Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nouvelle cliff

in a modern open commercial space with a lot of glass
there were some escalator things,
large open boxes, waist high,
moving up and down, one floor to the next

at the top of one floor looking around
not knowing if i’m going up or down,
i don’t remember,
it wasn’t important

looking to my right, i am on
the side of a soaring flat stone cliff
with a length of rope nearly the diameter of my wrist,
i needed to tie a bowline to climb safely,

it was almost my turn, i was going next,
looking up about a half mile the others
were hanging under an overhang
three or four in a line, climbing up

then M’s there, and wants to climb too,
that strikes me as odd, i know she doesn’t like heights,
and right now it doesn’t appeal much to me either,
that’s when the neighbor's dog barked and i woke up

County Fair

we saw the youngsters
showing their sheep
a slight girl of ten, ready
to walk her sheep into the ring,
was near tears,
holding them back somehow

is she okay?
her mother answered,
said in the first round of the showing
the 220 pound sheep made a turn, knocked her down
and stepped on the 90 pound girl

i looked in the eyes of the stiff-lipped girl,
as she readied to go back in the ring
to show her animal a second time,
she seemed tense, sad, maybe somewhat worried,
but determined to finish the thing

Thursday, August 14, 2008

frog statues

i was idle-knocking around when
M. called me out to the pond
i haven’t seen them for days
where are they? she pointed

on rocks at opposite ends they sat,
M. sprayed one with a hose, it didn’t blink
we croaked to get them started, herb, herb, errb
they remained gothic frozen in stony silence

hey, here they are here, there i mean,
right there in the pond, we saw them,
but play time is over for this year.
so long for now, Herb, croak with you later

computer repair

at the shop a couple of techies don't repair
one computer at a time
they work on five or six
with others waiting
. . . phone calls
then back to another one
scan complete
run the scan again
delivery of parts at the door

pull out the defects
order the correct part
this should be reformatted
while the scan is running look at that one
one more carried out the door
clean it out, it runs slow
can you do it now please?

this one is ready, take another
make it lean and keen
hey, look at this!
you have to find the symptoms
then the problem, and cure it

run it until it's smooth as a pond
without a ripple
nice dimple
oh, i lost my place,
what a cyberspace!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Green River Ordinance

i was fishin’ by the river
with a little bit o’ liver
catchin’ catfish
catchin’ catfish

i heard this clatter down the line
and i turned in time
to see a peddler
sellin’ handles

well, there was nothin’ attached,
like a door to its latch
he’s just tottin’ ‘em in a sack...
the handles

he asked, as in a wish
for a look at my fish,
and the sack in which i’d
tote ‘em

i said it’s this here gunny
an’ he laughed and said “it’s funny”
that i’d tote that fish sack home
without no handle

he said he’d met a thousand kings
walked the world in a thousand rings
but never saw a sack
without no handle

he said he’d help a fellow man
then placed an object in my hand...
a handle

i took the handle an’ he was on his way
i got a fine bargain, don’t mind to say
and in exchange he’s just one wish
only my lowly sack o’ fish

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

truck driver

for my driver friend that i don’t know
and isn’t that the way to go?
have friends you can’t see
like when i was a kid Guyle was mine,
Gerpthee was my cousins friend
i mention that because the name is so stupid
our whole family used to laugh at that one

i never asked what it did to my cousin
that her mom used to lead the laughter
but this is about the driver that lives up north,
now i respect that Dylan song, the girl from the north country

and everybody needs a song
don’t get me wrong
they’re fun to kick around your head
carry with you
until you’re dead
then you quit with it, maybe
or maybe you take it with you

so this truck driver puts me
in touch with the size of this world
cause i’m about on the other side of it
in ways other than distance
even from here

it’s the way she writes it
and i’m happy she can
put it out there to share
with all of us
cause it appears we are all in this together

bob dylan 1963

If you're traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
For she was once a true love of mine.

Well, if you go when the snowflakes storm
When the rivers freeze and summer ends
Please see for me if she's wearing a coat so warm
To keep her from the howlin' winds.

Please see from me if her hair hanging down
If it curls and flows all down her breast
Please see from me if her hair hanging down
That's the way I remember her best.

Well, if you're traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Please say hello to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine.


August brought a change, it did
the frogs kept out of range, or hid
like all the years before
there comes a time it seems,
they are no more

hidden, slippery
out there hiding
not sitting and sunning as before
silent, evermore

it was friendly time around July
a most peaceful month for all
a net was set to discourage the heron
with plenty of room for others to come and go

our green friends’d croak when we came around
and we croaked back, a regular give and take
they’d sun with us there
we’d sit
they’d stare

and i miss them like the rain
steaming through on hot winds in July
now the weather’s still
humid and cloudy, our August sky

there are reasons
to call them seasons
on them we can rely


each week i see those lads
and know they should earn more
for they certainly do the work
and deserve a golden parachute
more than most CEO's ever will

here they come now,
i don’t know how those boys
can heft those trashcans hour after hour,
and dump them in the truck, one after another,
all the way down the street, all over town

what a mess we’d all be in
if we didn’t have them,
and no one ever tips their hats to them,
thank God for their service,
they deserve our honor

Monday, August 11, 2008

some august afternoon

some august afternoon
the great ember rolled
into evenings ensuing blanket
that flanks the sky's end, west
casting shadows in my lemonade
nodding the okay for a light wind
to bring on the cut-grass scent
three or four crickets
rabbits, squirrels and a toad
a pale white moon
blackening trees
star one, two, three
then countless
and the sound of partially melted
ice cubes knocking
as i tip my glass
to the night

Sunday, August 10, 2008

kiss a butterfly

M. drove us to Cleveland
for parts of the best of it,
first stop Little Italy
an outdoor sit down coffee and biscotti,
after a month of searing heat
the temperature falls, M’s wearing long pants
and i’m the only guy in northern ohio
in shorts and sandals

then to the wall glassed botanical garden
for a bit of Madagascar in one cube,
Costa Rica and thousands of butterflies on the other,
outside gardens remarkably done,
each of six in different themes

next, downtown to the Renaissance hotel
a walk through the expansive adjacent mall
for looking and a slice of bad pizza,
in the public square, the sculpted monument
for county civil war fallen, completed in 1895,
years before i heard that
Francis X. Bushman the silent film star posed
for a statue in the square, we asked, searched,
yet couldn’t find it

saw the House of Blues where
the Captain goes when he’s in town,
checked out the sushi restaurant
where we thought we’d go for supper.
alas, it’s fast food.

during supper in the tourist zone nearby
at a century old building
M. mentioned that she charged the batteries,
although we forgot to use it,
the camera remained in the trunk of the car

that night we watched the opening of the Beijing Olympics
on TV in our hotel room, that's why we came
we have no TV at home.
the next morning we marked
our day sojourn to the city complete and well done.
maybe i’m just a romantic
and perhaps what the little kid in the botanical garden
really said to his friend was, “catch a butterfly”