Summer’s End

Smaller-Poem-from-the-Road

At August’s close,

the heat has worn

all of the greens

out of the leaves.

Maples are gold.

The wind sings in pines

whose lush needles

no longer glint bright

with the sun.

Here  is the beginning of fall

when the cotton plants show white,

yellow butterflies float among them

while the sky is a dull blue.

My Mountains

My Mountains Blue Ridge Appalachians

Where the earth is as rumpled as

our morning bed with the covers

flung in all directions,

Where the sky fills the horizon

scribed to the curves of ancient

hills tufted with oak and poplar,

This is where my heart beats in time to

an imperceptible rhythm.

My lungs fully exhale to inspire

forest scents of musk and green.

My mountains. Appalachians.

Ancient. Enduring. Home.

May

May Gardenias

May nights are a conjugation
of old scents. Magnolia. Jasmine. Gardenia.
Hunkered in darkness, they jump up,
Buss you on the lips and keep
their own counsel, as a favorite grandmother would.
All lace and grey hair, last century style.
Nature listens to no one. Prefers old school.
And though I don’t need to approve, I do
relishing her timeless scents.

Sibilance

This small room holds more

Life than I can understand.

 

Her body rumbles.

An odd sibilance

fills my ears with drones

and soon to come death.

 

Not sleep. Not coma.

Surely not life.

 

A pall spreads within

my heart’s chambers

As I know she is not

long for this world.

 

You sleep on a cot

your breath even

though sometimes you snore,

mimic her rattle and hum.

 

For a moment you, her child,

breathe in unison with her.

Your life in communion

with hers as it was when you

were born fifty nine years ago.

 

Bereft, I alone witness

your corporeal union

Just as I alone witness it’s

cessation at her last breath.


For Maureen, who left us on Saturday, May 17. Thank you for your life, and your son who is my love.

Fireball Whiskey Kinda Night

Andra-Watkins-Images-Fireball-Whiskey

We stood together

tips of toes just touching

covering the Burgess & Niple medallion

which I think marks where aliens

landed that night back in the winter of 1960

but you said it was just a surveyor’s marker

flush in the macadam of the Trace.

Grandaddy’s red pickup truck, forlorn

sits abandoned on the verge.

With mints clinched between our teeth we

sip Fireball whiskey – we heard it will fizzle and burn

and maybe give us a new high

as if we need one after the day we just had.

Eyes raised to the sky, we wait for a flash

a streak, a blaze across the sky.

When that happens it will be our signal to write our names

on the pavement in yellow crayon

then climb back into the truck cab

bump along down the road,

back to Natchez.


This story poem was inspired by Andra Watkins Tumblr pictorial of her day along the Natchez Trace. The images above belong to Andra Watkins and link to her Tumblr. Follow Andra’s journey to walk every one of the 444 miles of the Natchez Trace just as her character’s do in her epic novel, To Live Forever An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis.

For another found object poem, please read Song of the Moon.

A vision

Sunlight streams through the glass.
Arranges itself in rectangles
upon worn oak floorboards.

She steps into the light
as an actress steps onto the stage.
She claims this place.
All composure. All stillness.

Her pale hair forms a caplet
about her shoulders.
Her arms cross her chest
hidden in folds of jewel-tone squares.
The quilt she clutches
around her torso like a queen’s mantle,
wraps her in family fabric.


Note: This vision was gifted to me in the night. I was both the girl in the light and the observer. It is as if the spirit of Andrew Wyeth took over my dreams and painted this image in my brain. The glowing colors of the squares of the quilt radiated in the gleaming sunlight. The texture of the word floors and the warmth of the golden light are actually felt. I am wishing I could paint, so I could capture this visually. Hopefully, the words will suffice.

Still and Dark

Sunset over the marsh

Still and dark
I sit satisfied
basking in the glow
of a life (that I)
plucked from destiny.
A life of decision,
leaving confused and undecided,
I came groping forward – on instinct
until I found a life,
gained through blind insistence
on self truth.