Saturday, July 18, 2009

the whittler

sun shines on a small diner
built a century past
on what is still a quiet off street
in the little town
we enter, take a table
the business is slow

two quiet women are at one table
three happy workers lunch at the counter
they are having a good old time
we hear the youngest tells the others
he is going to whittle this weekend
then shows his new large very sharp pocket knife
they all marvel

then the older says what ever you do
be sure you don’t cut off your thumb
of course not, the younger says, but why say that?
cause the guy says, you’re going to need it
to pick up your finger
much laughter filled the room

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mexican food

Mexican food at a roadside diner
with a chic-latin name in Somewhere’sville, Ohio
the stucco outside painted red and blue, looks right
with food prepared by Mexicans
from ingredients,
though available locally,
were probably frozen and trucked
across long American highways from anywhere

pleasant low volume music was authentic
as I imagine were the workers immigration cards
I ordered three enchiladas stuffed with
some kind of white cheese - gooey
in a sauce once based on tomatoes
currently based on grease and memories
of how it could be somewhere
the beans and rice were good, so was the coffee
the cost reasonable, the food wasn’t terrible,
it also had precious little to do with Mexico
hey, you want good Mexican food
better go to California

Thursday, July 16, 2009

the shallow cove

the shallow cove narrows
by brushes and thickets
our old row boat sparkles
under sunned running waters

when spring floods the low lands
all return and rebuild
for memories run deeper
than fat fish go up stream

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


papoon, the Iroquois called it
when they gave it to settlers
along the Susquehanna river
around 1779

knee high by the fourth of july. we say
the Indians probably had a version
or made a motion with their hand
it was special for them also

it’s planted in fields prepared and well tended
now an American tradition
seeded in good long rows
they’ve got the procedure down pat

and hope for rain
the sun does the rest
tall and green with wispy tassels on the stalks
then pick it at the peak

old timers made pipes from the cobs,
you clean the golden vegetable, cook it
every one runs to devour the feast
sure tastes good

add butter and salt the way you like
I sure do, since I was a kid
means it’s really summer
sweet corn

Monday, July 13, 2009

sunday my brother

Sunday my brother
now an old fisherman
took us in his boat
up brown river

through turns and trees
years fell away in ripples
as in seasons long ago
when humid air was still

turtles, fish, mossy fallen painted signs
by snags from leaning, half sunken trees
a heron tall in the branches watching
the river course changes
from flood and growth
always changing
water up and water down

a golf course where a farm used to be
now many new houses
old shacks fallen
a corner where we camped
another where we fished
duck blind in the marsh
a spot we had ventured to
paddling a canoe up mud brook creek
by jumping fish, sleeping deer and water birds
some sweet summer ago

Sunday, July 12, 2009

river fest

this morning
while meandering quietly at the piano
i paused and heard the patter out side
not raindrops this time

it was runners in a something k event
we went out to see them go by
then later came youngsters in a little k
only last night from the front door we saw
fireworks boom over the river
and launch high golden,
red, flashes sparkles blue dripping fire
booms to shatter the evening sky
filling the night for revelers
to open hearts
hello the neighbors
hear the music

today the boom was thunder
a real corker, rain in buckets
seemingly a never ender
that finished in the nick of time
for the start of the parade

sunshine for the floats, the twirlers,
fire truck and the marching band
then off to the firehouse for a barbeque,
and the library for the book sale

tonight it's bands again
rides and games
food booths and fun
for children of all ages

make some noise
hold some events
and the town will turn out
to unify and enjoy
another fine summer weekend