Green Swimming, in Summer: A Poem

As they say, and now for something (not completely, but) a little different! An attempted poem; the first in a while for me. [And no, it’s not related to green pools at the recent Olympics!]

Corn long-shot

Utterly thrilling, isn’t it?

Green Swimming, in Summer

Eyelines: and when

the corn

is exactly even

with the pool’s sagging caldera,

the plastic-snap

crocodile wisps, drifts

maw gaping

and it is

as if

we could leap

into the jade organic

and skiff the silks aside,

maybe use toes to play with the tassels,

splitting the husks with our own

layered unkempts.

Here, there are no

wheelbarrow—a collective noun like

a parliament of owls or

murder of crows

No wheelbarrows either. They are shut

from sight.

But there are ducks nearby:

none white.

And closer still, neighborly chickens:

one of whom folds a neurological neck


at a break-beak angle.

Damaged in the egg,

they say.

(Aren’t we all?)

He is named, but, sadly, I do not


So I christen him

Sir Yawp.

Nothing’s barbaric about him,


As for me—us—the jury’s

out. Out there, somewhere.

Hiding in a star nursery.

Sir Yawp javelins pill-bugs and

snags gnats mid-air.

Corn flies, mistaken for sweat bees,

are no match for the

feathered Mr. Miyagi.

For now, all things



pushed out of human consciousness.

And out far, if you chance

to snatch a glance

at today’s

Archaeopteryx, a transitional

preening the sky

or sentinel on a wire,

a vulture strutting

to the strummed frets

of a grisly gravel feast,

stay back. Let

your mind make

the strokes

required, etchings on the facades

of the flat dust.

Let it say:

I have passed by

here and seen.





At the end of the summer (here in the Northern hemisphere, anyway), I have been inspired by many things. One of those is poet Robert Okaji’s participation in the 30/30 Project, wherein a poet writes 30 poems in 30 days to benefit the publisher Tupelo Press. If you appreciate poetry—modern or otherwise—you might very well enjoy the fare offered in this project. Several donor incentives remain for sponsoring Bob, although the sand is getting finer. If that’s not enough, Bob links to the Tupelo site with each of his evocative daily poems; that site boasts work (much of it also as stunning, I must say) from eight other participating poets. I hope you’ll partake of some poetry today, before August (like summer 2016) pulls up roots and leaves us with . . .  leaves, of course!


Last(ing) Lines: A Poem

ART-architectureIf poetry seems easy,

it is because of this:

Even blanks bear meaning—

furrow, prowl, populate

as lodestars unexploded—

signify scars subsumed

threshed out on

(un)willing, willful


freshness skimming epithelial soil

(facades, not deep-down drown).

I would touch where the pain used to be,

but it is everywhere.


Spectral text.

Each letter lets loose

a shriek to

beat back

bleak silence,

say: I island here. I accrete from

now until


Sing a cartography of you-ness

into existence.

Contend with neighbors

to crowd or cram

the yearning

maw of the open



The Old Guitarist, an oil painting by Pablo Picasso currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago (IL, USA).

Dump a heap of

meaning picked clean

accordion of whistle-bone


to reveal

aortal gristle.

Each sound senses

whether you are “I” enough

to bang it bigly into existence.


Suckle the needle-teethed


uncarapace expectations.

Let’s stop shoulding ourselves:

This thing you should not write,

is just what must

be written.


I wish I knew the you

cottoned in the margins,

off the rails of lines

on that grid where mouth

meets a marble of warmth,

turning it over and over,

a coagulation of memories,

rolling ’round

sallow self

in the shallows of human Time.

Put your life’s book upon the shelf, tidal, tidy,

hope it doesn’t capitulate,

capsizing esteem

as words are wont to do.

Uncouple your grief, hitch it to a rag-shop doll,

decapitate the malaise

you only begin to notice

when the salt


sensory beds

and your lips

come away


You’ve plowed over

your own marrow.

Yes, poetry is the cinch

fringing your neck.

As beats go numb,

sclera fixed in scorn,

each phalanx a sentience:

rife ordnance

for conscience’s echo.

It is not exactly

tabula rasa

where we end,

but it must be done.

And perhaps

only then

do we begin

to meet meaning:

in the going out, never


until then

many bruises were the

bouquets—bone-songs of the soul—

we sought but never


through an


of grief.