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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The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

595px-Chauvet_cave,_paintings

Limestone arches shelter caverns.
Drawings incised by ancients
move in heatless light.
Bones enrobed in calcite crystals
scatter diamond reflections.
Shimmer bright. Animate deer
lion and strange rhinoceros. Horses
regal gallop into my brain. Celebration
of line. Sinew. Muscle. Life.

My foremother stood here. Felt her
divinity. Breathed in smoke.
Ochre hands tell tales of life
in the dark. She lay down into
hollows bowled by cave bears
whose bodies created cradles
in the dirt. She walked on.

Through the parchment
of my closed eyelids
I see you shadowed
against the dawn-lit window.

Your broad shoulders
block out the light.
My fingers remember
solid muscle, grizzled with fur.

I caress the warm sheets
where you lay. Know there will
be a day when this warmth
will not remain at dawn.
Roll into the oval you leave.
Return to sleep and dream of her
and the life they left for us.

An homage to Werner Hertzog’s film, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” about the Chauvet cave and to William P. Smithem.

Photo credit Wikipedia Commons