
dead decades
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / hard facts
yielding when pressed
/ – / – / – / – / – / – / -/ – / into the softness of day

*

Outside the frame

I’m under the influence
of Marsilio Ficino, bottled
and branded, recently
available in Arizona,
goes well with kale,
leaves you dreaming
of moonshine, the sweetness
of a glance over the shoulder
as Marsilio snaps the brim
of his Sinatra porkpie hat
moondances home to the shotgun
shack by the big house
his grandfather once owned,
the barn where he stored his paintings
long torn down, the hand-hewn beams
placed in a museum, the brass plate
the size of a business card stating
gift of the estate of Marsilio Ficino. It is there
some still come to admire him.

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