Category Archives: nostalgia

Listen

I’ve spent the week listening to songs
and paying tribute to old movie stars.
Ol’ Gator and the Crewe are gone,
the coffee pot is growling on.

The songs I heard are old and true,
yet still they sound like yesterday.
I send them out from me to you.
The coffee pot is growling on.

Ol’ Gator fought the crooked law
and justice served the Crewe at last.
Even bandits fight against their flaws.
The coffee pot goes growling on.

What could happen, which is worse?
Posed a voice I recognize.
Are our leaders so accursed?
the coffee pot goes growling on.

Where did all our heroes go?
I ask aloud – inside my head.
The lonely people – they all know
the coffee pot’s still droning on.

Songs and stories will often tell
us who we are to be:
Poet, lover, bootlegger rebel.
The growling pot has stopped, it’s done.

Upon a doorway

Clay flowerpots lay strewn about,
the solid door shut, and the grout
amidst the brick and plaster walls
is hurried and askew.

The silent ones living there
do not come or go much anywhere,
the light and air commiserate
with old facades, worn and true.

Once, daffodils and daisies roamed
and bloomed in springtime at this home,
now wearing in dilapidation
clay pots all are cast a-strew.

Yet, beauty can come once again
through this threshold and attain
a place the memories are kept
upon a doorway, words brand new.

******
A poem written in response to Worth a 1000 words prompt by The Haunted Wordsmith. Not a story in a 1000 words, which I think was the intent of the prompt.  🙂

 

Lament (a Cento)

Our one forever,

when it stole through the red gates of sunset
left over from autumn, and the dead brown grass
is yet vibrant with the cadence of the song you might have been.

No longer mired in waiting to begin.

They tell us the night means nothing,
and the candles their light the light.

Nothing is hid that once was clear,

then gone and then to come:
all the time, except the split
second, except—

What is there to say except to lament.

You live in the wrong place.

There’s no flowering time to come.

The hands fell off my watch in the night

and you counted the time
from this instant.

**********************
This Cento contains lines from the following poets: 

Kenneth Rexroth, John Koethe, Lola Ridge, Brenda Hillman, Martha Collins,  Melissa Kwasny, Katharine Tynan, Esther Louise Ruble, David Yezzi, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Jonathan Galassi, Michael Goldman, Robert Francis, and Lucille Clifton.

 

Caves

I never said much, but always wished more.

I often walked far, yet attended to less –

following the streams

climbing the hill

breathing the air.

I sometimes planned, yet often moved.

I always embraced, but waited alone –

catching a glimpse

grasping a hand

dancing a waltz.

I cherished the words, then let them sit idle.

I spoke them in caves, and the echoes moved on –

whispered and bluff

incarnate and gangling

encircled and sure.

I never said much, but always wished more.

 

 

Analog

It’s at times like this,
when morning slides across in its straw-yellow light –
that I am slow enticed to rise
and invite the day into my life.

Somehow its poetry comes upon me like I dial
digits on a rotary phone-
awaiting a cyclic return to home position before moving on.

It’s where the music of my choice plays from beginning to end,
with static embellishment reminding me of conclusion.

The ticks and tocks of the clock drive me forward in time,

It’s the moment of morning glory – once asleep in darkness,
then blooming in the day.

Beauty – she sits in moments, but grows in continuum,
and the anticipation at these time-points are like dust in the shifting light,
and my heart wakes in hues of endurance and tomorrow.

Cobblestones

We played as we hopped on a path made of cobblestones,
working to miss tripping up on the wobbly ones-
teetering remnants of geological dawn.

With skips, our fortuitous leaps soon encouraged us,
daffodils blooming beside, on the precipice
jumping to miss the mud puddles along.

Darting and skipping on shiny smooth pebbles
No one would think less of us being rebels
while racing the sidewalks and adjacent lawns.

Falling about in the bluegrass and fescue
Speaking our dreams in expanse, what we cling to-
while bouncing, en-route, as the day lead us on.

Then, after our respite, we left hand-in-hand
Back to the fray of intruding demands,
the cobblestones under our feet level drawn.

And, clicking our heels in the dance of our sunset,
With light on horizons and tears in our sweat,
it’s like we were walking on air all along.

**********
Reworking an older poem from ca. 2005-6

Walkways

The hollow sound of steps on concrete
as I move through quiet halls,
walking with a mood of purpose,
striding forward without pall.

Thinking of the crunch of leaves
in autumns’ past on wooded malls,
Shuffled red and brown debris
whispering with their ruffled brawl.

Memories of a trail in snow
with silence mid footfall,
or sloshing on the coastal sand
the tides erasing tread and scrawl.

The running gait on playground fields
and rhythmic marching bands recalled
echoing their pace and chorus
clapping, steps from those enthralled.

All this sound and vision walking
as I move through vacant halls,
listening at the sound of knocking
of my own steps, from wall to wall.