Monday, August 4, 2014

Because We Could


Gotcha some bullheads, I see.  Hap
pulled us into dock, bullheads carpeted
our boat's floor, fins surrounded our feet.

When they're biting, nothin's
more fun than pulling 'em in.. 

Ready to pull anchor, the first strikes
stunned us.  Our reels spun and rods
tipped as catfish dipped for the deep.

My dad's excitement nearly swallowed
the stump of his partly chewed cigar.

Discarding my Hemingway novel,
I leaned into grace under pressure
to land fish after defenseless fish.

Goose Martin and I hit a strike one night
and filled a garbage can while it lasted.

The wide yellow heads adorned with timeless
barbels rested in the alien world of our sport
while knowing eyes mocked our amusement.

Three pounds of infinitely formed flesh
tempted by minnow disguised hooks.

Underwater boxcars, they lack the stylish
design of the sleek northerns and walleyes,
elusive muskies, the flare of the bluegills.

Scavengers, bottom feeders, controllers
of the night, their defensive fins disabled.

What shall we do with these?  We have
a couple of nice walleye for our supper,
and we're leaving in the morning.

I'll smoke the suckers. Hap eyed the catch
with relish, mixing mental barbecue sauce.

The last fish gasped for air as my departing
sneaker nudged his dream,  visioned minnows
swam just beyond his open mouth.

Herding Socks


I've given up on socks. The washer
eats them for its lunch. The dryer melts
them down for its own mysterious
purposes, welding art behind the lint
trap, strange alchemies that only dryers
understand. What few I am able to rescue
like a bag of puppies tossed to the road
running past a likely home, I struggle
to match. Litter mates, twins from birth,
but beyond the obvious argyles, stripes,
and patterns, I'm at a loss with the blues
and blacks. They wait patiently in baskets
littered about the house for desperation
to pull near matches for a walkabout
under dark pants. On their good days,
the cats upend their lairs and drag
them on trips only socks can appreciate.

(For Tweetspeak Poetry's laundry giveaway)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Westie Lament






















Please tell me that it doesn't matter
that my ear is bent, leaning
like a limb broken from its tree,
an envelope permanently closed.

I know you chose me, rescued
me when my parents could no longer
care for me. You thought I looked
like the Westie you'd always imagined.

I'm still the same boy, just slightly
used, a bit arthritic, maybe too fat.
And sure, my face is usually stained
from nosing the scent of squirrels

I feel I must rid from your yard.
If you look at me from my good
side, you'll see. I'm just as
adorable as any Westie can be.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Red Eyes and All That

The words of my poem
spilled from my very own blood,
captured the fleet feet
of my lamb’s innocence,
yet the judge was only Abel to see
the basket of lentils
sorted in iambics, parsed
in quatrains that grained
the wilder growth. Cain I
care for darkened lessons
of acceptance and rejection?
No, my active voice
sounds deadened
past tense.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Havarti in the Highest


Is it the way the word rolls off the tongue
that delights the senses even before
the cheese is chosen? I'll have Havarti,
I tell this deli sous chef, his knife poised
for a lasting imprint on the block
of buttery goodness about to climax
my roast beef sub. Danish
slices topping 100% purebred
American Angus, garnished with dark
brown English mustard. My taste buds
jealously watch the wheat roll warming,
the cheese bonding and bubbling
while my ears ring with "Havarti!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who Planted Those Grapes?


Clipping loaded stems from the bunch, tasting
succulent globes, skins stretched on juiced
flesh, I live only in the moment. Whose hands placed
the cuttings into the moist earth, tended and watered
virgin plants, shepherded creeping tendrils into fruition?

Opening the new jar of olives, I ponder the trees
in a sandy land far removed from the verdant green
of my Louisiana landscape.  The interconnection
between hands that open and hands that plant,
hands that harvest and hands that bottle

provides the link, the connection, establishes
the patterns that reveal our selfhood, our identity
on a plane, plumbed, sheered, consummate,
completely beyond our own finite consciousness,
enigmatic as the patterns of DNA to an ancient seer.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Longing for Cheese


And the women come and go
            speaking of Vermeer.
They wonder why his women
            yearn for cheese. Take
the Girl with a Pearl Earring.
            Her full face shows she's
no stranger to the fat content
            of good Dutch cheese.
Mouth partly open, her eyes
            linger on the plate
just beyond the viewer's eye,
            mouth watering with
the taste remembered over time.
            His full-figured Milkmaid
pours cream and thinks of cheese
            she will add to the crusty
bread in the basket of her table.
            Even the woman, fingers
on the virginal's keyboard,
             in The Music Lesson
can't wait to cut the cheese.