August 29, 2006

Best of Show at the County Fair

Diesel fuel, dust-tinged phlegm,
barbecue at 10 a.m.,
seed corn, cows, green John Deere,
pig crap and rabbit fur
delight the red-naped cropper.
Another showstopper,
each brand-new blue ribbon
is good enough reason
to cock-crow victory
and dance rockabilly.

August 24, 2006

The Lady of Orange

I have always loved The Lady of Orange,
the aunt whose only continuity
(other than the ever-present
tangerine tint on her lips and nails)
is her inconsistency.

As unpredictable and effective
as Death's whim, her moods--
raucous, raunchy, tender,
somber, playful, and vile--
shift and strike unannounced.

Husbands and lovers,
grudges and favors,
wives' tales and truths--
she collects and discards
with equal abandon.

Like a nomad (claiming gypsy blood),
fleeing landlords and boredom,
she uproots her small clan
to move from house to house--
and sometimes back again.

She fabricates creepy tales
of witches, vampires,
demons and ghosts--
not to terrify family or friends,
but to bluff reality's intimidations.

Years ago, as a teenager
in her domain, I was liberated--
free to smoke or drink
and even rendevous with lovers,
often men of her acquaintance.

More recently, during a dark moment's reverie,
she asked me if I blamed her for my problems.
Surprised, I answered quite honestly--no.
I still wonder why she claimed the guilt.
I have always loved The Lady of Orange.

August 20, 2006


I guzzle cool, clean drinking water.
In my glass I see shrinking water.

Sweet bubbles--the happy spring's dancing.
Downstream, dead cows rot--stinking water.

Maybe we'll have a long, wet winter.
Please, don't come inside tracking water.

I spend every day sipping coffee.
I spend all my nights making water.

The bathroom sink sat unused for years.
Today it started leaking water.

Some study chicken guts for answers.
They might as well be asking water.

Remember, Agnes, nothing matters.
Don't waste your lifetime blinking water.

August 14, 2006

Red Lies War

The morning dust
releases what lies ahead. The tide turns
in a flow of black on white. Lies, all lies.
The morning news rests upon her breast
exposing what they won. Half-truths
lie in the east. No Red or Blue
envisioned an America where everyone
awakes intent on what lies behind,
what lies before, what lies within.
The warning sky lies in her eyes.
Morning is too long. Not that it matters.
Sorted and bagged, I am the root.
Temptation wears a crimson cape.
The morning news is black and white,
but there's red all over.

August 08, 2006

In the Poetry Corner

Long before the end of summer, she was told to read
before posting requests and announcements.
That was before a gypsy's love song cast its spell.
Now, a letter a day is her addiction,
and she finds herself alone, as morbid as they come,
assembling the pineapple with black ink.
She composes her chapbook: signings, symbols, codes--
much like those dead Christian gnostics. Chop. Chop.
Deep thinking is a depression, a hole, an emotional well,
but there must be 20 times 20 ways to keep from falling
in love with fantasy. Medieval, the way she chants
for your love. The forty-plus crowd ignore her nonsense;
they miss her graduations, her wedding, her haiku:
I hate you/idiots. In the beginning, there are insanities
and kindred spirits: Life, Love, Death and Suicide.
Life, Death and Lost Love woo her with midnight whispers.
Teen nature--now, this is not odd. Lured by contests
and awards, the woman-child doesn't know she should
avoid the spider's web and social commentary
from the over-30 crowd whose hormones have withered.
Really rotten rhyme and silver dreams adorn her.
She seeks sisters and sonnets, only sonnets, straight
from the heart. No one needs tell her: submissions wanted.
She's a swan. Lake be damned. She braves the ocean,
and symbolic rhyming poets like Hannah and Dan show
her the light. Brigades of little fish join her in the quilting
circle. When at last it's time for change, she says goodbye
to best friends, to true love, to war against the well-versed
ladies. She discovers it does not matter what inspires you.
She won't write: Why do I love you? You, only you, Zeitgeist.

August 03, 2006

Man Song

Man with two hearts, look what you've done.
You made me love you. Rainy day man,
walking man, you're not mine anymore.
Isn't it a pity. You won't see me cry.

Sharp dressed man, good lookin' man,
hoochie coochie man, honky tonk night time man--
somebody to love--tall, dark handsome stranger,
you sexy thing, what's your name?

Mean old man, street fighting man,
branded man, renegades, rebels, and rogues,
all the madmen--bad boys--
Push me. Pull me. Take what you need.

No ordinary man--iron man,
starman, a better man--
the supermen! Oh, you pretty things,
too much heaven, who do you love?

Handy man, jigsaw man,
hard workin' man, don't walk away.
Simple man, family man,
salt of the earth, never let me down.

I'm countin' on you. Mother Nature's son,
piece of my heart, you know what to do.
Stand by me. Do me right.
Love me like a man. I am woman.