A cracker box on the shelf Poetry

Five Poems: no special order

morning after the hard freeze
my elbow pokes
through my winter coat
a cricket leaping against my shin
lands as an empty husk

Dusting dog eared books, shelf after shelf.
Mostly old friends, but a few enemies:
the tomes of college, hated for their weight,
not their content. We’ve all grown old.
We muster weary shrugs of recognition.

The wind’s picked up again.
I watch a small bird’s wings cutting
through the wind, which cuts back
against the bird. They wrestle.
They’re heading somewhere called home.

When people laugh at me I revel.
Shows me my outrageous tenacity
has been worthwhile. Today
it’s me wearing a busker hat
while making coffee in the drafty hall.

We can’t imagine him nagging elephants
over the Alps, or telling a follower
the spear needs to be sharper.
Neither can we imagine him
wearing pants rolled to the knees,
finding sand dollars with a kid
and telling the child to respect them.

Bicycle racers in fields of the night

Cool. Night. Open fields.
Bicycle racers on every horizon.
Spotlight beams now and then
flatter the wheels
so they look like mad moons.
Everyone’s on wheels. But me.
I’m cozy-cold in the tent
with the excellent craft beers.
The only wheels I own are in my mind.
They are turning slowly this very night.
I see words in barely balanced revolutions
but they get lost in the black grass
before I have a chance to chant them.
Tomorrow morning, when I’m alone here,
I’ll amble around, looking for loose change.
Maybe I’ll find those loose words, too.

Three poems of recognition

I’m a sparrow
taking sand baths,
a rebel in bluebird land.
Pecking bugs off tires
gives me power.

October morning.
I pull on
my cloth cap
full of the laughter
of former lovers.
I wind
around my neck
a red wool scarf
their scents
inside the weave.

Using dad’s old rake,
I pull together dead leaves.
Rattling can be heard
all over the neighborhood.
Half way through I stop.
They fell where they fell.
I’m desecrating them
as I toil for suburbia.
Time for a coffee for me,
and a few cold gusts
for my dead friends.