Saturday, October 17, 2009

the comforter

the worn comforter on my bed
my mom’s mother made
during blue winter nights
before flicking evening’s fire

on her lap it kept her warm
working patiently with grandpa there
rocking quietly next to her
in his favorite wooden rocking chair

an era when a glimpse
from outside on the back porch brought
stillness, star sparkle and shimmering brilliance
not yet dimmed by city lights

even radio was a novelty
funny voices, laughter, soft music and stories
for cold nights near the stove
with a capped kettle of warm drink atop

amber glow heated drifting vapors
sweet odors filled their home
and didn’t whistle, it wasn’t necessary
the kettle on the stove gave humidity

they were home in comfort, telling tales, wishing
recalling friends , family and holidays
at peace, and not going anywhere,
they knew they were already there

From a time when a comforter wasn't a forty-five
but could have been called a peacemaker.

Friday, October 16, 2009

words and music by jack s.

part decorative wood from Lincoln’s time
half recently constructed stone storage space
all overlooks the economically withering small town and an ugly
car wash across the street with a coke machine that lights up

i have obtained a three thousand square foot
industrial building to write and play in
i like obtained because that
is more gentile than bought

and i didn’t buy anything,
i have embraced this space
it’s mine in my head, without papers
by word of mouth, mine

cause i’ve been in it
have photos and dreams of being there
producing massive amounts of gems
piles horded and distributed to the urchins

that look like overweight immature vandals
short people not developed in any sense
running in wild packs, probably to and from
that elementary school around the block

and the legends will be created
by slouching legions carrying torches in the night
mobs of immigrants cutting vegetables for soup
blocks away from any used car dealership and

churches with a monument for the poor aborted fetuses
and the saints of another culture, generations ago
that are told in prayers and whispers about
salt on the wound, would you do that

to yourself or animals unless for cooking?
i can get a caldron
it sounds more dramatic than a big pot
i’ll have to check if open fires are legal

but they won’t stop me from
dreaming about it
for all the belching smoke and the stench
i can produce in my dream caldrathon

Thursday, October 15, 2009

zero to

clean slate, zero to ten
open your eyes, smarty pants
wet drawers, feed me
little dickens

ten to twenty ain’t i neat
i can dance and go so fast, glug glug
pledge allegiance, watch me now
got it all, i am the one, what’s to eat?

twenty to thirty, the pink
on the ball, in the game
standing tall, so proud, i know that
watch me now, overdrive

thirty to forty, classic steps
massive energy, step aside,
no problem, i’m so fine
so fine, so fine, watch the line

forty to fifty golden dreams
in the pocket, earned my way
pretty nifty, what’s to forget
obsessive solid rocket booster

fifty to sixty, formidable style
i believe in god again, on the safe side
proof in the pudding, justified
lord of the rings

sixty to seventy, did i tell you
stop and think, time is faster, i remember
count my blessing, give it away, did you know,
didn’t use it much anyway

seventy to eighty, thrifty
still count for something, we always used to,
mark my words, I forget
what i know is slower

eighty to ninety, overtime
still can some, count me, don’t recall exactly
hold tight, what i mean to say
what’s to eat?

it seems so very long ago
go ahead, clean the slate
when will they ever learn? return to dust,
such is fate, and taketh away

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

here's how

the Lakota/Dakota Sioux word
“hau” means “hello”
still is used today
varients are in the native speech
of many plains indians
the Tetons said “howo” or “ho”
Omahas said “hau”

and when the eastern Americans
saw the iridescent colors
shimmering, turning, twisting in the wind
and cascading from trees in the fall
they all said
as we do today

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

number recorder

there was a guy in our town
had the job to write down the numbers
of every train car in and out of the mill
somewhere, someone might recall his name

a co-worker at that mill told me this years ago
witnesses at the time swore it was true
twelve or fifteen digits on every train car
how many I’m not sure, just say there were quite a few

the man’d watch twenty, fifty, or a hundred train cars pass
look at the numbers until the final car rolled on
then half his job was complete, he'd make a dash
into the office and write all the numbers down

Monday, October 12, 2009

the couple

after years together
it’s good you and i don’t dress identically
wear hair and shoes like one another
prefer to eat exactly alike

enjoy indistinguishable hobbies
have equivalent talents
read only the same books
think and talk as duplicates

because it has occurred to me
now that I’ve noticed in the mirror especially
visible proof, others see it too
for one – you’re shorter than i,

you see, we are different people
it's what makes the world go round
vive la difference
now how about a hug

Sunday, October 11, 2009

i love you

i love you more than poetry,
summer days, hot dogs, warm sand, and baseball,
sweet corn, cross walks, my favorite books at the library.
green lights and Broadway musicals are nice,
so are pizza and spaghetti.

you are the sun and moon and stars for me
the clouds, the shining waves on the sea
practically, but not completely
not everything, i mean, sure, i love you
but i’m not ridiculous