Sunday, April 29, 2012

Treadle

Time is an up and down needle,
Hemming roads to towns and stream...
Following one continuous thread,
My heart and feet fuel the treadle machine.

I awake sometimes while driving,
The white lines stitching a garment seam...
Crashing when out of bobbin,
My passing life, a tailor's bad dream.

One day I will lose this onus,
I'll transfer my life to a loom...
Clinging to a flying shuttle;
I'll weave a tapestry to the moon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Father


My dad was an absentee father,
Sadder yet, because he was home...
I dreamed of catching tossed baseballs,
While ignored in my room and alone.

I figured out what he earned per day,
Saving up for a piece of his time...
In hopes that I could pay him
To make just one hour all mine.

I decided to not waste the money,
On a man too blinded to see.
The son who longed to know him,
Spent it all, instead, to be free.

Admittedly, the man was a genius
A prophet ahead of 'his time'...
Yet some scholars should not have children;
It was his loss for not sharing mine.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cup Half Full


My friend's cups were all half empty,
My own cup was always half full...
Everyone loved my swimming parties
I loved most, the drained, empty pool.

Friends floating on their inflatable rafts,
Couldn't imagine past parties or know...
Warm sleeping bags on hard concrete,
Circling the drain, just ten feet below.

Those nights our young voices echoed,
In our campground sans horizon line...
We lived by choice subterranean,
Below deck for such a short time.

Morning pool-boys opened the spigot,
Flooding first, the encampment's deep end...
The empty pool forever changed us,
No longer young campers, but diving again.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Prairie Life in Miller, S. Dakota


On a South Dakota Prairie,
I survived the harshest weather;
Frostbite and windchill factors;
The horizon infinite, white, forever.

We drank in the same grain fields,
Fermented to make our brew...
Where buffalo once stampeded
Pursued by hunting Sioux.

I thought for a fleeting second,
The Dakota lifestyle could be mine,
Seagrams' poured for one full hour,
Inside that broken down combine.

You were a legend Charlie Miller,
The prairie's one female crop duster...
Main cog in her same-name town;
An agricultural pest ball-buster.








Thursday, April 12, 2012

Armour


As youths we felt quite vulnerable;
The sixties were helter-skelter...
We didn't trust our elders, yet
Depending on them for shelter.

Dad taught me to be paranoid,
One has far too much to loose”...
The best defense for any invasion?
A month's supply of booze.

I built for half a century,
A fortress with my own two hands...
A mile-high wall around me,
Entirely of bottles and beer cans.

My wall's been incredible armour,
The thickness alone, great clout... 
It has protected me from every thing,
By locking all beauty out. 

Photo: Stephanie De Rosa 





Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Delta


I grew up on the delta,
Tributaries of San Joaquin...
The suburbs a slice of heaven,
Downtown dirty, unsafe and mean.

Our neighborhood dead ended
On abandoned Indian land...
Encroaching elegant Oak Groves,
Lacking any environmental plan.

Our homes flooded in the winter,
Victims of Sierra snow pack overloads,
Rice paddys in the early spring,
Provided millions of baby toads.

The weather when school started,
Was on average, one hundred ten...
No one had air conditioning,
In their homes or cars back when,

Dry creeks around our houses,
Smelled of rotting common carp...
Bull frogs spent the night playing bass,
While the crickets played the harp.

Years later, the town built levees,
Neighbor's homes filled with new blood...
Yet how I miss the oak groves,
The heat, the toads...the flood.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poetic Scoundrel


Another night, another stupor,
Another day, I turn the page...
Swimming in cesspools with idiots,
Shaken dry, I'm a witty sage.

I run with the down trodden,
Liquor flowing to drown our rage...
Jotting down notes while sobering up,
To celebrate life's every stage.

I smell like a Gallo jug screw cap,
Marinated in life's long sorrows...
Coming to in a dumpster or castle,
Still holding on to better tomorrows.