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.

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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.

Red Sweater

red-sweater

I remember your red sweater.
and the cold.

Looking for patches
for the present and
for the future,

Leather to upholster the holes in our lives
applied to the bends,
joints and joinings.

Looking for a place
of being.
A place of unity
and understanding.
Of belonging.

Autumn Litany

Edited 2013-10-02 09.31.34

Gladdening skies greet the Autumnal Equinox.

Earth’s journey dims as mine begins.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

Roadside flowers.

Ruderal species have advantage.

Opportunists, they

thrive in disturbed margins.

I chant their names in concert

with their fall reappearance.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

Edited 2013-10-02 09.31.47

Goldenrod tall on the shoulders

Sentinel flag. A waving banner.

Dips in the car’s slipstream.

Purple Gerardia / hairy false foxgloves,

in balloon-bud, vow clouds of fuchsia.

Here a riot of pink Morning Glories

open-throated, sing in cool crispness. Climbing over

fences. Rosy pink gleaminess.

While whiter cousins, Man-root glories

trumpet with violet gullets.

Joined by the mauve Asters.

Constellations of petals.

Button composite centers.

Perfect bunches.

Pink knotweed spikes.

Minuscule buds like clustered

Pearls. I know you too.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

In flooded ditches shrubs–

Marsh Mallows. Hibiscus moscheutos.

Wild cotton they call you. Your cultivated cousins

stand in rows. You, though, are unruliness.

Shrubby excess. A gleam of white

at the edge of dark woods. Your throat

deep purple unseen at sixty miles an hour.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

Dotted Horsemint. Whorls its stem.

Fills ditches in gleeful resurgence.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

Edited 2013-09-29 15.42.49

Upland, purple blue morning glories

anthem of delight. Intensity.

And a final chorus.

My floral recital.

Every verse spoken.

Ritual. Seasonal reappearance.

My fall litany. Anthem really.

The First

Edited-NAVL-2013-11-07-12.10.04

I am not the first nor are you the last child of a child.

Yanked into this world with love you are more tiny and more precious then I could ever imagine and yet contain a love so large.

The hard old soul of me is cracked and washed anew in a baptism of tears so spontaneous I have no idea where they came from.

And now hundreds of miles away from you I cry again to hold you, to touch you, to smell and adore you.

Homegrown Tomatoes

Tomato-Flower-by-audreyjm529

July. She stands among the tomatoes
Pinioned in conical wire cages
Red fruit grows plump with ruby shoulders
Blushing with exposure. Long days of sun.
And rain. Too much rain.
In rivulets it pools between
Delicate roots covered by hillocks
that rise like mountains from a flooded valley.

In February cradled in Dixie Cups, seedlings
Reached for the sun from their perch
Atop the chest-freezer on the glassed-in porch.
A growing future, a bounty promised
In pictures on the front of the seed packets
Each envelope inverted on popsicle sticks prevents
Mixups between Big Boys and Better Boys.
As if she could get them confused with Terrifics.

In early April, not late March as she had wanted,
They were set-out in their rows. Then yellow
Star-shaped flowers twinkled on branches.
Infinitesimal, unseen golden pollen granules drifted.
Startled from the flower by sonicating bees’ wings
and by the bump of the doe as she meandered at sunrise.

Fruit set. Green nubbins appeared in May.
Veined marbles she had thought as she picked off
Tomato fruitworms, squashing them in the dirt.
She draped protective bird netting in a battle
With the mockers who stood and pecked
Laughing, she felt, at her defensive efforts.

And now in July their sides split
From too much rain. They weep
Rivulets of juicy life.

Photo credit: Tomato flower by flickr user audreyjm529